BARNAUL, RUSSIA - With a population of over a million, Barnaul's residents voted this December for a new mayor to run this large city. It was no contest; it was a huge landslide. The people were tired of all the political corruption so, of the six cadidates, there was one clear winner with 90% of the vote... Barsik! That's right, Barsik the Siamese cat. And here I thought Russia had gone to the dogs.
JASPER, IN - The election in Jasper, Indiana for mayor this November, between Terry Seitz and Wayne Schuetter, had no clear winner. That is because it ended in a tie! A recount was held in December and Seitz was determined the winner because one vote for Schuetter was invalid due to a lack of signature. That's too bad... I was looking forward to a coin toss. Actually, the city council would have voted between the two candidates.
MONROE COUNTY, GA - Deputies surprised 54 motorists this December when they pulled them over. Expecting warnings and/or tickets, drivers were handed $100 bills instead. Some thought it was a trick or joke, but it was no joke. An anonymous donor had given the Sheriff's Department fifty-four $100 bills to spread good cheer and to help them connect in a positive way with the citizens of this Georgia county. It worked.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - A video surveillance camera on one street corner in St. Petersburg caught an elderly driver exiting his car momentarily as the car was still running. Then what appeared to be a male teen on a bike entered the scene, circled the car, and then ditched the bike. The boy quickly got into the car and took off as the 89-year-old driver stood nearby. It happened in a matter of seconds. After an investigation, they arrested the culprit, but he wasn't a teen. Police arrested a 12-year-old boy! Arrested a 12-year-old? That's right! And for good reason. The boy has been arrested over 20 times before for stealing cars!
TOMBALL, TX - George Pickering II, 59, was released from prison this December, having served time because of a stand-off with police in a Houston area hospital on January 10, 2015. His son, George Pickering III, 27, was in the critical care unit at Tomball Regional Medical Center following a massive stroke and was put on life support. Since his son could not respond, George Sr.'s ex-wife was placed in the position to make healthcare decisions on their son's behalf. Even though he was the father, George Sr. had no say in the matter.
George Sr. overheard the hospital staff using words like "brain dead" and "vegetable" and was greatly concerned. His ex-wife and other son agreed with the doctor, who ordered a "terminal wean", a process to slowly remove someone off of life support. He also heard that a staff member had notified an organ donor organization. Things were moving too fast. That is when George Sr. got his gun and ordered everyone "out of the room." He "knew" his son was not ready to go yet. After a stand-off with police, a SWAT team was called in. Several hours elapsed before George Sr. finally surrendered, but not until his son had showed signs of life and responded by squeezing his hand. The hospital continued life support for George Jr., who recovered fully and was released.
George Sr. remained in jail until recently, when father and son were united again. George Jr. said that had it not been for his dad and what he did, he would not be here today. George Sr. admits that he should have handled things a little differently, but if, in the future, his son's life was in danger, he would do it again in an instant!