Monday 04/18/11

Human Interest News   —   Posted on April 18, 2011

Altoona, Pa., sells naming rights for filmmaker
Later this month, there will still be a city with roughly 31,000 residents in the Allegheny Mountains east of Pittsburgh. What there won’t be is a city named Altoona. That’s because the city has sold its name to make some money – and to help independent filmmaker Morgan Spurlock make a point.

City Council on Wednesday approved a deal to change Altoona’s name to “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” for 60 days. Spurlock will pay the city an unspecified amount that will benefit its police department. The film skewers the proliferation of advertising in American life. POM Wonderful is a juice company that paid to be the movie’s title sponsor. The film will screen in Altoona on April 27, the day the name change takes effect.

Wild pigs dig up Conn. school fields
Vandals are tearing up the athletic fields in Thompson, Connecticut, but these swine aren’t human. Two wild pigs have been leaving divots in the fields rooting for grubs to eat, and officials are worried that a student is going to step in one and get hurt.

Groundskeeper Joel Ladyka says he spotted what he thought was a black bear a couple of weeks ago, until he saw the tusks on a boar he estimates weighs more than 200 pounds. Some people have seen a second pig they think is a female.

Wild pigs are so rare in Connecticut that school officials were met with skepticism when they called the state Agriculture Department. They had to send pictures. Superintendent Michael Jolin says he hopes the state can capture and remove the pigs.

81-year-old man hits intruder with pan
A would-be robber got more than he bargained for when an 81-year-old Jacksonville, Florida man hit him “upside the head” with a frying pan.

Bobby Smith told officials he was working in his garden Saturday when caretaker Luvina Sones told him an intruder was in the house. Smith went to investigate. According to an arrest report, the armed suspect knocked Smith to the ground and took his wallet. Smith grabbed the nearest weapon — a frying pan full of fried potatoes. Smith hit the man, knocking some of his teeth out with the frying pan. He then used a nearby pitchfork to stick the robber in the side. The bleeding suspect fled and Smith called for help. A K-9 unit found the suspect, who was arrested.

From The Boston Herald and WWLP News 22. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. Visit the websites at and