Utah mayor used alias to double as news reporter

SALT LAKE CITY – The mayor of Utah’s second-largest city is acknowledging he used a fake name to write freelance stories for Utah news outlets because he says the municipality needed more “good news.”

West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder quoted himself in some of the stories he wrote for the Deseret News, KSL-TV’s website and a community weekly.

Winder tells The Associated Press his career as a news reporter using the name Richard Burwash lasted several months until he decided to come clean this week. He says getting stories published was as easy as setting up a Gmail account and Facebook page under the alias.

Winder says he wanted to offer balance to what he saw as bad news coverage of his city. He complains that the media devotes too much time to covering crime.

North Carolina town with no candidates counts write-in votes

TAR HEEL, N.C. — One North Carolina town won’t let a lack of candidates stand in the way of democracy.

Voters in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel cast their ballots this week. All the election’s votes were write-in votes because no one registered to run for office.

The rural town of about 117 residents has four part-time elected positions. Bladen County Board of Elections officials say there were clear winners in all the races, with about 10 names being written in by voters.

Officials now have to make sure that the top vote-getters live inside town limits and are willing to accept the jobs.

Boy born at 11:11 on 11-11-11 to vet on Vets Day

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. – Jacob Anthony Saydeh (say-DAH’) won’t have any trouble remembering precisely when he was born.

Virtua Memorial hospital in Mount Holly, N.J., says Jacob entered the world at 11:11 a.m. on Friday , 11-11-11.

And to make the Veterans Day birth even more remarkable, the boy’s mother is an Air Force veteran and his father currently services in the Air Force.

It’s the second child for Staff Sgt. Christopher Saydeh and his wife, Danielle. They live at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, where he is a member of Air Force security forces. They are a third-generation military family.

Jacob weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces.

Maui bull freed after giant tire stuck on his head

HONOLULU – The 800-pound rode bull in Hawaii, named Skywalker, couldn’t eat or drink after he got his head lodged in the truck tire that someone dumped at the Triple L Ranch in Maui, ranch owner Paige De Ponte said.

“He was uncomfortable and it took all day to get him out,” she said Wednesday.

No one could get near the cranky bull Tuesday until Skywalker became exhausted enough for ranch worker Kawika Manoa to use a piece of wood to pry off the tire, which weighs more than 50 pounds. Skywalker didn’t put up a fight and then went straight for the water trough after being released from the rubber ring, De Ponte said.

She didn’t know how the tire ended up around Skywalker’s neck, but she said she hopes his plight will raise awareness about using the rural Kanaio area, in the upcountry region of the island, as a dumping ground.

(from philly.com)