By The Editors of

False beak
One creative Alaskan dentist has given an injured bald eagle a new chance at life. Workers from the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage, Alaska, brought dentist Kirk Johnson a bird with an unusual problem: The bald eagle had a broken beak, probably caused by getting tangled in fishing line. Johnson’s solution? Create a temporary crown for the bird’s beak, affix it with poster putty, and color it with yellow highlighter to resemble the bird’s real beak.

Boxed in
Life really got hard for Aretha Brown when she had to climb under train cars to get out of her house. On Dec. 27, CSX Transportation parked 40 rail cars on tracks that run in front of her house in Callahan, Fla. Problem: The tracks lie so close to her house that they form an impromptu barrier, preventing her from visiting friends, getting in her car, or even getting her mail without first climbing under the rail cars. The 66-year-old woman is managing, but she says that it’s been hard to keep her Sunday clothes clean when going to church. CSX reports it’s still looking for a spot to relocate the 40 rail cars.

Driving for dollars
Madison, Wis., bus driver John E. Nelson knows a good deal when he sees it. As other city employees took vacation days and sick leave, Nelson racked up overtime. And thanks to his union contract with the city, the bus driver was the city’s highest-paid employee in 2009, taking home $159,258-more than two-thirds of which he earned with overtime hours. Nelson isn’t the only bus driver laughing his way to the bank. Bus driving colleague Greg Tatman earned $125,598 last year, which was good enough to make him one of the city’s top 20 wage earners. In all, seven of Madison’s city bus drivers earned six figures under the contract negotiated by the Teamsters Union.

Rumble seat
A Wayne County, Ind., man may want to reconsider his choice of getaway vehicles after law enforcement caught him driving a backhoe north on U.S. 27 just north of Richmond, Ind. Sheriff’s deputies stopped Robert E. Hull driving a stolen backhoe after he allegedly rumbled through a construction fence to steal the heavy machinery from a depot. Deputies charged the 40-year-old with theft and burglary-both felonies. An operating-while-intoxicated charge has been tabled pending toxicology reports.