Monday 3/23/09

Human Interest News   —   Posted on March 23, 2009

By The Editors of 

Fighting chance
…A 79-year-old Crestview, Fla., woman received a recruiting letter from the United States Marine Corps via Federal Express on March 2 urging her to enlist. Opal Blackwell Walker … read part of the letter to the Northwest Florida Daily News. “It says ‘Dear Opal, Do you think you have what it takes to be a Marine? Are you prepared for one of the most demanding challenges you will ever face?'” said Walker. She told the paper she plans on taking the letter to the recruiting office to see their reaction.

Stocked up
Two days alone in a cabin buried under an avalanche? Not that big a deal for one elderly shepherd woman living in the Bavarian Alps. The 84-year-old lives nearly 1,000 feet from the summit of Geigelstein, the second-highest peak in the Bavarian Alps in Germany and Austria. The avalanche sank her mountainside hut under 13 feet of snow on Feb. 27. That’s when she called German emergency services. Because of the severity of the avalanche, rescue workers could not reach her home for two days. But when emergency personnel finally reached her, she claimed she could have held out for longer. “I still have enough provisions for three months, but it’s getting a bit sinister here,” the woman told the dispatchers, according to the German daily Bild.

Cashed out
Now behind bars, Ricky Thatcher and Nicole Strickland of San Antonio probably aren’t so tough. Police accuse the two of holding up a Girl Scout cookie stand outside a Walgreen’s on Feb. 26. Two third-graders had opened up for business selling the famed Girl Scout cookies outside the pharmacy when the 19-year-old Thatcher and 30-year-old Strickland made a move. Strickland went for the car as Thatcher grabbed the girls’ cash bag. The troop leader copied down the car license plate number as the pair drove away. Police used the information to arrest and charge the pair.

Rules of engagement
If 13-year-old Evan Spencer wanted to play the popular video game “Call of Duty: World at War,” he would first have to learn something about real war. That’s because to earn permission from his father to play the game, the Ontario teen had to read the Geneva Conventions-and promise to abide by them while playing the first-person shooting game set on World War II battlefields. So that’s what Evan did. How has it played out on the Xbox? “To remember it, it’s basically common sense,” Evan told the Globe and Mail. “Someone surrenders and you don’t just go and kill them anyways.” But his “rules of war” approach doesn’t always jibe with ruthless friends with whom he plays online. “If there’s one standing in the way, they’ll just shoot them and they’ll fall on the floor and they just walk by them,” he said. “That doesn’t feel right.”