It doesn't get "dummer" than this.
As previously reported in Out There, Governor Dummer Academy, the nation's oldest independent boarding school, would like to change its name.
A name change, board of trustees president Dan Morgan said in a letter last month, would broaden the academy's appeal beyond the region, to places where "Dummer" could be a turnoff.
"We have come to realize that our name, particularly when heard for the first time, can stand in the way of our gaining our deserved recognition," Morgan wrote.
But alumni responded with letters and e-mails that forcefully questioned the need for a change and indicated their financial support was at stake — and their efforts paid off.
Earlier this month, the board said it would give it some more thought and consult with students and alumni about the name change over the next several months.
Alumnus Thomas Driscoll, the Essex County clerk of courts, said the school would be tossing aside history and tradition for nothing.
"We can glitz this a little to get 10 to 12 boarders who look at this as a national school," Driscoll said. "I say, 'Why don't we get 10 to 12 kids who aren't so shallow?'"
Todd Bairstow, a 1991 graduate, said he hopes the trustees stick with their decision to change the name, because it is needed in the hyper-competitive world of elite boarding schools.
"I love the place, I really do," said Bairstow, 32, an advertising writer in Boston. "You don't want a place you love to be the butt of jokes, to be a punch line."
Matt Moore, a 16-year-old Dummer student from Chicago, said his main objection to the name change is the disrespect the trustees showed the school's founder, William Dummer, a Newbury native who led the Massachusetts colony during the 1720s.
"Since he gave the land, he should be recognized and his name should be recognized," he said.
Among the historical figures associated with the school are Paul Revere (search), who created the first seal for the school, and John Quincy Adams (search), who was secretary to the board of trustees.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report
Deputies Arrest Wrong Man at Grandma's Funeral
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Broward County sheriff's deputies are apologizing for wrongly arresting a man at his grandmother's funeral.
Deputies said they had received a tip that led them to 20-year-old Donovan Lightbourn, who has a similar name to a man who is wanted for a 2002 murder and kidnapping.
Relatives and witnesses said they had just buried Lightbourn's grandmother last weekend when at least 10 deputies stormed the gravesite, grabbed him, slammed him against a car and handcuffed him. Relatives say some deputies drew their guns. They said one of the deputies threatened Donovan with a stun gun.
Sheriff's officials say some investigators had their weapons drawn, but they didn't point them at anyone. One deputy had a stun gun that he kept to his side. Lightbourn says that when he saw the suspect's photo, he told deputies that he was a different person. When deputies realized the mistake, they released him.
Man Nabbed for Bank Robbery After On-Air Bragging
CHICAGO (AP) — Crime doesn't pay, and apparently neither does bragging about it.
A Chicago man is facing bank robbery charges after authorities say he called into a Chicago radio station and bragged about the heist.
The robbery on a TCF Bank in South Chicago Heights last April went unsolved until a bank worker heard the man's call to a popular confessions show (on WKSC FM, 103.5).
The caller bragged that he and five others tied up employees and got away with $81,000. A bank worker recognized details from the confession as matching the hold-up at her bank and called authorities.
The FBI traced the call to a cell-phone belonging to 24-year-old Randy Washington (search) of Dolton. He and another man are now facing federal charges, and authorities are looking for four others.
Burning Manure Pile Finally Goes Out
MILFORD, Neb (AP) — It took nearly four months, but to the relief of neighbors miles around, a burning manure pile has been extinguished.
David Dickinson, owner and manager of Midwest Feeding Co., said Wednesday that several weeks of pulling the 2,000-ton pile apart proved effective by late last week.
"We got far enough through it, that it quit," Dickinson said.
Dickinson's feedlot, about 20 miles west of Lincoln, takes in as many as 12,000 cows at a time from farmers and ranchers and fattens them for market.
Byproducts from the massive operation resulted in a dung pile measuring 100 feet long, 30 feet high and 50 feet wide. Heat from the decomposing manure deep inside the pile is believed to have eventually ignited the manure.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (search) told Dickinson that his smoldering dung pile violated clean-air laws and it worked with him as he tried to extinguish it.
Huge feedlots have become commonplace, and dung fires have occurred around the country.
Dickinson said his pile may have been ignited in part because of glass clippings his feedlot had been accepting from the city of Milford. The clippings could be more combustible and he plans to stop accepting them, Dickinson said.
Compiled by FOX News' Jennifer D'Angelo.
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