Bow Astern

An Oregon fisherman took his crippled boat 80 miles back to land — backward.

Jim Peterson and his deckhand Jeremy Welsh were tuna fishing off the Oregon coast a couple of weeks ago when the transmission seized up on the Alice M., a 38-foot, 60-year-old wooden troller.

Peterson, 61, and Welsh, 34, were able to get the boat running again, but only in reverse, reports The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore.

The pair could have radioed the Coast Guard for a tow, but decided instead to head for the port of Newport — they were too far from the Alice M.'s home port in Coos Bay — bass-ackward.

"It was odd, watching the wake roll out the front windows," said Peterson. "Like watching a movie in reverse."

Steering a fishing boat under normal circumstances isn't easy. Backward is harder.

"The rudder isn't made for it," explained Welsh. "You go in a direction for 15 minutes, then you'd have to stop, zigzag around and correct yourself. ... It was an ordeal."

With their top speed of seven knots cut in half, the wrong-way duo, sleeping off and on, made the trip back to land in a mere 39 hours.

"I've talked to some old-timers," said Peterson. "Nobody's ever heard of anybody doing that before."

Early in the morning of Aug. 13, they'd reached the mouth of Yaquina Bay (search), where Newport sits, but slept a few more hours before crossing the choppy shore waters.

Just as the local fishing fleet put out to sea, the Alice M. entered the bay, facing the same way as its fellow commercial boats, but moving in the opposite direction.

"One guy asked me what was wrong," Peterson said. "I told him I forgot something."

The yield from the trip was 13 tuna and a great story.

"I've gotten drinks bought for me [at home] from people I don't even know, just because I was on the boat," said Welsh. He added that he and Peterson had been offered a new transmission for half price.

Peterson was still 100 miles north in Newport Thursday, filleting his catch and getting re-oriented.

"It was hard to get used to just walking on the dock, forward," he said. "Things were coming at me too fast."

Angry Woman Chases Tree Trimmers With Chain Saw

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — A woman incensed at utility tree trimmers was arrested after allegedly chasing workers with a chain saw and twisting the fingers of an arresting officer, police said.

Diane Kaiser, 57, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, theft and resisting arrest. She posted bail and was released.

"The woman apparently has had some issues with PG&E," Fremont police Sgt. Jeff Swadener said. "She likes her trees."

Four tree trimmers contracted with Pacific Gas & Electric (search) knocked on Kaiser's door Tuesday, called into the house and heard no answer.

When workers walked to the back of the house, Kaiser allegedly ran from the home cursing and screaming.

She then picked up rocks and began throwing them at the workers, according to police reports.

Kaiser then allegedly picked up a tree trimmer's chain saw and pointed it at the workers, causing three to flee and call police. A fourth worker climbed a tree to escape.

Kaiser could not be immediately reached by phone Thursday for comment.

The trimmers told police that Kaiser had been notified June 21 that they would be removing tree branches around power lines near her home.

— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.

Loud Laughter Gets Boy Tossed From Movie Theater

WALLKILL, N.Y. (AP) — The family of a disabled 7-year-old boy wants an apology from a movie theater after the manager threw him out for laughing too loudly.

The parents of Anthony Pratti say it happened Sunday in Wallkill, N.Y., when they took their son to see "March of the Penquins."

The boy has cerebral palsy (search) and autism (search). The family says he was enjoying the movie from his wheelchair when a theater worker said he was laughing too loudly, and would have to leave.

Gina Pratti said they would try to have their son laugh more quietly, but the manager wanted him to leave.

She says she was dumbfounded when the manager told them the entire family didn't have to go, just the boy in the wheelchair.

The manager refunded everyone's money.

A representative of Loews Cineplex told a Middletown newspaper they were looking into the matter.

— Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.

Jealous Guy Tries to Frame Rival With Bomb Threat

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — A 23-year-old man hoping to win a woman's heart by getting her lover out of the picture phoned in a fake bomb threat, reporting that his rival was about to detonate explosives, police said.

Police said Friday they arrested Thanee Boonsiri of Bangkok and that he admitted he told an elaborate tale when he called the police emergency center.

Thanee allegedly called the center and told them he was a defected separatist from the troubled Muslim-majority south of Thailand.

Thanee said his supposed friend, still active in the insurgency, was about to detonate bombs planted in several major buildings in Bangkok, police Maj. Gen. Pramote Prathumwong said at a news conference.

Thanee then gave authorities his rival's mobile phone number.

Thanee is in custody pending a trial. He faces up to two years in jail for reporting false information to police and causing a public scare, Pramote said.

Up to Eight Lives Left

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (AP) — A stalking foray atop a power pole left a lucky feline jolted, frizzled and dazed but otherwise OK after he fell off the 40-foot pole and sparked a fire outside a firehouse.

The frazzled cat was discovered when paramedic-firefighters Andrew Chrzanowski and Jeremy Hall responded to the fire Wednesday morning after the lights went out at the Topaz Ranch Estates (search) fire house.

"When we got the fire knocked down we saw this burned cat close to the base of the pole," Hall said.

They assumed it was dead until Chrzanowski noticed it was breathing. He put it on a blanket and gave it oxygen.

"We both thought that with the amount of burns he had, he wasn't going to make it, but then we started to look more closely and we saw it was all superficial," Hall said. "The fire just burned all his hair off."

The firefighters believe the cat was on the pole, because a bird's nest was found on top and there was a large black spot where something had touched a relay switch on the 25,000-volt line.

Animal Control officer Janet Duzan took the cat to Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital (search), where Veterinarian Steve Talbot said it should make a full recovery.

"The doctor said it looks like he was in a flash fire and got singed from head to toe," Duzan said.

The cat will be put up for adoption if it is not claimed by its owner, she said.

New Low in High School Vandalism

RED BANK, Tenn. (AP) — A lot of teenagers will tell you that school stinks, but the ones at Red Bank High have a legitimate gripe.

Vandals befouled the suburban Chattanooga building with fecal waste this week, causing the school to close Wednesday.

Classes resumed Thursday after the local health department inspected the cleanup.

Investigators are trying to determine how vandals got into the school and whether the excrement is human or animal.

Police Chief Larry Sneed said those responsible will be charged with felony vandalism.

"It's throughout the whole building ... it's everywhere," Sneed said. "It's just really a mess."

Hamilton County schools superintendent Jesse Register said crews worked all day to clean up.

"Essentially, they've washed down the whole school, all the lockers and everything," said Register, who has a son at the school.

As students arrived Wednesday they were secured in a safe part of the building and dismissed gradually.

Libby Fulton, a 17-year-old senior, said she'll be mindful of what she touches in the building.

"I think for the most part, everybody is really grossed out," she said.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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