The San Joaquin Valley (search) is immersed in smog and California officials warn that cow flatulence is partly to blame.
With a whopping 2.5 million bovines in the valley, the California Environmental Protection Agency (search) warns that the animals are emitting 24 tons of ozone-forming gas per day, according to the Clovis News Journal.
And, just like noxious gases released from automobiles, the state is coming up with new emissions standards for the stinky little cud-chewers.
The state is going to require large dairy facilities to reduce livestock emissions by July 2006, the News Journal reports, and in San Joaquin Valley, dairies with 1,000 or more bovines are going to be forced to follow the new standards.
West Texas and New Mexico residents, meanwhile, are worrying that the stinky situation could migrate into their states because of the new regulations.
Parmer County (search), Texas, churchgoers are already resisting an application for a dairy permit on a location about a mile from their pastor's home.
"Because of its proximity to us, immediately across the highway, it's a concern. Four of five of my family members have asthma. It's already hard enough for them on western Texas days when the wind picks up," St. John's Lutheran Church pastor David Symm told the News Journal. "Sooner or later we will be just about covered up with [dairies] here."
— Thanks to Out There reader Amy C.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Police say they caught a serial burglar in the act — a sex act.
Officers found Robert Calloway in the basement of an apartment building he had broken into, police said.
Authorities said Calloway was having sex with a woman. He was charged with Monday's break-in in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, as well as in three others in recent weeks. The woman, Vera Morris, also was charged.
Calloway, 40, matches the description of a man caught on surveillance tape breaking into the basements of other apartment buildings, police said.
In all the cases, Calloway is accused of prying the locks from storage area doors. Sometimes nothing was reported missing; in other cases, a leaf blower, gas can and tool box were taken, police said. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Police said Calloway and Morris had opened several storage units in the apartment building's basement and dragged a mattress into a common area. Morris, 47, was charged with criminal trespassing, police spokeswoman Tammy Ewin said.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — If you're walking under the chair lift at the South Carolina State Fair — watch out for spit!
About 80 mostly middle school-aged kids were caught spitting on people from the ride Monday, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
Spitting from rides has always been a problem, and students observing the Columbus Day holiday didn't help. Saturday will be bad, too, police said.
Those caught spitting are taken to a sheriff's substation until their parents come for them, and they are not allowed to return to the fair this year.
Most of the time, victims don't press charges, but police said people spitting could be charged with assault and battery.
Signs at the ride warn of consequences, but worker Lillie Williams thinks the wording should be stronger, suggesting: "If you can't hold your spit in your mouth, don't get on this ride."
The annual 11-day event ends Sunday.
SEATTLE (AP) — Animal lover that she is, Debby Cantlon didn't hesitate when someone asked if she could take in an orphaned newborn squirrel and nurse it back to health.
Neither did Mademoiselle Giselle, her pregnant pooch.
The black and white Papillon with long-haired butterfly ears dragged the squirrel's cage to her bedside — twice — before giving birth to pups last month.
Cantlon was concerned at first, but ultimately decided to let the squirrel out. Mademoiselle Giselle even encouraged the little rodent to join her litter.
Since then, cameras have captured images of the squirrel bondaid.
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A man found operating on a pigeon that he sedated with vodka was later arrested after animal control officers raided his house and discovered about 300 living and dead birds inside.
"There's droppings everywhere," Patrick Wren, the head of Torrance's animal control department, said Wednesday. "I'm wearing a mask. That says it all."
About 120 dead pigeons filled bags and boxes alongside Gerard Redmond Enright Jr.'s home, officials said. Other birds in pet carriers throughout the house were euthanized because they were sick or malnourished, Wren said.
County health officials declared the home unfit for humans.
Enright, 61, who was arrested for investigation of animal abuse, denied mistreating the birds. He said he had devoted his life to saving them.
"I'm literally in shock," said Enright, who often walks with his pigeon, Twister, to a local Starbucks.
Police said animal control officers went to Enright's home in a Los Angeles suburb after getting complaints from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Enright acknowledged operating to remove a large tumor from the bird, saying he watched his own veterinarian perform such a procedure. He said he gave the bird a shot of vodka before operating.
HILLSBORO, N.D. (AP) — It's the thought that counts when it comes to a marriage proposal.
Chris Mueller, 25, was nearly finished etching the big question into a harvested soybean field when he realized the 'm' in 'marry' took up too much room.
Since he couldn't erase a plowed field, he had a decision to make.
"I figured it would look better to spell it wrong and get a laugh out of it, rather than botch it all," Mueller told the Grand Forks Herald. "I could have fit all the letters in, but it would have looked tacky."
Instead, it read: "KATIE WILL YOU MARY ME?"
Mueller's next step involved taking his girlfriend, Katie Goltz, for an airplane ride under the guise of looking for deer. At first, she missed the misspelling. Goltz was caught up in the message.
"I scanned it, noticed what it said and was speechless," she said. "I said 'yes' and cried like all girls do."
But on closer inspection, Goltz realized "marry" was a letter short.
"I thought it was so sweet that he spelled it wrong," she said. "I thought it made it more cute and more special."
Mueller's father, Tom, twice used fieldwork to send romantic messages to his wife, Diane.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
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