There's Something About the Love of an American Black Bear

Oregon's own Grizzly Adams misses his confiscated Gentle Ben.

Rocky Perkett found an orphaned American black bear and raised the tot, whom he named Windfall, as his kin. Theirs was a special bond.

"When you can kiss a bear on the cheek and have it kiss your cheek back, that's love," Perkett told The World of Coos Bay, Ore.

Windfall was a gentle thing. Perkett says the bear only grabbed him by the throat once, releasing him after they gazed long and hard into each other's eyes.

"That showed me she really loved me, and that she'd never do me harm," Perkett said. "When it has your whole throat in her mouth and doesn't kill you, that's when you know an American black bear loves you."

Oregon State Police didn't agree with Perkett's definition of love. They said Windfall's diet of pizza and Dr. Pepper was detrimental to her health and carted her away to the Applegate Park Zoo in California, where she harasses the monkeys and has developed a penchant for chocolate. She has a new nickname, too — Cocoa.

But Perkett cannot forget the bear that was once his Windfall. He's pledged to form a nonprofit to raise enough money to build an acre enclosure and bring her home to Oregon.

He's still stuck on his baby, after all.

"It's the kind of love that's tough to forget about," Perkett said. "Very tough."

To Catch a Deer Predator ... Call 'CSI: SD.'

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Genetic testing of a deer has been used — for the first time ever in South Dakota — to catch and convict a hunter who made a kill in one county but claimed his deer was shot in another county.

Devin Reuer, 21, of Watertown had a license that allowed him to take a deer in Hamlin County.

But a DNA test from a kill site in Codington County was a match for DNA from Reuer's deer, and he was ticketed.

A Watertown jury found him guilty, and he was fined $250. Reuer also spent three days in jail and lost his hunting privileges for a year.

He was caught after pinning a photo of the deer on a bulletin board in a bait shop.

It May Be Watered Down, but Utah Beer Still Packs a Punch

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Beer generates as much as $750 million for the Utah economy.

That's according to a study released by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and Beer Institute.

The study said beer provides jobs for more than 10,000 Utahns and generates about $255 million in wages and benefits.

The institute said it received its numbers from federal agencies like the Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau and the Department of Labor. It also looks at distillers and retail outlets.

Officials at the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Commission said they can't confirm the institute's numbers, but they say the state has collected nearly $12.5 million in beer excise taxes so far this year.

There are 14 beer brewers in the state. The largest of which has produced 28,000 barrels of beer this year.

Eighth Grader Goes Cherry Commando With Prank on Teacher's Coffee

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) — A student was sentenced to six months of probation for contaminating a teacher's coffee with a cherry sports drink.

The boy was found guilty Tuesday of a misdemeanor charge of adulterating the coffee on Jan. 26 but not guilty of a second count that allegedly occurred Jan. 5. At the time, the boy was an eighth-grader at Trailridge Middle School in Lenexa.

The boy brought a cherry sports drink to school and a classmate put a capful into the teacher's coffee as part of a prank, defense attorney Stephen Mirakian, who argued that the boy's actions were not criminal behavior.

The prosecutor, however, said the boy brought the GI Joe Survival Beverage — Cherry Commando — to school intending to place it in the teacher's coffee. The teacher went to a hospital on Jan. 5, prosecutor Kristiane Gray said.

The teacher testified that a parent called her in late February to tell her about the incidents, which were being discussed by students on, a social networking Web site.

The teacher said she went to a hospital emergency room after having pain in her arm and heart palpitations, and she was eventually given medication for high blood pressure.

The classmate acknowledged his part in the prank and was granted diversion.

Mirakian said the boy's family is considering an appeal.

But What Do These Video Vigilantes Do for Fun?

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Anti-prostitution activist Brian Bates and his wife were arraigned Tuesday on felony accusations that they paid prostitutes to have sex with men in areas where he could film it.

Bates, who became known as the "video vigilante" for posting footage of these encounters on his anti-prostitution Web site, has been charged with five counts of pandering and two counts of harassing a witness. His wife, Vickie Bates, faces a single count of pandering.

Special Judge Russell Hall on Tuesday set a preliminary hearing date for 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 26, court officials said.

Bates and his attorney, Scott Adams, say District Attorney Wes Lane is trying to silence Bates, a vocal critic of Lane and his administration.

"They just want him to shut up," Adams said Tuesday. "This whole case is about shutting Brian up, and they're violating his right to free speech. Wes [Lane] has admitted that Brian wouldn't be charged if he'd just shut up."

Bates initially was charged with pandering in February 2005, but those charges were thrown out by a judge when prosecutors failed to properly respond to a defense motion. Lane later sought charges through a multicounty grand jury, which indicted Bates and his wife in June.

The district attorney's office refiled the grand jury indictments as state charges last week, upgrading the charge against Vickie Bates from a misdemeanor to a felony, said Debra Forshee, a spokeswoman for Lane's office.

"That was a mistake of the grand jury," Forshee said. "They intended that to be a felony."

Lane and his prosecutors declined to discuss the case on Tuesday, Forshee said.

"At this point, there's no point in trying this in the court of public opinion and the media," Forshee said. "This case needs to be tried in a court of law."

Bates and Adams say two key prosecution witnesses in the case, convicted prostitute Renee McCullough and her boyfriend, ex-convict Gerald Loud, made up the allegations against Bates in hopes of cashing in on a lawsuit.

Adams said he's confident the case against the Bates' will be dismissed and vowed to file a lawsuit against Lane's office for violating his client's civil rights.

"There's no question that after we're successful with this criminal case, we're going after them with a civil lawsuit," Adams said.

Meanwhile, McCullough and Loud, both of whom have lengthy criminal records, were charged Aug. 25 with robbery with a dangerous weapon. The two are accused, along with a third man, Hayward Bernard Lewis, of beating and robbing a bail bondsman in the parking lot of an Oklahoma City motel.

Hold Your Nose ... Houston Really Dealt One to L.A.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — San Bernardino County officials have a smelly, 31,000-ton problem to deal with in a Chino park.

It's a huge mound of processed cow manure that officials allowed a Houston-based company to store in the park after a deal to ship it to a Central Valley storage site fell through.

A spokesman for Supervisor Gary Ovitt said a Milk Producers Council official asked the county for help storing the fertilizer on behalf of the company, Synagro.

County workers dumped the so-called "premium blend of compost" in Prado Regional Park in May. The problem is, the county doesn't own the land: the Army Corp of Engineers does.

And corps officials say the manure has got to go because it could limit the area's flood control capacity during rainy season.

County officials say they take responsibility for the mistake, and are looking for a way to move the manure. One solution lets the county use some of it as fertilizer in its own parks.

Compiled by's Sara Bonisteel.

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