NEW YORK – If you smell a rat when you’re working with this bunch, I guess you’re just doing your job.
Colombian police have expanded their force to include a few new furry friends. But these critters aren’t your regular Rovers — they’re red-eyed rats.
The six-pack of rodent detectives have been trained to sniff out bombs and land mines left over from four decades of war between the country’s government and leftist rebels, the Associated Press reports.
But why would cops choose a rodent over Rover’s nose? Because the rats are so light that when they’re walking through mine fields, they won’t trigger any explosions.
Like any good detective, the squeaky sniffers have spent the last year preparing for their mission.
The trainers put them in mazes with bomb-making materials, and when they detect the explosives, they’re rewarded with a cracker.
Police expect the rat-regimen won’t be put into active duty for another six months.
Col. Javier Cifuentes, director of the Sibate police academy, says he thinks Colombia is the first country use rats for police work, though bigger rodents have been used for similar purposes in Sudan.
Click on the picture box to see a bomb-sniffing rat in training.
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — Three eighth-graders have been expelled from Bay Minette Middle School for showing a pornographic movie in their classroom while the teacher's back was turned.
The students slipped the sexually explicit DVD into the player while the teacher was grading papers and working on a computer, according to Terry Knight, assistant superintendent for Baldwin County Public Schools. The class had been watching an educational video.
One of the students had apparently brought the sexually explicit DVD to class in the past two or three weeks, Knight said.
The three students used a remote control to start the X-rated film on the screen where the educational video had been playing, Knight said.
Another student informed the teacher about the incident.
Knight said neither the students nor their parents admitted to having the DVD.
The students and their parents can appeal the expulsion in writing if they hope to return to the school or apply to finish the year at an alternative school in Fairhope, Knight said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood officials say they want to stop a mysterious bird lady who hauls 25-pound sacks of feed and draws flocks of messy pigeons whose droppings have fouled cars, sidewalks and buildings.
Authorities say they've asked the woman to stop feeding the birds but they can't order her to quit. City law only bans pigeon feeding in a section of downtown.
Local residents aren't happy.
"I've collected birdseed bags she's discarded," said Laura Dodson, president of the Argyle Civic Association. "We calculate she spreads 112 tons a year above Sunset Boulevard, centering on Vine Street. We've spotted 29 spots she puts down food."
Dodson said the woman puts down 150 pounds of bird seed a day at a triangular traffic island the community wants to beautify with palm trees.
The feedings have interfered with an $80,000 landscaping project, officials said.
Some local leaders worry that the pigeons could spread avian flu but "wild pigeons don't seem to be a major source," Karen Ehnert, senior veterinarian for the Los Angeles County health department.
The pigeon poop also covers bridges and signs on the nearby Hollywood Freeway.
That's a headache, said Dave White, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation.
"You can't paint over it. You can't wash it out with a hose because it turns into a muddy slurry that you can't send down the flood drain," White said. "So you shovel it out into bags or knock it to the ground and clean it up as fast as you can."
Aides to City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents part of Hollywood, told the Los Angeles Times that the woman has refused to stop feeding the pigeons.
"I spoke to her. She told me she was afraid the birds would die if she wasn't there," said a staff member who declined to be identified.
Erik Sanjurjo, a LaBonge deputy, said the next step could be amending city law to ban pigeon feeding in sections of Hollywood or throughout Los Angeles.
Pigeon feeding is banned in some areas of other California cities, including San Francisco, Sausalito, Seal Beach and Pasadena. Scofflaw pigeon lovers can be fined hundreds of dollars — and that's not chicken feed.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — They're flushed with pride at an Ohio restaurant that won an annual search for America's tidiest toilets, beating out an East Lansing, Mich., bistro.
The sleek and spiffy sports-themed restrooms at Wendell's, in the Columbus suburb of Westerville, were chosen the nation's finest Thursday in a nonscientific online poll sponsored by a bathroom supply company.
Wendell's prize-winning potties are always well-supplied with towels, soap and mouthwash and are a hit with sports fans big on cleanliness, said Cintas, the Cincinnati-based manufacturer of restroom supplies.
The eatery is ecstatic over its honor and won't mind if the curious drop by just to check out the fancy plumbing, said Rich Belding, Wendell's general manager.
"In our business, being known for anything good is good," Belding said.
Tens of thousands of votes were registered on a Web site, Cintas said Thursday.
Wendell's beat out four other finalists, including All Seasons Bistro in East Lansing, Mich. The other finalists were Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., Hemenways restaurant in Providence, R.I., and Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill.
Cintas created its award in 2001 to highlight businesses that maintain "exceptional hygiene, with style" in their public facilities. For its winning effort, Wendell's gets a month's worth of free restroom-cleaning service from Cintas and an "America's Best Restroom" plaque.
Naturally, the plaque is getting a special place at Wendell's: on the wall outside the men's and women's rooms, Belding said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Taylor Timmins.
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