When you do it eBay
In June, Rocky Ford, Ga., became the latest of a growing number of towns that have failed to sell on the online auction Web site eBay. The asking price for the 180-resident town may have been the problem. The owner of Rocky Ford wanted $795,000 for the town, which is $745,000 higher than the tax value of the property, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Amboy, Calif., suffered a similar fate in April, when bids failed to meet the $1.9 million asking price for the seven-resident town.
Generosity pays off
Getting fired from the Fitchburg, Mass., Parks Department worked out better than expected for Michael Maxim. According to The Associated Press, Maxim accepted a voluntary layoff in March in hopes of sparing a coworker’s job. The day after, he won $1 million in the lottery. Maxim will receive $34,000 annually for 20 years after taxes.
What’s in a name?
The Census Bureau decided in June to give top billing to San Jose, Calif., instead of San Francisco in its designation of the Bay Area’s Combined Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the change was made because the population of San Jose (900,443) has eclipsed that of San Francisco (764,049) in recent years. No federal money allocation or programs are affected by changing from the previous San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland designation to San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland. However, some San Franciscans were disappointed to hear the news, according to the paper. “It’s a sad state of affairs,” San Francisco resident Laszlo Brucker told the newspaper. “San Francisco should be first because that’s what everybody knows.”
Pie in the sky
King County, Wash., is examining a project that would use cow pies to produce electricity for businesses and homes. King County Executive Ron Sims announced the project at the King County Fair in July. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the project would take manure from dairy farms, remove methane and harness it to fuel electrical generators. In the process, the manure would be broken down into a clean grade of fertilizer.
A novel approach
In July, Chester County, Pa., Judge Juan Sanchez ordered a man accused of spitting at a police officer to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee as part of his punishment for disorderly conduct. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the judge wanted the man to appreciate the vile nature of his action by viewing it through the eyes of Atticus Finch, a main character who is spit on by another character. Once he is released from prison, he must submit a book report to the judge and write an apology to the officer.