She may have fries coming out of her ears someday
HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — Kate Shermak’s teacher gave her and her classmates an unusual assignment: Write to a local business and make an absurd request.
“My outrageous request is to get a lifetime supply of curly fries for free,” Kate wrote to the operators of an Arby’s restaurant. “They are my favorite fries.
“If you can’t meet my outrageous request, I will understand.”
The restaurant decided to one-up Kate in the outlandishness department by actually granting her wish. The fifth-grader got a certificate good for free curly fries for the rest of her life at the Hudsonville franchise, The Grand Rapids Press reported Wednesday.
Lisa Young, who manages the Arby’s in Hudsonville, about 10 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, said she and company officials “thought it was great that Kate decided that Arby’s was her favorite place to eat.”
John Pyper, Kate’s teacher at Jamestown Elementary School, said he has assigned the lesson for years as a way to make letter-writing fun.
This year, one child received a month’s supply of free chocolate milk from a local dairy. Another student got a free ice cream party at a restaurant in nearby Jamestown.
But some requests are just too unrealistic, Pyper said. One student wrote to a sixth-grade teacher at the school, asking — unsuccessfully — to be excused from homework next year.
GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — Grade inflation might not be just for the big-time universities.
Educators in this wealthy suburb of New York are defending the middle schools’ honor roll after more than half of all students — and 71 percent of pupils at one school — made the list.
During the recently completed second marking period, 71 percent of Eastern Middle School students made the honor roll. The rate was 50 percent or higher at the district’s other two middle schools.
“I’m sure there is some grade inflation,” Eastern Middle School Principal Ben Davenport told the Greenwich Time. “But I think the honor roll, for the most part, is fairly accurate. We are blessed with a lot of bright youngsters.”
All three middle school principals said making the honor roll is still a significant accomplishment, even with so many students doing it.
“I don’t think there are too many kids there who don’t belong there,” Western Middle School Principal Don Strange said.
Central Middle School Principal Jim Bulger added, “Our students are not average students. Almost half of the students in our school would score in the top third on a national ability test.”
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A squirrel monkey stolen from a safari theme park has been returned, safe and sound.
A man anonymously returned Charlie the monkey to sheriff’s deputies, nearly two weeks after she was stolen from Lion Country Safari, officials said.
The man called the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office Tuesday and said he bought the monkey from a third party because he knew it was stolen and wanted to return it.
“I said, ’Look man, I just want the monkey,”’ said deputy Kris Roy.
The mysterious man handed over the monkey Tuesday night under the cover of darkness. No charges have been filed.
Charlie was one of 11 squirrel monkeys in an exhibit at the 500-acre park in Loxahatchee, 15 miles west of West Palm Beach. The species grow to be a little bigger than a football.
Charlie had spent all of her life in the theme park.
The monkey, who appeared to be in good condition, will be quarantined for 30 days before returning to her exhibit home, officials said.
SILVERDALE, Wash. (AP) — For Terry Donison’s science class, the two-headed salmon was an oddity that everyone expected would be temporary. A month later, the fish, dubbed Sam and Ella, is alive and swimming.
“It appears to be very healthy and very active,” said Donison, whose classroom at Ridgetop Junior High School is home to Sam and Ella’s tank.
About a month ago, shortly after several eggs hatched in the tank, Donison discovered a baby salmon with two heads. The oddity became the focus of her class and an extra point of study. The prognosis was grim: Two-headed animals born in nature usually die soon after birth.
Shortly after Donison’s salmon were born, the fish settled into the gravel at the bottom of the tank. This week, as Donison was moving rocks at the bottom of the tank, she was shocked to find Sam and Ella alive.
Sam and Ella is now swimming around with the other fish.
Doug Williams, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in his 10 years with the department, he has never seen an adult two-headed salmon.
After learning this week that the salmon had survived this long, he said, “That’s great, that’s wild.”