Web donations are not income, judge says
NEW YORK — The creator of a Web site about a jobless man can keep his unemployment money.
Todd Rosenberg, who created the cartoon site after he was laid off last year, does not have to return the $2,237.50 in benefits he received, an administrative judge ruled.
“Justice prevails!” read a message Thursday on Rosenberg’s Web site. “I was cleared of all charges! Yea!”
Officials at the state Department of Labor had challenged Rosenberg’s filing for unemployment, alleging that the Web site was a moneymaker for the man who dubbed himself “Odd Todd.”
“As a joke, the claimant started a Web site poking fun at the day in the life of an unemployed person,” the decision said. “It was simply a lark that turned into something lucrative.”
Rosenberg filed for unemployment on June 13, 2001, after losing his job at a dot-com company. When he had trouble finding a new job, he launched his Internet site with cartoons about his job woes.
Rosenberg stopped collecting unemployment on Dec. 21, 2001.
What raised the state’s interest was Rosenberg’s November introduction of a “Tip Cup,” which allowed visitors to contribute $1 to Odd Todd. Rosenberg was surprised to receive several thousand dollars from Web surfers.
The Labor Department said taking the donations were tantamount to running a business, making Rosenberg ineligible for any benefits. Rosenberg challenged the ruling, and received word of the judge’s decision on Wednesday.
“There was no willful misrepresentation on his part,” the decision said. “He was eligible for the benefits he received.”
On the Net: http://www.oddtodd.com/
Tipsy scoots just fine
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Tipsy the tortoise is back on his feet.
About a year after his handlers at Roger Williams Park Zoo noticed he had a bum left front leg, the 21-year-old year-old radiated tortoise has finished his rounds of physical therapy and is back munching on plants and scoping out the females in his pen.
The endangered tortoise from the African island of Madagascar had suffered tissue damage and spent a year getting around on a makeshift skateboard that allowed him to exercise without putting too much pressure on the injured limb.
After confirming the injury during tests at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, Mass., caretakers cobbled together an oval-shaped roller.
Tipsy showed admiring onlookers Thursday just how well he could scoot around on his mini skateboard. He bounced off walls, crashed into a door, walked over shoes and wiggled between legs.
Three-pick is a two-time winner
BATON ROUGE, La. — Anyone who won the Louisiana Lottery’s Pick 3 daily game earlier this week should have tried again the next night, too.
Zero, five and one were winners for the Louisiana Lottery’s Pick 3 daily game on Tuesday. They were winners again on Wednesday.
“That’s the first time in the near 11-year history of the lottery that that’s happened for Pick 3,” said lottery spokesman Dudley Lehew. “What the odds are I couldn’t even begin to calculate.”
The selection was pure coincidence because one computer randomly chose the numbers Tuesday and a second computer randomly picked the numbers again Wednesday.
Winners of the Pick 3 on those two nights received $40 to $290, depending on the order of the numbers and the way the numbers were selected.