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Come anyway, it'll be a blast

Planning to attend next year's Olympic Summer Games in Athens? Then presumably you'll be relieved to learn that workers have found - and will be defusing - two unexploded World War II-vintage 220-pound bombs on the site of what will be the venue for basketball, handball, and fencing. They were seven feet underground, left over from the attacks on the city before it fell to Nazi forces in April 1941.

Nothing to crow about

There are about 39,000 students at the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus. And about 14,000 crows.

Experts aren't sure what has caused the noisy birds to congregate in such numbers. But two things they make in large quantities - droppings, and a racket - are causing them to wear out their welcome.

Entomologist Dale Hodgson, head of the campus pest management division, has been the point man for seven years in the effort to disperse the birds. Hodgson has been trying to scatter the crows using "Bird Bangers" - fireworks that scream and trail flames after being launched. The goal is to scare them away, not hurt them. Hodgson most recently has focused on the area around the President's House, which is unoccupied during renovations. President Mary Sue Coleman has been on the job only since last July, but she already knows what to watch out for.

"I am very, very careful to cover my head when I walk in that area of campus," Coleman says. "It beats me why they find the President's House so attractive."

Finally, a little respect

After being snubbed by Pennsylvania governors for nearly a century, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will finally get respect this year in the form of a visit from Gov. Ed Rendell.


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