Blade Runner; Knoxville, Tenn.
Only 11 days after receiving a new prosthetic leg, Michael Spence completed the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Knoxville. Spence was an avid runner before he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2006, but insurance wouldn’t cover the expensive, shock-absorbing, blade-style prosthetic he needed to revive his stride. Fortunately help came from the nonprofit Amputee Blade Runners, who provided Spence with the special running prosthetic. In return the organization has asked him to complete three races that are 5K or longer. One down.
Follow a Famous Family Feud; Pikeville, Ky.
The Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail—a new pathway created to navigate Appalachian history—has opened in honor of the region’s most famous family feud. The post-Civil War turmoil between the West Virginia Hatfields and Kentucky McCoys, who lived on opposite sides of the state-dividing Tug Fork River, can now be traced through 15 caches in locations in both states. The trail’s opening event last fall attracted over 500 people from 18 states.
Hurricane Humor; Washington, D.C.
While a local news station was documenting the relentless rains of Hurricane Sandy, Jimmy Kruyne decided he’d have a little fun with the cameras. Instead of skipping his daily jog, Kruyne hit the streets of Northwest D.C. shirtless and sporting a full horsehead mask. Within hours he became a viral Internet sensation.
Deer: Watch out in West Virginia; Charleston, W.Va.
According to State Farm, deer have more to fear in West Virginia than in any other state in the U.S. West By-God Virginia topped the insurance company’s annual state rankings of where a vehicle is most likely to hit a deer. Odds of collision in the Mountain State were listed at one in 40, while in Hawaii, where drivers are least likely to bump a deer, the odds are 1 in 6,801.
Wolf Hunters Wanted; Belhaven, N.C.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a plea for information about the illegal shooting of a red wolf in Beaufort County. Anyone with information about the killing of the endangered wolf in October could collect $2,500. It was the second red wolf killed in North Carolina this past fall. Once nearly extinct, the USFWS has overseen a steadily successful red wolf reintroduction in southeastern North Carolina over the last three decades. There are now 82 known red wolves occupying a designated Red Wolf Recovery Area. Killing a red wolf is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Beyond the Blue Ridge
Parents Say No to Yoga; Encinitas, Calif.
Some parents in San Diego County aren’t keen on their kids learning yoga. Concerned that their little ones are being indoctrinated with Hinduism, the parents are threatening legal action against the Encinitas Union School District, where some schools have been offering Ashtanga yoga classes to students thanks to a grant from a nonprofit that promotes the practice. Proponents say the stretching and breathing exercises offer students a needed break during the school day, while opponents claim the yoga style’s roots in Eastern religion make it unconstitutional.
Heads Up, Shark Falling; San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
A course marshal at the San Juan Hills Golf Club was quite surprised when he saw something flopping around on the 12th tee. It turns out it was a two-pound leopard shark that had apparently been plucked from the ocean by a bird and eventually dropped on the course. With help from other employees, the marshal got the shark into some salt water and drove it back to the ocean, where it safely swam away.
Lolo Goes Sledding; Lake Placid, N.Y.
Lolo Jones might have another chance at a gold medal sooner than expected. The high-profile Olympic hurdler, who placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles in London, was named to the U.S. Bobsled Team in October. Team coach Todd Hays asked Jones and other runners to try out because their explosive speed is a skill that often lends itself to successful sledding. Now Jones has a shot to represent the team in Sochi in 2014. •