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  • This article by Betsy Marston originally appeared in the Feb 24, 2011 issue of High Country News.
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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Heard Around the West     Comments: 0

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On the lam

News: Feb 24, 2011
by Betsy Marston

WYOMING

There's nothing like a bunch of bad yaks to get the Cowboy State's Legislature riled up. Woolly wanderers, these particular yaks have never been content to graze the grass growing solely on the "Yak Daddy Ranch" owned by John and Laura DeMetteis. The big guys routinely seek out other pastures and crash through fences to get there. Three neighbors got so fed up last year that they went to their commissioners in Johnson County, complaining that the yaks chewed up their grass and might impregnate their cows. The neighbors got nowhere, however, because state law only refers to errant dogs and cats. Now, two bills about the issue have been introduced in the state Legislature, and both add the word "yak" to a nuisance ordinance that, if passed, would allow counties to take action on a yak complaint and levy fines. For his part, DeMetteis has maintained that his yaks don't hang around anywhere long, and in any case, they always come home. Singling out yaks for regulation is just "ridiculous," he told the Buffalo Bulletin.

COLORADO

Well, why not convert dog poop into a gas lamp that burns eternally at a popular park for walking dogs? That's what Laurie Guevara-Stone, who works at Solar Energy International in Carbondale, Colo., got to thinking, especially since a dog park in Cambridge, Mass., has already done so. "All of that dog waste just goes to the landfill now," she told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, "where it turns to methane anyway and just adds to greenhouse gases." Guevara-Stone said a small-scale demo of an everlasting poop-flame could probably be done for about $5,000.

CALIFORNIA

We're tempted to think the following scenarios could only occur in California, but you be the judge: A woman entered a Jamba Juice store at 10 p.m. and announced, "I've got sunflower seeds, my music and cigarettes. All I need are some Pop chips." After pulling her shirt aside to show a handgun tucked into her bra, the woman grabbed a bag of the preferred chips and walked out of the store, reports the Claremont Courier. If found and arrested, the chip-nabber could be charged with felony armed robbery for taking the $1.25 item. Meanwhile, in the mountains of Big Sur, three hikers called for help after getting cold and wet and complaining that their matches wouldn't work and their dog couldn't walk anymore, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. It took 12 hours for searchers to find the group, and all were able to hike out again, although one of them didn't go too much farther: Deputies learned that 22-year-old Corey King was wanted on felony warrants for drunken driving, among other offenses.

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