There is police profiling, and then there's what happened when an off-duty cop and two off-duty corrections officers decided on the basis of what he was wearing that the 20-something fellow who walked into a Ludington, Mich., gas station last week must be an escaped convict. Because he wore a blue shirt and blue pants with stripes on the legs, they intercepted him, bound his wrists with duct tape, searched him for a hidden weapon, and then sent for backup. Oops. It soon became clear that the suspect wasn't anything of the sort, and he was freed. Now it's the defenders of the public order who are in for scrutiny ... and possible prosecution if it develops that they broke any laws in their zealousness.
The Rev. Brant Hanson, who founded New Song Community Church in Detroit seven years ago, hopes the church will find its new home in a building currently housing Ref's Corner sports bar.
But according to the Wolverine Lake Planning Commission, village law says the coffee-and-cream colored building may only be used for commercial businesses, not churches.
Hanson has petitioned to change the designation, which village leaders will reconsider Oct. 24.
"Some people find it unorthodox that we're looking to move into a bar, but we simply saw it as a great opportunity," Hanson said. "We think we'd be a positive influence on the community."
The move was inspired by Pat Posiadlo, a congregation member and Ref's Corner owner, who decided in June she was ready for retirement.
Like other members, Posiadlo had noticed New Song's congregation outgrowing Walled Lake Middle School's auditorium, where the church has long held its nondenominational Christian services. So she approached Hanson about converting the bar.
It may be the perfect date movie.
Each day, in a small movie theater in Indio, Calif., curious patrons watch a short flick called "The Romance and Sex Life of the Date."
Don't get any funny ideas: It's about dates, as in the sweet fruit.
The Coachella Valley date harvest is in full swing and production is expected to hit 30 million pounds, said John Beck of the California Date Commission.
And one date producer, Shields Date Garden in Indio, isn't above using sex to help sell its share. Deceased founder Floyd Shields was a master marketer who came up with the saucy sounding movie in the 1950s. It runs continuously at Shields' 108-seat theater from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and is free.
"We still have people that ask us if they can take the children in," said 80-year-old Juanita Ottman, who works the counter at Shields.
The movie is the true story about how dates reproduce.
Date trees come in male and female versions. Bees are drawn to the male's elaborate flowers, but avoid the female's. So workers cut off the male flowers, dry them and extract the pollen. The pollen is then applied to the female flowers.
WHAT: A site designed to teach teenagers about money management, sponsored by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and the National Council on Economic Education.
BEST POINTS: The site gives age appropriate explanations about earning, saving, spending, tracking, investing, and owing money. Interactive activities, challenges, and calculators allow visitors to test their knowledge. One quiz tests "credit card IQ," and various scenarios allow users to see the consequences of spending decisions. A glossary offers easy-to-understand definitions of financial terms.
The site also includes separate sections for parents and teachers. Parents can find advice on handling allowances, and tips for talking with their teens about money. There are also lesson plans and class activities for teachers on budgeting, credit, scarcity, and the stock market.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:Enter the pages for teens through the orange bar at the top of the screen. Content designed for parents and teachers is accessible via the shorter purple bar.
In many classic films, the bad guy is equally as memorable as the hero, if not moreso. In "Star Wars," for example, the villain turns out to be the hero's father. In doing so, Darth Vader beat out serial killers, a computer, and a witch as the top screen villain of all time in a ranking by the Online Film Critics Society, a 132-member group of Internet-based reviewers. The group's top 10 villains (and the actors who played them, in parentheses):
1. Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice by James Earl Jones), "Star Wars" trilogy
2. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), "The Silence of the Lambs"
3. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), "Psycho"
4. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), "Die Hard"
5. Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), "Blue Velvet"
6. Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), "The Night of the Hunter"
7. HAL 9000 (voice by Douglas Rain), "2001: A Space Odyssey"
8. Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), "The Wizard of Oz"
9. Graf Orlock (Max Schreck), "Nosferatu"
10. Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban), "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"