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WEEK IN REVIEW: Reporter’s Notebook


Michigan parrot finds his way to Las Vegas

Dusty, a Congo African gray parrot, escaped from its Michigan owners in September, the Detroit News reported last week.

The 9-year-old bird got spooked during a pet store trip and flew off, said Dusty’s owner, April Konopka. And like just about every other foul-mouthed fugitive, Dusty somehow turned up in Las Vegas.

On April 21, the parrot was spotted at Nellis Air Force Base, captured by Steven Saunders and hauled to a pet hospital where Saunders’ wife, Cassandra, works, the Detroit News reported. There, Dusty mimicked cell phone alerts and sirens, spouted "not-so-nice comments" and tossed water on puppies as they passed.

"He’s got a little bit of an attitude," said Cassandra Saunders, who posted information about Dusty on a Web site for lost birds.

Konopka periodically checked the site, saw Saunders’ posting and placed a phone call.

Dusty "was listening (to Konopka’s voice) intently and getting excited," Saunders told the Detroit News. "She knew about his favorite things and told him to ‘get down,’ and he started dancing."

Dusty recently got back to Michigan. "The emptiness and worry are gone. Everybody is at peace," Konopka told the Detroit News.

LARGE, SQUARE PIECES have been disappearing from Las Vegas City Council candidate signs along Martin Luther King Boulevard, near the U.S. Highway 95 overpass. As they tend to obliterate the candidates’ faces, it might seem to be a form of political sabotage. But wouldn’t it be easier to remove the signs?

The mystery was solved when a motorist observed a homeless man standing in the median near the traffic light. The front of his sign was scrawled with an appeal for help. The back? The face and part of the name of Ward 5 candidate Stacie Truesdell.



BOULDER CITY COUNCILWOMAN KARLA BURTON tried to keep the mood light while she was being booked for drunken driving, according to a police report on the Feb. 6 incident.

Boulder City police officer Michelle Isham noted in her report that during booking, "Burton was cooperative with the process and joked about us taking her ‘Mel Gibson mug shots.’"

Burton, up for re-election June 5, pleaded not guilty Thursday. A test taken an hour after her arrest showed her blood-alcohol level at 0.287, more than 3 1/2 times the legal limit for driving.




The sports Web site Deadspin noted the arrest of the third-string Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, who was cut by the team on the day of his arrest: "We are pleased to see that sports has returned to its working-class roots, requiring its players to spend their seasons out doing real manual labor, like in the good ole days."

Deadspin readers piled on.

"Cut and arrested in the same day? It certainly is hard out here for a third-string linebacker," one remarked.

"I hope the name of his service was ‘Super Bowl Prostitution Ring,’" another said.

"Here’s the most shocking part of this news," yet another reader said. "People are from Las Vegas? I thought it was like Orlando, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.; no one is ‘from’ those places. They move there."


OVERHEARD ON THE SCANNER: "He took two six-packs of Budweiser and was last seen on his bicycle."


IF YOU’RE LIKE US, you’re constantly watching your diet and weight.

While out and about at the MGM Grand for the May 5 bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr., we noticed some svelte and well-equipped Tecate beer girls. As we pondered what diet foods the lovely visions might consume to maintain their figures, we discovered the answer as they entered the food court.

Was it a low carb, high veggie diet? Not quite. The women lined up at the Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand.

Now that’s a diet we can endorse.



BEFORE BECOMING AN OSCAR-WINNING FILMMAKER, Ron Howard won a place in our hearts playing everymen like Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" and Richie Cunningham on "Happy Days."

Howard hasn’t lost that everyman style. He was so unassuming that reporters scouring the MGM Grand for celebrities attending the big fight on May 5 walked right past him, twice.



WEEK IN REVIEW STAFFERS respect the Metropolitan Police Department’s hard work, but do they have to park where they do?

About 1 a.m. Friday, police chased a brown Ford Bronco driven by a shooting suspect. Eventually, the suspect bailed from the Bronco in front of the MGM Grand and ran into Game Works.

Police — at least 15 units pursued the guy, not counting the helicopter — parked up and down the Strip. Curious tourists, unsure if they were watching a police incident or the filming of a CSI episode, continued to drink and walk past.

But one of the police cruisers blocked a sewage truck from leaving a nearby property. And soon, the tourists, instead of asking, "What’s going on?" were wondering, "What’s that smell?"

Police eventually got their suspect, and the smell moved on.


The detroit news

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