* In Arizona, Republican state Sen. John Huppenthal, who once helped pass a law banning automated telemarketing calls, just spent an entire day apologizing to voters. By his own count, more than 3,000 citizens got an automated call sometime between 1 and 3:30 a.m. one Monday making a political pitch for Huppenthal.
* The first time Stanley Burnside got a notice of an unpaid parking ticket for his old truck, he was confused. After all, the truck had been parked behind his barn for more than two years since the transmission blew out. Even more confusing was the source of the ticket: New York City, a place where the Nebraska man has never even been. But when the tickets kept coming, and New York threatened to report him to a credit bureau, he became alarmed. After hiring an attorney, Burnside finally convinced the city it had made a mistake.
* Mexican prison warden Raul Zarate died when he tripped through a skylight and fell to his death. He had been spying on a couple enjoying a conjugal visit.
* Los Angeles officials are taking stock of a 10-year-old law requiring developers to erect public art in their buildings or pay a tax of 1 percent of the cost of the development. Among the art erected because of the law: a giant fiberglass snake, a sculpted Home Depot sign, and a painting of Earvin "Magic" Johnson in the lobby of his movie theater.
* In Williamstown, Vermont, the school system is pressed for educators. So Bill Corrow, a former teacher, volunteered to teach a history course at the local high school. His classes quickly became popular with students and parents. Then English teacher Kevin Lawrence filed a complaint, charging that Corrow was violating union rules by teaching for free and by not being certified to teach history. The union has taken up the grievance, and Corrow may lose his job.
* In Fort Worth, Texas, guidance counselor Seth Shaw was suspended for making an offensive remark to another school district employee. The woman had dropped by Shaw's school to set up some sexual harassment workshops. He allegedly greeted her by saying, "Hello, good looking."
* The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has banned a commercial for a firm's line of weather insurance. The ad featured a huckster dressed in an Indian headdress leading a group of senior citizens in a rain dance. The state broadcast company felt the ad affronted both Indians and the elderly.
* In Florida, it took only three appeals to the bar for the law firm of Wasserman & Walters to win the right to use the term "Webmasters" in their ads. It seems the bar thought the term was "self-laudatory," which is forbidden. They didn't realize the term referred to the firm's potential client base.