The following stories are brought to you by the fine folks on the News4 assignment desk.
SLUMLORD SENTENCED TO LIVE IN OWN FILTH
A landlord who left several of his properties to rot is going to learn what it's like living in filth.
Oliver C. Lawrence is reporting to jail today to serve the first 30 days of his sentence for more than 180 convictions on property maintenance violations.
Then he'll get 40 days living in a house that had a smashed-out window, no locks and a shed littered with needles and feces. (NBC Washington)
GOLF BALLS: 'HUMANITY'S SIGNATURE LITTER'
Research teams at the Danish Golf Union have discovered it takes between 100 to 1,000 years for a golf ball to decompose naturally. A startling fact when it is also estimated 300 million balls are lost or discarded in the United States alone, every year. It seems the simple plastic golf ball is increasingly becoming a major litter problem.
The scale of the dilemma was underlined recently in Scotland, where scientists -- who scoured the watery depths in a submarine hoping to discover evidence of the prehistoric Loch Ness monster -- were surprised to find hundreds of thousands of golf balls lining the bed of the loch. (CNN)
TEEN OBESITY: LACK OF EXERCISE MAY NOT BE TO BLAME
You don't have to spend much time with teenagers to know that the average adolescent would rather devote an afternoon to sitting in front of the TV, computer or video-game console than working out in a gym. And in recent years, as physical-education classes have been progressively cut from cash-strapped public-school curricula, teens have had even more time to lounge, slouch, hang out or do anything but break a sweat. (Yahoo News)
DEATH ROW INMATE WANTS TO DIE, CITES SAVINGS
It is not unusual for reporters to get mail from jail or prison inmates -- I receive a letter every few months or so -- or even telephone calls. Many assert their innocence or complain they were punished too harshly. Some make rational arguments, while others appear to be lost in delusions -- like the inmate who passed along proof that he wasn't the one who had slain his victim a few years ago, it was the Zodiac killer.
It was a change of pace, then, to receive a letter recently from San Quentin Death Row prisoner Daniel C. Frederickson, who admits he is quite guilty of killing a Santa Ana hardware store manager during an attempted robbery in 1996. (This appears to be at odds with a letter he once sent to a Canadian anti-death penalty group professing his innocence.)
(San Francisco Chronicle)