Watercooler Stories – July 5, 2012 – UPI.com

Couple hits half-year mark at Disneyland

ANAHEIM, Calif., July 5 (UPI) — A California couple said they have surpassed the halfway mark in their quest to visit Disneyland every day in 2012.

Jeff Reitz, 39, and Tonya Mickesh, 45, said they marked their 183rd day visiting the Anaheim theme park Sunday and plan to visit every day for the rest of the year to take advantage of their Premium annual passes, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Wednesday.

“Cast members are getting to know us and they ask, ‘What day is it today — number what?'” Reitz said.

The couple said they were both unemployed when they began their yearlong task, but Reitz has since started and finished a temporary job and Mickesh has found a fulltime position as an assistant operations manager for a lighting-decoration company.

“It means we’re coming over here in the evenings a lot,” Mickesh said.

Reitz said he is thinking about seeking employment at the Disneyland Resort.

“That would be awesome,” he said.

Detective suspended over ‘Bait Car’ bust

LOS ANGELES, July 5 (UPI) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said a detective has been suspended with pay pending an investigation tied to the TruTV program “Bait Car.”

The sheriff’s office said Anthony Shapiro arrested Keenan Alex, 28, last July for allegedly trying to steal the bait car — which is put in place by police to bust car thieves — and the TruTV cameras recorded Shapiro failing to read Alex his Miranda rights, NBC News reported Thursday.

Shapiro testified in court he had read the suspect his rights “from a card in my wallet — in my notebook,” but Alex’s attorney, Priya Bala, presented the TruTV footage as evidence and the prosecutor dropped the case.

The sheriff’s office said Shapiro has now been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident.

Pastor busts fake alderman

CHICAGO, July 5 (UPI) — Chicago police said a man accused of impersonating an alderman was busted by a pastor who is familiar with the real official.

Police said a man called the Rev. John Harrell of Faith Community Baptist Church and claimed to be Alderman Michael Chandler, 24th district, when asking if the pastor would buy tickets to a play being held as a political fundraiser at the Goodman Theater, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

Harrell, who knows the real Chandler, called police and an officer hid under a blanket in the church’s van when the religious leader met with the man, who in person claimed to be an aide to Chandler and sold Harrell phony theater tickets for $20.

Leon Swan, 52, was arrested and charged with falsely impersonating a public employee. Swan, who was also charged with felony drug possession after heroin was allegedly found in his shoe, was ordered held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Lifeguard fired after rescue

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla., July 5 (UPI) — A Florida lifeguard said he was fired for participating in a rescue that took place out of the beach zone his company is contracted to protect.

Tomas Lopez, 21, of Davie, said he had been working for Jeff Ellis and Associates, the company that has provided lifeguards to beaches and pools in Hallandale Beach since 2003, for about four months Monday when his attention was called to a man struggling in the water south of his post, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Lopez ran toward the man, about 1,500 feet south of the company’s protective boundaries, and assisted with his care when a group of people pulled him from the water.

Lopez said he was required to fill out an incident report about the man’s situation and he was subsequently fired for leaving the company’s boundaries. At least two other lifeguards have quit in protest of his firing, Lopez said.

Company officials said Lopez’s actions put beachgoers at risk and could have resulted in the company being sued.

“We have liability issues and can’t go out of the protected area,” supervisor Susan Ellis said. “What he did was his own decision. He knew the company rules and did what he thought he needed to do.”

Lopez said he stands by his actions.

“It was the moral thing to do,” Lopez said. “I would never pick a job over my morals.”

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