CHINESE CITY CREATES CELLPHONE SIDEWALK LANE: BEIJING (AP) — Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they’re going.
But the property manager says it’s intended to be ironic — to remind people that it’s dangerous to tweet while walking the street.
“There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here,” said Nong Cheng, the marketing official with Meixin Group, which manages the area in the city’s entertainment zone.
Meixin has marked a 50-meter (165-foot) stretch of pavement with two lanes: one that prohibits cellphone use next to one that allows pedestrians to use them — at their “own risk.”
Nong said the idea came from a similar stretch of pavement in Washington D.C. created by National Geographic Television in July as part of a behavior experiment.
She said that pedestrians were not taking the new lanes seriously, but that many were snapping pictures of the signs and sidewalk.
“Those using their cellphones of course have not heeded the markings on the pavement,” she said. “They don’t notice them.”
UNITED WAY TO ACCEPT DONATIONS IN BITCOIN CURRENCY: ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — One of the world’s largest charities says it will begin accepting donations in the virtual currency bitcoin.
United Way Worldwide said Monday that it will accept bitcoin donations for the charity’s innovation fund through the San-Francisco-based wallet service Coinbase. The charity will accept donations from a donor’s digital wallet with no transaction fees.
In a statement, United Way CEO Brian Gallagher says the charity wants to make it easier for donors to support causes they care about. He says that requires innovation through technology and outreach.
The Alexandria, Virginia-based charity says 1.6 million consumers use the Coinbase platform. Coinbase has sought to shore up confidence in bitcoin currency after trouble with the Mt. Gox exchange this year.
In August, federal regulators warned consumers about the risks of using virtual currencies.
STUDENTS SICKENED, CARBON MONOXIDE LEAK SUSPECTED: GIRARD, Ill. (AP) — More than 140 Illinois middle school students and adults were sent to hospitals Monday after becoming ill because of a carbon monoxide leak caused by a faulty furnace flue, school district and fire officials said.
Several students at North Mac Intermediate School in Girard complained about feeling nauseated, but all were conscious and talking as they were taken away in ambulances, Superintendent Marica Cullen said.
The source of the leak was a flue that came loose on a gas-powered boiler, and repairs have been made, school board member Terri Worth said. Officials said the gas was shut off.
Girard is a central Illinois city about 25 miles south of Springfield.
At least three students were admitted to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, but most were discharged or under evaluation, a hospital spokeswoman told the State Journal Register in Springfield. Students also were taken to two other hospitals.
LAVA CREEPS TOWARD LOTS IN BIG ISLAND SUBDIVISION: PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava is about a tenth of a mile from the edge of a rural subdivision on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Hawaii County spokesman Kevin Dayton says lava from Kilauea volcano has slowed over the past three days.
The lots in the Kaohe (cah-OH’-hay) Homesteads subdivision that are closest to the lava are vacant, and officials say no homes are in imminent danger.
Meanwhile, work continues to prepare unpaved, defunct roads to be used as alternate routes if lava reaches a major highway. Officials say that could happen within weeks.
Hawaii Volcano Observatory spokeswoman Janet Babb says the speed of lava depends on the supply of magma and what’s going on inside the volcano.
Observatory scientists are expected to fly over the flow Monday to get an update on when lava could reach roads.
ESCAPED SCHOOL SHOOTER HAD PITCHFORK, PATROL SAYS: COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The school shooter who briefly escaped from an Ohio prison last week had a pitchfork when he was captured, the state patrol said Monday as newly released records added to the picture of an inmate frequently in trouble behind bars.
T.J. Lane, convicted of killing three students at Chardon High School in the Cleveland area in 2012, did not threaten officers with the pitchfork, and it isn’t known where he got it from, said patrol Lt. Craig Cvetan.
New discipline records released Monday by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction show that Lane argued with instructors in education courses at Allen Correctional Institution, was found with marijuana in his system, gave himself three tattoos in violation of prison rules and worked out in a weight room despite a direct order not to.
“Another day of Mr. Lane refusing to do anything in education,” an official said in a conduct report on Aug. 22, 2013.
BEAR ATTACK IN WYOMING KILLS UTAH MAN: CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A 31-year-old Utah man doing research alone in a remote backcountry area has died in a bear attack in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwest Wyoming.
Officials aren’t certain yet what type of bear killed Adam Thomas Stewart of Virgin, Utah.
Fremont County Undersheriff Ryan Lee said Stewart was in a remote area checking on a research plot when he failed to return as expected on Sept. 5. He was reported missing on Sept. 7, prompting a search.
His body was found last Friday between his campsite and the research plot, Lee said.
Stewart last contacted his employer on Sept. 4 from a trailhead, he said. Lee didn’t have the name of the company Stewart worked for.
Stewart’s camp was found intact about 3 miles from where his body was found, he said.
Jason Hunter, a regional supervisor with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said investigators saw signs of both grizzly and black bears in the area where Stewart’s body was found.