MAN TICKETED FOR TRYING TO TRADE GATOR FOR BEER: MIAMI (AP) — Florida wildlife officials say a man tried to trade a live alligator for beer at a Miami convenience store.
State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino says the man received a citation for illegally capturing and trying to sell the gator.
Pino tells WTVJ-TV that the man trapped the 4-foot-long gator at a nearby park and brought it to the store Dec. 10. When he proposed to trade the animal for a 12-pack of beer, the store clerk called authorities.
Pino says the alligator was "pretty much in good shape." The animal was released back into the wild.
ALLIGATOR CAN GREET MICHIGAN RESTAURANT PATRONS: PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — A 4-foot long alligator named Wally will be allowed to greet patrons of a Michigan restaurant.
The City Council voted 4-2 on Monday to allow American alligators in its central business district.
Wally will greet guests at Cajun Gator. The restaurant is expected to open within the next week.
The Times Herald of Port Huron reports that Developer Larry Jones says there were "a lot more excited people than there are people in question" when the idea was floated.
Councilwoman Anita Ashford cast one of the votes against the proposal. She says she's uncomfortable with the idea of a live alligator in an eatery.
NC COURT SAYS TROOPER SHOULD NOT BE FIRED OVER HAT: RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An appeals court in North Carolina says a state trooper should not have been fired for changing his story about what became of his wide-brimmed hat.
The three-judge panel determined the 2009 dismissal of Trooper Thomas Wetherington did not match the level of his offense.
Wetherington initially told his immediate supervisor his hat blew off on a windy day during a traffic stop in Craven County along the coast. But court documents say the hat was returned a few weeks later in good condition by one of the people he had pulled over the day he lost it.
The Highway Patrol determined he violated its truthfulness policy. The state can appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.