STOCKTON, Calif., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- KFC said a "brain" found by a California teenager in his meal was actually a gizzard or a kidney, but the company agreed to refund the teen's $4.

Manuel Cobarubies, a Stockton High School student, said he frequented his local KFC until early February, when he discovered the unidentified chicken organ in his $4 meal.

"[It looked] like a brain to me. I mean at that point, red flags were kind of raised," Cobarubies told KTXL-TV. "I ended up spitting it in the trash can because I get grossed out by that."

Cobarubies tweeted a picture of the object and tagged KFC in the hopes of getting an explanation and a refund, but all he received was a brief apology.


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San Francisco-area residents were less than relieved Monday after hearing that a city water manager had been caught urinating into an empty reservoir that supplies drinking water for the Bay Area.

Martin Sanchez, a $111,000-a-year maintenance planner for the Public Utilities Commission, faces suspension without pay for five days following the Jan. 6 incident at the Priest Reservoir in the Sierra foothills near Sonora, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Utilities commission spokesman Tyrone Jue told the paper that the 674 million-gallon reservoir had been completely drained for maintenance when Sanchez committed the deed.

Officials say public health wasn't in danger.

An anonymous complaint to water officials that was received by the Chronicle said that a number of employees had seen Sanchez urinate "several times" in the reservoir.

He was in line for a promotion before the incident, The Associated Press reported.

San Francisco's water comes mostly from Sierra Nevada runoff.

Last year, a 19-year-old Portland, Ore., boy was cited for public urination and trespassing after he was accused of urinating in a 35-million-gallon city reservoir.

After learning of the incident, Portland officials began dumping water into the sewer system, but the process was slowed by heavy rains. As a result, they diverted the water to an empty reservoir and used the supply for nondrinking purposes.

It was the second time in less than three years Portland has emptied a reservoir due to concerns that someone had urinated in the water.

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A Texas teen lost her job at a Dallas area pizzeria before she even started when she trashed the gig in a tweet that her prospective boss spotted.

“Ew I start this f*** a** job tomorrow,” Twitter user @cellla_ tweeted on Friday regarding her new job at Jet’s Pizza in Mansfield, along with a string of emojis depicting seven thumbs down.

But the worker was served up a cold slice of reality when another Jet’s employee showed the missive to franchise owner Robert Waple. He responded to the young girl with a tweet of his own.

“No you don't start that FA job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life!” @Robertwaple tweeted on Saturday, using his account for the first time since signing up for the social media service in 2009.

 The public firing didn’t seem to bother Cella, who tweeted out her joy over being fired on Twitter.

“I got fired over Twitter,” she said.

Waple tweeted out a second message to Cella which has since been deleted according to reports.

“Working register, taking phone orders, making subs/salads. Eating free pizza. How hard would that have been?” he said in the tweet.

Some questioned the validity of Waples' account, but Cella confirmed the message was legitimate in yet another tweet.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he is "infuriated" by the purported beheading of journalist Kenji Goto by the Islamic State group and vowed to hold the terror group responsible.

"I feel indignation over this immoral and heinous act of terrorism," Abe told reporters after convening an emergency Cabinet meeting.

"When I think of the grief of his family, I am left speechless," he said. "We are filled with deep regret."

Japan ordered heightened security precautions Sunday and said it would persist with its non-military support for fighting terrorism.

Threats from the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, prompted an order for tighter security at airports and at Japanese facilities overseas, such as embassies and schools, government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said.

He said it would be "inappropriate" to comment on the status of the Jordanian pilot.

The failure to save Goto raised fears for the life of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, also held by the militant group that controls about a third of both Syria and Iraq. Unlike some earlier messages delivered in the crisis, the video that circulated online late Saturday purporting to show a militant beheading Goto did not mention the pilot.

Jordan renewed an offer Sunday to swap an Al Qaeda prisoner for al-Kaseasbeh, who was seized after his F-16 crashed near ISIS' de facto capital, Raqqa, Syria, in December.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani told The Associated Press that "we are still ready to hand over" Sajida al-Rishawi, who faces death by hanging for her role in triple hotel bombings in Jordan in 2005.

Jordan is reportedly conducting indirect, behind-the-scenes negotiations through tribal leaders in neighboring Iraq.

Al-Momani also said his country spared no effort to free Goto.

The killing of Goto, a freelance reporter whose work focused on refugees, children and other victims of war, shocked Japan, which until now had not become ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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A Washington state man says he just paid more than $18,000 in bridge tolls for his son who crossed the 520 bridge daily for work but never got a Good To Go pass.

KING-TV reports that Tom Rose's son thought he would be billed for the tolls and that he could pay later.

His son never received a bill. He learned the total of what he owed when he tried to sell his car: more than $18,000. That's $1,360 in tolls and more than $16,000 in penalties.

The department says they tried to bill Rose but their letters were returned. He will have to pay the tolls, but officials say they will try to work something out concerning the penalties.

KING-TV reports a lawyer has filed a class-action lawsuit against the department concerning its policies.


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 A six-year-old boy was taken to hospital after sitting on a pencil on his first day back at school.

An ambulance was called to Fairvale Public school in Syndey, Australia, and paramedics treated him for an injury to his buttocks.

The boy was in a stable condition at the city's Westmead Hospital, reported The Daily Telegraph.

Students in New South Wales have only just returned to school after an extended Christmas break.



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 A cable company has caused outrage by addressing a customer's bill to Mr A**hole Brown'.

A rogue employee changed the Ricardo Brown's name to 'A**hole Brown' and sent him a bill with his 'new' moniker printed on it.

"We have spoken with our customer and apologised for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change," commented Steve Kipp, vice president of communications for Comcast in Washington, USA.

The aggravation began when she'd phoned Comcast to try and reduce the cable bill and was put through to a retention specialist who tried to persuade her to sign a two-year contract. She declined.

After receiving the bill, Mr Brown's wife Lisa visited her local Comcast office and demanded that the name be changed immediately but had no luck.

She told US consumer blogger Christopher Elliott: "I am shocked. I was never rude. It could have been that person was upset because I didn't take the offer."

Comcast, who have now promised to fire the employee responsible, added: "We have zero tolerance for this type of disrespectful behavior and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine what happened."


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GILROY, Calif., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Authorities in California said a marijuana grow operation with more than 1,000 plants was disguised as a furniture store.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Marijuana Eradication Team and Gilroy police announced Gilroy resident Phuc Nguyen, 39, owner of Gilroy Furniture & More, was arrested Thursday after a months-long investigation into illegal activity at his store.

Investigators said the front of the store was filled with furniture including couches, tables and chairs, but none of the objects were actually for sale and the store was never actually open.

"Furniture store coming soon," a banner in the store's window read.

Deputies said the back of the store contained more than $2 million worth of cannabis, including more than 1,000 live plants and 50 pounds of processed marijuana.

"We don't see a lot of storefront operations with a large-scale illegal enterprise going on in the back," Sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup told KNTV. "I think in the movies and on TV they like to think it happens all the time, but in reality, we just don't see that level of sophistication."

Stenderup said Nguyen also allegedly bypassed a utility meter to steal $80,000 worth of water and electricity to cultivate the plants.

Nguyen was charged with theft of utilities and illegal cultivation of marijuana for sales. He was ordered held in lieu of $200,000 bail.


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FOUNTAIN, Colo., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A Colorado fire department said two firefighters carefully navigated a frozen pond to rescue two cows that unwittingly took the Polar Bear Plunge.

The Fountain Fire Department tweeted pictures Tuesday afternoon showing a pair of orange-clad firefighters tethered to the shore of the pond off Squirrel Creek Road while reaching for the cows, which apparently fell through the ice while walking over the frozen pond.

The department said the cows are doing well after warming up from their frosty dip.


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SYDNEY –  A hostage who died during a siege in a downtown Sydney cafe was killed when she was struck by fragments of a bullet fired from a police officer's gun as authorities stormed in to end the 16-hour standoff, a lawyer told an inquest on Thursday.

Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old lawyer who was among 18 people taken hostage last month by a gunman, died after being hit by six fragments of a police bullet that had ricocheted off a hard surface, Jeremy Gormly, a lawyer assisting the coroner, told the Glebe Coroner's Court. One fragment struck a major blood vessel and she quickly lost consciousness, he said.

Another hostage, 34-year-old cafe manager Tori Johnson, was killed after gunman Man Horan Monis forced him to kneel on the floor and then fired a bullet into the back of his head with a sawed-off shotgun, Gormly said. He is believed to have died immediately. A police sharpshooter witnessed Johnson's killing, prompting police to move in, Gormly said.

The details of the deaths of Dawson and Johnson came on the opening day of the inquest into last month's siege at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe. Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a long criminal history, took the customers and workers captive and forced them to outline his demands in a series of online videos — including that he be permitted to speak to the prime minister and be delivered a flag of the Islamic State group.

The standoff ended when police stormed the cafe in a barrage of gunfire to free the hostages. Monis was killed, along with Dawson and Johnson.

Officials had previously refused to say whether the hostages died at Monis' hand or were caught in police crossfire. The coronial inquest — a court-like proceeding convened after unusual deaths in Australia — is aimed at ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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