Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hello, 911? McDonald’s is Out of McNuggets!

McDonald's 911 CallA Florida woman called 911 three times to report that a Fort Pierce McDonald’s had run out of McNuggets. Investigators have now released the audio recordings of all three calls.
McDonald’s 911 Call: No McNuggets!

The woman, a 27-year-old named Latreasa Goodman, told police the McDonald’s didn’t have any chicken nuggets and wouldn’t give her her money back.

“The manager just took my money and won’t give me my money back, trying to make me get something off the menu that I don’t want,” she said on the phone. “”I ordered chicken nuggets. They don’t have chicken nuggets, and so I told her, ‘Just give me my money back,’ and she tells me I have to pick something else off the menu.”

When police suggested to Goodman that her issue might not be an emergency, she responded:

“This is an emergency. If I would have known they didn’t have McNuggets, I wouldn’t have given my money, and now she wants to give me a McDouble, but I don’t want one. This is an emergency.”

The McDonald’s, by the way, issued an apology and said it would make sure Goodman got her money back. She may need it, too: Police arrested Goodman on charges of misusing of the 911 system — and odds are, that kind of criume results in a fine slightly higher than $1.99.
McDonald’s 911 Call Audio

911 Nugget update

Woman Says She's 'Embarrassed' By McNugget Meltdown

Fort Pierce Woman Calls 911 3 Times After McDonald's Runs Out Of Nuggets

updated 3:51 p.m. CT, Thurs., March. 5, 2009

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - She's been called "McNut" by and "loco 4 pollo" by

Now, after becoming an Internet sensation for calling 911 three times to report an emergency after McDonald's had run out of McNuggets, a Fort Pierce woman said Wednesday she is embarrassed by all the media attention.

"I'm embarrassed to show my face in public," Latreasa Goodman told WPBF News 25's Alexis Rivera one day after her McNugget meltdown was first reported.

Goodman, 27, was issued a written notice to appear in court for misusing the 911 emergency communications system.

According to the police report, Goodman called 911 three times Saturday to report that a McDonald's employee wasn't giving her a refund for the chicken nuggets she wanted.

"The manager just took my money and won't give me my money back, trying to make me get something off the menu that I don't want," Goodman said in one of the 911 calls. "I ordered chicken nuggets. They don't have chicken nuggets, and so I told her, 'Just give me my money back,' and she tells me I have to pick something else off the menu. She is not going to give me my money back, and she don't have the right to take my money."

Goodman told WPBF News 25 that she didn't "have a right to jump across the counter and snatch" the money, so she chose to handle it another way.

"Inside Edition" was there when WPBF News 25 spoke to Goodman on Wednesday. She said all the media exposure has resulted in several profanity-laced, hateful messages on her personal cell phone.

"I think it's wrong, because like I said, it's not about no chicken nugget meal," Goodman said. "If everybody listen(s) to the news, they'll understand my statement that McDonald's took my money. They didn't have any chicken nuggets, and so I asked for my (money) back."

The 10-piece chicken McNuggets meal is valued at $3.49.

"When you feel that you've been mistreated or misused or robbed out of your money, you have the right to call 911," Goodman said. "That's the purpose of 911, so I thought."

But Tiffany Bennett, an emergency coordinator for St. Lucie County, said the incident does not constitute an emergency.

"It's not an emergency unless there was some kind of disturbance or somebody threatening someone, and I don't believe that was the case in this matter," Bennett said.

Carlos Solorzano, operations manager for all McDonald's restaurants in Florida, issued a statement Tuesday apologizing for the incident.

"Satisfying each and every customer that visits our restaurants is very important to us," Solorzano said. "Regarding this isolated incident, we apologize for the inconvenience caused. In the event that we are unable to fill an order, a customer should be offered the choice of a full refund or alternative menu items. We regret that in this instance, that wasn't the case.

"We want to correct our mistake. We will be sending the customer her refund, along with an invitation to return for her original order, on us. We never want to disappoint a McNuggets fan or any McDonald's customer. Customer satisfaction is our top priority."

Goodman said she'll continue to go to McDonald's, but she also said she'd order with a little more caution next time.

"I'm not going and just giving up my money like that, no, but I'm going to ask them would they please check and see if they have what I want on the menu, and if they tell me yes, then I will order," she said.

Hogwarts Castle

Indian Potter fans cheer Hogwarts Castle ruling

Posted Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:06am AEST
Updated Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:29am AEST

The life-size replica of Hogwarts Castle.

The life-size replica of Hogwarts Castle. (AFP: Deshakalyan Chowdhury)

Indian fans of the Harry Potter book series have welcomed a court verdict that gave the go-ahead to organisers of a religious event to build a life-size replica of the fictional Hogwarts Castle.

The Delhi High Court threw out a claim by author JK Rowling that the giant structure constructed in the city of Kolkata infringed copyright.

Organisers now have permission to keep the papier mache and bamboo castle in place until Durga Puja, the biggest Hindu religious event in eastern India, on October 26.

"The court has done the right thing. We have read about Hogwarts in books and seen it in films and now we will finally get a chance to see it," said 19-year-old Sayona Mandal, who founded a Harry Potter fan club in Kolkata.

Organisers say they hope to get a record turnout from the publicity Rowling's suit had generated.

"We think there will be a big turnout as the media has already publicised our work," said organising secretary Santunu Biswas.

Scores of school children visited the park over the weekend where the elaborate structure is located.

The marquee replicates the castle contours and includes an imitation marble staircase and flagged stone floor in the entrance hall, lit with flaming torches.

Rowling's fictitious world depicts the castle as an ancient school of witchcraft where her hero Harry Potter learns wizardry.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Obama Stem Cell Shift Will Speed Hunt for Cures, Scientists Say

By Rob Waters

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s expected reversal of an 8-year-old restriction on U.S. funding for embryonic stem cell research has excited scientists and health advocates who say the action will accelerate the search for cures to major illness.

Obama plans to lift the funding ban, imposed by former President George W. Bush, in a March 9 signing ceremony, said two government officials, who spoke yesterday on condition of anonymity. Bush objected to the use of the tissue because the process caused the destruction of human embryos.

The change will free federally backed scientists to work with hundreds of newer cell colonies that have been off-limits under Bush’s order, including some that carry genetic mutations causing diseases such as juvenile diabetes and Huntington’s. If scientists can study these cells using U.S. government funding, it will speed research into those conditions, said Larry Soler, executive vice president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The expected shift will “update the current policy, which has been frozen in place since 2001 and allow broad use of new technologies discovered over the last eight years,” Soler said yesterday in a telephone interview. “For 30 million Americans with some form of diabetes, stem cell research offers a possibility to develop new treatments.”

Repairing Damaged Organs

Stem cells derived from days-old human embryos have the potential to form any of the body’s 200 or so cell types and to repair or replace damaged tissue or organs. Those that contain mutations may reveal how illness develops and identify targets for prevention or treatment.

Opponents of the research consider embryos to be human life and research that destroys them to be immoral. They say stem cells from adult tissue and umbilical cord blood are available without harming embryos and already in clinical use, while treatments from embryonic cells are years off.

Bush allowed government support only for cell colonies made from embryos before August 9, 2001. Just 21 such colonies are available today to researchers, while hundreds of newer lines can be used only by researchers funded from private sources.

House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio said research advances allowing adult skin cells to be turned into so-called pluripotent stem cells with powers similar to those from embryos makes federal support for embryonic cells unnecessary.

‘Precious Human Life’

“Republicans enthusiastically support adult, cord blood, and pluripotent stem cell research that have shown so much promise in recent years,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “The question is whether taxpayer dollars should be used to subsidize the destruction of precious human life. Millions of Americans strongly oppose that, and rightfully so.”

Obama’s policy will encourage investment into stem cell companies, said Michael West, the founder and former chief executive of Geron Corp., the first company to use human embryonic stem cells after they were discovered in 1996.

“As the entrepreneur who was out there trying to move the industry forward, the Bush policy massively impacted the willingness of investors to put up money,” West said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Many of us hope this will spawn the new era of regenerative medicine we’ve been waiting for all these years. What a sigh of relief.”

West’s current company, Biotime Inc., based in Berkeley, California, is selling 88 cell lines carrying genetic diseases, including muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The cells were created by a Chicago fertility center from embryos left over from in-vitro fertilization treatments.

Campaign Pledge

As a presidential candidate, Obama had pledged to overturn the Bush policy and many observers had expected him to act sooner.

“Indeed, that Obama has waited seven weeks into his presidency to sign this executive order is the only surprising aspect, said Rogan Kersh, associate dean of New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, in an e-mail yesterday. “Amid so much policy turmoil, reversing the Bush ban won’t be as big a story as it normally might, but will arouse opposition from religious groups and other social conservatives opposed to this research on embryos.”

Reports that Obama would reverse the ban began circulating after the close of regular trading yesterday, with the first headlines coming from the Washington Post and ABC News.

The news sent shares of the stem cell companies higher. Geron, based in Menlo Park, California, gained $1.51, or 39 percent, to $5.38 and StemCells Inc. of Palo Alto, California, rose 91 cents, or 66 percent, to $1.38 in extended trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The timing of Obama’s announcement couldn’t be better, said Arnold Kriegstein, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. It comes just days after the National Institutes of Health began requesting proposals for research projects using some of the $10 billion it was awarded from the from the economic stimulus package passed by Congress, Kriegstein said.