Sunday, June 27, 2010

Feral parakeets encroach on hill country

County game wardens are watching with increasing alarm as flocks of feral parakeets are moving into Kerr County. Field studies are underway in collaboration with the local birdwatcher society to confirm the growth in numbers of these renegade pets.

No bird attacks have resulted in serious injuries, but campers at Kickapoo Kamp were forced to move their weaving class indoors as the colorful birds grew increasingly brazen in their attempts to steal yarn for nesting material.

Authorities believe the feral flocks originated in the San Antonio area.

“This probably started with one or two pet parakeets slipping outside while the owners cleaned their cages,” stated one official. “They began forming up into groups and interbreeding. This migration toward the hill county is just a quest for feeding range.”

Parakeets are notoriously territorial, and prolific breeders. Authorities are especially watching for signs that the birds are interbreeding with native species.

“You think it’s bad now... just wait until we start seeing bright green and blue talking vultures,” said the official.

In related news, fish and game specialists are monitoring reports of increasingly aggressive “gold” colored fish in area lakes and streams.


Local citizen trapped in roundabout

Erna Fernwell spent an hour and a half going round in circles in the city’s newest intersection on Tivy Street last Thursday.

The street department has installed a European -style “roundabout” intersection where Holdsworth Drive meets Tivy Street and Cypress Creek Road. This traffic control feature requires drivers to drive in a circular pattern until they arrive at the proper exit. For many Kerrville residents such as Fernwell, this is their first encounter with the novel structure.

Police were dispatched to the scene after neighbors reported seeing a teal Toyota driving in circles. Local television viewers were able to watch the scene unfold, as a News 8 chopper from San Antonio shot footage of the slow motion chase. Kerrville police officers called in Fredericksburg's mounted  police bicycle unit in an attempt to get closer to the vehicle. Despite tapping on the window and gesturing emphatically, authorities were unable to convince Fernwell to enter any of the exits.

“We were going to wait until she ran out of gas,” said one police official. “But, heck, she was driving a Prius. That would have taken 16 hours.”

Instead, law enforcement brought in and deployed tire strips, which blew out the tires and brought the vehicle to a halt. Fernwell was then extricated from the vehicle using the “jaws of life.”

Thirty minutes after the incident, Fernwell, 78, remained unfazed, though still slightly dizzy.

“That was kind of fun, really,” she said.


Demolition crew demolishes wrong hospital

Patients at the new Peterson Regional Health Center in Kerrville, Texas, awoke to bulldozers and flying rubble Monday morning as the Acme Demolition Company mistakenly began demolishing the brand new hospital.

“I thought I was having another stroke,” said Myrna Abernathy, sporting a bandage on the side of her head where she had been struck by a flying plastic flower vase.

Acme was low bidder on the contract to take down the building at the original site downtown. A company spokesman blamed the mixup on Google maps.

“We did our due diligence - a Google search on SPMH,” he reported. “Apparently the search agent did not differentiate between the old and new hospitals, so we sent our crews out to the new facility.”

The new hospital is not a complete loss, according to administrators. The crew only had time to level the outpatient and ER wings before being made aware of the error. Local officials arranged a press conference to explain the issue. The president of Acme was unable to attend, as due to an error in his GPS he ended up in Kerryville, New York.

“We are awful sorry about this little mixup,” he commented via email.

A member of the hospital custodial staff, who was cleaning up the rubble, had one comment: “Why couldn’t they have started with the cafeteria?”