Picture 3The turkey pardoned by President Barack Obama on Wednesday grew up on a farm in Goldsboro, N.C., where it enjoyed a hand-fed diet of corn and soy beans but had to suffer a constant loop of Disney music.

The turkey was one of 22 picked by Butterball farms for regal bird training, but one of only two eventually selected for the Thanksgiving mission, according to the Washington Post.  Had “Courage” been accidentally eaten before the pardon, back-up turkey “Carolina” was in the wings.

The two turkeys next flew to Disneyland, where they were to serve as grand marshals and ride on the Thanksgiving Day float.

Unpardoned turkeys: NBC affiliates in Savannah, Raleigh, Columbia and Little Rock decided not to run a PETA commercial scheduled for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  In the commercial, a young girl gives thanks for “the turkey farms where they pack them into dark, tiny little sheds for their whole lives.”

In other bird news: A parrot was found wandering the streets of Largo, Fla., squawking “Larry.”  The Tampa Bay SPCA is trying to find “Larry” on the chance that that’s the owner’s name.  Adding to the mystery, the parrot occasionally squawks “Charlie.”

No fire on the water: High water on the Mississippi River could ruin for this year the coastal tradition of building bonfires to welcome Christmas.  For decades along the river, the bonfires have been set “to light the way for Papa Noel” on Christmas Eve.  But the Army Corps of Engineers temporarily has prohibited all bonfire activities on the river in Louisiana.  Residents hope the river will be down by Christmas Eve.

coyote2Dew Droplets: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist rescheduled the special election to replace U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler after Jewish voters complained it would fall during Passover … A lawyer hired by South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford as he faces possible impeachment will be paid by taxpayer dollars … A North Carolina man rammed his car into a hot dog stand when the vendor refused to sell him a hot dog and drink for a dollar … A Mississippi woman has been charged with murder, days after her husband was killed while the couple was deer hunting together … Triangle Transit is offering free Wi-Fi on two of its buses in the Raleigh, N.C. area … The Caddo Parish School Board in Louisiana voted to prohibit  employees from contacting students through electronic devices and social networks … Raleigh-Durham International Airport has experienced an increase in coyotes crossing the paths of taxiing airplanes.

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Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.