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Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tourist agency to ditch gang gesture from ads

August 18, 2007

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— Virginia is still for lovers, but the state's tourism agency will eliminate images of people making heart symbols with their hands in its upcoming advertising campaign because the gesture is also used by a violent street gang.

The Virginia is for Lovers "Live Passionately" campaign will remove images of models making the hand gesture, one of several signs associated with the Gangster Disciples, Virginia Tourism Corp. officials said Friday. The gesture shows thumbs and index fingers formed into a heart.

"Our intent was to show people using their hands to make a heart to signify 'Virginia is for Lovers,'" the state's longtime tourism slogan, the agency's president Alisa Bailey said in a statement. "For the majority of people, the heart sign is a symbol of love - and the campaign's images intended to convey a love of travel and a love of Virginia."

michigan

Police: Helicopter pilot illegally lands for lunch

Lunch on terra firma apparently proved too tempting for a helicopter pilot and his passenger, police said.

The pilot was ticketed for an illegal landing Tuesday after he touched down on a grassy area on a busy commercial corridor in Midland, about 100 miles northwest of Detroit.

The man and the female passenger then crossed the road to eat lunch at Logan's Roadhouse, police said. Employees at the store next to the parked chopper called police.

Police said the pilot first claimed to have had permission to land there, then said the helicopter was having mechanical problems. Police then told him he would be required to hire a mechanic to ensure the helicopter was flight-ready.

"They changed their tune and admitted they were on their way to Traverse City and stopped for lunch," Midland Deputy Police Chief Robert Lane said. He wouldn't release the pilot's name.

The misdemeanor charge against the pilot, a 54-year-old man from Metamora Township, carries a fine of up to $500 and maximum 90 days in jail.

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