Cat Reigns As Mayor Of Tiny Alaskan Town

National polls show that voters all over the country are losing faith in their elected leaders. But the 900 residents of Talkeetna, Alaska, say their mayor is doing a great job bringing in tourist dollars and has served in office for over a decade.

“He’s good. He’s probably the best we’ve ever had,” resident Lauri Stec tells KTUU. “He was just in the Alaska Magazine, and he’s been featured in a few different things.” In fact, Stec hangs out with Mayor Stubbs most days at Nagley’s General Store, even though she notes, “He’s growling at me right now.” That’s because the 15-year-old mayor is actually a cat, who was elected to office as a write-in candidate shortly after his birth.

“Their tour guides will trick them [the tourists],” fellow Nagley’s employee Skye Farrar tells KTUU. “They’ll tell them to go to Nagley’s and ask for the mayor.”


And with the power of social media, Stubbs is growing in popularity and drawing visitors to Talkeetna, who comes specifically to meet the honorary mayor. Mayor Stubbs has more than 2,500 Facebook fans on his page, nearly three times as many people who live in the town itself.

“Oh my gosh, we probably have 30 to 40 people a day come in who are tourists wanting to see him,” Stec said. Though residents say he’s been taking the newfound fame in stride, with his major indulgence being a daily dose of catnip served from a wine glass.

Do you like the idea of Stubbs being the “mayor” of this tiny town? What are other creative ideas to boost a town’s tourism?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Euro News

Study Finds Babies In Dog-Owning Homes Are Healthier

Dogs are no longer just man’s best friend: The furry family members may also protect infants against breathing problems and infections, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that Finnish babies who lived with a dog or – to a lesser extent – a cat spent fewer weeks with ear infections, coughs or running noses. They were also less likely to need antibiotics than infants in pet-free homes. Dr. Eija Bergroth from Kuopio University Hospital in Finland and colleagues said one possible explanation for that finding is that dirt and allergens brought in by animals are good for babies’ immune systems.


The researchers found that contact with dogs, more than cats, was tied to fewer weeks of sickness for babies. For example, infants with no dog contact at home were healthy for 65 percent of parents’ weekly diary reports. That compared to between 72 and 76 percent for those who had a dog at home. Babies in dog-owning families were also 44 percent less likely to get inner ear infections and 29 percent less likely to need antibiotics.

The researchers said infants who spent more than zero but less than six hours per day at home with a dog were the least likely to get sick. “A possible explanation for this interesting finding might be that the amount of dirt brought inside the home by dogs could be higher in these families because (the dog) spent more time outdoors,” the researchers wrote Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Do you have dogs at home? Do you agree with the result of this study that babies who live with dog-owning are healthier than those who don’t? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: She Knows