Here comes the Fall! Trees are just changing colors and this image is what Fall looks like for us.

Pesky parrots:

LONDON (AP) — A British zoo has had to separate five foul-mouthed parrots who keepers say were encouraging each other to swear.

Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade and Elsie joined Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre’s colony of 200 gray parrots in August, and soon revealed a penchant for blue language.

“We are quite used to parrots swearing, but we’ve never had five at the same time,” said the zoo’s chief executive, Steve Nichols. “Most parrots clam up outside, but for some reason these five relish it.”

Nichols said no visitors had complained about the parrots, and most found the situation funny.

“When a parrot tells tells you to ‘f-— off’ it amuses people very highly,” he said Tuesday. “It’s brought a big smile to a really hard year.”

Nichols said the parrots have been separated to save children’s ears. They were moved to different areas of the park so they don’t “set each other off,” he said.


I thought I had reported on every subject imaginable – until this week, when I traveled to Attleboro, Massachusetts, and met Crystal MacDonald.

Crystal's unlikely obsession with canned pasta began after the birth of her daughter, Ashlyn. Ashlyn is autistic, and earlier this year, she stopped eating food altogether — with the sole exception of SpaghettiOs and meatballs.

Teachers and therapists were working to expand her palate when the pandemic hit, clearing grocery store shelves of a lot more than just toilet paper.

"Couldn't find SpaghettiOs anywhere," MacDonald said. "It's like they were there one day and the next they were gone."

"Wait, wait, wait – Why was there a run on SpaghettiOs?" I asked.

"I don't know if people thought, like, if the world ended you could survive on SpaghettiOs – I just know that I was losing my mind trying to find them," she said.

C’mon Michigan:

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NewsNation Now) — A Michigan township mailed out the wrong election date in their tax bill. It showed Nov. 10 vs. the actual date of the election: Nov. 3.

Salem Township, which is located south of Grand Rapids, told NewsNation affiliate WOOD-TV that they’re grateful the mistake was caught with weeks to go before the contest, but wish it would have been caught sooner.

“It was a typo on our part. That’s really all it is,” Salem Township Clerk Betty Brower said. “I’m surprised that somebody actually read it.”

Kathryn Kramer did read the letter mailed to taxpaying residents of Salem Township. She spotted the mistake.

“I received my tax bill last week showing my taxes were paid and inside the letter, they always give a little newsletter on what’s going on, and so, like a good citizen you read through it to see if there’s anything you need to… look at,” Kramer said. “When I turned it over to the page two what I saw was kind of interesting.”

The letter read, in part, “Salem Township will be welcoming in person voters at our open polls for the upcoming Primary on August 4, 2020 and the Presidential on November 10, 2020.”

Thank you Illinois!

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Four state agencies have signed a pact to protect monarch butterflies and other important pollinators whose numbers are dwindling.

Representatives of the Illinois Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency signed onto the Illinois Monarch Action Plan on Friday.

While feeding on nectar, monarchs pollinate numerous wildflowers and also serve as an important food source for birds, small animals and other insects. Milkweed is a favorite food source for monarch caterpillars.

The project brings together public and private agencies and residents to preserve necessary habitat for monarchs to survive and continue their crucial migration.

“Though small, pollinators play an extremely important role in our survival here in Illinois and the world,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan.

The plan calls for 1.3 billion new stems of milkweed in the central U.S. Illinois’ contribution is 150 million stems by 2038.

The Transportation Department, one of the state’s largest landowners, has adjusted roadside mowing schedules, reduced the use of pesticides and become more discerning in the species it plants, Secretary Omer Osman said.

I get it that publishers are businesses, but this seems amiss to me. How about you?

(RNS) — LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, has sued its former president and CEO, accusing him of violating a noncompete clause in his contract.

Thom Rainer, who announced his plan to retire as president and CEO in 2018, still serves as chief advisory officer for LifeWay. Under terms of a transition agreement, he was prohibited from working with a competitor for 12 months after his retirement, LifeWay claims in a suit filed in Williamson County, Tennessee, on Monday (Sept. 28).

Rainer, 65, was earning the same salary he received as president, plus a car, which he could keep after his term as chief advisory officer concludes Oct. 31, according to the transition agreement he signed with LifeWay in 2018.

But in April, the suit alleges, Rainer and Tyndale, a publisher of Bibles and other Christian books, reached “a multi-book, multiyear agreement” for publishing Rainer’s books, which LifeWay says violates the transition agreement.

“Tyndale is ecstatic about our long-term partnership with Thom Rainer and Church Answers. Thom is a gifted leader, teacher, and communicator whose personal mission aligns perfectly with Tyndale’s,” Tyndale senior VP and publisher Ron Beers was quoted saying in a news release.

Rainer, a prolific writer, runs a business called Church Answers, which is intended to help church leaders with “resources, experts and community” through the ups and downs of church ministry. A lifelong Southern Baptist and Alabama native, Rainer received his Master of Divinity and a doctorate from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rainer said he was sad to hear about the lawsuit and said he received a written and amicable release from publishing with LifeWay on Oct. 1, 2019.

“Before learning of the lawsuit, I heard from a LifeWay representative about this concern only one time on September 8, 2020,” Rainer said in an email response to RNS. “LifeWay’s counsel sent me an email asking for an explanation of my relationship with another publisher. I gave a quick and substantive response that same day. Even more, I requested to meet with the board officers in my response. I assumed all was well until the lawsuit was filed yesterday.”

LifeWay claims Rainer’s agreement with Tyndale gives that publisher “a significant competitive advantage.”

“It is inevitable that he will disclose to Tyndale confidential information about LifeWay’s products, processes and services,” the lawsuit says.

Cool, a 12 year old college soph?!?!

Before Caleb Anderson is old enough to get his driver's license or vote in an election, he will already have a college degree.

The 12-year-old from Georgia has already started his sophomore year at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia, which confirmed to TODAY that he is a student at the school.

Anderson is well on his way to getting a degree by the time most kids his age are starting their freshman year of high school.

"It was exactly how I expected it to be like, if I were 18 or something,” the bright, young boy told NBC affiliate WXIA about his college experience.

Anderson has been a prodigy from before he could even speak, learning sign language, reading the U.S. Constitution as a 2-year-old, qualifying for the high IQ society MENSA a year later, and learning to speak Spanish, French and Mandarin, according to his parents.

"As we started to interact with other parents, and had other children, then we started to realize how exceptional this experience was, because we had no other frame of reference," his father, Kobi, told WXIA.

A new career for this dog:

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (NewsNation Now) — An abandoned dog found tied to a tree in Indiana has a new home and job, going from rescued to trained rescuer in a few short weeks.

White River Township Fire Chief Jeremy Pell was moved by the story of “Roadie,” who was abandoned and tied to a tree with a heartbreaking note from her owner, reported NewsNation affiliate WTTV/WXIN.

“I was a spoiled girl, my dad gave me my own couch to lie on and my own memory foam bed,” the note said. “My dad lost his job and soon his home from COVID. Please pray for him and give him hope that I will find a good home!”

“My heart breaks for a family that’s in that position, and for a dog that is going through all these changes,” Pell said.

The fire chief adopted the nearly 2-year-old shepherd mix and set her redemption story into motion. “Roadie” is now “Rosie” and works for the Search and Rescue K9 Unit for fire department.

“We can give her a second chapter to her life and give her a job that helps people,” said Pell.

She spends her days at the White River Township Fire Department Headquarters in Greenwood, and then goes home in the evenings with Pell and his family.

“I saw something in her face,” he said. “The breed, the soulful eyes, the stance, just something caught me.”

Subway has been found out:

Those wrestling with the great culinary-philosophical dilemmas of our time – are jaffa cakes actually cakes or just up-themselves biscuits, is putting chorizo in paella really an act of gastronomic terrorism, and what kind of monster doesn’t love Marmite? – can give thanks to the Irish supreme court. Earlier this week, it brought clarity to an important, if less bitterly contested, debate.

In a judgment published on Tuesday, the court ruled that the bread served at Subway, the US chain that hawks giant sandwiches in 110 countries and territories, could not in fact be defined as bread because of its high sugar content.

The ruling followed an appeal by Bookfinders Ltd, Subway’s Irish franchisee. The company had argued that the bread used in Subway sandwiches counted as a staple food and was consequently exempt from VAT.

However, as the court pointed out, Ireland’s Value-Added Tax Act of 1972 draws a distinction between staple foods – bread, tea, coffee, cocoa, milk and “preparations or extracts of meat or eggs” – and “more discretionary indulgences” such as ice-cream, chocolate, pastries, crisps, popcorn and roasted nuts.

The clincher was the act’s strict provision that the amount of sugar in bread “shall not exceed 2% of the weight of flour included in the dough”.

Subway’s bread, however, contains five times as much sugar. Or, as the supreme court put it: “In this case, there is no dispute that the bread supplied by Subway in its heated sandwiches has a sugar content of 10% of the weight of the flour included in the dough.”

If you’ve never read this one, it’s still worth reading:

WOMEN WERE THE LAST DISCIPLES at the cross and the first at the empty tomb. they remained integral to the work of the church in its early centuries. Catherine Kroeger scours historical data to compile an impressive collection of stories about noteworthy women in the early church.

One of the best-kept secrets in Christianity is the enormous role that women played in the early church. Though they leave much unsaid, still, both Christian and secular writers of the time attest many times to the significant involvement of women in the early growth of Christianity.

Celsus, a 2nd-century detractor of the faith, once taunted that the church attracted only “the silly and the mean and the stupid, with women and children.” His contemporary, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage, acknowledged in his Testimonia that “Christian maidens were very numerous” and that it was difficult to find Christian husbands for all of them. These comments give us a picture of a church disproportionately populated by women.

Why? One reason might have been the practice of exposing unwanted female infants—abandoning them to certain death. Christians, of course, repudiated this practice, and thus had more living females. Also, in the upper echelons of society, women often converted to Christianity while their male relatives remained pagans, lest they lose their senatorial status. This too contributed to the inordinate number of women in the church, particularly upper-class women. Callistus, bishop of Rome c. 220, attempted to resolve the marriage problem by giving women of the senatorial class an ecclesiastical sanction to marry slaves or freedmen—even though Roman law prohibited this.

These high-born Christian women seized upon the study of the Bible and of Hebrew and Greek. The circle of Roman women who studied with Jerome in the late 300s showed such scholarship that he thought nothing of referring some church elders to Marcella for the resolution of a hermeneutical problem. By the early 400s, Augustine could declare that “any old Christian woman” was better educated in spiritual matters than many a philosopher.

The women’s spiritual zeal exploded into social service. Fabiola founded the first Christian hospital in Europe. Many other church women encountered severe opposition from their families for spending their wealth so generously in helping the poor. Such selfless ministry became a trademark of Christian women. In a letter to his wife, Tertullian gives us a glimpse into some of the ministries of church women in his time. He charges her, in case of his own death, to not marry a pagan.

"Who would be willing to let his wife go through one street after another to other men’s houses, and indeed to the poorer cottages, in order to visit the brethren? Who would like to see her being taken from his side by some duty of attending a nocturnal gathering? At Easter time who will quietly tolerate her absence all the night? Who will unsuspiciously let her go to the Lord’s Supper, that feast upon which they heap such calumnies? Who will let her creep into jail to kiss the martyr’s chains? Or bring water for the saints’ feet?"