Australian aviator David Mayman has promised investors that his personal jet packs will hit the market by mid-2017, though early adopters will pay about $250,000 for one, to fly a person at up to 60 miles per hour for 10 minutes. The JB-10, developed by Mayman and designer Nelson Tyler, has made about 400 test runs in Monaco and over downtown London and New York City. But the partners realize that ultimate success will require that the fuel tanks be downsized so that the craft can be powered electrically — and thus seek crowdfunding both for that model and a larger one to accommodate the Pentagon's (Special Operations Command) tactical needs.

Wild life for wildlife

The state agency Colorado Parks and Wildlife filed 21 criminal charges in October against the Squirrel Creek Wildlife Rescue center in Littleton, alleging that some of the orphaned and rehabbing animals that Kendall Seifert houses are not being kept according to the state's strict standards — and that Seifert's 15-year-old center is also home to his popular swingers' club (Scarlet Ranch) featuring weekend sex parties. One of the criminal charges suggests that rescue animals could be stressed by gazing at activity in the ranch's bar area. Seifert said he will challenge the charges out of fear that many of the raccoons, foxes, songbirds, coyotes, skunks, rabbits and squirrels he would have to relinquish would not find suitable facilities elsewhere.

Almost ended in a tie

In November, in a remote area of Oregon's Maury Mountains, a 69-year-old man killed an elk and dragged the carcass behind his off-road vehicle up a hill. According to the Crook County Sheriff's office, the vehicle suddenly flipped over backward, and the man landed on, and was impaled by, the elk's antlers. Fellow hunters summoned a helicopter, and the man apparently survived.

Entrepreneurial spirit

In a retail market long dominated by priests, "nonsectarian" funeral eulogizers now offer to give individually tailored remembrances of the deceased for a fee, according to an October report by a New York Post reporter who interviewed two local "celebrants," who cited the declining appeal of "prayers."

The way the world works

Brittany Maynard, then 29, became "the face of the Right to Die movement" in 2014, according to a New York Post column, when she chose a legal physician-assisted suicide rather than awaiting the growth of her terminal brain tumor. In October, terminally ill California mother Stephanie Packer hoped to be "the face of the Right to Live movement" after revealing that her insurance company denied coverage for a drug that could extend her life — but at the same time disclosed that her suicide drugs are covered, and even disclosed her copay ($1.20).

Arkansas chic

Kristi Goss, 43, an assistant to a Garland County, Ark., judge, was arrested in October and charged with stealing nearly $200,000 in public funds, which she used to buy such things as a tuxedo for her dog, sequined throw pillows, a "diamond bracelet" (retailing for $128) and, of course, Arkansas Razorback football tickets.

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