10 worst ideas of the week: Sunday July 18 

Day care workers leave kids behind, Apple was warned of iPhone problems, ice cream giant retires classic flavors, iconic character attacked at Six Flags and a man tries to ride a gator.


1. Trio arrested

Day care reopens labor dispute

The details: An Orange County, Fla., day care has reopened after employees left more than a dozen children alone when they walked off the job. The owner of the day care told a television station the employees got what they deserved. She blames the day care workers themselves for abandoning the kids, all because one of the workers was fired for not having a proper child care license. The Department of Children and -Families is investigating.


2. Still hurting

Despite bailouts, small banks struggle

The details: The Treasury Department’s bailout program was designed with Wall Street megabanks in mind, according to a new report from a congressional watchdog. The "one-size-fits-all" program may actually be hurting small banks that are struggling to repay the money or even deliver quarterly dividend payments, the report says. Small banks are dragged down by souring loans for commercial real estate and high unemployment, and can’t afford high payments for bailout loans.


3. iPhone alarm

Engineer warned Steve Jobs about antenna

The details: Apparently a year ago, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert at Apple Inc., expressed his concerns about the new antenna design to Apple’s management, including CEO Steve Jobs. Others also were concerned. Since the iPhone4 launched, there’s been considerable criticism over its poor reception.


4. Facebook follies

Controversial page praised dead UK killer

The details: A Facebook fan page called "R.I.P. Raoul Moat You Legend" that glorified a dead killer and attracted 38,000 fans was removed by its creator after it drew sharp criticism from Britain’s prime minister and put the social networking site in an uncomfortable situation. Facebook said the page, while controversial, did not violate its rules. But its creator, Siobhan O’Dowd, took it down, saying she was surprised by the negative reaction.


5. Tough times

Baskin Robbins cuts flavors in its Bay Area locations

The details: It may have been Baskin Robbins’ birthday this week, but that 65th anniversary didn’t stop the company from putting several of their most well known flavors permanently on ice. French Vanilla, Apple Pie, Superfudge Truffle, Campfire S’mores and Caramel Praline Cheesecake are being laid to rest. French Vanilla has been a staple since the company launched way back in 1945.


6. Lacrossed

Iroquois may not be able to play in tournament

The details: The Iroquois helped invent lacrosse, but because of a dispute over the validity of their passports, they might miss this year’s world championship tournament. The United Kingdom, where the tournament is held, won’t accept passports issued by the Iroquois Confederacy, instead insisting the 23 team members hold either Canadian or U.S. passports. So far the Iroquois have had to default on one game, and more may be in the offing if diplomatic channels don’t work.


7. Oh Mickey

Controversial art upsets town in Poland

The details: Sexy, Nazi and Mickey Mouse are three terms that probably should never go together. But thanks to Italian artist Max Papeschi, the poster "NaziSexyMouse" is a reality — and it stretches across the top of a building in Poznan, Poland, which is not too happy with the work. "NaziSexyMouse" features a pin-up-style model wearing a Mickey Mouse mask against a giant swastika. Poznan residents say the art is a too-potent reminder of the Nazi regime, and some are even checking its legality under a Polish law that criminalizes the spread of Nazi symbols.


8. Sponsored child

NASCAR driver’s newborn has initials of carmaker

The details: If there is a blank spot on anything dealing with the auto racing team, you can bet it will be sold to a sponsor. But how far will some go? Four-time reigning Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife named their recently born daughter Genevieve Marie — making her initials G.M. Johnson — owns a Chevrolet dealership and drives a Chevy Impala in competition, which is manufactured by General Motors. Johnson said it was "purely coincidence" that the two share initials.


9. Too much

Fees make shopping for airline tickets tough

The details: Even with all of the discount websites for airline tickets, finding a good deal can be difficult due to the hefty bag and service fees that usually don’t show up until they hit the service counter. At least that is the opinion of congressional investigators, who saw the consumer is at a disadvantage because of the late popup of the fees that line the airlines’ pockets with billions of dollars.


10. Six Flags

Men accused of beating Porky Pig

The details: Police said authorities at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill., ejected two off-duty employees from the theme park after they allegedly attacked a female colleague dressed as Porky Pig. Police Sgt. Jon Ward says two young men took a photo with Porky on Monday afternoon, and then punched the mascot in the head 10 to 15 times. Ward said park security detained the men until police arrived. He said the men were issued local ordinance citations for battery. He said the suspects denied the attack, but witnesses confirmed the story. The 24-year-old woman inside the mascot costume suffered headaches and a stiff neck.


Dim bulb of the week

Michael Newman

Who: The 36-year-old Australian man was bitten by a crocodile after jumping into the zoo pit.

Why: Newman quickly was dubbed "Crocodile Dumb-dee" after his drinking binge eventually brought him to try and ride Fatso, a 5-meter saltwater croc who shares a pit with a few female crocs. Newman had tried to drip beer into the female crocs’ mouth before trying to hop onto Fatso, who was having none of that and attacked the man, who sustained serious leg injuries.


Sinking ship

Apple is facing one of the biggest PR crises of its existence as Consumer Reports reported it won’t recommend the new iPhone 4. Just holding the phone can cause reception to blip out, according to tests.

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Jeff Edwards

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