Supersized pumpkin has a fatal flaw

J.D. Megchelsen poses next to his giant pumpkin in the Halbouty area of Nikiski, Alaska. J.D. Megchelsen holds the record for giant pumpkins in Alaska, and knew he had a candidate this year to beat the record of 1,287 pounds set in 2011 - but when it was removed, the big pumpkin revealed a big disappointment: a thumb-size hole that will make it ineligible for the competition at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, Greg Skinner)

J.D. Megchelsen poses next to his giant pumpkin in the Halbouty area of Nikiski, Alaska. J.D. Megchelsen holds the record for giant pumpkins in Alaska, and knew he had a candidate this year to beat the record of 1,287 pounds set in 2011 – but when it was removed, the big pumpkin revealed a big disappointment: a thumb-size hole that will make it ineligible for the competition at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, Greg Skinner)

J.D. Megchelsen holds the record for giant pumpkins in Alaska, and the Nikiski gardener knew he had a candidate this year to beat the record of 1,287 pounds set in 2011.

But when a boom truck gently lifted the behemoth on Monday with rigging and a sling, the big pumpkin revealed a big disappointment: a thumb-size hole that will make it ineligible for the competition at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer.

A crane lifts a giant pumpkin grown by  J.D. Megchelsen and guided by Ryan K. Hall, left, to a flatbed truck. (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, Greg Skinner)

A crane lifts a giant pumpkin grown by J.D. Megchelsen and guided by Ryan K. Hall, left, to a flatbed truck. (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, Greg Skinner)

“It’s not going to count,” Megchelsen told the Peninsula Clarion (http://bit.ly/1dkIEWX). “It’s a bummer, but it’s the rules.”

Entries must be free of rot, chemical residue and serious soft spots. They can’t have holes or cracks that reach the pumpkin cavity.

A scale on the crane indicated the big pumpkin weighed 1,500 pounds, but Megchelsen estimates the state competition scale would have registered closer to 1,420 pounds.

“It’s just killing him,” said Pam Elkins, Megchelsen’s sister-in-law. “He eats, sleeps and dreams pumpkins. All he does is pumpkins.”

Megchelsen began to pursue the record in 2002. He set the record in 2004 with a 700-pounder. A year later, he grew a 942-pound pumpkin, and in 2006 he grew the first Alaska pumpkin to exceed 1,000 pounds. The current record followed in 2011.

Two years ago, Megchelsen said, he had a disqualifying hole in another of his giants. It might have surpassed the record if it had kept growing, he said.

His 2013 pumpkin probably grew too fast when it opened a hole in a “rib valley,” he said. During the height of a growth spurt in the warmest part of the summer, Megchelsen said, he was feeding the pumpkin up to 300 gallons of water a day.

The hole likely opened the first week of August when the fruit hit its peak growth spurt of 41 pounds in 24 hours. That happened two days in a row, he said.

When the pumpkin was hand-pollinated June 5, it was the size of a cherry tomato.

Megchelsen still plans to take his pumpkin to Palmer for weigh-in day. He’s not likely to leave it there on display, he said.

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Reported by the Associated Press from Kenai, Alaska. Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com

Pumpkin photo by Solyanka via Flickr.com

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Color this Jack O’Lantern

Click on this picture for a printer-friendly image. When the image appears against a black background, click it again for a full-size version. Finally, when you print it, click on the “scale image to fit paper” in your printer settings.

There’s nothing better on Halloween than an evening of pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating. You can celebrate the best of the holiday with this coloring page.

Why not color it, have your parents take a picture of it or make a scan and send it back to us so we can post it for the whole world to see!

Click on the image for a printer friendly version of this drawing, color it and then mail it back to us so we can post it here. Get even more coloring pages at the Junior Dispatch’s COLORING PAGE section!

MORE HALLOWEEN COLORING PAGES

You can find even more coloring pages at our special coloring pages section!

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Kid Scoop gets spooky with Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is a famous writer who died in 1849. He’s featured in today’s Halloween-themed edition of Kid Scoop. He’s credited with creating the detective story, but his most famous work is probably the poem called “The Raven.”

In that poem, a man is pestered by a raven who seems to be something more than it is.

The poem has been read and dramatized by many people over the years, including on an episode of “The Simpsons.” One of the best was done by Vincent Price, a legend in the movie business for his numerous horror films.

Beyond “The Raven,” Poe also wrote the a lot of other spooky tales. The chilling “Tell-Tale Heart” explores the guilt a murderer feels. The spine-tingling “Cask of Amontillado” focuses on a guy who is buried alive. “The Pit and the Pendulum” is an exercise in sheer terror as a man waits to be sliced in two. In all, Poe came up with a lot of scary ideas!

All these great works were written more than 150 years ago, long before Halloween was a common holiday in the United States, yet they’re still considered to be among the best short stories ever written.

You can hear Vincent Price’s version of “The Raven” here. http://youtu.be/zuGZ_wp_i9w

Learn about Poe himself in this mini-biography. http://youtu.be/x-387NMCR6w

OK, enough of the history stuff, here’s a cartoon parody of “The Raven.” This one also features a reading by Vincent Price! http://youtu.be/v57cDPH1108

 

What is Kid Scoop? It’s a special page that appears every Monday in The York Dispatch and other local newspapers. Aside from its main feature and the Writing Corner, it includes games, puzzles and jokes.

Get your copy of Kid Scoop in today’s edition of The York Dispatch, and be sure to assemble your own Write On! entry and submit it to NIE@ync.com. We’ll run every entry here!

Of course, you can submit those entries, and anything else you want, for publication here on the Junior Dispatch. Send your JD items to juniordispatch@yorkdispatch.com. Learn about what you can submit here.

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A mummy just for you

Click on this picture for a printer-friendly image. When the image appears against a black background, click it again for a full-size version. Finally, when you print it, click on the “scale image to fit paper” in your printer settings.

No, this isn’t your Mommy! It’s a fearsome mummy from deep inside an ancient pyramid.

Why not color it, have your parents take a picture of it or make a scan and send it back to us so we can post it for the whole world to see!

Click on the image for a printer friendly version of this drawing, color it and then mail it back to us so we can post it here. Get even more coloring pages at the Junior Dispatch’s COLORING PAGE section!

MORE HALLOWEEN COLORING PAGES

You can find even more coloring pages at our special coloring pages section!

The mummy coloring page was created by Junior Dispatch editor John Simcoe. You can have him visit your classroom, youth group or scout meeting. Just contact us at juniordispatch@yorkdispatch.com to set up an event.

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Get drawn to Dracula

Click on this picture for a printer-friendly image. When the image appears against a black background, click it again for a full-size version. Finally, when you print it, click on the “scale image to fit paper” in your printer settings.

Sure vampires are always pale looking, but this guy is a little too pale. Why don’t you get in the Halloween spirit and color the image?

If you color it, have your parents take a picture of it or make a scan and send it back to us so we can post it for the whole world to see!

Click on the image for a printer friendly version of this drawing, color it and then mail it back to us so we can post it here. Get even more coloring pages at the Junior Dispatch’s COLORING PAGE section!

MORE HALLOWEEN COLORING PAGES

You can find even more coloring pages at our special coloring pages section!

The vampire coloring page was created by Junior Dispatch editor John Simcoe. You can have him visit your classroom, youth group or scout meeting. Just contact us at juniordispatch@yorkdispatch.com to set up an event.

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Preschoolers donate candy to SOAR

For the second year, Joyful Noise Preschool collected Halloween candy from students and families for the local chapter of Support our American Recruits. The preschool, a ministry of Zion Lutheran Church, coordinated a drive to collect unwanted and extra candy. The children willingly donated their Halloween treats, which were delivered in time for SOAR to include with holiday care packages.

Joyful Noise Preschool students

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