Dog Poop Skirmish Turns Deadly, Philadelphia Police Say

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Dog poop routinely sparks skirmishes between neighbors. But in Philadelphia on Tuesday, one confrontation reportedly resulted in something much worse than just blemished grass and bruised relations.

Police say a 27-year-old man shot and killed his neighbor, the regrettable climax of an ongoing feud over dog droppings, according to media reports out of Philadelphia. Police say that the suspect, Tyrirk Harris, owns a German Shepherd and Chihuahua, and neglected to pick up after them, resulting in droppings spread across neighbors' lawns.

"A German Shepherd and a Chihuahua -- these dogs were running free," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told TV station NBC 10. "There were dog feces on several of the neighbor's yards. That's what led to this particular confrontation."

Harris reportedly carried a 9mm handgun on his hip. During a struggle over the gun on Harris' porch, the victim, Franklin Manuel Santana, 47, (pictured above with his infant son) was shot several times, Philly.com reports.

"He didn't run. He just stood there," neighbor Miguel Rivera reportedly said of the murder suspect. "I guess he was shocked at what happened."

Perhaps in part to avoid such explosive clashes, communities across the country are adopting a radical approach to curbing unwelcome pet droppings: requiring residents to have their dog's genetic footprint recorded.

That way supervisors, like those who oversee one apartment building in the Village of Abacoa, Fla., can identify negligent homeowners and impose steep fines for allowing their pets to poop in banned areas.




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11 PHOTOS
10 Worst Cities for Singles
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Dog Poop Skirmish Turns Deadly, Philadelphia Police Say

Metro population: 134,851

Unmarried households: 42.5 percent (avg.= 49.4 percent)

Cost-of-living score: 94.4 (avg.= 101)

Median household income: $46,336 (avg.= $49,536)

Date-night tab: $26.58

Coeur d'Alene's pristine lakes and massive ski resorts have made it popular with tourists and families. But singles will find themselves outnumbered in the small Northwestern city, where nearly one-fifth of the population is older than 62 and an additional one-third are families with children younger than 18. Spokane, 40 minutes west, makes a solid alternative: Living costs are low, as they are in Coeur d'Alene, but incomes are higher and almost 50 percent of adults are unmarried.

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Metro population: 146,208

Unmarried households: 45.2 percent

Cost-of-living score: 92.5

Median household income: $39,460

Date-night tab: $26.19

Florence sits in Alabama's northwest corner, only a stone's throw from Mississippi and Tennessee. While the region's Southern charm and low living costs might be attractive to singles, they'll have to contend with limited job opportunities at hospitals, schools and factories, and incomes $10,000 short of the national average. The city's demographics also trend toward families, with 67 percent of households classified that way. Singles will find better odds in Birmingham, 100 miles southeast, where living costs are 6 percent lower, incomes are 21 percent higher, and the dating pool is 5 percent larger.

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Metro population: 416,276

Unmarried households: 44.9 percent

Cost-of-living score: 101.7

Median household income: $44,059

Date-night tab: $26.95

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has become popular with retirees who enjoy the area's noted food and foliage and make up roughly one-third of its households. A large population of older adults does not bode well for the singles scene, though. Unmarried adults of any age are the minority in Asheville, and the share of young adults is a mere 17.5 percent. Even worse, for career-minded singles, jobs are limited to local government and service industries. Better prospects lie east in Durham, which made our list of best cities for singles.

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Metro population: 134,876

Unmarried households: 44.7 percent.

Cost-of-living score: 91.0

Median household income: $37,656

Date-night tab: $27.99

Like many small, industrial cities, Morristown suffered during the recession. Today, it still struggles with a 9.7 percent unemployment rate, negative employment growth and low-paying jobs based heavily in manufacturing. On top of the weak economy, the dating pool is shallow: 11 of every 20 adults are married and only 13 percent of adults hold a four-year degree. Morristown isn't alone in these struggles, of course. Numerous Rust Belt cities, from Sandusky, Ohio, to Fort Smith, Ark., prove less-than-optimal singles' towns for the same reasons.

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Metro population: 209,260

Unmarried households: 45.3 percent

Cost-of-living score: 100.3

Median household income: $43,290

Date-night tab: $23.49

Google "Prescott" and "retirement community" and an endless array of results pops up: retirement homes, retirement resorts, entire "retirement villages" out in the desert. Sunny, historic Prescott is a good destination for retirees, but that makes it a tough place for most singles. The majority of adults are married. The job scene is even more problematic: Unemployment sticks at a stubborn 9.6 percent, and major employers are limited to local government, schools and medical centers. Jobs are more diverse in Flagstaff, two hours northeast, where 56 percent of adults are single and incomes meet the national norm.

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Metro population: 307,637

Unmarried households: 43.5 percent

Cost-of-living score: 91.0

Median household income: $37,749

Date-night tab: $27.99

Once a frontier town on the Tennessee-Virginia border, Kingsport today is known less for Davy Crockett than for Eastman Chemicals, the city's largest employer. As in many industrial towns, incomes here are low -- 24 percent below the national average -- and few jobs exist outside of manufacturing and related industries. Singles will be hard-pressed to find dates here, too: Kingsport's share of singles is the second-lowest on our list. Memphis, with its trifecta of high-paying jobs, low living costs and a 56 percent singles rate, makes a better choice.

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Metro population: 159,385

Unmarried households: 40.9 percent

Cost-of-living score: 93.5

Median household income: $45,037

Date-night tab: $31.69

Sunny Punta Gorda, with its quaint Historic District and newly paved Harborwalk, is another one of those retirement towns that can prove problematic for prowling singles. Only four in 10 adults are unmarried, the lowest share on our list. Four in 10 are also over age 62, which narrows the pool for young and middle-aged daters. An unemployment rate of 10 percent further diminishes Punta Gorda's appeal. Singles might have better luck in Miami, where living costs are higher but 54 percent of adults are single.

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Metro population: 199,177

Unmarried households: 46 percent

Cost-of-living score: 108.9

Median household income: $39,785

Date-night tab: $23.36

Lake Havasu City was the subject of two "MTV Spring Break" specials, but don't let that fool you. This placid border city is a desert haven for the retirement set, where nearly one-third of adults are over 62 and the majority is married. That makes things difficult for singles, who might already struggle to cover the gap between Lake Havasu's lower-than-average incomes and higher-than-average living costs. While that won't trouble retirees, it's a reason for younger singles to head for the hills -- the Santa Monica hills, specifically. Los Angeles, five hours west, made our list of best cities for singles.

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Metro population: 326,833

Unmarried households: 44.3 percent

Cost-of-living score: 99.7

Median household income: $40,339

Date-night tab: $24.25

Like Punta Gorda to the south, Ocala's verdant patchwork of new developments, golf courses and retirement homes is dominated by retirees -- a demographic that means its share of singles is low. But in central Florida, a scarcity of dates is not the only factor that might push singles away. Unemployment sits at 11.6 percent, salaries skew low and employment growth remains negligible. Nearby Gainesville is a better bet on all scores: While incomes are only a bit higher there, unemployment is only 7.7 percent and a significant six in 10 are unmarried.

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Metro population: 190,526

Unmarried households: 42.1 percent

Cost-of-living score: 95.4

Median household income: $40,340

Date-night tab: $25.09

Nearly one in four Yuma residents is out of work -- a statistic that would scare anyone, single or not. In fact, this Arizona city, which borders Mexico, suffers from the nation's second-worst unemployment rate (23.1 percent) after El Centro, Calif.'s 26.8 percent, and it continues to see negative employment growth. That poses problems for singles looking to start jobs and, eventually, families. The 42.1 percent singles rate only adds to the challenge. Three-fourths of local households are families, and roughly half have kids younger than 18. Is it possible to find true love in Yuma? Of course. Just expect to look awfully hard. The brutal combination of a bad economy and a limited dating scene earns Yuma the top spot on our list of worst cities for singles.

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