N.J. keeps record as only state without a song
The official state dance of New Jersey is the square dance. But you can't square dance to the state song because there isn't one. Part of the problem might be that whenever they start talking about it, invariably someone wants four of them. The proposal is for an official anthem, children's song, pop song and ballad. Heavy metal and hip hop somehow missed the cut along with Lite Hits of the '60s, '70s and '80s. Lawmakers were supposed to vote on Monday, but skipped it and haven't decided when to bring it up again. There is a state dinosaur though. Hadrosaurus foulkii. A big deal there, it can be assumed.
Garden makeover reveals old car
London's Daily Mirror reports that the garden of Annis Dodds was so overgrown that when Dodds ignored an order to clean it up, Slough council members decided to do it themselves. The brush was so high that the amateur landscapers had no idea what they might find under there, though there were reports of rats, bugs and stench. There had not been any reports of missing cars, though, so they were pretty surprised to find a Ford Escort in there. Dodds was ordered to pay $2,200 in fines and fees ... but she did ignore all the other orders, so who knows how that will go.
Desperation gift pays off really big
Sometimes, procrastination pays. Patricia Parsons of Albany, N.Y., bought her husband a scratch-off lottery ticket for their anniversary. Sounds a little dicey at first, but you can guess it turned out pretty well. As a result, Dan got $10 million for their anniversary. There were no reports on what he got her, but it probably wasn't nearly that good.
Forecast could keep snowman standing
Randi Dyer of Lawrenceville, Ga., wanted her two little snowflakes to have the chance to build a snowman, and they had everything they needed except the snow. So she called her dad, who lives in Indiana, where they have snow. The plan was to fill a cooler and drive it down, 700 miles, in his pickup truck. "But Dad decided to take the truck and fill it completely with snow," Dyer told WSB-TV. "My neighbors have been stopping to take pictures and wondering how we got snow in our yard."
Looting the loo
Thief finds wrong kind of deposits
A 21-year-old would-be thief planned a bank heist in the French port city of Marseille. His plan was to break into an adjoining building and drill through the wall, right into the room containing safe deposit boxes, a plan not seen since the early days of the Andy Griffith Show. Everything was going pretty well on the getting-through-the-wall thing, reports La Provence, but when he got in, he was surprised to learn he had just broken into the bank's rest room, which contained nothing really valuable at all. Worse for him, even the rest rooms in this bank had alarms, so the cops got there in no time.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.