No streets of gold
Beverly hills banishes its ambassador
Just how bad is the economy these days? So bad that Beverly Hills, Calif., laid off its ambassador: Gregg Donovan, the jovial, stentorian-voiced actor who has spent much of the past dozen years in top hat and tails bellowing in dozens of languages, "Welcome to Beverly Hills! You have arrived." Donovan says he got the word last month from his bosses at the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau that they could no longer afford him. "How could they do that?" asked CNN's Larry King. "He's a Beverly Hills institution."
Not road kilL
A run-in with raccoon so foul
A raccoon ended a North Dakota team's bid for a fourth consecutive regional championship in high school wrestling. Grafton police Sgt. Anthony Dumas says the team picked up what members thought was a dead raccoon on the way to the tournament and stowed it in the storage area of their bus. Dumas says when the compartment was opened, the raccoon "just trotted away." It didn't scratch or bite anyone, but the exposure was enough to get the Carrington High School team pulled from Saturday's tourney, the Grand Forks Herald reports.
Fear factor on Iran television
Iran's broadcasting authority has banned state TV channels from showing cooking programs that present recipes for foreign cuisine such as Italian and French. A state-owned news website reported Saturday that the deputy head of Iran's state broadcasting company, Ali Darabi, announced the ban during a visit to one of the 30 state-run TV channels.
The love bomb
Bomb threat keeps her man home
People are capable of doing many things for love. What Grace Guajardo did forced the evacuation of more than 300 people from a plane just before takeoff in Santiago. "I'm sorry, but I did it for love," Guajardo said Monday after she was charged with making a false bomb threat. Her man, Rodrigo Gomez, had already boarded Iberia Flight 6830 for Madrid on Sunday, on the way to a months-long job as a cruise ship waiter. Desperate to see him, Grace called the airport from her cell phone. She did succeed in getting him to stay in Chile. "What she needs is love, nothing more," he said.
Creating a stink
Suspicious toilet did not explode
A suspicious toilet bearing a cell phone and a transmitter was discovered Monday on a sidewalk outside a local government building in Towson, Md., police say. A hazardous device team, a bomb sniffing dog and crime lab personnel were summoned to investigate, but authorities say it proved harmless and didn't contain an explosive device.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources