Washington troopers say, No, Diego, No!
Diego was a model passenger, sitting quietly with seat belt buckled, never fidgeting. But it was the huge, unblinking eyes that made a Washington state trooper suspicious. The State Patrol says troopers were stationed recently along an Interstate 405 on-ramp, pulling over people who were driving in the high occupancy lane with only one person in the car. That's when the odd "passenger" drew one trooper's notice. The patrol says the trooper stopped the car and found the driver had placed a stuffed Diego doll from the Nickelodeon children's show Go, Diego, Go! in the front passenger seat. The unidentified driver said he was late for work so he drove off with his daughter's doll so he could use the HOV lane. The driver was cited for the HOV lane violation.
the end is near
Billboard serves as timely reminder
Save the date: Jesus is coming on May 21, 2011. At least, that's according to organizers of a billboard campaign slated to hit metro Atlanta next week. Allison Warden of Raleigh, N.C.-based WeCanKnow.com said the Christian website plans to place 50 billboards in the metro area proclaiming the rapture and Jesus' imminent return, based on analysis of Scripture and biblical genealogy. The billboards, also up in places like Nashville, Detroit and Omaha, Neb., show three wise men on camels and the star of Bethlehem with the message: "He is coming again."
A babe in vending machine toyland
Authorities say a 2-year-old girl spent 15 minutes stuck inside a toy crane vending machine in a Pittsburgh-area mall. Moon Run fire Chief Paul Kashmer told WPXI-TV the girl didn't seem upset by the ordeal in the food court at the Mall of Robinson in Robinson Township. He said firefighters arrived to find "the cutest little girl in a pink outfit sucking her binky inside with the other toys." The girl apparently climbed up the chute into which the coin-operated crane drops prizes. Kashmer used a tool to pry open a door on the machine to reach the girl.
Cowboy lassoes runaway reindeer
A cowboy on horseback lassoed a runaway reindeer that escaped, not from Santa, but from a California Christmas tree lot. The 9-year-old reindeer was on the lam for 2½ hours, scampering through busy Santa Maria streets, strawberry fields and residential areas. Rancher Bob Acquistapace, riding a horse and wearing a cowboy hat, boots and spurs, finally got a rope over the reindeer's head and tied the exhausted animal to a lamppost. The reindeer was eventually loaded into a trailer. It escaped from the Hopper Bros. Christmas tree lot at the Santa Maria Fairpark. Acquistapace, who is married to a Fairpark employee, happened to be at a nearby ranch with his horse.
Compiled from Times wires.