Slow snail mail
Postcard mailed during WWII arrives
A postcard mailed nearly 70 years ago has finally arrived at the former upstate New York home of the couple who sent it. The postcard was sent July 4, 1943, from Rockford, Ill., to sisters Pauline and Theresa Leisenring in Elmira. Their brother, George Leisenring, was stationed at Rockford's Medical Center Barracks at Camp Grant, an Army post during World War II. Their parents were visiting him when they mailed the card home, Elmira's Star-Gazette reports. The postcard reads in part, "Dear Pauline and Theresa, We arrived safe." So did the postcard, belatedly.
The pink slip for store's jolly old elf
British department store chain Debenhams has fired Santa. Saying there are too many guys in red suits and snowy beards, management concluded it was getting too confusing for children. "Of course Father Christmas can only be in one place at one time," a Debenhams spokeswoman told Britain's Daily Telegraph. Some parents, however, told the paper they suspected it was probably a cost-cutting move.
Oh, Christmas tree!
Truck dumps tons of firs in garden
An early seasonal delivery went badly wrong in Austria when a truck dumped 14 tons of Christmas trees in a resident's garden. Police in Vorarlberg state say the accident happened Friday night as the truck's trailer hit a wall in the town of Hohenems, tipped over and landed in the garden of a house. Police said Saturday that the fire service dispatched 30 people to recover the hundreds of fir trees.
Abdullah's big L.A. adventure
A startled camel bolted through the streets of a Los Angeles suburb until circus roustabouts tempted it home with a carrot, witnesses told KABC-TV, Los Angeles. Abdullah outran her keepers at the Ramos Brothers Circus prior to Friday night's performance in Glendale and was running headlong toward a busy intersection before handlers caught up. Abdullah started loping back to the big top but had one more side trip in mind and detoured through a gas station. "People were surprised," said Doug Ramos, one of the Ramos brothers. "It's not every day you see a camel running through the gas station."
Choco-haulics: Thieves with a huge sweet-tooth have driven off with 18 tons of chocolate in Austria. State broadcaster ORF reported the driver of a Slovak semitrailer truck loaded 33 pallets of milk chocolate in Bludenz; but police say his license plates and papers were apparently counterfeit.
Spelling testiment: Oklahoma officials quickly made corrections on a new 2,000-pound, 6-foot-tall Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol. Inscribed in the granite block were "sabbeth" for "Sabbath" and "maidseruent" instead of "maidservant," the Austin American-Statesman reported Saturday.
Compiled from wire services and other sources