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FORMER WIFE'S ASHES FOUND SAFE AT THRIFT STORE

TURTLE MOVED FAST

Anita Lewis of Elmira, N.Y., took some stuff out to a rummage sale on Saturday morning before her husband woke up. When someone offered her 50 cents for a ceramic turtle - maybe it was worth more, but they couldn't get the lid off - it was sold. It was later that her husband wanted to know where the turtle with his previous wife's ashes was. Uh-oh. "We have lots of turtles," Anita Lewis said, noting that the previous wife collected turtles. "It didn't even register that this was the one (containing the ashes)." After the Elmira Star-Gazette ran a story about the mistake, the paper got a tip to go check out the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. And there it was.

OUCH!

Pencil in brain was likely causing pain

Doctors in Germany weren't positive, but it seemed a better-than-even-money bet that the reason Margaret Wegner has been having chronic headaches and nosebleeds for the past 55 years is the 3-inch chunk of pencil that has been lodged in her head since she was 4. She suffered the injury when she fell while carrying the pencil as a child. "It hurt like crazy," she told the German newspaper Bild, an assertion upon which no one challenged her. But technology did not exist at the time to get it out, so she lived with it until last week. Even after the procedure, less than an inch remains in her brain, but doctors think that part isn't causing her problems.

A WAIT ON TAP

For beer, a delay is deemed acceptable

Some quick thinking averted a near tragedy on a German train Saturday. Fans of the soccer team Bayer Leverkusen were en route to Hamburg for a big German Cup match. A half-hour into the trip - the faint of heart may want to brace for this - the beer tap failed. "In order not to endanger the good mood," according to the police statement, the train stopped at the next station while a taxi rushed over the part necessary to make the beer flow, and no one complained during the 25 minute wait. The beer was more necessary on the way home, as Leverkusen was upset in the first round.

UPDATE

Monkey on lam

Oliver, the monkey that extricated himself from a zoo in Tupelo, Miss., was captured on Monday at Tupelo Stone & Masonry company, six days after his escape. Mike Fair, a motorist who helped lead to the capture, received a reward of a hotel stay, and special tours of the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Tupelo Automobile Museum, all of which he was excited about. He was less thrilled about the case of bananas he gets, too. "I'll just end up giving them to the monkey, I guess."

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

THIS JUST IN

"Fred Thompson is busy defending his much-younger wife. (He) said all criticism of his wife should be directed at him. As a result, conservative groups told Thompson he has been showing too much cleavage."

Conan O'Brien, host of Late Night, about the potential Republican presidential candidate

Up next:EARNINGS

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