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Unexpected gift

Mastodon tooth found in donation box

A Michigan charity that collects donated clothing, shoes and other items for low-income residents got a really old cast-off in a donation box: a mastodon tooth. The remains of the extinct relative of the elephant turned up during a July pickup in Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Press reported. The tooth pieces and tusk are estimated to be anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 years old. The Christian charity, called In the Image, turned the find over to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, which is adding them to its collection.

Costume change

Man with Elmo suit is going to jail

Elmo bad. Elmo go to jail. The man known for dressing up in an Elmo costume and harassing New York City tourists with anti-Semitic outbursts was sentenced in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday to a year in jail after admitting that he had tried to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts. Just before sentencing, the man, Dan Sandler, 49, of Ashland Ore., told Judge Robert Stolz that he was not remorseful. In 2008, he bought an Elmo suit for $300 and joined other costumed characters in Times Square and Central Park, charging money to have his picture taken with children. But he soon became known as "Evil Elmo" and "Bad Elmo" for his habit of making obscene rants at passers-by.

Raising a stink

Man uses toilets in zoning rule protest

An Augusta, Maine, man is pooh-poohing the city's decision to nix a Dunkin' Donuts by putting toilets in his yard. David Labbe says a developer wanted to buy his house for top dollar and tear it down to make room for a Dunkin' Donuts. But the deal was scuttled when the planning board, backed by neighbors, refused to change the zoning. To show his contempt, Labbe put five toilets in his yard, which have yellow and pink flowers growing in them. He's now put up a sign saying he wants 60 to 70 more commodes to fully show how he feels. He tells the Kennebec Journal that his neighbors angered him by opposing the zoning change, so he's doing the same to them. Neighbors call Labbe's behavior childish.

Compiled from wire services and other sources.


"Researchers say that 5 million babies have been born through in vitro fertilization in the past 35 years. Of course, it would only be half that amount if you exclude the Octomom."

Jim Barach, political humor blogger,

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