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Off the Wire
August 21  |  By Debra Klein Special To The Washington Post
Muppet personal ads found on Ashley Madison Now that hackers have released data on Ashley Madison's customers, the news of Kermit and Miss Piggy's breakup is less surprising. They and other Muppets have had profiles on the popular dating site for months. A sampling:

I've had it with the "dreaming" and all the other rainbow-contemplating B.S. Not my tempo. I need a doer with four feet on the ground for public appearances and some shopping. Prefer bottom-wearer. Paws, fine. Constricting snakes okay. No...

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August 19  |  Associated Press
Mayor seeks ban on personal flamethrowers DETROIT — A suburban Detroit official is trying to extinguish the use of personal flamethrowers, which are being sold online by two Midwest companies, in his city.

The companies, located in the Detroit area and Cleveland, claim their devices can be used for recreation or to control weeds and insect hives, clear snow and ice, clear brush and start a bonfire.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts calls the proposed uses "pretty specious" and...

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August 18  |  By Kimberlee Kruesi Associated Press
Idaho replaces mile marker 420 with 419.9 to thwart stoners BOISE, Idaho — If you’re looking for milepost 420, you won’t find it in Idaho.

Idaho transportation officials say the mile marker has been replaced with 419.9 signs to curb thieves eager to own a number associated with marijuana enthusiasts.

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August 18  |  
SISTERS, Ore. — A 26-year-old cat in Oregon has been named the oldest living cat by Guinness World Records.The cat named Corduroy is owned by a family in the central Oregon city of Sisters. His owner, Ashley Reed Okura, has had him since he was a kitten and she was 7.

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August 12  |  Associated Press
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Police say a 22-year-old woman accused of shoplifting arrived in style at a mall in southeastern Minnesota.Authorities say a limousine driver who took the woman to the Apache Mall in Rochester on Monday helped police to find her.Lt. Jim Evenson tells the Post-Bulletin that the woman stole about $300 in merchandise from a sporting goods store then fought with security officers before running away.

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July 31  |  By Richard Vines Bloomberg News
Cocktail fans in London will want to take a deep breath when they enter a pop-up bar that opens Thursday, July 28 on the site of an ancient monastery in Borough.

Alcoholic Architecture features a walk-in cloud of cocktail composed of fine spirits and mixer at a ratio of 1:3. It's made using powerful humidifiers to super-saturate the air. Alcohol enters the bloodstream mainly through the lungs but also the eyeballs. Guests are advised to "breathe...

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July 29  |  By Brady McCombs Associated Press
‘Book of Mormon’ comes to Utah SALT LAKE CITY — The biting satirical musical that mocks Mormons received a rousing reception in its first-ever showing in the heart of Mormon country, kicking off a sold-out, two-week run at a Salt Lake City theater.

The audience cheered wildly Tuesday as the Tony Award-winning "The Book of Mormon" began, with the show's gleefully naive missionaries singing in front of a backdrop of the Salt Lake City skyline and Mormon temple that resembles the real...

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July 21  |  Associated Press
LONDON — A British lawmaker is defending claiming 9 pence ($0.14) on expenses for a short car journey, saying such claims may look “odd” but the mileage adds up.Conservative lawmaker Rob Wilson said the 352-yard journey in March 2014 was a “constituency engagement.” He also made several other small claims for short journeys, including 13 pence for a trip in his car to attend a business meeting.

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July 20  |  By Hayley Tsukayama and Wilborn P. Nobles III The Washington Post
AshleyMadison, the dating website designed for those who want a little extramarital action, was hacked over the weekend by a group that threatened to release the personal information of its estimated 37 million users — unless the site took itself offline.The hackers claimed to have a bevy of personal data on those customers, including their “secret sexual fantasies,” according to KrebsOnSecurity, which was first to report the breach.

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July 19  |  By Verena Dobnik Associated Press
First-class airport terminal ... for critters NEW YORK — Jet-setting stallions and high-flying hounds at New York’s Kennedy Airport can look forward to a new luxury terminal that will handle the more than 70,000 animals flying in and out every year.

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July 15  |  The Washington Post
50-million-year-old sperm found, by accident Benjamin Bomfleur can't help but laugh a little when talking about this latest, record-setting discovery.

"A 50-million-year-old worm sperm from Antarctica?" he said between chuckles. "Who would have thought that's possible?"

And yet, what Bomfleur, of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and other researchers stumbled upon was a serious discovery: the oldest animal sperm ever found.

As it goes with many great discoveries,...

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July 11  |  Associated Press
$1 million reward for Judy Garland slippers GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — An anonymous donor has offered a $1 million reward for credible information leading to the pair of Judy Garland's sequined, ruby red slippers stolen from a museum in her Minnesota hometown.

The late actress wore the slippers in "The Wizard of Oz." Three other pairs still exist, including one on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids,...

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June 17  |  The Washington Post
Cue Siri to play Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On.”New features on Apple’s pre-installed “Health” app will allow users to track their sexual activity, namely whether or not they used protection and the time of day they had sex.

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June 11  |  Justin Wm. Moyer The Washington Post
PornHub crowdfunds for space sex tape About half a century ago, humankind — inspired as much by Cold War geopolitics as the desire to go where no one has gone before — set its sights on that most distant horizon: space, the final frontier.

About 50 years in, that most distant horizon seems as far away as ever. Sure, we put satellites in orbit and sent men to the moon. But as NASA faces budget cuts and private corporations jockey for position in what's now called the "space industry,"...

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June 7  |  Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — New advertisements outside Little Darlings strip club in Las Vegas encourage recent high school graduates to apply, promoting stripping as a way to earn money for college.

KVVU-TV reports that Little Darlings manager Rick Marzullo says the ads fit in with the character of Las Vegas.

The signs have slogans like "Now auditioning the class of 2015" and "Pay your way through college."

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June 4  |  Associated Press
WOODSTOCK, Ill. — A suburban Chicago man who says he always wanted to know what it is like to smash through a garage door now knows the feeling.

Walter Thomas, 91, of Woodstock, was able to slam an SUV through a garage door with his family's help.

The garage was slated to be torn down, so Thomas' action was of no consequence. The SUV was donated. It was then up to Thomas to back it through the garage door and check that activity off his bucket list.

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May 30  |  Associated Press
Animal control mistakes toy for tiger GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An animal control worker in Michigan was convinced he was looking at a young tiger lying in a driveway, so he approached with care. He grabbed a pole and a shield, and called police.

Turns out, it was a stuffed animal.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that Kent County Animal Control received a call Thursday about a tiger in the driveway of a vacant Grand Rapids home.

Supervisor Joe Dainelis responded to the call, and when he...

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May 14  |  Associated Press
BREMERTON — Conversations at one Bremerton city councilor’s dinner table may be a little tense, as his wife has announced plans to run for his seat.The Kitsap Sun reports that Bremerton City Councilor for District 6 Roy Runyon filed Wednesday to run for re-election. His wife Kim Faulkner also filed.Runyon says he was surprised his wife was interested in running, but said as a taxpayer and citizen she has the right to run.

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May 12  |  Associated Press
Man arrested after ‘liking’ mug shot on Facebook posts bond
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Montana man who was arrested after “liking” his mug shot on a Crimestoppers Facebook page has posted bond in a felony forgery case.Levi Charles Reardon of Great Falls was arrested on April 24, three weeks after an acquaintance pointed out his picture on the Great Falls/Cascade County Crimestoppers Facebook page and Reardon liked it.

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May 12  |  Associated Press
Sea lion pup startles yachtsman with snoring, sneezing
SAN DIEGO — A surprising stowaway startled a man out on his boat in San Diego: A sea lion pup who decided to crash in a berth, waking the owner with his snoring.Michael Duffy, 48, said he was on his 41-foot Kettenburg sailboat “Elixir” at the San Diego Yacht Club when he awoke at 2:30 a.m. Sunday to sneezing and snoring.He thought it might be a friend, crashing from a night out, but couldn’t find anyone. Once it got light a few hours later, however, he heard it again.

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May 7  |  Associated Press
Mom with 12 sons is expecting ROCKFORD, Mich. — A western Michigan couple with 12 sons are waiting to find out whether baby No. 13 keeps the streak going.

Jay and Kateri Schwandt's baby is due Saturday, the day before Mother's Day. They're sticking to their tradition of not finding out in advance whether they're having a boy or girl.

They said they'd be shocked if the baby is a girl.

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April 26  |  Associated Press
MOSCOW — A court in southern Russia has sentenced three young women to brief jail terms for making a video showing them twerking next to a World War II memorial.Russia celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Allies’ victory in the World War II next month, an emotionally charged holiday the Kremlin has been using for propaganda purposes.

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April 2  |  Associated Press
Too much iced tea caused kidney woes
NEW YORK — Doctors traced an Arkansas man’s kidney failure to an unusual cause — his habit of drinking a gallon of iced tea each day.They ruled out several potential causes before stumbling on a reason for the 56-year-old man’s kidney problems. He said he drank about 16 8-ounce cups of iced tea every day. Black tea has a chemical known to cause kidney stones or even kidney failure in excessive amounts.

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April 1  |  By Erin C.J. Robertson The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Looks like the marijuana lobby is in need of a fresh face to front its lobbying effort on the Hill.The National Cannabis Industry Association wants Congress to see pot smokers as respectable professionals, not stoned slackers, so they relieved “Cheech and Chong” actor Tommy Chong of his scheduled gig as the group’s chief marijuana activist on an upcoming Hill visit.

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March 31  |  Associated Press
POST FALLS, Idaho — Police say a northern Idaho man called 911 a dozen times to report being overcharged at a bar and now faces a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.Post Falls police Capt. Pat Knight says an officer gave Phillip Poissonnier of Post Falls a ride home after he was kicked out of Club Tequila just after 1 a.m. Monday.Knight told Spokane television station KXLY that Poissonnier then made 12 emergency calls, the first wanting officers to come back to discuss his bar tab.

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March 19  |  By Clint Davis Scripps National Desk
Charging for spells unethical, witch says People who practice witchcraft have been called many things over the years — add "principled" to the list.

A writer for The Daily Dot recently felt backlash from the online witching community after hiring a witch on the Web to cast a spell in aid of their marriage. According to a story on the news website, the writer was taken to task by one commenter, claiming to be a witch herself.

"That was probably the dumbest thing you could have...

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March 12  |  Associated Press
Archaeologists find centuries-old pretzels BERLIN — Archaeologists say two pretzels unearthed during a dig on the banks of the Danube in the German city of Regensburg could be more than 300 years old — and are little different to the doughy product available in the state's famous beer halls today.

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March 6  |  
Home pelted by eggs; cops can't crack case EUCLID, Ohio -- An 85-year-old man says his suburban Cleveland home has been pelted with eggs several times a week for a year, and police haven't been able to crack the unusual case despite stakeouts, questioning neighbors, installing a surveillance camera and even testing eggshells as evidence.

The homeowner and Euclid police suspect the eggs are launched a block or two away, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.


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March 4  |  Associated Press
VANCOUVER, Wash. — An entire class of first-graders at a Vancouver elementary school missed their bus because their teacher lost track of time.One mother, Melanie Smart, told KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon, that her heart stopped Monday when her son didn’t get off the bus, then she was notified to pick him up at Salmon Creek Elementary School. She says she had to get a cab.The school says it was an honest mistake and it does not plan to discipline the teacher for the error.

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