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April 21  |  By Stacy St. Clair Chicago Tribune
A new study by the University of Colorado at Boulder ranks Chicago as America’s funniest city, beating out laugh riots Boston and Atlanta to claim the top spot. Researchers hailed Chicagoans for their witty banter and observational humor, specifically citing the local penchant for poking fun at the brutal weather and the Chicago Transit Authority.

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April 16  |  Los Angeles Times
Sriracha maker mulls a move LOS ANGELES -- After a months-long battle with the city of Irwindale over complaints about a spicy odor, Sriracha sauce creator David Tran said Wednesday he is now seriously considering moving his factory to another location.

Tran responded Wednesday to the politicians and business leaders from 10 states and multiple cities in California that have offered to host the Sriracha factory. He invited them to tour the facility in Irwindale, east of...

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April 9  |  Associated Press
Last Corvette pulled from sinkhole The mangled remains of a powerful Corvette — barely recognizable to its former owner — were pulled from the depths of a sinkhole at a Kentucky museum Wednesday, completing weeks of painstaking work to retrieve eight classic cars that were gobbled up by the gaping hole.

The 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette was buried in dirt and rocks, deep beneath the surface of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. The mood was somber as...

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April 7  |  Associated Press
NORTH READING, Mass. — Police in Massachusetts responding to reports of an intruder in a woman’s home quickly quacked the case.

A North Reading woman called police Saturday from her upstairs bedroom to report that she heard loud banging noises downstairs and feared someone had broken into her home.

Officers who responded found no sign of a break-in.

But during a quick search of the home, police found a soot-covered wood duck.


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April 4  |  Associated Press
Broken ATM spews out $37,000 SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A malfunctioning ATM at a bank in Maine has dispensed $37,000 in cash to a man who requested $140.

South Portland police say they responded to the TD Bank branch Thursday morning after getting a call from a woman who said a man was spending an unusual amount of time at the ATM she was waiting to use. Officers found the man stuffing cash into a shopping bag.

The money was...

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April 2  |  Associated Press
Willie Nelson gets his armadillo back HENDERSON, Nev. — A stuffed armadillo that serves as an on-stage mascot for country music legend Willie Nelson has been returned after being kidnapped from a Las Vegas-area show.

Officials at the Westin Lake Las Vegas resort in Henderson say the critter, named Ol' Dillo, vanished while audience members were greeting Nelson after a Monday night concert.

Westin marketing director Matt Boland says...

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March 19  |  Associated Press
When gun tattoos are outlawed ... NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — Police armed with assault rifles descended on a Maine man’s home after members of a tree removal crew he’d told to clear off his property reported that he had a gun.

Turns out the "gun" the tree crew had seen on Michael Smith of Norridgewock was just a life-sized tattoo of a handgun on his stomach.

Smith, who works nights, was asleep when the tree crew contracted by a utility to trim branches near power lines,...

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March 14  |  Associated Press
Woman teed off at Playboy over buttocks shot LOS ANGELES — A woman is suing Playboy Enterprises, claiming she was hurt when an employee whacked her in the buttocks with a golf club during a Southern California event.

City News Service said Elizabeth Dickson has filed a battery and negligence suit in Los Angeles against the company and Kevin Klein, co-host of a Playboy radio show.

Dickson claims that she was helping host the Playboy Golf Finals in the city of Industry in 2012 when she agreed to be...

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March 9  |  By Brady McCombs Associated Press
Utah polygamous family says going on TV liberating
SALT LAKE CITY — The newest Utah polygamous family featured in a reality TV show says sharing their story with a wide audience has been liberating.Brady Williams and his five wives were a bit apprehensive ahead of the airing of a pilot episode in September, but they said this week an interview with The Associated Press that it felt liberating to be open about who they are and what they believe.

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March 6  |  Associated Press
Bacon? There's an app for that MADISON, Wis. — Want to wake up to the sound of bacon sizzling on the stove with its aroma drawing you out of bed?

There's an app for that.

Oscar Mayer says it has created a bacon-scented app for the iPhone, developed by the Madison-based company's Institute for the Advancement of Bacon.

The company says that to emit a small puff reminiscent of bacon, the user needs...

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March 4  |  Associated Press
N.J. teen suing parents won't get immediate support MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A northern New Jersey honor student who says her parents kicked her out of the house when she turned 18 is now suing them, asking a court to make them support her and pay for her college.

A judge in Morristown on Tuesday ruled against immediately forcing Rachel Canning's parents to pay her $650 weekly child support and pay for her remaining year of high school tuition, as she requested in a lawsuit filed last week. Judge...

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March 3  |  Associated Press
PORT ANGELES — The phones were ringing off the hook at Gordy’s Pizza & Pasta in Port Angeles last Wednesday, but the callers weren’t looking for the eatery’s signature fettucine.They were trying to vote for their favorite singing contestants on the hit Fox TV show “American Idol.”

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February 26  |  
University of Utah levels pot igloo SALT LAKE CITY — Four University of Utah students could face disciplinary measures after a campus security guard said they were smoking marijuana in an igloo.

Sgt. Garth Smith said the well-camouflaged hideaway was found by a passing guard Jan. 31 in the woods between campus housing and Research Park.

Smith said the igloo was about five feet tall and had walls of snow about 10 inches thick. He said...

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February 20  |  Associated Press
Stolen '57 Chevy back after 30 years LAKEPORT, Calif. — Three decades after it was stolen, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air has been returned to a Northern California man — in better shape than when he originally owned it.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports Ian "Skip" Wilson was shocked to get a call from the California Highway Patrol informing him that his long-lost Chevy was taken off an Australia-bound cargo ship.

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February 20  |  Associated Press
Reindeer get fluorescent antlers HELSINKI — Rudolph the reindeer is having a glittering antler makeover — the latest attempt to halt some of the thousands of road deaths of the roaming caribou in the wilds of Finland.

Anne Ollila of the Reindeer Herder’s Association said the antlers of 20 reindeer have been painted with fluorescent dyes to see how the animals react and whether the paints are resistant to the Arctic climate.

If successful, animals with glittering antlers will...

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February 15  |  By Martin Griffith Associated Press
Officials at a downtown Las Vegas casino say about 550 singles took part in an attempt Friday night to hold the world’s largest speed-dating event.While that’s more than the 484-person record listed by Guinness World Records, organizers said they are still uncertain whether enough singles stayed for the entire “D Date-a-Thon” Valentine’s Day event to qualify it for the record books.

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February 14  |  Associated Press
Runaway snowball damages dorm PORTLAND — Two math majors at Reed College lost control of a massive snowball that rolled into a dorm, knocking in part of a bedroom wall.

No one was injured.

The students began making the snowball last week during a rare snowstorm in Portland, Ore.

Nobody weighed it, but college spokesman Kevin Myers says it was estimated to weigh 800 pounds or more.

The students responsible for the runaway snowball reported the incident and have...

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February 13  |  
Crime scene 'selfie' leads to arrest CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Authorities say it was a "selfie" that led detectives to a suspect in the burglary of a Southern California church.

U-T San Diego reports (http://bit.ly/1aWqsTH ) detectives found a phone at the crime scene in Chula Vista, where a laptop, cash, watches and other items were stolen.

On the phone was a photo the suspect had apparently snapped of...

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February 12  |  Associated Press
Ohio mom who loathed name can change it to Sexy
NEWARK, Ohio — A central Ohio woman who loathed being named Sheila and wanted a moniker that reflects her personality has legally changed her first name to Sexy.A Licking County judge on Tuesday approved the request from the 41-year-old Pataskala woman formerly named Sheila Ranea Crabtree.

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February 11  |  Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles newscaster apologized to Samuel L. Jackson on Monday for confusing him with fellow actor Laurence Fishburne during a live TV interview.

KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin was interviewing Jackson on Monday morning about the film "RoboCop" when he asked the actor if he’d gotten a lot of reaction to his recent Super Bowl commercial.

When Jackson asked, "What Super Bowl commercial?" Rubin realized...

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February 10  |  Associated Press
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Some Central Michigan University students are getting schooled in the undead this semester, thanks to a religion course that’s exploring apocalyptic themes in biblical texts, literature and pop culture.Philosophy and religion faculty member Kelly Murphy says she always wanted to teach a course on apocalyptic literature, and she is a fan of AMC’s TV show “The Walking Dead.” The result is Murphy’s class, which is called “From Revelation to ‘The Walking Dead.’”

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February 6  |  Associated Press
PETA member wants chicken memorial GAINESVILLE, Ga. — An animal rights advocate wants to place a roadside memorial to remember several chickens killed in a highway wreck.

A member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed an application for the memorial Wednesday with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/1dsLrs1) that, if...

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February 5  |  Associated Press
CHINA, Maine — Police responding to reports of screaming coming from a home in Maine didn’t find a victim of domestic violence as they feared. Instead, they found an amorous pig.

State police say a woman called last week after hearing what she believed to be a fight coming from a neighbor’s home in the town of China. The caller said she heard screaming and thought there was a domestic assault.

The Morning Sentinel (

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February 4  |  By Steven R. Hurst and Nataliya Vasilyeva Associated Press
Putin, Persian leopard paired in photo-op
SOCHI, Russia — Stroking a Persian leopard sprawled on his lap, tough-guy President Vladimir Putin showed his softer side Thursday as he prepared to welcome the world to his budget-busting Winter Olympics that open later this week.

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February 1  |  Associated Press
Drone beer delivery put on ice MILWAUKEE — A craft brewer still has hopes of one day using drones to deliver its lager to ice fishing anglers on Minnesota lakes by air, despite being grounded by federal aviation officials after a recent test run.

Lakemaid Beer recently tested its delivery system by flying a 12-pack of its brew to anglers on central Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs. A video of the experiment posted online showed a small unmanned aerial system, or drone, not much bigger than the...

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January 30  |  
Shelter gets 'Meatball,' a 36-pound cat PHOENIX — An Arizona animal shelter has a rather large cat on its hands.

The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control recently received a 36-pound cat at one of its shelters in the Phoenix area.

The cat named "Meatball" is temporarily staying in an office at the shelter because he's too large to fit into a standard kennel.

The cat is not available for adoption.

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January 28  |  By Jan Hefler The Philadelphia Inquirer
FORKED RIVER, N.J. — So if you really want to know who is going to win Super Bowl XLVIII, you may want to check in with Chaco the Screaming Hairy Armadillo or Fred the Psychic Bunny, because Princess the Camel is no more.Princess, who accurately predicted six of the last seven Super Bowl champs, died Jan. 14 at Popcorn Park Zoo in this Pinelands community near Barnegat Bay.

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January 24  |  Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Residents in the nation’s northernmost city are about ready for some sunglasses.KTVA reports Barrow had its first sunrise this week in 68 days.That happened Wednesday, when the sun came up at 1:28 p.m. and stayed out for 23 minutes. That was the first sunrise there since Nov. 18.It’s all uphill from there. Barrow residents enjoyed 78 minutes of light Thursday.

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January 21  |  Associated Press
MANITOWOC, Wis. — A Wisconsin man who became lodged in the windshield of a car that struck him said he turned to the driver and said, “Hello, I’m the guy you hit on the bicycle.”The driver did not respond, but continued on, running a stop sign and hitting another vehicle before he arrived home, the cyclist, Steven Gove, told HTR Media about the Saturday incident.The man finally noticed Gove when he stopped the car outside his home.

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January 19  |  By Fu Ting Associated Press
China falls in love with Sherlock Holmes
SHANGHAI — Zhou Yeling dragged herself out of bed at 5 a.m. for a long-awaited date with her favorite Englishman — Sherlock Holmes.Zhou, 19, watched the third season premiere of the BBC’s “Sherlock” on Jan. 2 on the British broadcaster’s website. Two hours later, the episode started showing with Chinese subtitles on Youku.com, a video website. Youku says it was viewed more than 5 million times in the first 24 hours, becoming the site’s most popular program to date.

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