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Slightly off center . . .


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Slightly off center . . .

Take the money and run

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The driver of a Brinks armored truck apparently took the money and ran. James Parker drove away in the truck — carrying several hundred thousand dollars — after a co-worker left the vehicle to pick up a deposit at a home-improvement store. The truck was found later with the engine running in the Brinks parking lot — but Parker and the cash remain missing. Parker has yet to be found.

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Man makes 3 photocopies of his buttocks

CLAYTON, Mo. — Police arrested a man who allegedly dropped his pants in the crowded lobby of the St. Louis County Courthouse and made photocopies of his buttocks. Police found Daniel Everett holding two copies he had already made. He was making a third. ''What did I do? What did I do?'' witnesses said Everett asked police. Everett, an immature 38, told police that the copies were intended as a practical joke for his girlfriend.

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Harleyville sign makes for popular theft

CHARLESTON, S.C. — In Harleyville, S.C., the town limits sign has disappeared from the same spot for the fourth time in five years. And town officials think they know who has the signs: Harley-Davidson fans. A motorcycle shop owner says swiping Harleyville signs, which have been spotted as far away as Florida, is a point of pride among some bikers. ''I've seen them coming with a beer in one hand and a sign in the other like I'd give them a brownie point or something,'' he said.

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When stealing, don't leave identification

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — A suspected shoplifter was found when, after dropping her purse at the scene of a crime, she called police to claim her bag. The woman allegedly set off an anti-theft alarm as she fled a Family Dollar store. She dropped her purse in an parking lot while being chased. When she went to the police station to retrieve her lost purse, she was promptly arrested.

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Football seats mark man's grave

MOUNT LEBANON, Pa. — Paul Wellener's family found the perfect marker for his grave: two blue plastic seats from the Three Rivers Stadium auction. Wellener, a lifelong football fan and a Pittsburgh Steelers season ticket holder for 42 years, died unexpectedly on March 16. Wellener's son, Paul, and widow, Mary Ann, bought three pairs of stadium seats for $2,100 at an auction — and knew they had found the perfect gravestone.

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Hungry? Try a "Fat in Chocolate"

KIEV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian candy company has begun marketing what may be the stickiest, richest and most fattening treat on the market: pure pork fat covered in chocolate. Cracking open a finger-sized stick of ''Fat in Chocolate'' reveals exactly that: a vein of white fat. The dark chocolate product pokes fun at the traditional Ukrainian snack of salo, or salted pork fat, usually consumed with vodka and pickles.

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This fire truck brought to you by ...

STOCKERTOWN, Pa. — They may not be able to change their tires in less than 20 seconds, but Stockertown's fire department is looking for something decidedly race car-like: sponsorship. The tiny borough of 650 residents bought a fire truck but hasn't been able to scrape enough money to pay for it. So the fire chief and the City Council president dreamed up the idea of selling advertising space on the fire truck. So far, no one has signed on.

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Champion liar tells good, clean story

BURLINGTON, Wis. — Gordon Zwicky's outrageous tale about his trip to Florida earned him top honors in this year's Burlington Liars Club contest. Zwicky, 72, beat out 299 other entries from 31 states and Canada. Zwicky claimed he and his wife, Dorothy, won the lottery and decided to drive to Florida. Their neighbor told them they would be fine as long as they paid attention to the road signs. ''Thirty miles from home they saw a sign stating, 'Clean Restrooms Ahead.' Two months later they arrived in Florida,'' the tale read. By that time, they had cleaned 450 restrooms using 267 rolls of paper towels, three cases of bowl cleaner and 86 bottles of Windex. They were so tired, they immediately left for home.

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Three-legged pooch revives owner

In March, Lowman saved Percy from certain death by adopting him from the local Humane Society as he was recovering from an accident that took his right hind leg and severed his tail.

HOME, Pa. — A three-legged, tailless pooch named Percy might look like a bedraggled Benji, but he's got the heart of Lassie. The terrier-mix's owner, Christina Lowman, 47, credits the small mutt with saving her life after she took a fall on Christmas morning. Lowman said she slipped on an icy ramp outside her home and was knocked out cold. She's not sure how long she lay outside in the 11-degree weather, but she said she could have died if not for Percy. ''When I woke up, the dog was licking my face,'' Lowman said. ''He brought me to by licking my face and barking.''

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Who gets to blow out the candles?

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Expect a big birthday party next year in the Greco household. Suzanne and Michael Greco celebrated their shared birthday Saturday by welcoming their first child, 8-pound, 8-ounce Maxwell Allen Greco. ''We're wondering what the odds are of having the whole family born on the same day,'' said Vicki Greco, Michael's mother. ''It's just amazing.''

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Cop's dummy partner not deductible

SAN FRANCISCO — A police officer whom voters let patrol with a 10-pound wooden dummy partner can't deduct the campaign costs as a business expense, a court said. Robert Geary spent nearly $11,500 of his own money to get the measure on the 1993 ballot, a move designed to counter the brass who ordered the ventriloquist dummy to remain in a locker because they said it made the department look silly. San Francisco voters, though, approved of using the Howdy Doody look-alike, Officer Brendan O'Smarty, to calm children. Now, Geary must pay the Internal Revenue Service $3,500 in back taxes.

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Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

usatoday.com

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