Scuba-diving Santa brings holiday cheer to fish, museumgoers
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It's a busy time for Santa Claus, but he's making time to feed some fish in San Francisco. The California Academy of Sciences launched its holiday festivities Thursday by having a scuba diver dressed as St.
Candidate whose missed vote led to tie loses on dice roll
WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (AP) — A city council candidate in northeastern Arkansas whose runoff election ended in a tie after he didn't vote has lost his bid for the seat by a roll of the dice.
Hung without care? Some say tunnel decor is an eyesore
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — The Holland Tunnel between New Jersey and New York City may be in for a makeover after critics called the placement of its holiday decorations a distraction, a possible trigger for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder — and just plain ugly.
89-year-old Alabama woman jailed over messy appliance store
CLANTON, Ala. (AP) — Odean Cleckler, 89, said she has been doing her best to help run her husband's used-appliance business since he died a decade ago.
Customs finds 70 finches in hair rollers
NEW YORK (AP) — Customs officials at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport say they found 70 live finches hidden inside hair rollers.
Crews rescue man stuck in grease vent of empty restaurant
SAN LORENZO, Calif. (AP) — A man who authorities say was possibly trying to burglarize an abandoned Chinese restaurant has been rescued from the grease vent, where officials say he had been trapped for two days.
Man sues after getting finger caught in airplane armrest
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man is suing after he says one of his pinky fingers was caught in an airline armrest mechanism for nearly an hour during a flight to Los Angeles.
In Iceland, 13 'Yule Lads' come to town to herald Christmas
MYVATN, Iceland (AP) — The people of northern Iceland have had their travel plans disrupted with a record high snowfall this December.
Report: 'High-tech' robot on Russian TV was man in suit
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian media say a contraption presented by Russian state television as a high-tech robot was in fact a man in a commercially available robot costume.
Factory mishap paves street with chocolate in Germany
BERLIN (AP) — A street in a western German town got a repaving worthy of fictional candy maker Willy Wonka when a ton of chocolate flowed out of a factory and solidified.
Apparent Grinch on video driving through Christmas display
GREENWOOD, Ind. (AP) — An apparent Grinch was spotted on surveillance video plowing through a Christmas display outside a suburban Indianapolis home and tips are being sought to find the man.
Rat found in vending machine at Florida high school
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Students at a Florida high school found an unwelcome surprise in a vending machine: a rat climbing the rows of packaged snacks and drinks.
Teacher accused of cutting boy's hair pleads not guilty
VISALIA, Calif. (AP) — A California high school teacher pleaded not guilty to several charges of child cruelty and battery after she allegedly forced a haircut on one of her students, authorities said.
Uranus Examiner ends publication, blaming judgmental people
URANUS, Mo. (AP) — The Uranus Examiner, a small Missouri newspaper whose name inspired chuckles and groans when it launched a few months ago, is closing.
Leaping lemur surprises Florida trooper during DUI arrest
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A lemur surprised a Florida Highway Patrol trooper when it crawled from a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck that had been stopped for driving erratically and hitting other cars.
Man yells 'there's no Santa' at Florida holiday event
CAPE CORAL, Fla. (AP) — It wasn't the Grinch who stole Christmas. It was a man who screamed "there's no Santa Claus" over and over during a recent holiday festival in Florida.
Moose rings Alaska home's doorbell
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A moose used the doorbell to awaken a couple in Alaska. The couple thought maybe it was an aftershock or some kids playing a prank when the doorbell rang in their Anchorage home early Wednesday.
Feng shui or in the way? Begrudged boulders won't budge
HALLOWELL, Maine (AP) — A Maine restaurant owner is citing feng shui (fung shway) as a reason not to move boulders outside the building that are in the way of a sidewalk project.
Man, woman drive from Arizona to Wyoming with kids in trunk
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A man and woman admit in court they drove from Arizona to Wyoming with two children in the trunk of their car.
California teacher arrested for forcibly cutting boy's hair
VISALIA, Calif. (AP) — A high school teacher in central California was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment after forcibly cutting the hair of one of her students while singing the national anthem, authorities said.
Arkansas town alderman candidate misses vote, ends up tied
HOXIE, Ark. (AP) — A first-time political candidate in northeast Arkansas has learned a valuable civics lesson: vote early. Cliff Farmer didn't make it to the polls in time to vote Tuesday, and his race for a Hoxie City Council seat ended up as a tie.
Bah, Humbug: Florida neighbors scorn woman over display
HOLLY HILL, Fla. (AP) — A woman has been scorned by her neighbors in a high-rise Florida condo because of a holiday message she spelled out in lights across her balcony.
Quackarazzi: Mandarin duck holds NYC in its spell
NEW YORK (AP) — It took just days for the brightly colored Mandarin duck that appeared suddenly in a Central Park pond to turn both New Yorkers and visitors into a new gaggle: the quackarazzi.
It's now or never pedestrians: German town has Elvis lights
BERLIN (AP) — Keep your blue suede shoes behind the curb: the central German town where Elvis Presley was stationed as a U.S. soldier in the 1950s has installed three pedestrian lights with images of the American rock icon.
New study explains creation of deadly California 'firenado'
REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A rare fire tornado that raged during this summer's deadly Carr Fire in Northern California was created by a combination of scorching weather, erratic winds and an ice-topped cloud that towered miles into the atmosphere, according to a study announced Wednesday.

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