Bizarre News-Vanity License Plates

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - A "VIXEN" and "U2FAT" are helping to fatten state coffers in Ohio. Those are just a couple of the vanity plates that are bringing in $13.5 million for Ohio even during these tough times. More than 400,000 vehicles in the state have the personalized license plates. State regs bar offensive or vulgar tags. But, according to The Canton Repository, some that make it through aren't timid. There's "ADULTOY," "BIGRL," and "CPL4FUN" on Ohio's streets.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A classic car to Bill Wright isn't simply a vintage Corvette or Mustang. He prefers more utilitarian old school rides, like his 1964 Buick Flxible ambulance or his 1953 Henney Packard Junior Hearse. The former wrestling coach began collecting so-called professional cars after he took a part-time job driving a limo to help pay the bills. Now, he lives in Daytona Beach, Fla. He tells the News-Journal he helps to pay for his car collecting hobby by maintaining the hearses for a local funeral home.

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) - All aboard - for dinner. The Fremont Dinner Train offers passengers a trip back in time and a chance to eat. The train makes an 18-mile round trip from Fremont, Neb. Passengers get to watch the countryside go by while they have a five-course meal-by-the mile. Owner Bruce Eveland says they try to evoke a feeling of 1940's including period entertainment. Eveland tells the Fremont Tribune they're thinking of adding a fifth car to the four-car trains. He says the new car would be for dancing. A ride and dinner on the Dinner Train costs $52 on Friday and Saturday nights. There are also less formal and less expensive weekend afternoon trips.

TROUTVILLE, Va. (AP) - Drivers on Virginia's highways still need some relief - and they're turning to the private sector. The state has closed 18 rest areas as a cost-saving measure. That may not be such good news for those on the go - who have to go. But some businesses are benefiting from the closures. Brandon Wheeling is a clerk at the Apple Market off Interstate 81. He says since a rest area closed eight miles to the north, business at his convenience store has jumped as much as 10 percent.

ZIONSVILE, Ind. (AP) - You might call Tom Frampton a fan fanatic. Last week, he opened the Museum of the Antique Fan Collectors Association. The collection is housed in the corporate headquarters of Fanimation, an Indiana company that makes upscale ceiling fans. Frampton is the company president and he owns about a-third of the antique fans on display. For other fan fans, the museum offers a chance to see everything from electric fans, to water-powered fans that date from the early 1880s.

PHOENIX (AP) - The Peace Corps isn't just for 20-something volunteers looking for adventure. Sixty-two-year-old Hazel Powell has decided to leave her comfortable Arizona home for 27 months of hard work in Eastern Europe. The recently retired teacher says she hopes to make a difference in the lives of poor Bulgarian villagers. She's among a growing number of older adults who are volunteering for the Peace Corps. Powell tells the Arizona Republic that after raising two girls, this is the perfect time for her to give back.

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