Bizarre News-Model Exodus

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The view at South Beach isn't as beautiful as it used to be. The models are leaving. Miami Beach, Fla., had been a center of the fashion industry in the 1990s. Photo shoots were a comparative bargain on South Beach back then. But rising costs and the slumping economy have put a big dent in the fashion scene. "For Rent" signs now dot the windows of many of the offices that used house model agencies. One former model says she now works as an exercise physiologist at a local hospital.

HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) - A drive off Lover's Leap has a happy ending. Two western Illinois women were doing some sightseeing when they mistakenly drove through a wooden guard rail and over a 30 foot cliff. The accident happened near Hannibal, Mo., but police report the car was stopped by a tree. Neither of the women suffered serious injury. Seventy-eight-year-old Ruth Hart and 67-year-old Nancy Strohl say they're lucky to be alive. Hart says she wanted to show her friend the dramatic view. But Hart says she accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Hitting the streets is paying off for a couple of new college grads. Sean Christman and Andrew O'Malley passed out resumes at a highway off-ramp in Philadelphia. Now, both have landed jobs in the financial services industry. Traditional job hunting didn't pay off for the friends. So, they put on suits twice this summer and gave out resumes during rush hour. While the stunt didn't lead directly to jobs, Christman says their roadside resumes helped to distinguish them from the pack.

LINWOOD, Mich. (AP) - Pickle lovers are in for a "peck" of a party this weekend. The 33rd annual National Pickle Festival kicks off today in Linwood, Mich. Fans of pickled cucumbers will get to enjoy a Pickle Pageant tonight, followed by a teen dance. Tomorrow, there's the town parade and fireworks at dusk. But eating all those salty pickles might make a pickle-lover thirsty. So, four bucks buys access to the beer tent for all three days.

ST. MEINRAD, Ind. (AP) - The Kentucky State Fair offers rides, concerts and even caskets. Among the vendors displaying products at this year's fair is a company called Abbey Caskets. The firm will be showing coffins and urns made from native hardwoods like oak, cherry and walnut. The Evansville Courier & Press reports Abbey Caskets sells its product directly to the public. Company staff members will be on hand to answer questions from fair-goers.

LA PLATA, Md. (AP) - A Maryland judge isn't feeling a little flat -- after letting air out of tire in a parking dispute. Charles County Judge Robert C. Nalley admits he deflated a tire on a car parked in a restricted area near his courthouse. He's not apologizing. Nalley tells WUSA-TV he took the action because leaving notes for those parked illegally isn't effective. Police are investigating. The owner of the car works part-time at the courthouse as part of a cleaning crew. She says she didn't know she was parking illegally and never found any warning notes.

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