Bizarre News-Wolf Man

ALBION, Mich. (AP) - Wayne Bond isn't just the big man on campus -- he's the big wolf man on campus. Bond is a senior biology major at Albion College in Michigan. He plays center on the basketball team. But over the summer he got a different sort of thrill, working with wolves at an Indiana animal park. He says he enjoyed giving the wolves a workout by having them chase his car while feeding them meatballs.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The issue of the middle finger salute will be in a Pittsburgh federal court today. David Hackbart is suing over his arrest in April of 2006 for disorderly conduct. He flipped the bird at another driver, then made the gesture again when he heard someone yelling at him. That second person was a police officer. A judge later tossed out the charges, ruling that giving the finger is protected by the Constitution. Jurors will now determine if Hackbart is entitled to damages for his arrest. The American Civil Liberties Union contends city police officers aren't properly trained on free speech -- or finger -- issues.

LANE, Okla. (AP) - Imagine running your car on watermelons. And your carburetor wouldn't have to spit out the seeds either. Researchers at a Department of Agriculture lab in Lane, Okla., are working on a way to create ethanol from watermelons. But don't expect to shove a fat melon into your gas tank. Watermelons unfit for market would be fermented to produce ethanol, a form of alcohol that can be mixed with gasoline. But the researchers say cost is a major hurdle. The big melons are expensive to transport. So, the scientists are working on mobile fermenters that could be taken right to the farm.

HOUSTON (AP) - Playing video games for college credit? It's more than a dream for students at the University of Houston. Students are now able to earn an hour of credit for playing Wii (wee) sports games. It's the same credit they would get for traditional classes like basketball, soccer or weight lifting. Instructor Ben Hoffman says his students must log between 20 and 30 minutes per class -- and there's no cheating. The Nintendo Wii console records just how much time each student spends doing the high tech workout.

SYDNEY (AP) - Roz Savage is taking an ocean cruise -- the hard way. The British environmentalist is trying to become the first woman to row alone across the Pacific Ocean. She's completed the second leg of her journey, arriving safely in the tiny South Pacific nation of Kiribati. It's the first time she's set foot on dry land in more than three months. Savage began her voyage in San Francisco in May 25 of last year and rowed 2,900 miles over 99 days to Hawaii. She hopes to complete her marathon row by reaching Australia next year. Savage says she wants to raise awareness about plastic garbage in the ocean.

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) - Cricket spitting must run in the family. Brian Johnsrud spat a thawed cricket 22 feet, 8 inches at the Central Wisconsin State Fair over the weekend. Minutes later, son Jared won the 9-to-11 age division, with a shot that went 10 feet, 5 inches. Dad says the key is to pick the biggest cricket and take a deep breath. One other word of advice -- don't swallow the bug. Father and son say they'll be back next year to defend their cricket-spitting titles.

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