Bizarre News-09-09-09

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Today's date would make a pretty good poker hand - trip nines. It's 9/9/09. This is a lucky day for fans of the Beatles and iPods. The Beatles' whole re-mastered catalog and a Fab Four-themed video game are being released today. And Apple has a major event planned that many people believe will be used to announce new iPod models. Some think this is a lucky day to get married. So, hotels like the Bellagio in Las Vegas and even a county clerk or two are offering special "9/9/09" wedding prices. A new animated feature film, "9," is also debuting today. It's set in a post-apocalyptic world.

NEEDLES, Calif. (AP) - It's a hot rod road trip. Dave Schaub of Los Gatos, Calif., is trying to drive his 1932 Ford roadster through 49 states in just nine days. He planned to leave California early this morning and figures he can cover about 1,000 miles a day. The custom Ford street rod has the power do it, with a souped-up engine under the hood. Schaub is a former Army drill instructor, who's raising money for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. Families stay there while their children receive medical care at area hospitals. Schaub is asking people to donate a penny mile as he crosses the country. Schaub adds that his wife thinks he's crazy.

PHOENIX (AP) - Danny Ray Hardesty may be high on religion, but he won't be able to use pot as a sacrament. The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled he can't use a freedom of religion argument to overturn his conviction for possessing marijuana while driving. Hardesty claims he belongs to a church that allows people to establish their own modes of worship. Hardesty contented he should be entitled use pot just as peyote is used in Native American sacramental rites. But the state Supreme Court has ruled that argument was just blowing legal smoke.

WAUSEON, Ohio (AP) - A northwest Ohio judge is making a fashion statement. He's ordering neon green T-shirts for some offenders doing community service. Those shirts say "I'm a thief." Judge Jeff Robinson in Fulton County says that very public punishment can act as a deterrent. The Toledo Blade reports he's mostly ordered the shirts for convicted shoplifters. At least one defendant wanted to pay a stiffer fine instead.

MASON, Ohio (AP) - Bob Shoudt might not want to see another plate of chili spaghetti for a while. He wins a Cincinnati-style chili-on-spaghetti eating contest, by downing 13 pounds, 9 ounces in just 10 minutes. The Labor Day chow-down took place at Kings Island amusement park near Cincinnati. Shoudt says he prepared with a liquids-only fast beginning Saturday evening. Shoudt wins $2,500 with his gut-busting effort. After his more than 13 pounds of chili spaghetti, Shoudt said he was off to ride a few roller coasters with his son.

NEW HARMONY, Ind. (AP) - A giant zucchini is fetching some heavy green. Sally Roth put her monster veggie up for auction on e-Bay. She wants to help in the fund-raising effort to repair the town clock in New Harmony, Ind. Well, the winning bid is 510 bucks for the zucchini that's about the size of a Wiffle ball bat. That might be a lot for a vegetable, but the clock-lovers will need a lot more. Estimates for repair of the clock run about 12-grand.

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