Bizarre News-Hot Dog Vendor

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Gene Farmer is battling the recession one hot dog at a time. He figured his love of grilling might generate some bucks out of franks. Now, Farmer has a brand new hot dog stand in the courthouse parking lot in Calhoun County, Ala. He says it's an honest way to make a dollar. He'll fix a frank just about anyway a customer wants. Farmer tells the Anniston Star newspaper his preference is with chili and onions. But what you won't get from him is a burger. Farmer says his cart couldn't handle the grease from grilling hamburgers as required by the local health department.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is going Mini. The department is leasing 17 Mini Cooper electric cars for just 10 bucks a month each. A spokeswoman for the sheriff says part of the deal calls for the department to provide feedback on how the Mini's handle the maxi demands of law enforcement. The trial period also gives the L.A. sheriff a chance to evaluate alternative-fuel vehicles.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - It's one way to get your car out of the police impound lot. Authorities charge Timothy Peare tried to steal a tow truck. According to officers, Peare told them he wanted a way to get his car which had been impounded by police in an eastern Pennsylvania township. Court records show Peare was arrested earlier that same evening on a drunken driving charge. He now faces additional counts including attempt to steal a vehicle and prowling at nighttime.

HOLDREGE, Neb. (AP) - Second-grader Jake Kluver now has his first hole-in-one. His granddad, Bill Patterson, says young Jake sunk his ace on the 126-yard 16th hole at Nebraska's Holdrege Country Club. Jake already has years of experience on the links. He's been golfing since he was three and is a member of the Nebraska Junior Golf Tour. Mom, Michelle, says Jake's ace is even more remarkable considering the boy is all but blind in one eye. She tells the Hastings Tribune her boy's visual impairment is the result of a fishing accident.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Visitors to the Washington Monument had to take the long way down yesterday. An elevator that brings visitors to the top one of Washington's highest points malfunctioned. A National Park Service spokesman says the tourists had to walk down the nearly 900 steps back to street level. But taking the hard way down also gave the visitors a chance to see a little something extra. The inner walls of the Washington Monument have carved memorial stones, commemorating everything from the Ladies of Lowell, Mass., to the New York City Fire Department.

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) - An upscale Southern California squatter gets the ax. Wells Fargo is firing a bank exec after reports she partied and stayed at a bank-owned $12 million beach house, in the exclusive Malibu Colony. The bank says the executive violated company policy. Neighbors complained to the Los Angeles Times the woman and her family were using a house that was supposed to be empty. The previous homeowners had to turn over the 3,800-square-foot house to the bank in May.

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