Bizarre News-Stinky Trees

UNDATED (AP) - Something stinks in Washington -- and it has nothing to do with politics. The culprit is the ginkgo tree. The tree is popular in urban areas because of its hardiness. A few even survived an atomic bomb blast. But the ginkgo has a downside -- the smell. Some people say the ginkgo stinko is something like rotten eggs or even vomit. Iowa City is ripping out its ginkgo trees. But in Washington, the female trees are being replaced by males. The experts note its the large seeds produced by the female ginkgo that produce the odor.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Clerks at one Iowa convenience store are quick to give up the cash. Police in Waterloo report workers at Five Star Snacks and More threw money at man, fearing they were being robbed. But it was no stick-up. Police say the man was drunk, rambling and had his hand in his pocket. Police Capt. John Beckman says the clerks put money in a bag and threw it at the man. But the non-robber just left the cash and walked out. The place has been robbed twice in recent months. The man mistaken for a crook is in a bit of trouble, though. He was busted for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and interference.

EUREKA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - There's the Tour de France -- and then there's Le Tour de Donut. The latter was held in Greenville, Mich., recently. About 150 cyclists began the 30-mile ride, with doughnut stops every 10 miles. For every doughnut eaten, organizers deduct three minutes from the riders overall time. And if you toss your cookies -- or doughnuts -- you're disqualified. Ryan King of Grand Rapids might have to bike a few extra miles, to work off all the goodies. He got the award for most doughnuts eaten. He and two others ate 10 each, but a local paper (The Daily News Greenville) reports King had the overall fastest time.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Pizza with wings doesn't fly. But it could give a pizza chain a boost. Pizza Hut has launched national ads for its WingStreet brand of chicken wings. The spots are running on sports and prime-time TV shows, in Pizza Hut's largest ad campaign of the year. Pizza Hut estimates the market for wings at a juicy $2.4 billion dollars. But there's a downside to wings. Some industry analysts say Pizza Hut could risk losing a slice of the pizza pie by heavily promoting other products.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Fluffy isn't a cuddly little pet. Fluffy just might be the world's longest snake, at more than 24 feet. The python was sold to the Columbus, Ohio, Zoo and Aquarium last year. It was raised from a hatchling by Oklahoma snake breeder and herpetologist Bob Clark. Researchers visited the zoo last week to measure Fluffy on behalf of the Guinness records people. Zoo officials feel their python is now the longest snake in captivity.

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - Running into a corn maze probably isn't the best move for a wanted felon. Jefferson County, Tenn., authorities report assault suspect Daniel Lockheart and his girlfriend were spotted at the Echo Valley Farm corn field. Police say they ran into a 32-acre maze, but they didn't make an amazing escape. Police evacuated the area and started looking for the couple. It took officers and police dogs about two hours to find the pair. The maze was reopened later that same evening.

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