WASHINGTON (AP) -- The hottest debate in Washington isn't Republicans versus Democrats and it has nothing to do with politics. The focus of the controversy is the Washington National's young ace, Stephen Strasburg. He's 15-5 and leads the National League with 183 strikeouts. But Strasburg is coming off Tommy John surgery and the Nats have said all season long they would shut him down early. But some pennant-hungry fans want to see Strasburg in the post season. The city's last World Series championship came in 1924. General manager Mike Rizzo is taking the long view. He wants to keep Strasburg healthy for seasons to come. Atlanta Braves slugger Chipper Jones weighed in this week, after facing the Nats. Jones says the Nationals could be blowing a rare chance of going all the way.
BEEF JERKY BANDIT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Talk about a jerk! Police are searching for a guy who smashed his way into a beef jerky store. Surveillance video shows a man wearing a wig breaking into Mike's Jerky in Albuquerque, New Mexico. KRQE-TV reports the guy rammed a brick through a glass door, then squeezed through the opening. Owner Michael Grier says the crook knew his jerky, stealing those flavored with pepper, salt and bacon. Grier figures the ripped off beef jerky could sell for a few hundred bucks on the street.
BOND BY BURGLARY
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- It's a case of young love gone rogue. Authorities in Tennessee charge a man tried to raise his girlfriend's bail money by stealing. Washington County deputies say 23-year-old Joseph Michael Lockner went into a house that had burned. According to authorities, Lockner texted friends he was looking for something steal. He hoped to sell the loot to make bond for his jailed girlfriend. He now faces charges that include burglary.
OLIVEHURST, Calif. (AP) -- A taco truck was packing more heat than just hot sauce. Authorities in northern California charge the taco truck had a secret menu of illegal drugs. Regional narcotics task force commander Martin Horan says agents have been investigating the operation for three months, after hearing about the illegal side dishes. Authorities say meth and pot were being sold from the truck in the town of Olivehurst. A local paper (Marysville Appeal-Democrat) reports three men were busted included two brothers.
BEAST OF BURNING MAN E9819
SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Martin Montesano will be hard to miss at the Burning Man Festival. He'll be inside The Walking Beast. It's an eight-legged, seven-ton mechanical monster that looks like it might have come out of a "Stars Wars" movie. He created the Beast in his Salem, Oregon, welding shop. Montesano tells the Statesman Journal he'll be giving rides in the Beast. But for safety reasons he says guests won't be able to drive it. Burning Man gets under way in the Nevada desert next week. It's a free-form festival for tens of thousands, where the dress code is little or nothing.
NYC SCHOOLS-SALAD BARS
NEW YORK (AP) -- The cafeteria ladies in New York City schools will be hitting the bars -- the salad bars. Whole Foods is donating salad bars to 57 schools. The contribution was announced yesterday at the opening of the newest Whole Foods supermarket. The store on East 57th Street shares a building with the High School of Art and Design and PS 59. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says giving kids fruit and vegetable options is the "next step in countering the obesity epidemic."
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.