Friday Morning Bizarre News Headlines


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It's a wash and a wax -- for the Liberty Bell. The Colonial-era icon was given a good cleaning yesterday. A new layer of microcrystalline wax was also applied to the inside of the bell. It's to protect it from pollution and the fingerprints of tourists who can't resist touching it. The wax job is done once or twice a year. But first a technician heats the bell to help remove the old coating. After the wax is applied to the Philadelphia landmark, it's buffed. The one-ton bell has a celebrated crack. But historians disagree on when it first appeared.


IONIA, Mich. (AP) — Drunken sitting can be considered drunken driving -- at least according to the Michigan Supreme Court. The court has sided with prosecutors in the DUI case against a man who was sitting in his parked pickup truck with the engine off. The justices ruled there was probable cause to bust Jeff Ward outside a skating rink in 2010. The state Supreme Court notes a deputy smelled alcohol through the truck's open window. The deputy also heard sounds that suggested the engine had just been turned off.


DENVER (AP) — Jacob Linch figures he's got a good excuse to tell the judge. Linch says he'll fight a speeding ticket he got while rushing his pregnant wife to a Denver-area hospital. Linch says he was doing 41 in a 30 mile-per-hour zone. He was pulled over by a deputy. After getting the ticket, Linch continued to the hospital where his baby was born 20 minutes later. The sheriff's office (Arapahoe County) tells KUSA-TV Linch refused offers to call an ambulance. He was given $167 ticket.


HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas prison inmate calls himself the "Vampire High Priest." But a federal appeals court has rejected Courtney Royal's suit to practice religious beliefs related to vampires. Royal is serving a life sentence on a number of counts, including aggravated assault, robbery and escape. Royal said he wanted to practice "West African spiritualism and 18th Century Catholicism," including prayer to those reincarnated by blood. Royal was making a civil rights claim. But the court ruled the suit was frivolous and tossed it out.


BALTIMORE (AP) — It's a "Sailabration." More than 40 tall ships and naval vessels from 12 countries will stop in Baltimore next week. The "Star-Spangled Sailabration" marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812. "The Star-Spangled Banner" has its origins in a poem written by Francis Scott Key. He watched the British Navy's attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812 and saw the "rocket's red glare." Of course, the U.S and U.K. have been allies for many, many generations since. The Daily Record of Baltimore reports Britain will be part of the Sailabration.


ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania police officer is out in the cold -- after taking a Popsicle. The lawyer for Officer Robert Leuthardt says the Allentown City Council has voted unanimously to fire him. But the lawyer says Leuthardt will fight the dismissal. Leuthardt had taken the frozen treat and two used baseballs, while patrolling a minor league ball park. The lawyer says the punishment doesn't fit the crime. City officials aren't commenting on the firing.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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