SEPT 11-SURFER STATUE
CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (AP) -- It's a bronze surfer's tribute to 9/11. A statue of a surfer near San Diego is often the target of late-night pranksters. Yesterday morning, the bronze surfer was dressed as a New York City firefighter -- complete with an oxygen tank and an NYFD helmet. With the background of an American flag, a sign says "never forget." City News Service reports in past the surfer has been decked out in everything from bras to witch hats.
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) -- Here's one bride with her head in the clouds. And the groom, too. Newlyweds Phil and Gail Mathis said their I Do's in a plane, 7,500 feet in the air. Then the Ohio couple took the leap -- with parachutes. The 58-year-old groom tells the Middletown Journal he wanted to do something crazy. He told his bride-to-be he would only get married if they went skydiving together. The 54-year-old new bride says she enjoyed the experience, but isn't sure she'll ever want to skydive again.
FATHER DAUGHTER TEACHERS
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) -- Teaching is all in the family for Amanda Wagner. The 22-year-old teaches in the same Colorado school where her father teaches. She also went to elementary school there. Her mom is a teacher too, but a different school. Dad, Dan, says he couldn't be prouder of his colleague daughter. But Amanda admits to some first-day jitters. She tells the Tribune of Greeley she had nightmares about being late for school.
CHICAGO (AP) -- It is a laughing matter -- at least at a suburban Chicago college. Harper College is offering a course to give people a case of the giggles. Stand-up comic Dobie Maxwell is one of instructors of "From Humor to Health: Comedy and Healthy Living." He says they're not trying to make comedians out of the students. He says the idea is show how laughter can improve most anyone's life. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the laugh class will be free and open to the community.
MUSIC PETTING ZOO
DELAND, Fla. (AP) -- It's a petting zoo. But there wasn't anything furry. Toddlers and grade-schoolers got a chance to be musicians over the weekend in central Florida. The Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Stetson University exposed the kids to everything from violins to xylophones. And there was plenty sanitizer to clean the kiddie drool off the flutes and other instruments. Organizers tell the Orlando Sentinel that students who study art and music do better in school and have a higher graduation rate.
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut police officer Derek Poundstone is the strong arm of the law. He's a three-time America's Strongest Man champion. Now, he hopes to become the World's Strongest Man. Qualifying is this week at Wingate University in North Carolina. The World's Strongest Man final is next week. Poundstone stands 6-1 and weighs 340. He says he'll be one of the smaller guys in the competition. But he tells a local paper (Waterbury Republican-American) he's extremely fast and explosive. Poundstone hopes that will give him an advantage over the really big guys.
by Jamie Friar
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.