CONGERS, N.Y. (AP) -- It's a warm welcome. A little too warm for the Knickerbocker Ice Festival. The unseasonably warm weather was hard on the ice sculptures at the winter fest in Rockland, N.Y., over the weekend. The warm temps melted the head on a giant squid ice sculpture. The wheels on a horse-drawn wagon also suffered. Ice carver Robert Patalano says "Mother Nature" pulled the rug from under him this year.
SUPER BOWL-BLOOD DONOR
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Carol Sikler is going to the Super Bowl -- and all it took was blood. And lots of it. The Indiana woman wins a pair of tickets to the big game for being a blood donor. The Indiana Blood Center says she's donated more 140 units of whole blood or blood products. She says she became a regular blood donor to repay the units used by her late husband. Sikler tells the Journal and Courier she's an Indianapolis Colts fan. But she says Sunday she'll be rooting for Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) -- Welcome back Mighty Mike. The giant alligator is expected to return to Kentucky's Newport Aquarium in the coming weeks. Mighty Mike is 14 feet long and weighs 800 pounds. Alligators in the wild usually don't grow longer than 12 feet. Mighty Mike was captured in a Florida lake in 2000. The Kentucky Enquirer reports Mighty Mike had been on display at the aquarium for five months last year. This time the huge gator is expected to stay for a year.
DEERFIELD, Ohio (AP) -- Christmas is just beginning for fish in Ohio. Christmas trees are being dumped into Berlin Lake, about 50 miles southeast of Cleveland. State environmental officials say the trees will provide areas for fish to spawn and forage. Anglers should be happy, too. The Record-Courier reports the old Christmas trees could help attract fishermen looking for a good spot to toss their lines.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The puppy perps are off the legal hook. Authorities in Southern California say they're dropping a criminal investigation in the case of the stolen chow puppy. The Orange County Sheriff's Department says the request comes from a pet store owner. A sheriff's department spokesman tells the Los Angeles Times the thieves have apologized and paid for the puppy. The penitent puppy-snatchers have even covered the taxes and fees for the dog stolen from Pet City in Anaheim. The make-good follows surveillance video from the store that was shown on several area TV stations.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Artist Jill Miller is taking her pro-breast feeding message on the road. She's created what she calls the Milk Truck. It's an old box truck with a huge pink breast on top. The nipple is a flashing red light. Miller, who's also a mom, says she wanted to do something funny on a serious issue. She says young mothers need help and encouragement to breast feed their babies. Miller also teaches at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art in Pittsburgh.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.