WASHINGTON (AP) -- Help wanted: Astronauts. NASA is looking for the next generation of space explorers. But there's catch and it's a big one. NASA doesn't have any way of sending those astronauts into space, now that the space shuttle has been retired. A handful of U.S. astronauts will be hitching rides with the Russians to the International Space Station. NASA is working on a new launch system, but the Orion capsule won't be ready for years. In case you're wondering, the job pays between about 65-grand to around 142K.
GINGERBREAD MOUNT VERNON
MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) -- It's George Washington's home -- but it's good enough to eat. A former White House pastry chef is re-creating Mount Vernon in gingerbread. Roland Mesnier is working on the replica at Mount Vernon, the first president's estate just outside of the nation's capital. When it's done, the five-food-wide model will be on display as part of Mount Vernon's Christmas decorations. Mesnier worked at the White House for 25 years.
PARKING TICKET WAIVER-LANSING
LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Some drivers are getting a break in Lansing, Michigan. Instead of ticket under the windshield wiper, they're finding a notice that says "This One's On Us." City officials say the waiver program only applies to expired meter tickets. WILX-TV reports the waivers are generated at random. The notice left on the car urges the drivers to "pay careful attention to parking rules in the future." City officials say they're not losing parking fines, but are purchasing goodwill.
THEME PARKS-NEW ATTRACTIONS
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- You're thinking Thanksgiving, but theme parks officials are planning next year's roller coasters. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions is meeting in Orlando, Florida, this week. The list of new attractions includes "Cars Land" at Disney California Adventure. It's a 12-acre town lifted straight out of the animated "Cars" movies. Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania is introducing a 200-foot-tall coaster called "Skyrush," which hit 75 miles per hour. And Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia will have a half-mile-long coaster called "Verbolten."
WAYWARD TEXT MESSAGE
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska troopers let their fingers do the talking -- leading to a drug bust. State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins says a trooper began receiving text messages from someone he didn't know. The trooper played along and arranged to meet the sender. Authorities report 23-year-old Aaron Sartin was busted. He now faces a number of charges, including driving under the influence and pot possession.
HANNOVER, Germany (AP) -- Got milk? A German designer does. The designer (Anke Domaske) has created a fabric that's made entirely from milk. It's similar to silk, but can be washed and dried like cotton. It's also soothing to people with skin allergies. The fabric process uses organic milk that doesn't meet Germany's strict quality standards. No word, though, if there are cookie buttons to go along the milk fashions.
Copyright 2011. The Associated Press.