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Weird National Briefs - 12/24/14

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It's a major award

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. - Who took the leg lamp belonging to Ralphie's 'Old Man' from a New York store's annual tribute to 'A Christmas Story'?

The owner of the Yankee Spirits liquor store in North Tonawanda says his annual window display honoring the holiday classic includes memorabilia from the 1983 film, including several versions of the now-iconic leg lamp.

The store's surveillance video shows a man in a gray hoodie and sunglasses walking into the store and glancing around before he grabs a large leg lamp and leaves.

Store owner Gary Brennan tells Buffalo's WIVB-TV even his customers are angry about the theft.

In the movie, Ralphie's father wins a prize that turns out to be a garish lamp in the shape of a woman's leg in a fishnet stocking. Ralphie's mother 'accidentally' breaks it, leaving the Old Man heartbroken.

TME Fragile must be Italian.

Puppies in the pubs

CARSON CITY, Nev.- A Nevada lawmaker is proposing legislation to allow stand-alone bars to permit dogs to enter at the discretion of an establishment's owner.

Sen. James Settelmeyer says the bill being drafted for the 2015 Legislature was suggested by a constituent in Virginia City, about 20 miles southeast of Reno.

Some taverns in the historic mining town seem to play favorites when it comes to allowing dogs in with paying customers.

The Minden Republican told the Reno Gazette-Journal some constituents have indicated other people are allowed to bring dogs into Virginia City bars and they think they should be able to enter with their dogs, too.

Settelmeyer says many Virginia City taverns allow people in with their dogs.

TME There's nothing wrong with wanting to have a beer with your best friend.

Doggie dye job

SAN JACINTO, Calif.- Coco, a reddish-brown pit bull with white markings, went missing from her Southern California home on Thanksgiving. Nearly a month later, she was found and reunited with her owners - but she was a different color.

Riverside County animal services officials made the match when they scanned a stray, black dog for an implanted microchip and found she was listed as an 8-month-old reddish-brown pit bull adopted in October from a San Jacinto shelter, the Press-Enterprise reported.

Officials believe Coco was stolen and dyed in an act of deception to make it harder for owners Christopher Ingrassi and Heather Lowry to find her, said Riverside County Field and Shelter Deputy Director Frank Corvino. Officials believe the dog escaped from the thief's property.

'The dye job is not very good,' Corvino said in a statement. 'But it would work if someone's looking for their missing, reddish-brown dog.'

Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said Coco shouldn't suffer any long-term consequences from the dye.

Lowry said she was shocked when she learned what had happened to Coco.

'I didn't think someone would go as far as to dying a dog's fur to keep them,' she told animal control officials, according to the statement.

TME The owners must have been furry-ous.

Intoxicated elf

RIVERDALE, N.J.- Authorities say a man dressed as an elf has been charged with driving under the influence in northern New Jersey.

NJ.com reports that Riverdale police say 23-year-old Brian Chellis, of Cedar Grove, was found passed out in a car early Friday morning.

Lt. James Macintosh says that Chellis was asleep behind the wheel of a van with its engine running, lights on and music blaring. He says Chellis was wearing an Elf on the Shelf costume, with a red shirt, red pants, and white ruffled collar.

A message left seeking comment from Chellis Saturday wasn't immediately returned.

Macintosh says that Chellis seemed confused about where he was and had an open can of beer in the car. He was issued a summons and released to a family member.

TME He's seen things, man he drinks to forget.

You can't handle the tooth!

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- A Salvation Army spokesman says someone has dropped a gold tooth into a holiday collection kettle.

Spokesman Rick Carroll said Thursday that he's found diamond rings, silver bars and four-leaf clovers but has never heard of a tooth donation. He says the item could be worth $100 depending on the amount of gold it contains.

Kansas City's Red Kettle Campaign began Nov. 7 and is currently running about $50,000 behind where it was a year ago.

Carroll says he at first considered the donation to be gross, but now thinks it's a nice gesture. He worries that the donation might have been unintentional and he is temporarily hanging onto the tooth in case someone claims it.

TME All that glitters is not grossbut this is. This is gross.

The dog who shot Liberty Valance

SHERIDAN, Wyo.- Police in northern Wyoming say a rifle discharged after a dog apparently stepped on it, injuring a 46-year-old man.

Johnson County Sheriff Steve Kozisek says the bullet struck Richard L. Fipps, of Sheridan, in the arm on Monday.

The injury is not life-threatening but Fipps is being treated in a hospital in Billings, Montana.

Kozisek told The Sheridan Press that Fipps and two others were in a remote area trying to move a vehicle that had become stuck. Fipps was standing beside his truck when he told his dog to move from the front seat to the back seat.

The sheriff says a rifle was on the back seat and it discharged toward Fipps.

TME More bang for the bark.

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