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July 24, 2013

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Hail to the bus driver

OAKDALE, Calif. - Authorities say a shirtless man who allegedly stole a transit bus from a San Francisco terminal drove it 100 miles before being arrested. 

California Highway Patrol officers put down road spikes to flatten the tires and get the bus to stop on Friday. 

The driver faces charges including reckless driving, failure to yield, and grand theft. 

Alameda County Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson tells KPIX-TV that the bus was outfitted with a GPS system which allowed authorities to track it. 

No one was on the bus or was injured. Johnson says the bus was parked, closed and locked at the terminal when it was stolen. 

TME Keanu Reeves needs to stop living in the past.

On a roll

SEATTLE - The early morning call to Seattle police described a man rolling around the west side of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood in an office chair. 

Officers also found that the 29-year-old man had a set of drum sticks, a hubcap tied to his arm and was wearing motorcycle goggles and several scarves and purses. He told them he was 'late for a gig.'' 

Seattle police report on their website that the man initially gave police a fake name early Thursday, then told them to handcuff him. They did. 

Officers say the man also rolled into traffic and spat at an officer. 

A search showed he was carrying a foot-long crowbar. 

Police took him to a hospital for a mental evaluation. 

TME Dave Grohl apparently has too much time on his hands.

Undersea wannabe

LITHIA, Florida - A woman has been banned from swimming in her community's pool because she wants to wear a mermaid tail. 

Jenna Conti had been in the Aquatic Club pool with her custom-made tail once before with the staff's approval. But last week, employees told her it violated a policy against swim fins. On Monday night, the FishHawk Community Development board voted to keep her out of the pool because of the swim fin policy. 

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Conti's dream is to swim at the Florida Aquarium, which features mermaid performers. 

The full-time hair stylist hasn't been a mermaid for very long. She and her 10-year-old son saw the mermaids at the Tampa Bay Renaissance Fair earlier this year, and she says she was 'enthralled.'' 

TME Upon further investigation, it turns out that she is actually a manatee.

Run through the jungle

SAN FRANCISCO - Police say a man hoping to dodge the $15 entrance fee at the San Francisco Zoo led security officers on a wild chase as he dashed through animal exhibits. 

The Oakland Tribune reports 24-year-old Justin Montgomery was arrested on trespassing charges Sunday after he was held for police by zoo security. 

Zoo spokeswoman Abbie Tuller says visitors saw the man climbing an exterior fence and running through the African Savanna exhibit, an enclosure occupied by giraffes, zebras and ostriches. 

When security officers gave chase, the Los Angeles resident ran into the Primate Discovery Center. He was discovered hiding in bushes near an exhibit containing mandrills, large monkeys from West Africa. 

Animal caretakers moved quickly to secure the mandrills into their enclosures. No animals were hurt. 

TME Ah, the sweet freedom of sprinting through a zoo. Magical.

The Great Emanci-butter

DES MOINES, Iowa - A butter sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln will share the dairy-centric spotlight this year with the world-famous butter cow at the Iowa State Fair. 

Organizers announced Monday that a sculpture of Lincoln, along with a replica of the Lincoln Highway Bridge in central Iowa, will be on display in a 40-degree cooler when the fair opens in August. 

It will take sculptor Sarah Pratt three weeks and 1,000 pounds of regular salted butter to create the pieces. She says she's unsure how she'll depict Lincoln. 

The companion sculptures, which change every year, are marking anniversaries. It's been 150 years since Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and Gettysburg Address. The historic Lincoln Highway, which stretches from New York to San Francisco, is 100 years old. 

TME To be fair, it was always said of Lincoln that he was delicious on toast.

That dude blows

BRIGHTON, Mich. - The balloon man is back on top. 

Tim Thurmond of the Brighton area says he turned nearly 8,300 balloons into sculptures in 24 hours, reclaiming a record he had for nine years. He says he's tired but 'doing OK.'' 

The 32-year-old blew into balloons and sculpted them next to the Oh My Lolli! candy shop during last weekend's Taste of Brighton festival. The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus says at least two people observed Thurmond the entire time. A paramedic was also nearby. 

Thurmond averaged nearly six balloons a minute. Candy store owner Keith Karp calls it 'absolutely remarkable.'' 

TME His is a tale of many twists and turns.

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