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The skinny

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 2, 2007


CRUNCHY OR SOFT?

INFORMATION ON CRIME CAN EARN YOU 500 TACOS

The owner of a Mexican restaurant in Brigham City, Utah, is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who stole about $3, 000 from the business. And it's a good reward, too: 500 tacos. It was by necessity that they came up with such a cool reward. "We're offering a food reward because all the cash got taken, " said Joe Cottam, owner of Melina's. At a little over $2 each, the tacos are worth about $1, 200.

IN COURT

Magicians: Telling secrets a dirty trick

A good magician isn't supposed to reveal how he or she does a trick. But if a television station finds out, it's all over. So when a couple of stations in Japan aired shows that unlocked the secret of some famous coin tricks, a group of 49 magicians banded together to see if they could make $16, 000 disappear from the stations' wallets. The lawsuit they filed claims the show infringed on common property and deprived magicians of their assets. Reporters tried to get the magicians to tell them more about the suit, but they wouldn't reveal that either.

In hindsight, she wouldn't use snakes

There's always a little more mental clarity at your sentencing hearing. That's what Terry Jackson found out as she was being punished for fending off police by threatening them with snakes. "I just wasn't in the right frame of mind that night, " said Jackson, 36. Police in Sunbury, Pa., responded to a call last October in which they thought Jackson was going to harm herself. That's when she used the snakes - two diamondback rattlesnakes, a pygmy rattler and two copperheads - to scare them. Cops hit her with a stun gun and got her help. They took the snakes to a zoo.

FAVORITE FROG

Little legislators give frog his due

Filling a void that had long been a national embarrassment, the state of Washington now has an official amphibian. Whew! It happened after a group of third-graders - all the legislators were apparently busy - brought legislation forward as a class project to honor the Pacific chorus frog, above. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law while wearing a toy frog on her finger. Next, a group of eighth-graders will no doubt try to balance the budget, and 11th-graders will probably try to lower the drinking age to, oh, 11th grade.

NUPTIALS

For staying sober, brother gets bride

Wedding planners, sit down for this one: Guests at a ceremony in Patna, India, decided that the groom was too drunk to get married. So the bride's family asked the groom's younger brother if he would take the groom's place. He said sure. (There is no indication the teenage bride's opinion was sought.) "The groom apologized for his behavior, but has been crying that word will spread and he will never get a bride again, " police Officer Madho Singh told Reuters.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster.