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In the New's.......


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Presentation prop mistaken for bomb

CARBONDALE, Ill. (UPI) -- A bomb scare at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., was triggered by what turned out to be a prop for a class project.

The campus was evacuated for nearly an hour while police investigated a mysterious package that was dropped off, which turned out to be a 60-pound bag of Sakrete concrete mix, Carbondale's The Southern reported.

Police learned that Southern Illinois University senior Mark McArthur dropped the package off to use for a later group presentation on international marketing in the same classroom, the newspaper said.

Henry McGee, who was in McArthur's group, told the newspaper a presentation was planned on a multivitamin rice additive that could be marketed to China.

"He brought in a bag of sand to show a comparable product," McGee said. "He dropped it off before the presentation and I think it was misinterpreted."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Man jailed over fountain drink

MOBILE, Ala. (UPI) -- A man from Mobile, Ala., who was jailed seven months over a large fountain drink, expressed regret and added that he "should've had a V-8."

Last September, all Eric Burns Overstreet wanted was a cold soft drink from the Mystic Stop & Shop -- but a slightly odd series of events landed him in jail, where he stayed until his court date Tuesday, The Mobile (Ala.) Register reported.

Court officials revealed that Overstreet, 42, paid for one fountain drink at the convenience store but spilled it. He cleaned up the mess but reportedly spilled two more cups of soda in the process.

As he was trying to leave with a full soda, the clerk demanded payment. Overstreet allegedly said he had a gun and told the clerk he would "blow him up," the newspaper said.

Authorities were called and Overstreet was arrested. He sat in jail before pleading guilty to third-degree theft.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, a sentence that was suspended because of the time he had already served in jail.

After the trial Overstreet was reminded that the case was over a soft drink.

"I should've had a V-8," he said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Two arrested for highway fistfight

MINNEAPOLIS (UPI) -- State troopers in Minneapolis arrested two women engaged in a fistfight in the middle of rush hour traffic on a freeway.

The women had been riding in the same vehicle before getting out to fight in the center lane of Interstate 694 at during Wednesday's evening rush hour, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

A third person from their vehicle, a man, was not arrested.

Road rage fights typically take place on the shoulder or next to the road, the newspaper said.

"This was rather unusual," Lt. Mark Peterson of the State Patrol told the Star Tribune.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Homeowner gives chase, catches thief

MADISON, Wis. (UPI) -- A Wisconsin man who returned home unexpectedly to find his house being burglarized chased the thief until he spotted a police car.

James Tye, a Madison advertising account executive, told The Wisconsin State Journal he was careful not to catch up with the man he suspected of having broken into his house.

"If he stopped running to take a breath, I would stop running," Tye said. "I know better than to actually try to confront somebody who is robbing your house."

As he ran, Tye tried, unsuccessfully, to get a signal on his cell phone.

The suspect, identified as Jemille Smith, was carrying items allegedly stolen from Tye's home -- including two bottles of champagne, a can of cashews and electronic equipment carefully packed into a bag.

Tye had come home during the day to meet an appraiser, Steve Tadevich, who -- when Tye abandoned him -- simply started evaluating the house and was about done when Tye returned in a police car.

Tadevich said he did not realize his client was chasing a thief. He said he thought Tye might have spotted a friend and ran to catch up with him.

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