HENRIETTA, N.Y. — A runaway garbage truck has slammed into the front of a New York gift shop named A Beautiful Mess, causing extensive damage.
Owner Jeri Flack says he received a call from police on Monday informing her that a garbage truck rolled away from a gas station in Henrietta, traveled across the street and crashed into Flack's retail store.
WHAM-TV reports that gas station workers say the truck driver parked there to use the bathroom and the truck had rolled away by the time he returned.
No one was injured, but the truck's impact caused serious structural damage to the 200-year-old brick building.
Flack says she doesn't know if she'll be able to reopen in time for the Christmas shopping season.
GLASSBORO, N.J. — The president of a New Jersey university is using his culinary skills and his hot sauces to help raise money for student scholarships.
Rowan University president Ali Houshmand has been making hot sauces for years. He began doing it in his free time, providing the sauces to family and friends. In recent years he's been selling his sauces online and on campus.
He's been working with experts at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center and turning the various peppers he grows in a garden at Rowan's South Jersey Technology Park into three types of hot sauce. All proceeds from the sauce sales go to Rowan's Student Scholarship Fund.
The three sauces are Ali's Nasty, Nasty-licious and Nasty-vicious. They'll be featured Tuesday during the fundraising competition Wing Wars, being staged at a Glassboro restaurant.
BERLIN — A baby in Germany won't be named Lucifer after authorities intervened.
A registrar in the central city of Kassel sought clarification from the local district court after a couple sought to give their son the name. Court official Matthias Grund told news agency dpa Wednesday that the registrar suspected the name could endanger the child's well-being.
The parents, who were not identified, were persuaded to relent during a closed-door hearing at the local court and decided to call their son Lucian instead. That saved the court from having to decide whether Lucifer was acceptable.
Authorities in Germany can decide not to accept names for children though there is no outright ban on any specific names.
SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Authorities say a pesky woodpecker has been breaking car mirrors in Georgia.
WSB Radio reports over a dozen cars in a Snellville neighborhood were damaged last week. Snellville police took several written reports and stepped up patrols before receiving a tip about the likely suspect.
The police department said in a Facebook post that a witness observed a pileated woodpecker breaking her car mirror in the neighborhood. Authorities say they'll continue their patrols, although they believe that the case is solved.
WSB reports some residents are covering their mirrors with bags to prevent any further damage.
MINOT, N.D. — The U.S. Air Force says its tweet declaring Santa Claus "isn't real" was just a bluff, part of a threat to steal Christmas from two feuding bases.
Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri jostled on Twitter about which fleet was better. KFGO radio reports the official Air Force account responded that if the bases couldn't get along, Santa would "bring you nothing this year because he isn't real!"
After the tweet generated widespread ridicule, the Air Force reversed itself. It declared Santa in fact "is real" and that the previous message was just an attempt to get the bases "in line."
The Air Force stressed its North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa's Christmas Eve sleigh travels using satellites, radar and jets.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio university has apparently set a world record for the number of people dressed in penguin costumes.
The Vindicator reports 972 Youngstown State University students, alumni and community members gathered on the school's campus Saturday in their best penguin finery to celebrate the school's 50th anniversary as a university.
Youngstown State's nickname is the Penguins.
Saturday's waddle of faux birds apparently broke a mark recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records when 624 people dressed as penguins gathered at a children's hospice in England in 2015
One of the organizers of Saturday's event said half of the participants were school alumni.