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Plucky Teen Reaches Peace Deal With Microsoft

There's a happy ending in the saga of Microsoft vs. Mike Rowe Soft.

As we reported last week, the software behemoth was about to come down hard on the Victoria, B.C., 17-year-old who had had the gall to name his Web-design firm after himself.

Mike had just received an inch-thick cease-and-desist order from the company's Canadian law firm, which threatened more legal action if he didn't give up the rights to his domain name, http://www.mikerowesoft.com.

But the media attention given to the story — which we here at Out There are happy to be part of — may have led Microsoft to ponder the negative aspects of looking like Goliath about to smite a fresh-faced David.

So Microsoft made Mike an offer — all expenses reimbursed, a subscription to the company's software-development Web site, an Xbox gaming console (search) and a free trip to Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters, about 100 miles from Mike's house.

"We wanted to do this in a way that's going to foster his interest in technology," Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler told the Associated Press.

Mike agreed and is in the process of moving to a new site, http://www.mikeroweforums.com.

"He's happy with the results," Mike's father, Kevin Rowe, told the Vancouver Province newspaper.

"We take our trademark seriously," a Microsoft spokesman told zdnet.co.uk, "but maybe a little too seriously in this case."

Sticky-Fingered Town Gives Up Man's Precious G-Note

In another peaceful resolution, the city of Pine Lawn, Mo., returned a retired truck driver's treasured $1,000 bill, even if he did have to pay for it.

As we reported last week, Curtis Smith Sr.'s rare note was seized by police when they arrested him in April on suspicion of drunken driving, for which he was never formally charged.

In September, the city gave Smith a check for the money he was carrying, but refused to give him back the G-note. It stayed in Mayor Adrian Wright's safe.

Wright has admitted that he saw the $1,000 bill "as a novelty item, as few people have ever had the opportunity to see a bill in that denomination."

On Friday, Pine Lawn changed its mind, with no explanation. The St. Louis County Prosecutor's office had said earlier that keeping the note created the appearance of impropriety, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. government printed its last $1,000 bill in 1934. Experts say collectors pay $1,300 to $3,500 for such bills, depending on their condition.

Smith, 71, exchanged 10 fresh $100 bills for the note.

"I'm glad I got it back," he said.

Clearly Not in the Spirit of a Happy Meal

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A disgruntled McDonald's customer was arrested after throwing a fit — and two milkshakes — because her order took too long.

Michelle Molina, 29, was charged with simple assault and criminal mischief Thursday after the incident, police said.

The incident began when Molina and a man ordered five Happy Meals (search) and three Value Meals (search) at the drive-thru window of Store No. 18581.

The two had received part of their order and manager Ron Gaskill was bringing the rest when they pulled away, parked and walked inside to get the rest of the food.

They complained but walked back to their car, returning to demand their money back because the food they originally had been given got cold.

"I said that's not my fault," Gaskill said. "I offered them some 'Be Our Guest' cards to use at a future date, but they didn't want them."

Molina and the man then berated Gaskill with obscenities before Molina threw a soda, a chocolate shake and then a second chocolate shake at him.

The first shake hit him in the chest; the other drinks sprayed the kitchen, spoiling some food.

"It happens sometimes," said Gaskill, a 12-year McDonald's employee. "You get some customers who can't be satisfied. These ones, they weren't lovin' it, no."

Stupid Animal Costumes, Part 1

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A man who came to a court hearing wearing a bumblebee costume — to protest what he called a "sting" operation by prosecutors — left a judge buzzing.

Conrad J. Braun, 54, was in Johnson County District Court on Friday to hear a judge rule whether a blackmail case filed against him last summer should go to trial.

District Judge John Anderson III was not amused by Braun's getup, which included yellow stripes, cloth wings and a foot-long stinger.

Anderson told Braun that although there is no rule prohibiting the wearing of such a suit in court, the judge has a duty to uphold court decorum.

Braun assured the judge that he meant no contempt to the court and promised he would not do it again.

Anderson bound the case over for trial, which he scheduled for May 3.

The blackmail charge alleges that Braun made a threat against his former wife's husband.

Stupid Animal Costumes, Part 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police have charged a man with robbing a Kroger grocery store (search) in a chicken suit on Jan. 2.

Donald Haines, 39, of suburban Hilliard, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of aggravated robbery.

Haines, a former Kroger employee, once represented the grocery chain as its Pepe the penguin mascot. He also was a Kroger management trainee who was fired for poor performance.

According to police, a Kroger employee was leaving an office where she had been preparing to count money when a man in a plush yellow chicken costume demanded that she let him in, saying that he had a gun.

The woman laughed.

"You're dressed like a chicken and you have a gun," she said, according to a search warrant affidavit.

But when the man showed her a handgun, she let him in the office. Police wouldn't say how much money the suspect got.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — A convenience store clerk has been charged with larceny for allegedly snatching a winning $20,000 lottery ticket from a customer's hand and giving her only $100.

Antoine Y. Reiche, 34, of Westborough, was arrested Thursday night and was scheduled to be arraigned in Westborough District Court on a charge of larceny over $250.

On Friday, the State Lottery Commission suspended the Quik Mart's lottery sales license over the flap, the MetroWest Daily News reported.

Erika Schmitt, 18, alleged that she went to the store and bought a $2 Lucky Star ticket Monday night. The University of Massachusetts freshman said that when she scratched it in the store, she uncovered 10 stars, which merits the game's $20,000 grand prize.

But when she told the clerk, he allegedly grabbed the ticket and told her it showed only six stars, which had a $100 prize. He refused to show her the ticket when she demanded to see it.

"He wouldn't give the ticket back," said Virginia Orlando, Schmitt's friend who was with her that night. "He said, 'Get out, get out. Go spend your money.' "

Schmitt bought a second ticket to verify the game rules, and then went to police. An officer escorted her back to the store and confronted Reiche, who said he verified the winning ticket, paid Schmitt her winnings, and threw the ticket away. The winning 10-star ticket has not been located.

The Lottery Commission confirmed that the book of tickets from which Schmitt purchased her ticket had one $20,000 winning ticket. The ticket has not been cashed.

Compiled by Foxnews.com's Paul Wagenseil.

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