Daddy, Why Am I Getting Bills in the Mail?

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with stealing the identity of an 8-year-old girl — his own daughter — in order to get telephone service.

Cecil E. Cole III, of East Conemaugh, Pa., waived a preliminary hearing Monday and will face trial for identity theft, reports the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown.

"He couldn't get service with his own name because of his bad history with the phone company," Cambria County (search) Detective Ron Portash explained. "He allegedly had four telephone bills that he failed to pay."

Using his daughter's name, Cole allegedly had local Verizon service provided to his home from August through October of 2003.

Authorities only learned of the scam when the girl's guardian discovered it.

Cole faces up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine for the first-degree misdemeanor. His number has been disconnected, and he could not be reached for comment.

Cat, Teenager Both Stuck in Tree

Firefighters are used to getting cats out of trees — but not teenagers.

Duncan Posey, 16, was trying to beat the firefighters at their own game Monday night when he climbed the tree to rescue a cat, reports KPRC-TV of Houston.

But the higher he got, the higher the kitty climbed.

After a while, Posey looked down and realized he was stuck.

The fire department had to use a ladder truck and had to cut away several branches to get Posey off his perch.

The teenager checked out fine. The cat was left to its own devices.

— Thanks to Out There reader Melissa L.

Frigid Swimmer Breaks Distance Record

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In the winter swim season that ended Sunday, George Kebbe logged 356 miles in the frigid San Francisco Bay.

In other words, he'd be just about in Los Angeles by now if he'd been swimming straight.

The 51-year-old Kebbe broke the Dolphin Club of San Francisco's (search) mile record and took with him the all-time Polar Bear title.

"It was just a number, something I set in my head," Kebbe said.

The Polar Bear group swims from Dec. 21 through March 21 when the bay's temperatures often plunge into the 50s.

Last year Suzie Dods, of Corte Madera, broke a decade-old swimming record of 255 miles — also set by Kebbe — by one more mile.

"He told me to enjoy the record while it lasted," said Dods Sunday.

While it might seem insane to leap into the frigid bay, Kebbe enjoys his often twice-daily winter swims.

"You either love it and it's for you, or you hate it and you know it right away," said Kebbe.

— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.

Chicken Soup for the Angry Drunk's Soul

McDONOUGH, Ga. (AP) — A Henry County woman who contributed two poems to the popular "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book series was arrested after leaving a less-than-heartwarming impression with her neighbors.

Jill Leslie Grubb-Travoss, 51, was charged with disturbing the peace and obstructing an officer early Monday morning.

Some residents of her subdivision said Travoss drunkenly harassed them after a volatile Homeowners Association meeting, where she had lost an election to the board.

One neighbor called McDonough police claiming Travoss was intoxicated and would not leave his yard, and another resident said Travoss called her five times within 15 minutes, according to police reports.

"She said I was going to be sorry about the way I voted," said the resident, who asked not to be identified. "And then she started singing the National Anthem. I told her, 'I know it's you, Jill, I have Caller ID.'"

An officer arrested Travoss, but she removed her handcuffs twice, police said.

Travoss contributed two poems to "Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul," published in 2002.

Miniature Air Bags to Be Considered Next Week

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Buckle up, Bowser. Fasten your belt, Fluffy. Santa Fe is considering whether to make dogs and cats wear seat belts in the car.

An ordinance endorsed Tuesday by a City Council committee would require any animal in a vehicle to be restrained so it doesn't fall out. An animal in a truck bed would have to be crated or restrained.

Local pet stores already stock devices to restrain animals in vehicles, although managers said they don't sell many.

A "pet safety sitter," which sells for up to $21, has a strap that goes across a dog's chest, and a $27 "pickup tie-out" attaches to a collar so a dog can't jump out of a truck bed. There's even a little booster seat so a dog can see out of the window, with an attachment to keep the animal from jumping around.

Some other U.S. communities already have similar rules, the American Humane Association (search) said.

The proposed ordinance would also require leashes for dogs and cats on public property.

Cheerleader's Mom Ordered to Take Anger-Management Classes

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A judge ordered the mother of a junior high school cheerleader into anger-management classes after the woman admitted that she harassed the sponsor of the cheerleading team.

Melissa Leach, 33, was also fined $500 and given a suspended 30-day jail sentence for pushing and shouting at Lincoln Junior High cheerleading coach Helen Campbell last August.

Campbell had disciplined Leach's daughter for skipping practices.

Leach, who pleaded guilty in Bentonville District Court on Tuesday, must attend the classes and perform some public service.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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