English Town Revels in Free Money

It was "Golden Wednesday" one evening last week in a northern English town — the locals found out an ATM was doubling people's money.

Within an hour, a line snaked down the street from the Barclays Bank branch in Wooler (search), a town of 2,000 in Northumberland near the Scottish border, reports the London Daily Telegraph.

Thanks to an error in which £10 notes ($17.50) were replaced in a preloaded cash cassette with £20 bills, ATM users were getting twice what they asked for.

One old lady pulled up in a cab, still in her nightgown and hair curlers. The pubs across the street did brisk business as newly flush patrons flooded in to celebrate.

"There were people coming from all over the place, from Powburn, Millfield and Lowick," said the landlady of the Angel pub, who like everyone else interviewed claimed not to have gotten any money herself. "This is a great place for rumors, and it wasn't long before everybody knew about it."

Around midnight, someone in the pubs pointed out that a new banking day was about to begin — and those who'd already maxed out their daily withdrawal limit lined up again for seconds.

By the time it was all over early Thursday morning, the cash machine had been emptied of £65,000 — about $115,000.

To add to the general joy, Barclays Bank announced a few days later that it wouldn't bother trying to get the money back, since it would be impossible to tell who doubled their cash from those who didn't.

Some people said it reminded them of the classic British comedy movie "Whisky Galore!", based on the true story of a Scotch-laden ship running aground in the liquor-starved Outer Hebrides (search) during World War II.

"I wasn't there on the night, but I wish I had been," said shopkeeper Malcolm Tully. "A lot of people made quite a lot of money, and they didn't have to get into boats and pull crates of whisky out of the sea to do it."

Trail of Tape Leads Cops to Clueless Robbers

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — Some criminals make it easy to be found.

Police say that was the case in Austin, Minn., over the weekend.

Early Saturday morning, a cab driver passing by the Tendermade Restaurant spotted people breaking into the business, so he called police.

When officers arrived, they found that the front door had been kicked in and the cash register was stolen.

But the roll of tape that records transactions in the register was unraveling behind the thieves as they ran away. Officers simply followed the 100-foot-tape into the bushes, where two suspects were hiding.

The 21-year-old man and the 14-year-old who was with him were arrested and face burglary charges.

— Thanks to Out There readers Sarah H., Nathan G. and Shawn W.

Little League All Set for Martian Expansion

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — Whether life exists on Mars is an endless source of speculation. But if there is life, and if those life forms can hit a curveball, then northern Virginia has dibs on their Little Leaguers.

That's because Little League Baseball (search) this year granted its northern Virginia district jurisdiction over the planet.

District Administrator Michael Pobat wanted a theme this year as northern Virginia prepared to host the annual state tournament, and thought a Martian theme might be a way to get kids excited about science and technology.

"It sounds soupy, but you never know what will get a kid charged up about something," Pobat said. "If one or two kids get turned on to science because of this, great. If not, we still had a lot of fun with it."

Volunteers at the state tournament in July will sell Mars candy bars and wear antennae.

Of course, the expansion to Mars raises several logistical issues for Little League. A Martian year lasts 687 earth days, so a 12-year-old in Martian years would actually be 22 in Earth years.

Also, Martian gravity is a third of that on Earth, so a 200-foot home-run fence would have to be extended to 600 feet on Mars.

Pobat, a civilian employee at the Pentagon, said he and others in the program have had fun considering the issues associated with interplanetary and interspecies play.

"Clearly there are pros and cons," Pobat said.

Little Leaguer Drew Nirenberg, a 9-year-old shortstop and pitcher for the Arlington Angels, saw the benefits to the expansion.

"If there's ever a Little League team on Mars, we'll be playing them," he said.

— Thanks to an anonymous Out There reader who's says he's supposed to be working.

Minivan Driver, Kids, Perform Action-Movie Stunt

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) — What do you do when you're driving across a drawbridge and it suddenly starts to open?

Massachusetts resident Mark Mason faced that frightening dilemma in Gloucester last weekend.

He was crossing the century-old Blynman Bridge (search) in a minivan with his two young children in the back when — without warning — the drawbridge began to rise and fold open in the middle.

Unable to turn back, Mason says he made a snap decision to speed up. He barely managed to clear the gap in the middle of the bridge and make it to the other side.

Mason and his kids were shaken but unhurt. All four of his tires went flat when the minivan slammed down on the steel edge of the bridge.

City and state officials are now trying to figure out what went wrong.

Cops Cuff, Jail 97-Year-Old Woman on Bench Warrant

HIGHLAND PARK, Texas (AP) — A 97-year-old woman was handcuffed and taken to jail in a squad car for failing to pay a traffic ticket.

Harriette "Dolly" Kelton had an outstanding warrant for failing to pay a traffic ticket when Highland Park police stopped her last week for having an expired registration and inspection sticker.

Kelton, who has lived in the northern Dallas suburb for at least 60 years, is a former teacher at The Hockaday School (search). She was in police custody for about two hours before her attorney arrived and was released on her own recognizance.

"A warrant begins with the words 'you are hereby commanded to arrest,'" Detective Randy Millican, Highland Park's public information officer, told The Dallas Morning News in Wednesday's editions. "How do you decide who do you arrest and who you don't? How about at age 90 but not at 91 and up? How about between 17 and 20?"

Kelton's sons, a judge and a doctor, said she lives alone, cooks her own meals, goes out to lunch regularly and is involved in the community. She has good eyesight, they said.

"Our real beef with this is that no real judgment was displayed or actually carried out in this incident," said Dr. Phil Kelton Jr., a plastic reconstructive surgeon with Baylor University Medical Center (search).

"All of our enthusiasm should be tempered with judgment, and therein lies my problem with this and basically Mother's problem with it, too," he said.

State District Judge David Kelton said that it would be inappropriate for him to discuss the arrest.

Twins Break Arms Skating, Five Hours Apart

LAUREL, Neb. (AP) — They say twins feel each other's pain, but 8-year-olds Cassidy and Marissa Wiese of Laurel might have taken that idea a bit too far.

In a five-hour span on April 17, both girls had roller-skating accidents that resulted in broken left arms.

Cassidy broke her arm while skating at a friend's birthday party. Later that evening Marissa was demonstrating her skating skill to her mother, Tami, when she fell and broke her arm.

"I just kept saying, 'You have got to be kidding me,'" Tami Wiese said.

The twins were outfitted in matching blue casts. Cassidy was to wear her cast for about three weeks. Because Marissa's break was more severe, she was to wear her cast for six weeks.

Tami said once the pain stopped, the girls quickly began to see the some of the perks of wearing casts.

"You can't believe how much attention they get," Tami Wiese said. "And they love every bit of it."

Compiled by Foxnews.com's Paul Wagenseil.

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