Published July 12, 2004
A country club restaurant in Shreveport must allow women in, despite the fact that fellas are known to strip down and dine there naked, the Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled.
The Southern Trace Country Club's (search) Men's Grille has been closed to the ladies because some of its male members lounge around in towels or in the buff, the Associated Press reported.
But the court said that wasn't a valid reason to bar women from entering.
Prohibiting women from a public dining area is unconstitutional, the court ruled, whether or not there's a locker-room atmosphere inside.
On top of that, wearing towels or birthday suits goes against the country club's dress code that requires "casual but appropriate attire" in dining areas, the court decided.
The club issued a statement saying they'll honor the ruling, which upholds an earlier decision by an appeals court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
PHOENIX (AP) — The heat-induced shimmer of Arizona's pavement is fooling the brown pelican population.
State officials report more than 30 of the endangered birds have crashed into paved surfaces that they've mistaken for lakes and creeks.
The state's Department of Game and Fish says the injured birds have been found from Yuma to Phoenix over the past two weeks. The pelicans are being treated for dehydration and malnutrition.
Experts believe the birds are heading to Arizona to look for fish because of a food shortage along the West Coast.
The combination of the sun's reflection on the pavement and hot and cool layers of air can create the illusion of water.
NEWAYGO, Mich. (AP) — Espen and ESPN (search) are hooking up again.
A crew from the all-sports television network traveled to western Michigan last week to film 4-year-old Espen Allen Blondeel and his parents, Chad and Alisha Blondeel. Espen and other ESPN namesakes are to appear Sept. 6 on a two-hour special celebrating the network's 25th anniversary.
The network says it knows of at least 11 children named for ESPN, including one whose name is just that -- ESPN. Variants include Espn, Espen and Espyn (a girl).
"They're coming out of the woodwork now," ESPN spokesman David Nagle told The Grand Rapids Press.
Espen Blondeel, born Jan. 26, 2000, is believed to be the first baby named after the network. The Press reported in April of that year that Chad Blondeel -- who admitted tuning in to ESPN at least three times a day -- suggested the name to his wife before their first child was born but didn't mention ESPN.
Alisha said she liked the name and asked about its origin. When Chad confessed it came from ESPN, she was somewhat put off but nevertheless offered a deal.
"I told him if he could find the name in a baby book, we could name him that," Alisha said.
"I must have looked through about a dozen books of baby names, and then I finally found it," said Chad, now 28. The name is Danish and means "god-bear."
A picture of Espen and a story appeared in an April 2000 issue of ESPN The Magazine (search), while Chad was interviewed on ESPN radio's "The Dan Patrick Show." Basketball analyst and one-time University of Detroit and Detroit Pistons coach Dick Vitale helped Espen celebrate his first birthday at the ESPN Zone restaurant in Chicago.
"He's just a typical 4-year-old boy," said Alisha, 25. "He's as active as any other boy, but we don't push him to do things. Chad loves sports, and with (Espen's) name he can share something he loves with his child."
Espen's nickname is "Espy," which is also the name of an award given by the network to top sports performances of the year.
"He's our little trophy," Alisha said.
GRANADA HILLS, Calif. (AP) — As a follow-up to a story previously reported in Out There: A movie studio projectionist has found a buyer for the one million pennies he's amassed in his garage over 30 years.
The grocery chain Vons/Pavilions has agreed to buy the $10,000 in copper from 60-year-old Ron England of Granada Hills. He's retiring to Oregon and found the 3.6 tons in pennies too unwieldy to move.
The company plans to donate half the coins to charity.
England bet his brother he could collect the pennies in return for a dinner in Paris.
Next Thursday, Vons/Pavilions will send out armored cars for England's 20,000 rolls of coins.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Barbara Sparkman's attempt to duck jury duty nearly landed her in jail. Sparkman, 54, was serving as an alternate juror in a murder trial when she left a message Thursday morning with court officials, saying she was too stressed to continue.
Circuit Judge Thomas Clark wasn't pleased and ordered deputies to find Sparkman and bring her to court to explain herself.
Sparkman told Clark and her co-jurors that she didn't want to view crime scene and autopsy photos, that she had an asthma attack Wednesday night and that she was worried about her mother in a nursing home.
Clark then told the jury to pick Sparkman's fate: one day in jail, a return trip to the jury pool next week or a sentence of sitting somewhere in the courthouse for the rest of the trial.
Jurors decided against jail, but chose the other two penalties.
Clark then sentenced Sparkman to sit in the jury-pool gathering room throughout the rest of the trial, which is expected to end next week. He has yet to decide if she will have to serve on another case.
Late Thursday, Sparkman sat in the jury-pool room alone, saying she was afraid to go home without permission.
"I just felt like I couldn't deal with it today," she said. "I don't think this is fair."
State law makes it a crime for jurors not to appear for trial, punishable with fines and jail time.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Marla Lehner and Catherine Donaldson-Evans.
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail, with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things), to email@example.com.