Moosehead Still Loose in New Brunswick

The Mounties are still trying to get their beer.

More than a week after 54,000 cans of Moosehead lager (search) vanished on a New Brunswick highway, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police tracked down the truck driver who had been hauling them.

RCMP Sgt. Gary Cameron told the Canadian Press wire service that Wade Haines, 30, was not yet a suspect, just a "person of interest."

The 18-wheeler, still running, and its empty trailer were found in the parking lot of a McDonald's on the Maine-New Brunswick border after Haines failed to show up at a Toronto depot Aug. 16.

Haines himself was located Tuesday in southern Ontario.

"We are speaking with him," Cameron said. "He is not under arrest. No one is under arrest."

As for the beer, which was destined for Mexico and has labeling in both English and Spanish, it's been turning up here and there.

Owen Larson, a farmer in Woodstock, New Brunswick, saw a Ford pickup lose a makeshift trailer on a country road Monday night, then speed away.

The trailer veered into Larson's field, where it overturned, dumping about 5,000 cans of the hot lager onto the ground, where many of them broke open.

"We hope the bull doesn't get into it and get tight," said Larson's wife Donna.

Four empty cans were found discarded in and around Fredericton, about an hour south of Larson's farm, earlier this week.

Cameron thinks whoever stole the beer, worth about $60,000 in U.S. currency, didn't put a lot of thought into the heist, and, due to the publicity about the case, is having a hard time selling it off.

"It's a crime that lacks sophistication," he said as he stood in front of a Woodstock dumpster filled with recovered cans. "I think if they had known the labels were in Spanish, they probably wouldn't have gone ahead."

Man Shot At While Doing His Business

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) — A New Orleans man was wounded by gunfire in a botched holdup in a Natchitoches Wal-Mart (search) restroom Sunday, police said.

Viator Tyndale, 48, told police that someone reached over the side of a stall and fired one shot into the floor, then demanded money. The gunman then moved to the front of the stall and fired two more rounds. Tyndale said he shoved the swinging stall door at the robber, who then fled the restroom.

Tyndale suffered a small cut on his hand from shoving the door.

A shopper in the store said he received a minor arm wound from what he believes is a round that exited the bathroom.

Lonnie Davis, of Natchitoches, was treated at the scene and declined further medical treatment.

The investigation is continuing.

Police are reviewing store surveillance video.

— Thanks to Out There reader Trish M.

Woman Locks Self Into Bear Trap

VERNON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — An animal-rights activist protesting the state's bear control methods locked herself into a bear trap Monday before being arrested.

Angela Metler, 47, was charged with obstruction of governmental functions and additional charges against her are pending, authorities said.

"Once she entered the trap, she locked herself with a lock to the bear trap itself, which required us to first remove the lock and then remove the lady from the bear trap," Sgt. Robert Walsh said. Police also said they had to disassemble part of the trap to get her out.

Authorities responded to a private residence in the area shortly after 3 p.m. and found Metler inside the trap, although it was not immediately known how long she was inside.

Last December, 328 bears were killed during a six-day hunt, the first in New Jersey in 33 years.

In July, a state game panel sanctioned a second hunt for this December, prompting opposition from Environmental Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell, who has threatened to withhold permits from hunters.

Metler, who is director of the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance, was a vocal opponent of last year's bear hunt. At the state game panel's July meeting, she told The Associated Press she planned to continue her opposition to a second hunt.

"I'm going to fight it with everything I've got," she said. "I'm not going away."

Store Chain Insults Entire State

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The governor of West Virginia doesn't think a retailer's jokes about his state are very funny.

Governor Bob Wise says he intends to do something about a new Abercrombie and Fitch (search) T-shirt that says "West Virginia — No Lifeguard in the Gene Pool."

The governor calls the message cruel, and says the state is planning a response.

Back in March, Wise went on national television to criticize another West Virginia humor shirt. That one said, "It's all relative in West Virginia."

At that time, Wise said the slogan fostered an "unfounded, negative stereotype of West Virginia."

He demanded that Abercrombie and Fitch take the shirts off its shelves, but a company spokesman said the stock had already been depleted.

Los Angeles May Ban Silly String

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Banning Silly String in Tinseltown on Halloween? It's a proposal that to some seems almost too silly for words.

The City Council considers the issue no laughing matter, however, and last Tuesday gave preliminary approval to an ordinance banning the discharge of the gooey aerosol string in Hollywood on Oct. 31.

"I know we may think this is silly, but it is not silly to the storm drain system of Los Angeles, or to the ultimate destination, the ocean," said Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes Hollywood.

The council voted 10-0 to approve the ordinance, but another vote is required before it can take effect.

Couple Meet, Court and Marry at Wal-Mart

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Somewhere between the junk food aisle and the automotive department, Pat Byrd and Bill Hughes fell in love.

So it was only natural that they should marry where the magic happened — Wal-Mart.

"It never dawned on me to have it anyplace else," said the 55-year-old bride.

Neither bride nor groom work at the discount store. Still, they spend more time there than many employees do, wandering the aisles and visiting friends for up to six hours a day, nearly every day since the store opened two years ago.

"I talk to people and walk around for exercise, and we always buy a soda or a sandwich or something," 51-year-old Hughes said. "If we're not here, the store people worry about us. They're our family."

Both Pat Byrd and Bill Hughes are disabled. They met nine years ago, when Bill was a patient at a North Idaho hospital and so was Pat's sister.

"He became a good friend, and when my sister died, we kept him in the family," she said. "He doesn't drive, and any time he went to Wal-Mart, I'd take him."

They celebrated their blooming love with a ceremony last Friday in Wal-Mart's garden center. The store manager was a groomsman, and a fabric department employee was matron of honor.

A garden center employee, Chuck Foruria, walked alongside Pat as she rode her motorized shopping cart down the makeshift aisle, her oxygen tank in the basket.

"Who gives this woman in marriage?" asked Stacey Garza of the Free Will Church.

"Her friends and family at Wal-Mart," Foruria replied.

Giant, Dead, Possibly Fictitious Pig Becomes Local Mascot

ALAPAHA, Ga. (AP) — With the local legend of Hogzilla (search) spreading worldwide, residents of this tiny Georgia town have decided to feature the prodigious porker in their annual festival.

Plantation owner Ken Holyoak said one of his hunting guides shot the 12-foot-long wild hog in June, but few actually saw it before it was buried.

Besides the few witnesses, the only proof is a photo showing the guide with the beast dangling from a strap.

Holyoak claims the hog weighed 1,000 pounds and had 9-inch tusks.

Now, residents plan to include a Hogzilla float, a Hogzilla informational booth and Hogzilla T-shirts in Alapaha's festival in November.

"We're going hog wild," said Darrell Jernigan of Jernigan's Farm Supply.

The festival's previous themes include God Bless America, Saluting Our Firemen, and Our Indian Heritage.

Residents around town smile when strangers ask them about the massive hog.

"Some say it's like fishing," Elizabeth Moore said. "The more you tell the story, the bigger the fish gets and the more you tell the story about Hogzilla, the bigger the hog gets."

Feral hogs, popularly known as wild hogs, are domestic hogs that escaped from farms and began living off the land. Holyoak said his plantation's previous record was a 695-pound hog shot several years ago.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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