Love Buzz Shuts Down Airport

An Australian regional airport was totally shut down Monday — not by a bomb, but by a buzzing marital aid.

"It was rather disconcerting when the rubbish bin started humming furiously," Lynne Bryant, manager of the cafeteria at Mackay Airport (search), told the Australian Associated Press. "We called security and next minute everybody was being evacuated while they checked it out."

The terminal was quickly cleared out after the 9:15 a.m. discovery. Arriving and departing passengers, staffers and rental-car personnel all exited the building.

"Another two flights were expected to land at that stage," said a police spokeswoman, "but alternate arrangements were made for the passengers to collect their luggage away from the terminal."

After about 45 minutes, the suspect device was identified as a common sex toy.

Bryant admitted that that's what the buzzing device had sounded like all along, but added that these days, "you can't afford to take chances."

Mackay, a popular tourist destination, is about 500 miles north of Brisbane along Australia's northeast coast.

No More Beer for Soldiers on Web has been disabled.

The Web site, which enabled visitors to donate money that would buy a GI a brewsky, was judged to be in violation of military ethics, reports Stars and Stripes.

Sgt. Dale Rogers, who set up the site in February before being sent to South Korea, and then Iraq, put up a notice last week that due to legal pressure, he was handing the site over to his brother, a civilian.

"I am currently serving somewhere outside of Fallujah, Iraq," Rogers wrote. "My Web site is going through a change; I am turning over this Web site to my brother due to legal pukes who say a soldier cannot solicit beer donations to increase the morale of his fellow soldiers. What a crock! But I am a soldier and I have to comply."

That didn't seem to have been enough. By Sunday night had changed its motto to "The Web site where you cannot buy us a beer."

"We would still love for you to buy us a beer," the site adds, "but the legal folks say you can't."

The site had previously offered buttons where visitors could charge their credit cards $2 for a 40-oz. bottle, $6 for a "tall beer from the bar," $7 for a six-pack, $10 for a "pitcher" or $20 for a "keg club."

While posted in South Korea with the Army's 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Rogers would use money collected from the site to buy soldiers drinks in local bars.

Since alcoholic beverages are forbidden to American personnel in Iraq, Rogers had planned to save up the site's latest earnings until his leave in Qatar.

A spokesman for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team told Stars and Stripes via e-mail that the unit's lawyers had determined that the Web site violated the Joint Ethics Regulation (search).

"The soldier seems to be using his association with the Army as a way to solicit funds for beer. Whatever his intentions, and I'm sure they are genuine and pure, (the Web site is) ... illegal," the spokesman wrote. "I noted ... however, that the site is still up and running. I am confident it will be shut down soon."

It's illegal for federal employees, including soldiers, to solicit or receive gifts, said Ron Buchholz, an attorney for the Department of the Army. He told Stars and Stripes that there were exceptions to the rule, however.

Rogers is still adamant about his quest for brew.

"I won't back down! Stand me up at the gates of hell and I won't back down," his Web site reads, quoting a Tom Petty song.

"You'd think that a soldier risking his life in a war zone, usually under enemy attacks almost daily," he told Stars and Stripes in an e-mail, "could at least have the right to maintain a morale builder for his fellow brothers, such as this Web site."

Australian City Hears Hell's Bells

City council members and citizens of Melbourne, Australia, were greeted Friday by a recorded statement: "Welcome to the Highway to Hell."

That was Angus Young, guitarist and leader of legendary Australian hard-rock group AC/DC (search), and his brother Malcolm giving thanks for the city's decision to name a street after the band.

City council members voted last Wednesday to allow Corporation Lane, in central Melbourne, to be renamed ACDC Lane, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Street signs reflecting the change went up Friday.

The name change was first proposed in June, but dropped after some businesses protested that the band, whose songs include "Hell's Bells," "Highway to Hell," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "Back in Black" did not reflect Melbourne's character.

However, massive fan protests about the abandoned proposal forced the city council to take up the issue again.

AC/DC were founded in Sydney in 1973 by the Young brothers, who had emigrated with their parents from Scotland.

The band quickly relocated to Melbourne, Australia's second city, where they added three more members, including vocalist and fellow Scottish emigre Bon Scott, and had their first successes playing local venues.

Rock Band Goes Out on Blaze of Glory

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — For a few moments last weekend, they were the hottest act in town.

But Treephort (search) wore out its welcome at a downtown club when the lead guitarist set his thong on fire, then removed it and scurried around the stage naked.

The Atlanta-based band was about 20 minutes into its set Saturday night at Flint Local 432 when guitarist Joe Klein dropped his pants, set fire to the thong and removed it.

The bass player also stripped and joined Klein in cavorting onstage.

The Local's management ordered the band to get off the stage.

"They threatened to break stated policies of the club, and so we told them their set was over and asked them to leave," club owner Joel Rash told The Flint Journal for a Thursday story.

Two police cars and a fire engine were sent to the club after a 911 call that band members were lighting fires on stage and exposing themselves. No arrests were made and no complaint was filed, according to police records.

The thong stunt violated the Local's insurance policy and city rules against open flames in the building, Rash said.

Treephort concerts routinely feature members dousing a thong with hairspray before igniting it with a lighter, singer Lee Satterfield (search) said. "We've all done it from time to time," he said. "We're professionals; we know what we're doing."

Satterfield said the band would be willing to return to the Local under the right conditions. Rash said that won't happen; Saturday's show "was the first and last."

The Great Chocolate Heist of 2004

LONDON (AP) — Robbers with their own trucks stole six trailer loads of chocolates worth more than $900,000 from an industrial park in northeast England, police said Monday.

Since the chocolate heist at the Great Bear Distribution Center in Skelmersdale in the early hours of Sunday, five of the trailers have been recovered: four of them empty and the fifth still containing its load of Easter eggs.

"It was a very well-organized raid," said a spokeswoman for Lancashire Police. At least five men were involved, and they held two guards from the center in a nearby field while their colleagues drove away with the haul.

"We don't know if they planned to come back for the Easter eggs — or maybe they were considered too seasonal to get rid of."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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