Never Forgetting the Alamo

One group of tourists is always going to remember the Alamo.

Visitors to the privately run historic site in San Antonio, Texas, told a security guard they saw a young couple having sex in a public place inside the building Sunday afternoon.

Witnesses said both were naked from the waist down and engaged in their X-rated romp at about 5:30 p.m. CDT.

Police were called and arrested Kristine Nissel, 18, and Matthew Hotard, 19, soldiers assigned to the 232nd Army Medical Battalion (search) at nearby Fort Sam Houston (search).

"This is sacred ground," Alamo Director David Stewart told WOAI Radio news. "It's kind of like doing it in a church."

Both Nissel and Hotard were charged with public lewdness, and bond was set at $800 for each, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The Houston Chronicle noted that neither seemed to be a native Texan.

As for whether any native Texans might be the result, we'll have to wait nine months.

— Thanks to Out There reader David B.

Sandwich Seals Surrender

ROCKPORT, Ark. (AP) — Police lured a Rockport man out of a tree Thursday with a sandwich his wife had fixed for him, then arrested him.

Joseph Rucker fled his home, ran into nearby woods and climbed about 50 feet up a tree after police responded to a domestic disturbance call at his home in south-central Arkansas.

Officers couldn't find Rucker at first until dogs tracked him and alerted police to his lofty perch. Police then promised the 25-year-old Rucker a sandwich his wife had made to get him to come down.

Rucker was also wanted on a felony aggravated assault charge from January.

— Thanks to Out There reader Melissa B.

Nothing Left but the Kitchen Tap

MARIANNA, Fla. (AP) — James Abney lost everything when a tornado spawned by Hurricane Ivan demolished everything he had — except remnants of the kitchen sink.

The only thing left where his trailer home had been standing was his kitchen faucet, supported by narrow water pipes. In fact, the faucet became a beacon of hope, towering at sink-level in a devastated trailer park.

After seeing an Associated Press photograph of the spigot sticking into the air, Delta Faucet (search) workers recognized the fixture as one of theirs and tracked Abney down.

On Monday, the Indianapolis-based company gave Abney $10,000 toward a down payment on his new home in Abbeville, Ala.

"Oh my gosh, it was a total surprise," Abney told the Tallahassee Democrat. "It's a godsend."

Delta spokeswoman Cori McCormick said the company called the Jackson County Sheriff's Office for help finding the 55-year-old Air Force retiree.

"We felt strongly enough and we found a way to make it happen," she said.

Abney said the twister ripped the sink from around the tap, which he said he now sees "as my rainbow."

Man Flees Courtroom, Hides in Doghouse

JACKSON, Mo. (AP) — A man who fled from court authorities while facing charges of domestic and animal abuse was found a short time later in a doghouse.

Paul Oakley, 43, was in court Friday for a preliminary hearing on three domestic abuse charges and one of animal abuse for allegedly abusing his girlfriend and her pet kitten.

Authorities said he briefly escaped and was captured minutes later in a doghouse in Jackson.

Sheriff's deputy John Dace, serving as bailiff in Judge Gary Kamp's courtroom, stated in court documents that Kamp told Oakley his $25,000 bond was being revoked and he was being taken into custody. The judge told Oakley to take a seat in the courtroom.

Dace said he turned his back for a moment, and Oakley fled. An assistant prosecuting attorney saw Oakley leave and alerted Dace and others.

A Jackson resident sitting on his back porch spotted a man he thought was acting suspicious a short time later. He notified Jackson police when he noticed the man inside his neighbor's doghouse.

Jackson police notified the Cape Girardeau Sheriff's Department, who found Oakley hiding in the doghouse.

Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle issued a warrant against Oakley for escape from custody. Kamp set bond at $25,000 on the new charge. Kamp also raised Oakley's bond on the original charges to $250,000 cash.

It was not clear Sunday if Oakley had retained a lawyer.

Students Just Like to Get 'High'

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The signs marking High Street have become a hot commodity and coveted dorm room decoration in these parts.

But what might seem like a sophomore prank is turning into a costly problem for the city, home to the University of Oregon (search). In the last decade, officials say they've had to replace the sign nearly 350 times.

Besides High Street, the University Street and Westward Ho Avenue signs are also frequently stolen.

The missing street markers are part of a backlog of about 100 signs that city crews will replace in coming months, said Damon Joyner, traffic technical team supervisor for the city.

"Sometimes they're hit by vehicles. Sometimes, they just seem to disappear," he said. "We've had instances of people just taking a chain saw to the post."

Officials said last year alone, Eugene spent more than $50,000 on replacement signs.

Netherlands Suffering From Marijuana Glut

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — There's a whiff of crisis in the air at the Dutch Health Ministry: It's sitting on a pile of pot that it just can't sell.

The Netherlands rolled out a program last year that allows patients to buy prescription marijuana at any pharmacy. Some medical insurance policies cover at least part of the cost, but often not enough to offset the pharmacy price.

In a country where any adult can walk into a "coffee shop" and smoke a joint for much less than the government price, many say the experiment is a bust.

"I think it's a shame that they can't deliver a cannabis product a little bit cheaper than the coffee shops," said David Watson, head of Hortapharm (search), an Amsterdam-based company licensed to research and develop cannabis for pharmaceutical use. "Why is it that a legal commodity is more expensive than an illegal commodity?"

The government says packaging and distribution push up its prices, and acknowledges its program may be foundering. Of some 450 pounds in anticipated sales, only about 175 pounds have been sold, said Bas Kuik, spokesman for the Office of Medicinal Cannabis, an arm of the Dutch Ministry of Health.

The government sells two varieties ranging from about $10 to $12 a gram — enough for up to four joints. Coffee shops sell it for as little as $5 a gram, with only the highest-quality weed fetching prices comparable to the government's.

Erik Bosman, manager of the Dampkring coffee shop, says many of his regulars are medical patients, and he even used to offer discounts for people with prescriptions.

At midday in the Dampkring, off one of Amsterdam's busiest shopping streets, dozens of mostly young people sit in a haze of smoke, sipping soft drinks, smoking prepackaged joints or rolling their own.

A scene was shot here for the movie "Ocean's Twelve," and pictures of George Clooney and Brad Pitt with the staff hang on the wall.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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