Plucky Manager Promoted, Not Fired

It's a happy ending for the can-do manager of an orphaned fast-food restaurant.

As earlier reported in Out There, Dawna Lentz, the manager of a Seattle Quiznos Sub (search) franchise, kept things going on a shoestring budget for two months after the restaurant's owners dropped out of the picture, deliveries stopped coming and the bank account emptied out.

After the store's dire situation was reported in the Seattle Times last week, the Quiznos company restocked the shelves, paid back wages and began to find new owners.

Lentz, however, was sure she'd be fired for running the restaurant without supervision.

Instead, she's being given more management training in preparation for a promotion and is flying to Quiznos headquarters to meet the company president.

"She's shown loyalty to Quiznos like no other employee has," corporate spokeswoman Stacie Lange told the Times. "Her ability to keep that store afloat through a very difficult time needs to be commended."

She's even getting job offers from competing fast-food chains.

"Ms. Lentz did a remarkable job of overcoming adversity through persistence and creativity," a Wendy's vice president wrote in an e-mail. "We would love to have Dawna on our team."

— Thanks to Out There reader Gina A.

You Old Enough to Drink That, Granny?

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Betty Ann Fischer has been old enough to buy liquor for more than 50 years. So she was a little surprised when a grocery store clerk asked to see her identification before selling her a bottle of wine.

"The first time it was a sweet young man, and I laughed because I thought he was trying to pay me a sweet compliment. But then he said, 'No I'm serious,'" the petite 71-year-old said. "I thought he was just joshing with me."

The ID checks at all Roundy's-owned Pick 'N Save (search) and Copps (search) food stores in Wisconsin are part of the company's new policy requiring cashiers to check the age of everyone buying cigarettes or alcohol — whether they look 21 or 91.

The policy has generated complaints from customers, newspaper columnists and even city officials.

Nicky Clauer, 45, said she expects the Milwaukee Pick 'n Save where she shops will lose business. She told a cashier so after she was carded while buying a bottle of vodka.

"I could see doing it for people who look under 21, under 30. But for heaven's sake, when you're 45 and you look it, it's kind of a pain," she said.

Airborne Egg McMuffin Lands Man in Hot Water

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A man was fined $600 and put on probation for throwing an Egg McMuffin (search) at a McDonald's restaurant manager after he said he didn't get what he ordered.

Scott Rodgers, 46, was convicted last Thursday of misdemeanor assault and battery. Besides probation, he was sentenced to three days in a work program and a fine and is banned from the McDonald's.

Authorities said Rodgers and his 6-year-old son stopped to get four Egg McMuffins with ham on Oct. 9 but returned to the service window to complain that at least one of the sandwiches had sausage.

County prosecutor Craig Bunce said that when the shift manager asked him to give the sandwich back, he threw it through the window at her.

"The manager was picking egg out of her hair," he said.

Rodgers' attorney said he did not throw the sandwich, but rather returned it quickly.

— Thanks to Out There readers Julie K. and Kelly H.

Too Hot for the Fire Department

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A firefighter was fired and four others suspended for letting two women pose nude on a fire engine inside the station.

Fire Capt. Al Suarez, 44, was fired 10 days before his 20th anniversary with Tampa Fire Rescue (search) after he was accused of organizing the photo shoot.

Snapshots of the two women, strippers at a Tampa club, have appeared on the Internet.

According to the investigation by state and city officials, Suarez met one of the women through another firefighter who worked part-time at Thee Dollhouse nude club in Tampa.

Suarez was off duty Oct. 17 and met the women, identified only as Jamie and Heather, at a restaurant. They followed him to Station 21, where several firefighters taped garbage bags over the windows.

The women began the shoot partially clothed, but they were soon wearing only high heels.

Suarez had earned praise in his nearly 20 years with the department, being described by supervisors as a "professional in all aspects" and a "natural leader."

— Thanks to Out There readers Harley W.

Still Too Hot for the Fire Department

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Fire Department (search) has reprimanded 19 firefighters for wearing department equipment while performing "unbecoming" acts at a racy fashion show benefit.

Fire officials said the men failed to get permission to use the department's name at the police and firefighters gala last summer.

Investigators reviewed a videotape of the event, which featured nearly nude men who appeared to wear only soap suds on stage and at least two women who were hoisted in the air with their legs around the men's waists.

Others in the show swung badges, wore department pants and held nightsticks.

According to the fire department, 28 firefighters were involved in the event, but there was not enough evidence to punish some, and some did not have on uniforms.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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