Bridesmaid Is a Total Dog

It hasn't even happened yet, but this wedding's already gone to the dogs.

English lovebirds Sonia Wilde and Steve Begley will walk down the aisle Oct. 1 — along with their collie mix, Lucy Brown.

"I'm not crazy and I'm not eccentric," Wilde told the Manchester (England) Evening News. "I cannot think of anybody else I would rather have as chief bridesmaid."

The 3-year-old dog will wear a custom-made frilly pink dress and matching bonnet for the ceremony in Stockport, northwestern England, a town already noted for interesting weddings.

"It's a bizarre request," Vicar Brian Statham, who will officiate, told the Stockport Express, "but on reflection I've had dogs to funerals before, so why not a wedding?"

Wilde's, um, second-best friend Donna, also a bridesmaid, will hold Lucy Brown's leash.

"I've asked other guests if they'd like to bring their pets but they thought I was joking," Wilde told the Express. "We'll have to see if they change their minds."

Football Coach in Trouble for Swearing

A St. Petersburg, Fla., high school football coach is in trouble for doing what football coaches are supposed to do.

During a recent game, Lakewood High (search) coach Brian Bruch told a player to get his "black a--" back into a huddle. Big mistake.

Bruch has been suspended without pay, has lost his coaching position, will be transferred to another school to teach math and will have to take a workshop on "Celebrating Diversity."

"There are better ways to communicate with our youngsters than using words that are offensive," Pinellas County (search) school superintendent Clayton Wilcox told the St. Petersburg Times.

Bruch disagreed.

"We're not coaching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," he told the newspaper. "Anybody who has an expectation that you can coach kids by saying 'gosh' and 'golly' and 'darn it' and 'come over here, honey,' that's not going to cut it."

Wilcox originally wanted Bruch fired, perceiving the coach's comment to the player as a racial remark, but a strong outpouring of support for Bruch from St. Petersburg's African-American community changed his mind.

Just Park the Car and Come Inside

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A man has been arrested after police found him asleep in his car with a meth lab in it while the car was parked in front of the county jail.

Kirk Alan Marvel, 42, whose address wasn't available, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

Black Hawk County (search) sheriff's deputies noticed Marvel's car stopped at an intersection near the jail about 4 a.m. on Feb. 1. Deputies approached the car after it hadn't moved during two green lights.

Marvel was found asleep behind the wheel, officials with the sheriff's office said.

Inside the car was found crushed pseudoephedrine pills, lithium batteries, a can of starter fluid and a plastic bucket filled with sludge, court records said.

— Thanks to Out There reader Justin R.

Not Quite Mother of the Year

SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) — A mother has been arrested for throwing cans of beer at her children and beating her oldest son after he refused to roll joints for her, police said.

Beverly Fisher, 48, of Smyrna, was arrested Wednesday after her 11-year-old son called police and told them that his intoxicated mother was in possession of drugs and threw beer at him, said Lt. Keith Zgonc of the Smyrna Police Department.

Marijuana and several beer cans were found in the home, he said.

The oldest son, 14, said his mother assaulted him after he refused to roll marijuana cigarettes for her, Zgonc said, and the 11-year-old had scratches from where Fisher had thrown a knife at him during an earlier incident.

Fisher is charged with cruelty to children, simple battery and aggravated assault.

— Thanks to Out There reader Darryl C.

Noise Meter Mounted in School Cafeteria

ATHOL, Idaho (AP) — Green light. Red Light. Lights out.

In an effort to quiet down the lunchroom chatter at Athol Elementary, a stoplight has been mounted that monitors decibel levels and signals teachers to turn the lights out when kids get too noisy.

The stoplight is mounted on the lunchroom wall and goes from green to yellow, flashes, and then turns red.

The move comes because of the lunchroom's poor acoustics and tile floors.

"The sound doesn't have anything to soak into," Principal Connie McGee said.

When the light turns red, the lunchroom stays dark and youngsters have to stay silent until the Talk Light resets and turns green again.

"The ones who continue to talk have to write 50 times: 'I will not talk during lights out,'" said Renee Johnson, a lunchroom supervisor.

Not everyone is cheering. Fourth-grader Ethan Stiles recently grumbled as the light turned red just after he sat down to eat his lunch.

"It's stupid and it stinks," he said.

Evil Gases Invade America

FRENCHVILLE, Maine (AP) — Northern winds have been sending a stench of manure from across the Canadian border, the people in this St. John Valley (search) town are tired of holding their noses.

"It smells like acid or sulfur, and it's really strong. The last couple of weeks have been really bad," Frenchville Town Manager Philip Levesque said. "It's an international problem."

Levesque said the odor comes from a chicken manure composting facility in New Brunswick.

People in the town of about 1,200 say smells from the plant along the St. John River are so bad when the north wind blows that windows and doors must remain closed and outdoor activities are curtailed.

Percy Thibeault, a resident of the area most affected by the smells, said a committee called Citizens for Clean Air has been formed to deal with the odor.

"This is affecting real estate valuations. They are going down," said Thibeault, adding that the problem is made worse by commercial pigpens operating west of St. Hilaire.

"It's affected our quality of life," Thibeault said. "We can't have barbecues, can't open windows and doors because of the smell. It's a nuisance."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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