Stop Spreading the News

If you want to keep your name out of the papers, don't do something that'll just draw more attention.

Jack William Pacheco of Chowchilla, Calif., spent this past Wednesday morning buying up every copy he could of the weekly Chowchilla News — which had his face on the front page, along with a story about his arrest for alleged drug possession.

"I have a whole garage full of newspapers," he told the Fresno Bee, which shares ownership with The Chowchilla News.

Unfortunately for him, Pacheco snagged so many copies of the News — between 500 and 600 copies of the 700-copy newsstand distribution — that the paper printed another 500 after regular readers complained.

He also couldn't stop the 550 copies mailed out to subscribers.

Pacheco, 35, was arrested Feb. 17 after drug agents busted into his home in a pricey gated community and found methamphetamine, which he says belonged to the woman who was there to fix the computer.

"It's an embarrassment to my family," Pacheco said. "It's an embarrassment to me."

He insists he paid for every 50-cent copy he took home, meaning he would have spent $250 to $300 on what may have been a fruitless endeavor.

Pacheco said he'll use the newspapers to clean windows and toilet-train his Shih Tzu puppy.

Call of Nature Leads to Encounter With It

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — You've heard of a snake in the grass, but how about one in your toilet?

St. Petersburg resident Shannon Scavotto received a rude awakening Tuesday when he lifted the lid on his toilet and found a snake curled inside, its head sticking out of the bowl.

With the help of his wife, Scavotto caught the snake using an improvised noose and put it in a pillowcase.

The reptile ended up being a six-foot African rock python (search). Experts say the serpent is just a baby, as African rock pythons get as big as 20 feet long or longer.

Scavotto called his boss to tell him he'd be late because he'd had to wrestle a snake out of his toilet. His boss joked he would need a better excuse than that.

Scavotto told him he'd bring it in so he could see it. So he did.

One of Scavotto's co-workers called a friend who raises snakes. The friend said she would come and get it and try to rehabilitate it.

The Scavottos are placing an ad in the paper for anyone who may have lost the snake.

— Thanks to Out There readers Johnny C., Scott T., Dan R.

Burglars Call Cops About Stolen Car Keys

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — When two Danish burglars realized someone had stolen the keys to their getaway car, they reacted like honest citizens and called the police.

Police said they were only too happy to help, and arrested them after they confessed to breaking and entering.

The men, identified only as an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old, broke into a summer cabin late Wednesday near Kaldred, 55 miles west of Copenhagen.

As they carried their haul to the car, they were confronted by a passer-by, who witnessed the break-in and insisted that they return the stolen property.

To ensure they couldn't get away, the passer-by took the keys from their car, and refused to return them.

"The two young men then called us and said they needed our help getting their keys back," Chief Superintendent Asger Larsen said on Thursday.

He said the two realized that without the keys, they would have to leave their car at the scene, which would put the police on their trail and lead to their arrest anyway.

"It's a pretty straightforward case for us, since this time, the thieves actually reported the robbery," Larsen said.

— Thanks to Out There readers Peter L. and Greg M.

New Tax May Be Stuck on Chewing Gum

LONDON (AP) — A British gum summit, meeting in London this past Tuesday, outlined proposals to introduce a chewing-gum tax to fund cleaning the sticky stuff from streets.

Representatives from Britain's biggest cities called for the tax — to be charged at the rate of a penny (2 American cents) per packet of gum — to help meet the costs of removing gum from sidewalks, trains and other public places.

Alan Bradley of Westminster City Council (search), which covers much of central London, said the annual cost of removing gum across London, including cleaning wads of gum off subway trains and stations, was estimated at $7.6 million.

"It is highly expensive to remove gum, and we can only concentrate on cleaning key streets," Bradley said.

Delegates have also called on chewing-gum manufacturers to develop new packaging which would allow people to take their used gum home with them.

Sales of chewing gum in Britain are worth an estimated $489 million a year.

— Thanks to Out There reader Harley W.

Woman Pulls Jackpot Out of Trash

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Karrie Jeremiah pulled a discarded lottery ticket from a restaurant trash can and hit the jackpot.

Two other people had purchased the $5 Hoosier Lottery (search) scratch-off ticket in early February at the Chaperral Cafe.

When a clerk at the downtown cafe told them it wasn't the $40 winner they were hoping for, they threw it away, lottery officials said.

It wasn't a $40 winner — it was a $100,000 winner.

Jeremiah, a customer at the store, said she wondered whether the numbers were completely checked before the ticket was tossed.

"Who would ever throw this ticket in the trash knowing it was a $100,000 hit?" she said.

Lottery security director Ellen Corcella said the cafe clerk had not checked for any winning combinations other than for $40.

Lottery officials on Feb. 10 issued Jeremiah a check for $71,600 — the amount after taxes were withheld.

Corcella said the lottery was looking into the circumstances surrounding the ticket, but believed Jeremiah was the rightful winner.

"If I drop $100,000 in the street and walk away and the next person picks it up, it's their money," she said.

Pro Soccer Team to Play in Empty Stadium

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek league leader Olympiakos (search) was ordered to play two more home games before no fans as punishment for crowd violence.

A sports tribunal punished the soccer team a second time this year following weekend violence on the island of Crete, where lowly Ergotelis (search) upset the visitors 2-1. The tribunal also fined Olympiakos nearly $40,000 on Thursday.

Last month, Olympiakos and Panionios Athens (search) were ordered to play four home games behind closed doors, again following crowd trouble. Panathinaikos also must play one home game before empty seats because of violence at a Greek Cup game.

On Thursday, Panathinaikos lost at Sevilla 2-0 and was eliminated from the UEFA Cup (search). Olympiakos beat Sochaux 1-0 in France and advanced to the last 16 of the competition.

Compiled by FOX News' Paul Wagenseil.

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