A British teenager's 17th birthday party went way, way out of control last weekend.
Robert Neep, of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, just northwest of London, invited about 60 friends over to his parents' house Friday evening.
But word of mouth got around quickly, and before long, 250 party-crashers were rampaging through the $3 million suburban mansion, breaking into sealed-off rooms, raiding the liquor cabinet and carrying off anything that wasn't nailed down.
"It suddenly got really crowded and there were all these people we didn't know all over the house," a friend of Robert told British wire services.
Robert's parents, who had graciously agreed to be out for the evening, suddenly got a panicked call from their son asking them to come home immediately.
They rushed back to find hundreds of drunken louts trampling over their lawn. One girl had found 800 pounds in cash — about $1,700 — and was handing out 10-pound notes ($19 each) to passers-by.
"The place was seething — the sheer number was unreal," said Robert's mother, Wai Yue Neep, adding that it was "every parent's worst nightmare."
As the police came and the last of the uninvited guests were chased away, the Neeps began to total up their losses — about $4,500 in total.
Fire extinguishers had been set off, cigarettes ground into the carpets and glasses broken. Missing were a digital camera, an iPod (search), computer equipment, several bottles of expensive perfume and countless CDs, DVDs and video games.
"I hope they woke up with horrible hangovers," Mrs. Neep said, noting that a case of wine worth $1,300 had been drunk.
As for her son, she was more lenient.
"I suppose he is forgiven, but he has learnt a very harsh lesson," she reflected. "We didn't want him to have the party — and he won't be having another."
SINKING SPRING, Pa. — A Berks County woman whom a federal agency listed as dead is back among the living.
Toni Lausch, 47, said she has received a letter from the Social Security Administration (search) informing her of her revived status.
Though it means filing a federal income tax return, the Cumru Township woman said she's happy.
"It's good to be alive," Lausch said.
Lausch said she learned of the problem when a car salesman approved a loan for her husband, Kenneth Lausch, but turned her down because the salesman's computer said she was dead.
Then the IRS wouldn't accept her 2004 income tax return. So, while money had been withheld from her paychecks, she couldn't file for a refund.
Lausch's number apparently was switched with that of a dead person due to a typographical error.
The coding has now been removed, and the IRS has told Lausch she can go ahead and file a tax return.
— Thanks to Out There reader Rebecca S.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Plans were being debated last week for the creation of a new town with the usual amenities: hotels, a convention center, retail shops and churches.
But one thing will be different: Sign language will be the preferred way to communicate.
The town is designed to make life easier and more practical for deaf and hard-of-hearing residents, said Terry Sanford, director of town planning for Nederveld Associates (search), a Grand Rapids, Mich., company that is overseeing the project.
"We want it to be a small town with independent shop owners and enterprises," he said.
The town would be named Laurent after Laurent Clerc (search), the French educator who pioneered sign language in the United States. It is the brainchild of Marvin Miller, who was born deaf, and his mother-in-law, M.E. Barwacz.
Plans include shops and homes within walking distance of each other. Each building would have strobe lights and sirens to warn residents of fires or other disasters. The businesses will have many windows to let in as much light as possible.
"At the end of the process we will have pretty specific plans — house details, public buildings and street layouts, the retail centers," Sanford said.
Ninety-two families and individuals have said they would move to Laurent, nearly the threshold number needed to apply to become a town.
"We want pioneers," Miller told the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently through an interpreter. "Just like those who came to live here way back when."
— Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A free Easter Sunday dinner for the poor ended abruptly when a crowd gathered for the meal got rowdy.
"People were pushing in and yelling," said organizer Wendy Carter. "One woman was really out of control, and we called police."
The police advised Carter and her fellow volunteers to shut down the affair at Gus's World Famous Chicken (search) in downtown Memphis.
About 300 people had been served chicken dinner but scores more were waiting outside when police were called.
The dinner was arranged by the restaurant's owners and other volunteers who wanted to do something special for the less fortunate on Easter.
The affair was scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. It ended about 2 p.m.
"We hate it that we weren't able to serve everyone ... but you have to think of safety first," Carter said.
ENTERPRISE, Ala. (AP) — A 7-year-old who apparently wanted to play with friends couldn't wait.
He drove off in his father's truck, eventually running it into a ditch before police officers managed to coax him out of the vehicle.
The boy was driving the big, dual-wheel truck erratically along Highway 27 when other drivers called police Thursday morning, saying they couldn't see anyone behind the wheel.
The boy apparently got the keys while his father, who was not identified, was sleeping, and he was trying to drive to an Enterprise day care center, police said.
Capt. Mike Lolley said the boy was near a convenience store when the vehicle swerved into a ditch.
The boy rolled up the windows and locked the doors as police approached. He pressed the gas pedal and the truck sent mud and dirt flying but didn't move.
Officers coaxed him out by telling the child they would take him to play with his friends, then took him to the police station.
HOBART, Ind. (AP) — While there's nothing special about U.S. Postal Service workers being terrorized by dogs, the size of one here is raising eyebrows.
Mail carriers said they were recently unable to deliver mail to homes along a section of Guyer Street in this northwestern Indiana city because of a 4.5-pound Chihuahua named Bobo.
"The little Chihuahua was 10-foot tall when he was on the street," said Florence Page of the Hobart Humane Society (search), which picked up the dog twice for running loose. "It's kind of comical, you know, but after a while it's not any more."
She said there were no reports of the dog actually biting anyone, however.
Police have nonetheless ticketed the dog's owner, Vicki Seber, twice in recent weeks for violating a city ordinance requiring pet owners to keep their animals restrained.
Hobart police officer Ron Schalk said he had no option but to cite Seber for allowing the dog to run loose.
"The biggest thing I was concerned with is there were a lot of residents that week who couldn't get their mail," he said. "The little Chihuahua was running around being aggressive and trying to bite people's ankles."
Compiled by FOX News' Paul Wagenseil.
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail, with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things), to firstname.lastname@example.org.