Cold water in the face, caffeine pills, a pint of ice cream between the thighs — 911 operators in Anne Arundel County, Md., may want to consider all those methods for staying awake.
For the second time in eight months, a late-night 911 operator has been caught sleeping on the job, WBAL-TV and the Baltimore Sun report.
The first time it happened, last August, a woman calling to report a prowler heard snoring on the line before the operator woke up.
After that incident, brighter lights were installed at the call center in Millersville and more personnel added to the overnight shift, but that didn't stop another operator from dozing off on the morning of March 20.
The center's commander, Anne Arundel County Police (search) Capt. Tim Bowman, admits there's a problem.
"People want to be asleep at 3 a.m.," Bowen told WBAL. "So we have to recognize that that's an issue — nonetheless, it's intolerable for that to occur, and we've tried to sensitize our employees to these issues."
Bowman added that the woman who fell asleep in March did so on a quiet night and had not taken any calls.
Video cameras have now been installed to catch anyone else slumped forward on his desk, reports the Sun.
Both the more recent and the original napper were disciplined, but county police would give no further details.
— Thanks to Out There reader Greg M.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sheriff's deputies were puzzled by what they found parked along Interstate 70 in the early morning of March 24 — a driver dressed like a old-time pioneer, saying he was headed for South Dakota with Bibles and "supplies" for American Indian children.
After the man got mouthy and smelled of marijuana, the deputies reportedly uncovered a staggering arsenal inside the sport-utility vehicle, including loaded pistols and an assault rifle with a 30-round clip and a bullet in the chamber. They also reportedly found marijuana, methamphetamines and cocaine.
John W. Hill, 46, of High View, W.Va., was arrested the morning of March 24 and charged with a felony count of possession of a loaded firearm while intoxicated.
A twin-edged knife with an 8-inch blade was in the sun visor above Hill's head, and a loaded two-shot Colt Derringer (search) pistol was in his pocket, authorities say. Searchers seized about 400 rounds of ammunition — a duffel bag with more than a dozen Bibles.
"He said it was all self-protection and that it's dangerous out West," said St. Charles Sheriff's Lt. Craig McGuire. "It's kind of bizarre, but it's all also kind of sobering."
The loaded firearms were within easy reach in virtually every direction, McGuire said.
"The placement indicates to us that he was well-prepared to handle any type of confrontation or opposition," McGuire added. "There is no logical reason why a normal person with a normal outlook would have to travel I-70 with that many weapons and a knife over his visor simply for self-protection on the open road."
Hill was wearing military-style boots, cargo pants and an American Indian vest.
"I've heard him described as looking like a frontiersman or pioneer — that's what he was dressed as," McGuire said. "He said he was headed to South Dakota to take Bibles and other supplies to Indian children. The deputies said, 'Okaaaaaaaaaaaaay.'"
— Thanks to Out There reader Sam C.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Two men traveling on Interstate 380 ended up in jail because the hood of their car popped open.
The men were heading south of I-380 on Tuesday when the hood open and covered the windshield, the Linn County (search) sheriff's office said.
Instead of pulling over to fix the problem, the men stuck their heads out the windows so they could see the road and kept going at about 55 mph, officials said.
Two Linn County deputies on patrol took note, and pulled them over.
They arrested the driver, Travis Williams, 25, of Cedar Rapids, on suspicion of driving under suspension, and no proof of insurance. The passenger, Brandon Calmese, 27, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested on a parole violation warrant from Illinois.
Both men were taken to jail. Williams was released Thursday afternoon. Calmese remained in jail on the Illinois warrant.
"It's a little bit hard to drive with the hood of the car laid over the window," Sheriff Don Zeller said.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — An 18-year-old man was sentenced to 90 days in jail March 30 for attacking his girlfriend after learning she planned to vote for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search) last fall.
Steven Soper pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery and resisting arrest without violence.
He also got five years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and was ordered to take a batterers' intervention program, undergo psychological and substance abuse evaluations — and write a letter of apology to 18-year-old Stacey Silveira, who said she and Soper dated for two years.
Silveira's neighbor called 911 on Oct. 26 after seeing Soper carrying Silveira as she screamed "no, no, no," Assistant State Attorney Tim Beckwith said. Soper pointed a knife at Silveira and threatened to kill her, Beckwith added.
The couple's relationship had been volatile at times, defense attorney Michael Salnick said, but it became violent when Soper learned of his girlfriend's decision to support Kerry over President Bush.
Soper had planned to join the Army, Salnick said.
"Many relatives of Steven's have served in the armed forces ... and he had every intention of going to other parts of the world to defend the United States," Salnick said.
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — A man who likes to keep track of what local government officials are being paid is suing Nash County over a $1.50 copying charge.
Dennis Nielsen of nearby Nashville filed the lawsuit based on a provision of North Carolina's open records law that bars government agencies from charging arbitrary copying fees.
Nielsen says the county charges some people for copying documents, but not others. He also contends the 25-cents-per-page charge is unnecessarily high.
Nielsen says the dollar amount is not important and that governments use the charge to discourage public-records requests.
The county has asked a judge to dismiss the case.
LYNNVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana couple has found a novel way to distinguish their four newborn boys. Kathy and Jody Yager use different colored nail polish on the boys' toenails.
"Each baby has a color assigned to him. Their father wasn't too happy about it at first, but I think he is starting to change his mind," Kathy Yager said. "It's just one toe."
The quadruplets — Andrew, Brady, Conner and Grant — were at home together for the first time Thursday with the arrival of Brady, who had been held longer at St. Mary's Medical Center (search) in Evansville for treatment of a hernia.
The quads were born Feb. 16 at St. Mary's, about 2½ months premature.
It was the first pregnancy for the Yagers, who used in vitro fertilization.
After two weeks, doctors knew Kathy was pregnant. Four weeks later they learned about the quadruplets, Jody Yager said.
The boys are doing well and are going through about 24 diapers a day, their parents said.
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.