Toddler Takes Bus to Movies

A little boy just really, really wanted to see a movie.

The New York Post reports that a 3-year-old from Queens set off a massive search Wednesday after he slipped out of the house, hopped a city bus and snuck into a showing of the computer-animated movie "Robots."

"He's pretty smart," his stepbrother, Kareem Williams, 16, said of the boy, Clarence Ricky Davis Jr. (search)

Ricky, as his family calls him, got out after his father fell asleep and while Kareem was at Home Depot buying a new door lock because the family had discovered that Ricky could let himself out.

A block away, Ricky caught a bus, paying the fare with his own money, and rode 3 1/2 miles to a multiplex cinema.

"He's really an amazing kid," his mother, Sherrie Williams, told the Post. "He is a brave little sucker to take the bus by himself. Kids are much brighter today. I couldn't go anywhere by myself until I was 7."

When Kareem came back, he noticed that Ricky was gone, and police quickly began a search.

It didn't last long, however, because an alert security guard at the movie theater had spotted the errant youngster.

"He walked in with a woman, but she told me, 'That's not my kid,'" said the guard.

The guard followed Ricky, learned how he got there, told him to enjoy the movie, then called the cops.

"For a lost kid, he sure was calm," the guard said.

Ricky's father was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Cheesehead's Choice: Your Tickets or Your Freedom

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — It's a choice that could give pause to some Green Bay Packers (search) fans.

A judge ordered a woman convicted of theft to decide whether to spend 90 days in jail or donate her family's Packers tickets next season to charity.

Sharon E. Rosenthal, 59, of Appleton, took more than $3,000 from labor union accounts before she left the organization, according to a criminal complaint.

She was sentenced last Friday in Winnebago County Circuit Court (search) on one felony count of theft.

Judge Scott Woldt offered her the decision to either serve the jail time or donate her family's four seats in the Packers' three-game season package to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (search).

The jail time or the ticket donation will occur as part of Rosenthal's overall two-year period of probation.

[The Oshkosh Northwestern reported Thursday that Rosenthal had chosen to give up the tickets.]

— Thanks to Out There readers Kevin H. and Meghan H.

Toads Blow Up, Croak, and Scientists Shake Their Heads

BERLIN (AP) — More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and German scientists have no explanation for what's causing the combustion.

Both the pond's water and body parts of the toads have been tested, but scientists have been unable to find a bacteria or virus that would cause the toads to swell up and pop, said Janne Kloepper, of the Hamburg-based Institute for Hygiene and the Environment.

"It's absolutely strange," she said Wednesday. "We have a really unique story here in Hamburg. This phenomenon really doesn't seem to have appeared anywhere before."

The toads at a pond in the upscale neighborhood of Altona have been blowing up since the beginning of the month, filling up like balloons until their stomachs suddenly burst.

"It looks like a scene from a science-fiction movie," Werner Schmolnik, the head of a local environment group, told the Hamburger Abendblatt daily. "The bloated animals suffer for several minutes before they finally die."

Biologists have come up with several theories, but Kloepper said that most have been ruled out.

The pond's water quality is no better or worse than other bodies of water in Hamburg, and the toads did not appear to have a disease, she said.

A laboratory in Berlin has ruled out the possibility that it is a fungus that made its way from South America, Kloepper said.

She said that tests will continue. In the meantime, city residents have been warned to stay away from the pond.

Click in the photo box above for a picture.

Truck Thief Holds Dog for Ransom

BOSTON (AP) — A man whose truck was stolen with his 11-week-old puppy inside said the thief threatened to kill his pet unless he paid a $500 ransom.

Instead, the dog owner brought the police along to the planned rendezvous, and a suspect was arrested.

Timothy Connors, 30, left the keys in his pickup truck, with the dog inside, when he stepped into a convenience store Monday. That's when Michael Cyr allegedly stole the truck and Dakota, a two-pound Pomeranian-Maltese mix.

After discovering the truck was gone, Connors called his cell phone, which he had left inside the vehicle. He said Cyr answered and demanded $500, threatening to kill the dog if police got involved.

Connors eventually agreed to meet the suspect at Boston's Downtown Crossing (search) shopping district. He put $43 in an envelope — padding it with napkins to make it look like $500.

Cyr did not count the money before handing over the keys to the truck and fleeing, authorities said. Police, who had staked out the area, arrested him nearby after a struggle.

Cyr, 43, was ordered held on $500 bail Tuesday at his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court. He faces charges including extortion and receiving a stolen vehicle.

The dog was unharmed and Connors came away with a lesson.

"I wouldn't leave Dakota alone ever again, not even for 20 seconds," he said.

Grandma, Grandpa Finally Get Married

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. (AP) — After more than three decades together, Betty Tellesbo and John Troutman have tied the knot. But not before playing a complicated trick.

The couple began by asking their parents, their three children and the children's spouses and children to meet them at a restaurant on the pretext of a combined celebration for a number of family members who have birthdays in April.

Just before the arrival time on April 9, they called their relatives' mobile telephones and said to follow them instead, leading the entourage to a chapel where the couple opened their car trunk and began distributing flowers and boutonnieres.

"They knew then it was a wedding," Tellesbo said. "We wanted to have them shocked and amazed."

Tellesbo and Troutman, who met as neighbors while growing up, said they were happy living together for more than 30 years but just decided it was time to get married.

After the ceremony, the family went back to the restaurant for dinner.

"We couldn't have planned it better," Tellesbo said.

Compiled by FOX News' Paul Wagenseil.

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