Too Good to Play

A team of 11- and 12-year-old baseball players has been kicked out of its league — for being too good.

Earlier this month, the Stars of Columbus, Ohio, were taken off the Canal Winchester Joint Recreation District's (search) schedule, and their $150 entry fee was refunded, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

The 14 boys only joined the suburban league in early May, but since then had creamed every other team that faced them — 18-0, 13-0, 24-0, 10-2 and 17-6.

"I called up the league office and said, 'No way are we going to play them,'" Terry Morris, who coaches another team in the division, told The Dispatch. "I wasn't going to subject my players to that."

Pretty soon, all scheduled games were canceled, and the Stars found themselves orphaned.

"I don't think it's fair," said Stars catcher and pitcher Michael Allston, who at 12 stands 5-foot-8. "We always played our best, and we were just winning games."

"[Another] team told us they didn't want their boys' self-esteem battered," said Trina Cochran, mother of 11-year-old Stars player Mario Cochran.

"Our boys went into this with a good attitude," said Darla Perry, whose son R.J., 11, weighs 155 pounds. "It's turned into a disaster."

Opponents' parents charged that the Stars' players were older than they claimed to be and that they were actually an "all-star" team culled from across Columbus.

In return, the Stars' parents began bringing birth certificates to games, as well as documents showing that all but one of the boys lived in the same ZIP code.

League officials and other teams' coaches are unrepentant.

"They were just beating the rec kids up," said Michael Mirones, the league's board chairman. "It's no fun for the kids that are losing."

"We didn't want one of our kids to get hit in the face with a ball," said rival coach Kris Hutchins, who said all his players' parents agreed that their boys not face the Stars.

Stars second baseman Matthew "Boomer" Hufferd, 12, thinks other teams are getting the wrong message.

"If they learn at their age that they can forfeit on things they don't want to do," Hufferd said, "it's quitting."

— Thanks to Out There reader Elizabeth P.

Candy-Bar Contest Leads to Lawsuit

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A woman who won a radio contest that promised the winner "100 grand" sued after the station gave her a candy bar — a Nestle's 100 Grand — instead of $100,000.

Norreasha Gill filed a complaint Wednesday in Fayette District Court (search) against Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, which owns WLTO-FM in Lexington.

Gill, 28, says the station and its parent company breached a contract to pay $100,000 to the contest winner.

Night host DJ Slick (search) sponsored the station's contest to "win 100 grand," Gill said in the lawsuit. Gill won by listening to the radio show for several hours and being the 10th caller at a specified time.

She went to the radio station the next morning to pick up her prize, but was asked to return later. When she got home, she found that the station manager had left a message explaining she had won a 100 Grand candy bar, not money.

Later, he offered her $5,000, Gill said.

"I said I wanted $95,000 more," she said. "Nobody would watch and listen for two hours for a candy bar."

DJ Slick did not return an e-mail from the Herald-Leader, but he said on his Web site that he had left his job. WLTO and Cumulus declined to comment, identify DJ Slick by his given name or say whether he was fired.

Experts said the radio station could face action by the Federal Communications Commission.

Before her family went to sleep that night, Gill says, she promised her children — ages 1, 5 and 11 — that they'd have a minivan, a shopping spree, a savings account and a home with a back yard.

"What hurts me is they were going to get me in front of my children, all dressed up, and hand me a candy bar, after all those promises I made to them," she told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "You just don't do that to people."

— Thanks to Out There readers Paul C. and Don W.

Shouldn't Have Slobbered on Those Burgers

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) — Three men are in jail after DNA evidence from leftover burgers linked them to the robbery of a McDonald's more than a year ago, police said Monday.

Marcellus L. Jones, 45, Thomas Nelson Cribbs IV, 23, and Dexter Carlos Webb, 22, are charged with armed robbery, five counts of abduction and six counts of using a firearm in a felony.

Jones also was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The men allegedly ordered food and ate while waiting for the restaurant to empty on May 2, 2004. They then robbed the business at gunpoint and forced the employees in the freezer, said police spokeswoman Lt. D.J. George.

Police were able to get warrants when the DNA evidence was found on the leftover portions of the burgers the robbers left behind, George said.

Cribbs and Jones already were incarcerated when the warrants were served. Webb was arrested on Saturday.

— Thanks to Out There reader Tony L.

Calif. Traffic Lights Under Attack

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — A tech-savvy prankster has been tampering with traffic lights in this Silicon Valley town, turning them off and rearranging wires so the lights flash red in all directions.

The prankster also has surreptitiously turned traffic lights to face the wrong way, mixed up the audible crosswalk signals that help guide the blind and thrown off the timing of lights to delay drivers.

City officials have launched a publicity campaign in hopes of thwarting the unknown crafty engineer, who has evaded the law for months.

The trickster has been performing antics for three months and has used a key to open control boxes and reprogram the lights.

Most audaciously, he or she recently used a cherry-picker truck to turn an overhead signal across a busy intersection — but no residents or city officials reported any unusual activity.

No one has been hurt because of the pranks. Nonetheless, after ruling out insiders who work for the traffic division, Sunnyvale officials are asking residents to put down their cell phones and handheld computers and look for anyone tinkering with lights.

Mich. City Sees Rash of Parking-Meter Thefts

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Someone is stealing parking meters, poles and all, from the city's downtown.

Fifty-seven of Kalamazoo's approximately 1,000 meters were taken in 10 days. None could hold more than about $10 in change.

Several stolen meters, some damaged beyond repair, have been recovered alongside roads and in local parks, said Sgt. Scott Merlo of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (search).

The rash of brazen, public thefts began June 10 when five meters were pulled from the ground near Kalamazoo Avenue and Church Street and on East South Street, Merlo said.

As recently as Monday, a stolen meter was recovered on Grant Street. The same person or group of people appears to be responsible, he said.

"Somebody that is that brazen to do something in public, to take that big of a chance for that little of a gain, is someone that is definitely desperate for money," Merlo said.

This is the city's second outbreak of parking meter thefts this year. In March, 20 downtown meters were broken into and damaged during two separate incidents, although no supporting poles were taken, Merlo said.

Ohio Town Shrugs About 'Hitler Road'

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Larry Harris is used to the confusion when he tells people he lives on Hitler Road.

The Circleville resident says after 30 years, he's used to the weird looks and questions. But the three rural roads and the cemetery that bear the Hitler name were around long before the German dictator.

The Hitlers were a well-known farm family in Circleville. Longtime resident Idabelle White said she wishes the road names could be changed, but that she wouldn't want to offend the family's descendants.

George Hitler Jr. says family members who moved away from Circleville faced harassment. His father became an executive at Firestone tire company in Akron and the company president asked him to change his name. He refused.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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