Life Gets a Little Too Ironic for Wisconsin News Team

Now here's a story we just can't let slip by.

A truck driver for Milwaukee's WDJT-TV was covering a story on ice safety for snowmobile riders Sunday when she inadvertently drove her truck into a thinly iced-over lake.

The woman was able to escape after driving the news truck into Big Muskego Lake, the Associated Press reports.

The driver had thought she was driving the vehicle over an icy road, when in fact she had driven it onto a frozen-over channel in suburban Milwaukee, Muskego police Sgt. John Mesich said.

Thou Shall Not Purse-Snatch in Church

Purse snatchers in Columbus may not fear the wrath of God, but they're certainly afraid of his elderly flock.

Two would-be thieves brazenly entered Sunday Mass at Christ the King Church in Columbus Sunday and began snatching congregants' handbags, when they were overcome by the quick actions of some senior citizens, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

A quick-witted 67-year-old congregant named Bob confronted Wendell Hollingsworth, 43, and Celeste Smith, 51, as they tried to flee the church with a plastic bag filled with purses, the paper reported.

When Hollingsworth allegedly pistol-whipped Bob, four parishioners aged 50 to 70 came to the rescue "like football players," Bob's wife, Carol, recounted. (The couple's last name was withheld by the Dispatch out of fear of reprisals.)

"One guy, I betcha in his 70s, was laying into the bad guy with no fear at all," Bob said.

Police charged Smith and Hollingsworth with aggravated robbery.

"Our parishioners are not about to let anyone defile their church," said the Rev. Michael Lumpe, the pastor of the church. "Kudos to those who didn’t just sit and let it happen."

The rest of the congregation didn't seem to notice the ruckus. Most are elderly and didn’t hear it, Bob and Carol said.

Thanks to Out There reader Elizabeth P.

Teen Wolves Keep It Zipped in Utah

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Stress relievers during final exams are fine, even encouraged, say Utah State University administrators.

But a group howl in the school library? Maybe not.

"Students want to vent all that pressure," said Linda Wolcott, vice provost for libraries. "I sympathize with them. I'm just not sure the library is the most appropriate place to do it."

The student government will consider a request to sanction a finals week howl, something that started during last spring when a small group of students tried to break the tension by howling like wolves.

The students thought it was effective and called for another howl last semester. They sounded off again — in the Merrill-Cazier Library, a four-story building where sound tends to carry.

"We went back to the library because we figured that was the place where the most people would be during finals week," said junior Eric DeFries, an organizer. "The librarians and stuff still got kind of mad but nothing really happened."

DeFries wants the university to adopt the howl as a school tradition.

But the effort may have a better chance if it's held somewhere other than the library, Wolcott said.

"If they want to go outside, I don't think that's going to be disturbing anybody," she said.

I'm Here to Hic Represent My, Er,Hic Client

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Police arrested a Madison lawyer for drunken driving after he went to the station to pick up a client who had been arrested for the same offense.

"I can't tell you how humbled I am, how embarrassed I am," said Madison lawyer Rick Petri, who once prosecuted drunken drivers for the Madison city attorney's office.

Petri's client, former Dane County Board member Patrick DePula, 34, was arrested early Thursday for drunken driving, Madison police spokesman Mike Hanson said. His blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 percent.

Petri, 64, said he had been out the same evening, had a couple of drinks and went home about 8 p.m. to watch the Badgers basketball game. He said he had a couple more drinks, then went to bed.

He said Madison police called around 2 a.m. Thursday asking him to pick up DePula.

Petri said the officer asked if he had been drinking, and said he could only come if he had no alcohol in his system.

He said he was certain his blood-alcohol concentration was under 0.08 percent, the legal limit for drunken driving in Wisconsin.

"I did not think I was intoxicated, and I was wrong," Petri said.

But when Petri arrived, he was given a preliminary breath test that indicated a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.09 percent and was placed under arrest for drunken driving.

Petri said he should not have trusted his "glib certitude" that he was sober enough to drive, and he is thankful that he did not hurt anyone.

"If there's anybody who should have known better, it was me," he said. "All I can do is apologize to my client, my family and my community."

DePula and Petri were cited for first offenses. The offense is punishable by a fine of $150 to $300, plus a $355 surcharge and license suspension or revocation of six to nine months, along with an alcohol assessment.

Cujo Rabies-Free After Six Years on the Lam

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cujo was a frisky 7-year-old when he sneaked out of his owners' yard in July 2000.

Now, thinner and grayer and with a tale that would be fascinating if only he could tell it, the golden retriever is back with the Barczewski family.

"It's a miracle," 41-year-old Noreen Barczewski said at Friday's reunion. "We found him!"

Six years can do a lot to a dog, but it was unmistakably Cujo. There was the heart-shaped patch of white on his forehead, the white fur on his toes, his manner of greeting people by rubbing against them cat-style.

Cujo had somehow ended up 120 miles away in Columbia in the home of an elderly woman. When the woman entered a nursing home, the dog was sent to the Central Missouri Humane Society in Columbia.

A week ago, Noreen Barczewski's brother-in-law, Michael Barczewski, went to an adoption agency Web site on a fluke. He'd been looking for a dog to adopt and saw the picture of the old dog with the white heart mark and white feet.

He recognized the dog immediately, and the reunion followed within days.

Compiled by's Sara Bonisteel.

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