Great Escape Ends Just Six Feet From Freedom

It was almost a prison break.

Michigan Department of Corrections officials confirmed Tuesday inmates had managed to dig a tunnel out of the prison, but the plan was foiled before the inmates could carve out the final six feet to freedom, the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News reported.

Officials discovered the tunnel Saturday during a cellblock shakedown and were stunned to discover it led nearly 30 feet outside the building and well beyond the prison's perimeter fence.

“They had not dug the ‘up' part of the tunnel,'” said Russ Marlin, a corrections department spokesman on Tuesday, who didn't hide his admiration for the plan.

Corrections officers were continuing their investigation Tuesday, sequestering the inmates to learn more about the caper.

“The size and depth says they've been digging for awhile,” Marlin said from his Lansing office, noting the inmates just needed to dig out six more feet of earth to escape.

The Upper Peninsula prison is not as secure as other Michigan facilities as it used to be an Air Force barracks and walls, floors and ceilings are not as tunnel-proof as those in newer institutions, the paper said.

Thanks to Out There reader Daniel P.

Ski Slopes Bare? Head to the Subway

There's the half-pipe, but now extreme skiers have the Tube.

Thrill-seekers have turned to the escalators of the London Underground in their latest hunt for heart-stopping excitement, the London Times reports.

Police are investigating Norwegian freestyle skier Arild after a video of his underground extreme stunt turned up on YouTube.

In the video, he skis Europe's longest escalator — at 300 feet — in the Angel Station in North London at 30 mph.

Click here to watch the video.

The whole stunt takes less than 10 seconds, but it was enough to have police to call the actions "naive and reckless."

A producer said bystanders were cleared from the area before the attempt took place.

Wave Your Hands in the Air Like You Just Do Care

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Legislators waved their arms in a snow-angel salute Wednesday to celebrate North Dakota recapturing a world record for those whimsical works of winter.

Guinness World Records has confirmed that the state holds the world record for the most snow angels made simultaneously in one place, said Marilyn Snyder, the education curator for the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

That's 8,962 snow angels, created Feb. 17 by people waving their arms while lying in the snow covering the Capitol grounds.

North Dakota's snow figure turnout bested the earlier record of 3,784, set at Michigan Technological University on Feb. 10, 2006.

North Dakota set the first record in the category in 2002, with 1,791.

"If anybody wants to challenge (the snow angel record), bring 'em on." said state Sen. Dick Dever, who sponsored a resolution celebrating the achievement that the Senate approved Wednesday. It now goes to the state House.

At Dever's request, senators waved their arms in snow-angel fashion as they approved the resolution. The Senate's presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, called the display "a bizarre thing to see."

Doggy Geese Police to Patrol NYC's Central Park

NEW YORK (AP) — City officials will use border collies to drive geese away from Central Park's lawns and meadows next month.

A Howell, N.J., company, Geese Police Inc., employs dog handlers who are educated on the behavior of Canada geese and their migratory, nesting and breeding habits. The collies, bred to herd sheep, have a natural instinct to round up geese.

The Geese Police pilot program, funded by the New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy management organization, will last through April.

As with all wildlife that inhabit or migrate through city parkland, Canada geese are protected from hunting and attack by humans, parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said Monday. But their increasing presence can damage grass and leave parks fouled by droppings, Benepe said.

"The Geese Police pilot project is an innovative and humane effort to manage the growing geese population in Central Park," he said.

Hear the Tumbling Weeds, Destroy the Tumbling Weeds

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana residents are used to digging out from snowstorms, but residents of one neighborhood had to put a snowplow to different use: clearing mounds of tumbleweed from their driveways.

Strong wind blew the tumbleweed in on Tuesday, covering sheds, burying mailboxes and blocking a street and driveways. On Shooting Star Lane, residents had to use a snowplow and pitchforks to clear it out.

Cindy Bowker had to tunnel through the weeds to get to her car.

"It was up over the headlights," she said. "It was all the way up the steps and covered our front door."

A few residents blamed a nearby farm for the problem. Half the farm's crop went bad last year, and the weeds sprouted on about 80 acres, Bowker said.

City slickers have gotten a romantic view of tumbleweed from watching Westerns, but the non-native plants, also known as Russian thistle, can be pesky. They dry out after maturing, break off at ground level and then roll wherever the wind takes them, spreading their seeds in the process.

Across the street from Bowker, Hank and Jan Mueller's shed, camper and driveway were covered with tumbleweed.

"We've had blizzards up here, but this was not like anything we have ever seen," Jan Mueller said.

Compiled by's Sara Bonisteel.

Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We would like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to