Bad Check Gives Wrong Man Bad Name

Your name in lights is usually nice — unless it tells the world you're a deadbeat.

Doc King, owner of Doc & Annie's bar (search) in Brooklyn Park, Md., has been putting the names of people whose checks bounce on the sign in front of his establishment for the past 20 years.

But the latest iteration, "David Duncan writes bad checks," didn't sit well with David A. Duncan, an agent with Long & Foster Real Estate (search) and no relation to Doc & Annie's wayward patron.

"My name's David Duncan, not the David Duncan on the sign," Duncan told The Capital of Annapolis. "It's just irritating."

Bar owner King is adamant that the sign's staying up until the other David Duncan — David S. Duncan — pays his $40 bill.

"It ain't the money, it's the principle," he said. "If somebody owes me on a tab, I put it up there."

Nevertheless, King got back up the ladder a couple of weeks ago and changed the sign to "David S. Duncan writes bad checks."

For Duncan, that wasn't good enough.

So King went back up and added the deadbeat's middle name, "Steven."

Duncan had his lawyer draft a letter.

"I'm not looking to shut [King's] business down," he explained. "I'm looking to protect my name."

King then changed the sign to read: "David Duncan of Long & Foster did not write me a bad check. Sorry. But David Steven Duncan did."

That's satisfied Duncan somewhat. He admits it's rather good advertising, and that he might be willing to spring for the $40 himself if it lands him a real estate sale.

Nevertheless, he added, he hasn't completely ruled out going to court.

Doc King isn't worried.

"I checked with a lawyer before I ever started it," the bar owner said. "He has no case whatsoever."

State Senator's Bull Statue Comes Home

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The capitol cattle kidnappers who purloined a state senator's bull sculpture returned the beast unscathed.

The fiberglass bovine had stood outside the office of Sen. Deb Fischer (search) of Valentine until the rustlers struck on April 26.

The bull — about the size of a large dog — was found unharmed Wednesday morning, lying on its side in a grass circle in one of the capitol's interior courtyards.

"My little guy!" Fischer exclaimed when she saw the sculpture.

The bull was one of several from schools in Fischer's district, which covers a wide swath of cattle country.

"I think it was definitely an inside job," Fischer said.

She suspects one of her fellow senators was involved, but she would not name names.

One ransom note, signed by the "Suburban Rustlers," demanded that she vote for or against certain bills.

"I had to vote for six bills or against two bills ... or give a large box of Jujyfruits" candy, Fischer said.

"Big Bright" was back on display Wednesday outside Fischer's office.

"We've got it tethered to my aide's desk with fishing line," Fischer said.

Click in the photo box above to see a picture.

— Thanks to Out There reader Beth M.

Auction House Selling Ape Paintings

LONDON (AP) — Congo the chimpanzee (search) led a brief artistic career and enjoyed little critical success, despite the patronage of his contemporary and fellow painter Picasso.

But nearly half a century after Congo's artistic career, some of his paintings are going on sale at a prestigious London auction house.

Three tempera-on-paper works — brightly colored compositions of bold brushstrokes — will be featured as a single lot in the sale of Modern and Contemporary Art at Bonhams on June 20, the auctioneer said last Wednesday. The lot estimate is $1,130 to $1,500.

"I would sincerely doubt that chimpanzee art has ever been auctioned before," said Howard Rutkowski, the auction house's director of modern and contemporary art. "I'm sure other auction houses think this is completely mad."

Congo, who was born in 1954, produced some 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of 2 and 4. It was not immediately known if he was still alive, a Bonhams spokeswoman said.

In 1957, animal behaviorist Desmond Morris organized an exhibition of chimpanzee art at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, including works by Congo. Critics reacted with a mixture of scorn and skepticism, but Picasso is recorded as having owned a painting by Congo, Bonhams said.

"Paintings by apes may be seen as humorous or as a derisive commentary on modern art," the auction house said in its lot description. "However, Morris' studies were a serious attempt to understand chimpanzees' ability to create order and symmetry as well as to explore, at a more primeval level, the impetus behind our own desires for artistic creativity."

Click in the photo box above to see an example of Congo's art.

Church Cracks Down on Speed Trap

PROVO, Utah (AP) — City officials have acknowledged police erred when they used a church parking lot to issue speeding tickets to motorists caught in a radar trap last month.

Motorist Grant Brereton, one of those caught in the trap, said there were at least five officers involved: one with a radar gun directed at traffic coming down a hill, one directing offenders into the church parking lot and the others issuing the citations in the parking lot.

"One officer would dart out into the outside lane, show the stop sign and bring them off the side of the road," he said. "He said 'I'll have to get you to go into the parking lot.'"

"Church property should be used for church activities," said Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (search) stake President James Wilson.

"If an officer pulls someone over one time, then that's different than running a radar trap" using the church's parking lot, Wilson said.

City spokeswoman Raylene Ireland said officers erred in using the church parking lot to cite speeders.

"In this instance, they used the parking lot to get people off the street," she said, "but it is not our policy to direct people into private areas."

Woman Has Nice Drive With Escaped Fugitive

STUART, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman unwittingly drove a fugitive who escaped from a state prison work crew around town for three hours before safely making her way back home, officials said.

Worried relatives and detectives were waiting for Charlotte Yoder when she returned last Tuesday. She had been with William Hawley, who had walked away from his road crew from a Martin Correctional Institution (search) work camp and ditched his prison scrubs.

"She got a little weak in the knees when she realized what could have happened," sheriff's Sgt. John Silvas said. Yoder told Silvas that she never felt threatened by Hawley.

"He was very nice," Silvas said. "They talked about religion, family."

Hawley, 41, told Yoder that his wife or girlfriend was ready to deliver their baby, his car had broken down and he needed a cab. Yoder offered to drive him, taking Hawley to five medical centers in two counties.

She also gave him $20 for a meal at a fast-food restaurant in Port St. Lucie. He was last seen getting into a sport utility vehicle with two women. The career criminal was still missing early Wednesday.

Hawley was serving a 10-year term for a police chase and burglary, theft and cocaine charges.

Bungling Burglar Gets Stuck in Chimney

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 20-year-old man learned the hard way that Santa is a tough act to follow.

Javier Torrez, 20, was charged with trespassing after he got stuck in a chimney while trying to break into a house, police said.

Authorities received a call early last Sunday from a neighbor who heard someone calling for help near a vacant home, police said.

When officers arrived, they kicked in the front door of the home and followed the sound of Torrez's voice until they found him in the chimney in the basement of the home.

All they could see was Torrez's legs and feet sticking out; firefighters were called to help free the would-be robber.

Police said Torrez had climbed onto the roof and slid down the chimney before getting stuck. The investigation was continuing and further charges were possible.

Compiled by FOX News' Paul Wagenseil.

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