Cops Nab 15-Year-Old Ninja

The people of Sioux Falls, S.D., can finally sleep soundly in their beds: The nefarious midnight ninja has been nabbed.

Cops responding to numerous 911 calls last week pulled up to a 41st Street curb to find a ninja patrolling the shadows armed with a pair of nunchakus and a sheathed sword, according to the Argus Leader.

However, the 15-year-old shadow warrior, Cal Geiser, was apparently just doing his job, promoting a local store selling Halloween costumes called Halloween Express.

"I was just out walking around in my ninja costume, twirling my nunchakus," Geiser told the Argus Leader. "After 20 minutes of that, I took out my sword and looked at it. I turned around, and there was a cop pointing his gun at me."

After the officer took off his mask and cuffed him, Geiser told the Argus Leader, "They were like, 'Oops.'"

— Thanks to Out There reader Jeremy H.

Anti-Dog Bill Put to Test in N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The author of a new state law that allows felony charges against owners of dangerous dogs was hospitalized over the weekend — after his own dog attacked him.

Bob Schwartz, who also is Gov. Bill Richardson's crime adviser, was hospitalized at University of New Mexico Hospital on Sunday night with bites on both his arms, said Pahl Shipley, a spokesman for the governor.

The hospital declined to release Schwartz's condition, but Shipley said Schwartz is "going to be fine."

Schwartz has three dogs registered with the city: a boxer and two English bulldogs, said Denise Wilcox, who oversees Albuquerque's animal care centers.

Schwartz was instrumental in getting a law passed this year that would allow felony charges against owners of dogs deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous and that seriously injure or kill another animal or person.

The law was designed to make dog owners accountable, said Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, who worked with Schwartz to pass the bill.

"But I guess when it happens in your own family, that's another story," she said. "That's tragic."

— Thanks to Out There reader Sharon F.

Blackouts Are Sexy

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Hospital officials say a January ice storm that kept thousands in the dark and without heat for days might have led to a baby boom in eastern Indiana.

"With no electricity and no heat, you have to stay warm somehow," said Jay County Hospital's nurse manager Lisa Craiger.

St. Vincent Randolph Hospital in Randolph County was up 40 births for early October over 2004, said Kathy Brookbank, director of patient care services.

Stephanie and Kevin Klinger's first child, J. Wesley, was born at Ball Memorial Hospital on Sept. 27 — a day when 10 babies were delivered at the hospital, compared to a daily average of less than five.

During the ice storm about nine months ago, the Klingers were without power for four days. They said they cooked in a cast-iron skillet over their fireplace and spent time under piles of blankets in a closed-off room filled with candles.

"[The ice storm] was like a free day, a bonus," Kevin Klinger said. "You always long for those days when you don't have anything to do."

Hundreds Attend Bigfoot Conference in Texas

JEFFERSON, Texas (AP) — Next to a lifelike replica of a giant ape head, the believers milled around tables Saturday covered with casts of large footprints, books about nature's mysteries and T-shirts proclaiming "Bigfoot: Often Imitated, Never Invalidated."

While they can have a sense of humor about it, the search for the legendary Sasquatch is no joke for many of the nearly 400 people who came here to discuss the latest sightings and tracking techniques at the Texas Bigfoot Conference.

"It's not a matter of believing, like faith, when you believe in something you can't see," said Daryl G. Colyer, a Lorena businessman who has investigated hundreds of reported Bigfoot sightings in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

"It's a flesh-and-blood animal that just has not been discovered yet. And I think we're getting closer and closer and closer," Colyer said.

Outlandish theories about the origin of Bigfoot abound, including that it might be an extraterrestrial. Many believe that a towering, ape-like creature descended from a prehistoric 9- to 10-foot-tall gorilla called a Gigantopithecus, and that it now inhabits North American forests.

Hoaxes have been a large part of the making of the Bigfoot legend. California construction company owner Ray L. Wallace donned 16-inch wooden feet to create tracks in mud in 1958, and it led to a front-page story in a local paper that coined the term "Bigfoot."

But there have been more than 2,550 seemingly credible Bigfoot sightings reported in North America the past century, according to Christopher L. Murphy's 2004 book "Meet the Sasquatch."

— Click in the photo box above to catch a glimpse of the Bigfoot conference.

— Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.

Second Grader Brings Pot to School Trip

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A second grader who brought more than a dozen bags of marijuana to school will not face criminal charges — but his uncle will.

The 8-year-old student at the Dunbar School found his uncle's stash, and brought it on a school field trip Friday to show friends, police said.

A teacher found the boy stuffing bags of pot into his pockets during the trip to Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History.

"We immediately contacted the state Department of Children and Families because we were more concerned about the youngster," said Michael Giannotti, a spokesman for the school system. "After an investigation, we decided not to suspend the youngster because we don't feel there was any malice on his part."

His uncle, 18-year-old Albert Davidson of Stamford, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school and risk of injury to a minor. He was released after posting a $1,000 bond.

N.Y. Mayor: I'm Not Looking for a Date

NEW YORK (AP) — Someone with a political fetish placed a personal ad in The New York Times claiming to be the "Mayor of New York City," but the real mayor assured everyone — including his girlfriend — on Tuesday that he wasn't looking for a date.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters that he'd have to answer to his woman, state Banking Superintendent Diana Taylor, if he were the source of the ad.

"I can tell you that the banking superintendent would be annoyed if it was me, and it is not me," said Bloomberg, who is 63 and divorced.

The spot says the romance-seeker "takes walks from City Hall" and is looking for a woman who "shares his warmth, compassion, intelligence, humor, energy, attractiveness and sensuality." It says he'd like to meet a woman age 45 to 55, and would "give her the keys to the city."

Taylor said she found the whole thing "hilarious" and understands why someone would want to impersonate her significant other, who is a "wonderful guy."

Ladies interested in meeting the mysterious mayoral impersonator have to pay $2.99 per minute to call his personal mailbox. Last Sunday was the ad's final day in print.

Times spokesman Toby Usnik said the spot was approved because "we felt it was a clear parody." The story was first reported by the New York Post.

Man Can't Get Out of 'Haunted' Apartment

SHANGHAI, China (AP) — A Shanghai court has turned down a man's attempt to cancel his apartment purchase after learning of a grisly murder committed there by a past resident.

Liu Hezhi said he was cheated into buying the apartment by original owner Yang Haixiang, claiming Yang lied when he said he wanted to sell quickly in order to buy a new property, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

"Yang cheated me into buying the apartment," Liu was quoted as saying.

Many Chinese believe homes where such inauspicious acts have occurred retain bad luck. Public knowledge of such incidents can make properties virtually impossible to sell.

Shanghai's No. 2 district court ruled that Liu had signed the final contract for the property even after learning that a former resident had killed his lover and dismembered her body inside the apartment.

Yang claimed that he too had been ignorant of the murder when the initial contract with Liu was signed.

Compiled by's Andrew Hard.

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