A trio of Missouri frat brothers loaded fireworks into a Civil-War era cannon Thursday — and nearly killed a group of visiting Chinese communists as a result.
The president and vice president of the Kappa Alpha (search) house at the University of Missouri-Columbia (search) were arrested the same night, while a third house member was picked up the next morning, reports the Columbia Daily Tribune.
The three apparently wanted to shoot the fireworks out of the cannon, but the resulting explosion simply tore the antique artillery piece apart.
An 8-inch chunk of metal soared across the street, where it crashed through the roof and upper floor of an apartment building before coming to rest on a ping-pong table being used by several visiting Chinese students belonging to a Communist Party leadership association.
"It came down into the net like it would've sliced the table in two, though it didn't break the table," Elaine Pohl, a Missouri faculty member who'd been playing a game of ping-pong with one of the Chinese students, told The Associated Press.
The three fraternity members were released after posting bail of $11,000 each.
The fraternity chapter has been suspended by its national office and the university, pending the outcome of an investigation, the Kappa Alpha Order said Friday. The chapter at Missouri is required to cease all activities.
— Thanks to Out There reader Amanda M.
Nude Sunbathers Watch Gay Party Barge Overturn
Gawkers clamoring to see nude sunbathers may — or may not — have caused a lake barge to overturn in Austin, Texas, Sunday.
Local authorities said the partygoers rushed to get a better look at the naked people at Hippie Hollow beach on Lake Travis (search), unbalancing the double-decker barge and making it capsize.
"As the captain was running upstairs to tell them to move away from the railing, it capsized," dumping the passengers into about 40 feet of water, Travis County sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade told the AP.
But one man aboard told KVUE-TV that the barge starting listing on its own.
"Everyone began running to the right side of the boat to keep it from flipping to the other side," said Christopher Baker. "We weren't running to look at naked people on the shore. We were trying to keep the boat from flipping."
The barge had been rented by two local bars as part of "Splash Day," a semiannual party hosted by the Austin Tavern Guild (search), an association of gay and lesbian bars.
Hippie Hollow (search) is generally recognized as the only clothing-optional beach in all of Texas.
About 60 people ended up in the drink. Two suffered minor injuries.
— Thanks to Out There readers Stacy S. and Garrett M.
Pot Brownies Mean No Munchies for Anyone
SHARYLAND, Texas (AP) — Sharyland school officials have taken the buzz out of sharing home-baked snacks with classmates.
Students in the Sharyland Independent School District (search) can't share their sack lunches or any other food from home with others without school permission after a student was arrested for giving marijuana-laced brownies to friends.
"We do not permit a parent (or anyone else) to bring in food for students other than their own children without getting permission from the building administration," district Superintendent Sandra Reed said in a letter to parents Wednesday.
The letter did not specifically mention the brownies but talked of safety, fairness and consistency as well as the state's guidelines for Foods of Minimum Nutritional Value.
Mission police charged the 17-year-old student with felony delivery of marijuana following the incident two weeks ago. He allegedly shared the brownies with five students, one of whom got sick and was treated by the school nurse.
Some students said they were upset about the ban, as they like to bring treats for their friends as the school year ends.
Entire Legislature in Possession of Marijuana
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Journalists from a trendy magazine on Thursday slipped envelopes containing small quantities of marijuana into Bulgarian lawmakers' mailboxes to protest a tough new drug law.
The letters were part of a campaign against parliament's recent decision to criminalize the possession of a single dose of any kind of narcotic substance.
"This is absolutely intolerable. This is criminal propaganda," legislator Borislav Tsekov was quoted as saying by the state news agency BTA.
Angry lawmakers urged parliament speaker Ognian Gerdjikov to notify prosecutors and to take legal action against the organizers of the campaign.
Three young journalists from the Edno lifestyle magazine were detained by parliament's security guards.
One of them explained that they had slipped letters containing the drugs into each of the 240 lawmakers' mailboxes in the parliament building to protest the tough new criminalization law.
Last month, parliament approved amendments that made the possession of a single dose of any drug to be a crime punishable with 3 to 15 years in prison.
Thief Trapped Inside Operating Air Conditioner
CHRISTIANSTED, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — A man trying to rob a St. Croix restaurant was hospitalized after he hid in a heat extraction unit when employees showed up early for work Sunday, authorities said.
Workers turned on the cooling system's hood and its fan blades began to strike the man repeatedly, police said. He was in stable condition at a hospital where he was being treated for numerous cuts and abrasions.
The man broke into the Tutto Bene Cafe in Christiansted and attempted to open the restaurant's safe, said Scott Hill, the restaurant's executive chef.
He became trapped when the first shift reported for work earlier than usual, Hill said. The cafe was anticipating brisk business because of St. Croix's Half Iron Triathlon, which was held on Sunday, he said.
"After employees turned on the unit, they observed an unusual sound coming from inside the roof, where the hood is located," Hill said.
The employees searched the unit and discovered the intruder coiled up inside the hood with the blades cutting him.
"He was basically stuck inside of it and had nowhere to go once the unit was turned on," he said.
No cash was missing. Police said they expected to charge the man with burglary once he is released from the hospital.
Ivy League College's Name Misspelled
LEBANON, N.H. (AP) — Oops! Two highway signs posted on Interstate 89 misspelled the name of Dartmouth College (search), established in 1769 — when the Connecticut River was the major travel corridor in northern New England.
The signs — which read "Entering Darmouth Lake Sunapee Region" — were posted in Lebanon and Warner recently as a "tourism-related" effort, according to Transportation Department spokesman Bill Boynton. The signs were removed Wednesday.
"They are back at the traffic bureau, and they are being fixed," Boynton said. "It's not much of an expense, more of an embarrassment. There's no indication that any Harvard grads had any thing to do with it."
Boynton said the "Darmouth" signs likely were created in-house by the traffic bureau.
"Obviously, we needed 'spellcheck' there," he said.
Dartmouth College officials are glad the error was spotted, spokesman Roland Adams said.
"We definitely support the correct spelling of the institution's name," he said.
Message in a Bottle Makes Surprisingly Short Trip
FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It didn't make it across the Atlantic, but 7-year-old Dylan Goodman got a long-distance answer to a message put in a bottle that was thrown in the ocean.
His floating note sent March 4 said: "Hi. My name is Dylan. I'm 7 years old and if you find this message, please write back."
A surprising reply, postmarked in Jork, Germany, several weeks later, had the first-grader, his family and friends wondering how the bottle could have made the 4,637-mile journey.
What the message didn't say was that the bottle made only a short trip.
"I found the bottle in Flagler Beach," explained Sybille Lohse, who answered the youngster's note.
"We stay seven months in Germany, five months in Flagler Beach," she said. "I found the bottle in the middle of March. We go back to Germany end of March."
The reality was disappointing to Dylan's mom, Kelly Goodman.
"In a way, I wish we never knew that," she said Saturday. "But I guess the mystery is solved. It was kind of bizarre that it would get there that quickly."
Goodman said Dylan and his sister Megan, 10, had each tossed a bottle out to sea on the morning of Megan's birthday. It was something she had done as a child and she thought it would be fun for the kids.
Compiled by Foxnews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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