Why did the chicken cross the road? To hold up the grocery store, of course.

Donald Haines, 39, of Hilliard, Ohio, admitted to a Columbus court on Nov. 1 that he had dressed up in a chicken costume to rob a Kroger (search) store the previous January.

He pleaded no contest to 12 counts, among them aggravated robbery, kidnapping and receiving stolen property, reported WLWC-TV of Columbus.

Police told the court that a man wearing a mask and a bright yellow chicken suit with orange chicken feet walked into the Kroger store just before midnight on Jan. 2.

The chicken flashed a gun and asked for the cash from the store's safe.

"It's pretty extraordinary," Columbus police Sgt. Shaun Laird told the TV station. "We've had guys wear fake mustaches now and again, but nothing like this."

Although the entire incident was captured on surveillance videotape, Haines was not caught until cops, executing a search warrant on his home, found the chicken costume.

Haines also admitted sticking up a fast-food restaurant while wearing a Santa Claus outfit last December.

The costumes had been part of his job before he was fired from Kroger.

Between the two robberies, police say Haines netted about $18,000. He could be roosting for more than 12 years in prison after he is sentenced in December.

— Thanks to Out There reader Greg M.

Man Shoots Out Drunk Friend's Tires

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Taking to heart the credo that friends should never let friends drive drunk, a man shot out two tires on his pal's car to keep him from driving under the influence.

Alas, the move backfired when the incensed driver got out of his car, pulled a knife and attacked his friend, according to a report by Bloomington police.

Police arrested the driver, David Woodward, 39, of Indianapolis, on a preliminary charge of battery after the fight early Sunday. He was released Monday from Monroe County Jail (search) on $550 bond and could not be reached for comment.

Authorities said they expected to file charges within a few days against the other man, whose identity was not released, after officers found two handguns and an assault-style rifle in his home.

Woodward, who had been staying with friends in Bloomington, went out drinking with them Saturday night and then told them he wanted to drive home to Indianapolis, police said. One of the friends tried to take Woodward's car keys but grabbed the wrong ones.

Woodward got in his car and started backing out of the driveway, but his friend's car was blocking his way. The friend then retrieved a 9 mm handgun and shot out both left-side tires on Woodward's car, police said.

— Thanks to Out There readers Bradley S. and Paul R.

Dirty Laundry Used to Send Mafia Messages

ROME (AP) — Italy's anti-Mafia investigators have long battled money laundering. Now they're cracking down on jailed mobsters' dirty laundry.

Imprisoned Mafia boss Leonardo Vitale smuggled messages out of prison in laundry given to visiting relatives so he could keep running extortion rackets targeting vintners in the countryside near Partinico, outside Palermo, prosecutors said Monday.

The revelation came as police arrested 24 people in connection with the extortion ring, including Vitale's wife, whom investigators said received and transmitted her husband's orders so he could continue running the Vitale clan from behind bars.

More than 300 police officers, aided by helicopters and police dogs, scoured the Partinico area at dawn Monday to carry out the arrests on charges of Mafia association and extortion.

The discovery of Vitale's smuggled messages was the latest indication that Italy's supposedly extra-tough treatment of mob bosses had cracks.

Critics say Italian law is too benevolent toward mobsters, despite a much-publicized toughening of conditions for convicted organized crime members.

"Bosses, when they're sent to their cells, want to continue communicating with the outside world and still today, unfortunately, they succeed in doing so," said Palermo Prosecutor Alfredo Morvillo, one of the prosecutors who signed 24 arrest warrants targeting the Vitale crime clan.

Schoolgirl Fights 'Juicy' Ban

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia school board is backing a decision to ban an honor student from wearing a skirt with the words "It's all about Juicy" printed on the backside.

The principal of the high school had told the girl the slogan was sexually suggestive and forbidden under school policy.

The sophomore protested, saying the words referred to the clothing manufacturer, Juicy Couture (search).

Nichoel Hawks said the school has a double standard.

During her appeal, she showed pictures of male students wearing shirts featuring Hooters, "Big Kahunas" and "Big Johnson."

Politics Made Easy

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Want to get elected to the Springdale City Council? Announce your candidacy and then back out, saying you're too busy to campaign.

It worked for Mike Overton (search), who won last Tuesday's election after not spending a dime or giving a speech.

"I didn't have time to do any campaigning and spent no money on campaigning," the Springdale real estate salesman said.

Overton defeated Rex Bailey for the spot. Overton won with 53 percent of the vote to Bailey's 47 percent.

Bailey said he raised more than $12,000 and went on campaigning because he afraid that would happen. He was a gracious loser.

"I ran as hard as I could," Bailey said. "He beat me. I congratulated him."

Overton's name was on the ballots because they were printed after he said in October that he didn't have time to campaign or serve because of his business interests.

But he'll take the job anyway, he said.

"After what I consider to be a mandate, considering the circumstances, I think it's my obligation to serve after the confidence the average citizens have placed with me," Overton said. "I'm humbled and, at the same time, ecstatic over the outcome."

Girl Blows Enormous Gum Bubble Across Atlantic

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — Conway's big bubble blower has blown away the British.

Bubble-blowing queen Kelsey Lea went to London and brought home another biggest-bubble crown.

In July, 12-year-old Kelsey won a $10,000 savings bond as the winner of the Dubble Bubble National Bubble Blowing Contest (search) in New York. The finals of the contest, sponsored by Dubble Bubble and Wal-Mart Stores, were broadcast on NBC's "Today" show.

The 12-year-old from Conway said that she worked for about a year to be one of six finalists for the contest. She uses three pieces of gum to make the big bubbles, she said.

In London, Kelsey blew a 16-inch bubble besting Great Britain's bubble-blowing champion, 11-year-old Amber Johnson. The pair faced off on the British Broadcasting Corporation's Saturday morning kids' television show.

Kelsey went to London with her mother, Lesley Lea. Her father, Ancil Lea, stayed home with her siblings. Lea said he thought his daughter was making the trip to crown the British bubble-blowing champion, but he was mistaken.

"That's not how it turned out," Lea said. "They invited her over, and we were tickled for her to go."

Kelsey blew at 20-inch bubble to be in the top 20 finalists in North America. After she submitted a video of herself blowing bubbles she was chosen as one of six national finalists and received the trip to New York.

Kelsey went to London in late October. Her most interesting observation? The Dubble Bubble gum is different than American gum, she said.

"It was a lot whiter, and it wasn't as sweet. It's illegal to sell gum there that has color in it," Kelsey said.

She brought some home anyway.

Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.

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