They just wanted to go to Nevada, any way they could.
Three 11-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl tried to hijack a school bus Friday morning, Pennsylvania state police told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
One boy held a knife to the driver's neck as she guided the bus down a rural road in Oliver, near Punxsutawney (search) in the central part of the state.
He ordered driver Janet McQuown to stop the bus and get off, after which the pint-sized hoodlums apparently planned to drive the bus 2,000 miles themselves.
But McQuown, 52, wouldn't be cowed, calmly telling the boy to give her the knife. After she asked several times, he handed it over.
"They know I mean business," she told the Post-Gazette. "There was no question about it."
McQuown said she never raised her voice, but was firm and quick-witted.
"It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to be afraid," she said. "It was over in 30 seconds."
After she got the knife away, she told the kids to sit down and be quiet, then drove another 20 minutes to Mapleview Elementary School (search) in Punxsutawney.
Once there, she told administrators, who took aside the not-so-fearsome foursome and called the cops.
Two boys were taken into custody by state police, while the other boy and the girl were picked up by their parents.
Charges against them could include attempted robbery, attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault, simple assault, criminal conspiracy, risking a catastrophe, harassment and disorderly conduct.
McQuown, a school bus driver for nine years, said most of the other kids aboard the bus had no idea what went on.
"The kids were just sitting there, chitty-chattin'," she said. "I was totally directed by God. I could not have reasoned that out and have it happen any better."
As for why the knife-wielder gave in so easily, she thought it was simple.
"Apparently," said McQuown, "they did not have a Plan B."
— Thanks to Out There reader Kent S.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A student whose vacation plans were spoiled has sued to end summer homework in Wisconsin, claiming it creates an unfair workload and unnecessary stress.
Peer Larson, 17, had lined up a dream camp counselor job last June, but honors pre-calculus homework turned his summer into a headache.
"It didn't completely ruin my summer, but it did give me a lot of undue stress both at home and at work," the high school junior said Thursday. "I just didn't have the energy or the time for it."
Larson and his father sued in Milwaukee County Circuit Court (search) seeking the end of summer homework across the state. They argue that homework shouldn't be required after the required 180-day school year is over.
"These students are still children, yet they are subjected to increasing pressure to perform to ever-higher standards in numerous theaters," the suit said.
School administrators have told the family that honors courses require some summer work.
Whitnall School Superintendent Karen Petric told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the district did its best to address the Larsons' concerns.
"I strongly believe the district acted appropriately and didn't do anything wrong," she said. "Court is not the place to solve it."
While students will probably root for the Larsons, lawyers contacted Thursday questioned the suit's legal grounds. Larson and his son had acted as their own legal counsel.
"This is the sort of thing that has been traditionally handled by school boards," said attorney Thomas R. Schrimpf. Another attorney, Timothy Baldwin, predicted the case would be dismissed.
The Jan. 10 lawsuit names a math teacher, three school administrators and the state's superintendent of public instruction. Wisconsin's attorney general's office will assign a lawyer to respond to the suit, said spokesman Brian Rieselman.
— Thanks to Out There reader Marty S.
NEW YORK (AP) — See Dick and Jane. See Dick and Jane get a lawyer.
Pearson Education (search), the publishing company that owns the copyright to the single-named stars of countless reading primers, is suing a division of Time Warner for co-opting the characters in a book called "Yiddish With Dick and Jane," according to The New York Times.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims the book violates Pearson's copyright. The book, which has sold more than 100,000 copies since it was published in September by Little, Brown & Company (search), is billed as a parody.
Not so, the lawsuit says. "Yiddish With Dick and Jane" "is not a parody, but is an unprotected imitation," the suit alleges.
Author Barbara Davilman, who co-wrote the book with Ellis Weiner, told the newspaper that she views the lawsuit as "a good old shakedown for money."
The parody book takes Dick and Jane into adulthood, where they're faced with problems like adultery, ailing parents and sexual orientation.
Pearson declined further comment on the lawsuit, according to the Times. Little, Brown — a part of the Time Warner Book Group — issued a statement defending its product.
The book was "entitled to the full protection of the First Amendment and related laws permitting of social company," the statement said.
MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — Coming soon to a theater near you: movie listings that print the start time for the main feature.
Frustrated with lengthy advertisements and previews that delay movies and chew up viewing time, a state lawmaker wants theaters to be honest about when a movie actually starts.
State Rep. Andrew Fleischmann (search) is proposing legislation to force movie listings to print the time the previews start, and when the movies start.
"We're being robbed of our freedom of choice because we're not told when the actual movie will begin," said Fleischmann, a Democrat.
Movie ads are big business for theaters. A report from the Cinema Advertising Council (search), an industry group, found that on-screen revenue for its members grew 45 percent from $190.8 million in 2002 to $315 million in 2003.
Messages seeking comment were left for the council, the National Association of Theater Owners, Loews Theaters and Regal Cinemas.
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A man who used a cardboard gun to rob a bank apparently wasn't paying much attention when he cased the building earlier and failed to notice it was across the street from an office used by Caddo Parish sheriff's detectives.
Employees told authorities they had seen the man hanging around the business earlier in the day, sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said. He showed up again later Jan. 13, wearing a bandana and brandishing what looked like a gun.
"He demanded an undisclosed amount of money from the teller" then took off on foot, Chadwick said.
Deputies immediately responded along with detectives from across the street. Together, they began blocking off driveways and setting up a perimeter around the area.
Detective Stacy Cowgill saw the suspect crossing the road, trying to stay in the woods. Cowgill chased the man and arrested him without incident eight minutes after deputies were dispatched.
"He had the money in his front pocket," Cowgill said. "He told us when I got him the gun was made out of cardboard."
A short time later, deputies found two rolls of paper taped together to resemble a gun.
Ricky Lawrence Banks was booked into Caddo Correctional Center on a charge of first-degree robbery.
"You can't be very bright and rob a bank right across the street from a detective office," Cowgill said.
SEATTLE (AP) — An art lover left his hometown about $1 million to buy a new fountain. But not just any fountain.
The late Stu Smailes made clear the work must include the figure of at least one life-size naked man.
Smailes, a retired computer analyst for Safeco, died in 2002 at the age of 69. He was an only child, with no immediate family.
The fountain bequest represents Smailes' entire estate, except for a charitable trust of about $400,000 that has been distributed, said his attorney, Tim Bradbury.
According to court documents, the bequest is to be used exclusively for "designing, constructing and maintaining a fountain or fountains located within the city of Seattle. The fountain(s) shall include one or more unclothed, life-size male figure(s) designed in the classical style, i.e.: realistic," said Karen Bystrom at the City's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Bystrom said somebody in her office has suggested the naked-man fountain be part of the Seattle Art Museum's new Olympic Sculpture Park, now a work in progress at the north end of the downtown waterfront.
The agreement is still being negotiated. "The city is going to assign our interest in the bequest to SAM," Bystrom said.
A museum spokesperson said there are no firm plans yet: "We have had conversations with the city and the Smailes estate on the possibility of a sculpture project. However, we have not entered into any agreements at this time and so it is premature for us to discuss any details."
Smailes was a great fan of the arts, especially musical theater, Bradbury said.
"He was a very funny man," Bradbury said, with a "very strong sense of humor."
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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