Hotel's Stuffed Bear Mascot Beaten

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How could anyone kidnap and beat the stuffing out of a cute and cuddly brown bear?

Oliver the bear, the unofficial mascot for a Holiday Inn in Richmond, Ind., was snatched Wednesday morning and beaten — possibly by a pack of bear-hating businessmen, according to the Palladium-Item.

"We had a group of men who had a little too much fun," Carla Eberwein, the hotel's director of sales, told the Palladium-Item.

After viewing the bear's kidnap/beating on a security tape from the building's elevator chamber, employees managed to find the 5-foot teddy bear later that day.

Oliver lost an eye during his drubbing and even had some tears in his stitching — but employees say he's expected to fully recover.

"We dress him in different outfits," Eberwein told the Palladium-Item. "The kids love him."

Hotel workers didn't call the police, but they expect to have the last laugh after Oliver's thrashing.

The big 'ol teddy bear is back at his post, stitches and all, and taking visitors.

"Right now, he's all bandaged up," Eberwein told the Palladium-Item.

— Thanks to Out There reader Brian S.

Keeping the Twins Warm This Winter

TOKYO (AP) — Furry, heated bras may soon appear in some Japanese wardrobes as the country prepares for "Warm Biz" — a nationwide government campaign urging workers to bundle up and save energy on heating this winter.

The Warm Biz Bra, unveiled this week by Tokyo-based underwear maker Triumph International, is lined with material that the company says helps save warmth.

The bra also has removable pads that can be heated in a microwave or hot water — as well as long, furry straps that wrap around the neck like a scarf, and matching shorts.

"Warm Biz lets you add a little fun and chic to office wear, and prevents global warming," Triumph says.

In an attempt to cut energy use, Japan's government has recommended setting thermostats this winter at 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit) for government buildings, and 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) for private companies.

The government said this year's June-August "Cool Biz" campaign — which had bureaucrats and politicians sporting open-collar, short-sleeve shirts to cut down on air conditioning — saved 210 million kilowatt hours, enough to power 720,000 households for a month.

— Thanks to Out There readers Aimee H. and Greg M.

— Click in the photo box above to see a picture of the heated bra.

Welcome to Bra Building 101

BAGUALING, China (AP) — The Chinese are serious about building a better bra. There's now a degree in bra studies at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University.

And China's biggest lingerie manufacturer, Top Form, has a bra lab at its factory. The company makes more than 60 million bras a year for well-known labels like Victoria's Secret, Playtex and Maidenform.

The Wall Street Journal reports Top Form has been experimenting with various types of padding to give the bust a boost. They've tried air, but like tires it was prone to flats.

Oil-filled pads were too expensive and heavy.

Now, the company is trying a filling made from a thin type of fiberfill, the stuffing used ski parkas.

Doggie Hero the 'Cat of the Year'

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — This will probably be the first time a dog's memorial service is attended by 300 cats.

A schnauzer-Siberian husky mix named Ginny will be eulogized Nov. 19 at the Westchester Cat Show, where she was named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her uncanny skill and bravery in finding and rescuing endangered felines. She died in August at age 17.

Ginny once threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site to topple it and reveal the kittens trapped inside. Another time she ignored the cuts on her paws as she dug through a box of broken glass to find an injured cat inside.

Her owner, Philip Gonzalez of Long Beach, said Thursday that he has tried to train other dogs to rescue cats like Ginny, but "They just didn't have it."

"I didn’t train her," he said. "Ginny was just magical in a way. I adopted her from a shelter, and they said she’s never been with cats before. But she just had this knack of knowing when a cat was in trouble."

As he used to do with Ginny, Gonzalez still goes out every night to feed stray cats in the area. The cats seem to miss Ginny too, he said.

"They want nothing to do with my other dogs," he said. "They used to come up to Ginny and rub against her, even if I was putting food out."

— Thanks to Out There reader Susan A.

— Click in the photo box above to see a picture of the hero dog lying with a fury friend.

Wow, That Thief Is Really Chatty ...

WASHINGTON (AP) — These days it seems that some people just can't go anywhere or do anything without a cell phone in their ear. In northern Virginia the police say they're looking for a woman who's been holding up banks while chatting on her phone.

"This is the first time that I can recall where we've had a crime committed while the person was using a cell phone," Loudoun County sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell told The Washington Post in a story published Friday. "The question would be whether anyone is on the other end of the line or not."

Investigators believe the woman has hit four Wachovia bank branches in recent weeks in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.

In three of those bank jobs, she was talking on a cell phone, while showing the teller a box with a holdup note attached to it. In the most recent holdup, on Nov. 4, in Ashburn, the robber showed the teller a gun.

The woman is described as well-spoken, with a slight Hispanic accent.

Investigators say they're not sure if she's actually talking to someone on the phone or just pretending. They also won't speculate on why she's chosen only Wachovia branches.

Sacre Bleu! That's My Tooth!

LONDON (AP) — A tooth believed to have been pulled from Napoleon's mouth was sold Thursday at auction in London for about $22,600.

The tooth, part of a small collection of Napoleon Bonaparte items at the sale, was bought by a private collector from England who asked to remain anonymous, said Chris Albury from Dominic Winter, an auction house in Swindon, southwest England.

Albury said the previous owner, who died recently, was a Napoleonic scholar.

The tooth came with papers tracing it back to Napoleon's physician Barry O'Meara, who apparently extracted it from the former French emperor's mouth in 1817 during Napoleon's exile on the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Napoleon died on the island four years later.

O'Meara passed the tooth on to Gen. Maceroni, aide to the King of Naples, who was married to Napoleon's youngest sister Caroline. The last owner acquired the tooth from Maceroni's great-granddaughter, Cecilia White, in 1956.

The upper right canine tooth, which is somewhat worn and shows signs of decay in the center, is still attached to its root.

Other items in the sale included a marble bust of Napoleon, an ivory figurine, painted miniatures, engravings and books. The whole collection sold for more than $38,000, Albury said.

— Click in the photo box above to see a picture of Napoleon's tooth.

That Toilet Man Ain't Lyin'!

DENVER (AP) — A man who sued Home Depot Inc. claiming that a prank left him glued to a restroom toilet seat has passed a lie detector test with questions about allegations that he made previous a similar claim in another town, a newspaper reported.

Bob Dougherty answered 20 questions in the polygraph test, including four related to a former Nederland town official's allegation that Dougherty made similar claims there, The Rocky Mountain News reported in Thursday's editions.

Dougherty, 57, had offered to take the test to dispel doubts about his story. The test, administered Wednesday, was paid for by television station KDVR.

Ron Trzepacz, former director of operations in Nederland, where Dougherty lives, had said that Dougherty claimed in 2004 that he was glued to a toilet seat in the town's visitor center but pulled himself free.

Dougherty has denied that and has said he did not know Trzepacz.

Dougherty's lawsuit, filed Oct. 28, claims that officials at the Home Depot in Louisville called for an ambulance after he had been stuck for about 15 minutes. Paramedics unbolted the toilet seat, which separated from his skin, leaving abrasions, according to the suit.

The lawsuit also claims Dougherty was recovering from heart bypass surgery and thought he was having a heart attack when he got stuck. The lawsuit claims he suffered pain, humiliation and financial losses and seeks $3 million in damages.

Compiled by's Andrew Hard.

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