Lightning Strikes Sleeping Girl's Bed

A little girl's bed in Kansas was struck by lightning — and she lived to tell the tale.

Kaylee Shriner, 7, was sleeping in her own bed in the town of Tonganoxie (search), 25 miles west of Kansas City, when a bolt of lightning struck her house on the morning of June 30.

The jolt went through the roof, into the house's frame, down a metal beam and into the steel springs of Kaylee's mattress, which was touching a bedroom wall.

Kaylee told the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World that a loud noise woke her up, and that her bed then got very hot. She opened her eyes and saw flames coming out of her mattress, so she and her sister, Kristen, 5, ran to tell their parents.

"My mom thought that I was on fire, but I wasn't — it was my bed," Kaylee explained to KMBC-TV of Kansas City. "[Dad] was coming down the hallway, and we said, 'Dad, Dad, our room is on fire; my bed is on fire!'"

"Smoke was coming off her [Kaylee's] hair," her father, Trent Shriner, told the Tonganoxie Mirror. "She has frizzy hair and it was puffed with smoke. She had soot on her face and Sheetrock in her hair."

Kaylee described her parents' reaction.

"He said a bad word, and then Mom heard it, and then she went upstairs, and then she said a bad word," she told KMBC. "There were lots of bad words around here."

Trent Shriner tried putting the fire out, but couldn't. He considered throwing it out the bedroom window, but figured that would take too long.

So he grabbed the flaming mattress and dragged it down the stairs and into the front yard, singeing his own arms and legs in the process. His wife, Kyla, followed, putting out the small carpet fires that sparked up along the way.

In the end, no one was hurt and damage to the house was minimal — an electrical outlet had melted, two hand-held pinball games with dead batteries suddenly lit up again and Kaylee's unicorn doll, Snow, was warped by the blaze.

"The horn was shrinked and so were the feets and the tail," Kaylee told the Journal-World. "It was very special to me. But my grandma might get me a new one."

— Thanks to Out There reader Greg M.

What's a Little Spanking Among Friends?

JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Three strippers and two nightclub managers have been arrested for allegedly spanking a trucker at his 31st birthday bash and severely bruising his backside.

After his friends paid $25, Keith Lowery was handcuffed and spanked with a 3-foot-long paddle and a belt while one of the strippers restrained his head with her legs, investigators with the Pulaski County (search) Sheriff's Office said.

Kelly Eslick, 21, a stripper at Sensations nightclub in Jacksonville admitted to police that she used a paddle drilled with holes for less air resistance while the two other dancers, Lisa Nolen, 23, and Charlene Smith, 23, used the belt.

The three women were charged with misdemeanor battery, and they and two other club employees — James Daugherty, 31, and Dena Mitchell, 30 — were charged with participating in an obscene performance at a live public show, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Daugherty had planned to have patrons sign a waiver releasing the club from liability, but investigators said the club has agreed to discontinue all spankings.

All five club employees were arraigned Friday, then released after receiving an Aug. 4 court date in Pulaski County District Court.

— Thanks to Out There reader Hillary O.

Trotsky Ice Pick Comes In From Cold

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The ice pick police believe was used to kill Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky (search) has resurfaced just weeks before the 65th anniversary of his assassination.

But there's a dispute between the current owner, who may sell it, and Trotsky's grandson, who wants it for his museum — evidence of the ongoing struggle between socialism and capitalism.

Ana Alicia Salas, whose father ended up with it as a secret police commander in the 1940s, is considering selling the foot-long mountaineer's ice pick, but hasn't decided on a price.

Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov, who maintains Trotsky's Mexico City home as a museum, wants the ice pick for his display.

Trotsky helped lead the 1917 Russian Revolution, but split with Josef Stalin (search) and fled to Mexico in 1937. Stalin arranged Trotsky's murder on Aug. 20, 1940, in which a man sneaked up behind Trotsky and sank the ice pick into his skull.

Salas' ice pick has faint, reddish-brown stains. But only one thing can prove the stains are Trotsky's blood: Volkov's DNA.

"Looking at it objectively, this is a piece of history," Volkov said. "It should be in the museum."

Volkov, 79, has offered a sample of his DNA — but only if Salas gives him the ice pick.

"If it is for commercial purposes, I refuse to participate in this kind of thing," said Volkov.

Salas, 50, refuses to even consider it.

"I think this instrument is valuable. It is a piece of world history," Salas said, displaying the ice pick, wrapped in flannel and kept in an old cardboard box labeled "Kenmore Electric Heating Pad."

For Volkov, the dispute echoes his ancestor's battle.

"Marxism is still valid, and present," he acknowledged with a chuckle, "though we do live in a market economy."

Click in the photo box above to see the instrument in question.

Do You Take This Cow to Be Your Lawful Wedded Wife?

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Farmer Amphol Wangboon was hesitant to give up his beloved Thong Khaow for marriage until he found her the perfect match and a dowry he couldn't refuse: truckloads of fresh grass, hay, maize and $2,400.

So Thong Khaow and her new mate, Thong Kham — a pair of rare dwarf Brahman cattle (search) — were married Sunday morning in a traditional Thai ceremony featuring a banquet for more than 2,000 human guests in central Sa Kaew province.

The animals wore silk outfits and jasmine garlands. Other beasts, including goats, also attended the wedding.

Amphol said Thong Kham's owner, Krachang Kanokprasert, offered him the cash and the feed dowry as part of the wedding festivities.

"I wasn't going to sell her — she's a special find — but Krachang said he would take care of her and wanted the couple for a display in front of his restaurant," Amphol said. "If he takes good care of her, I don't mind giving her to him."

Click in the photo box above to see bovine bliss.

Man Rifles Through Cruiser Parked in Sheriff's Driveway

ATHENS, Tenn. (AP) — Athens Police and the McMinn County Sheriff's Department (search) routinely work together, but on Friday the top officers went a step further to foil a petty thief.

Sheriff Steve Frisbie's wife got an early morning call from a neighbor to say someone was in the sheriff's car.

The neighbor, Athens Police Sgt. Tracy Brown, recognized the robber as Theodore Rogers, 39, authorities said.

Frisbie said by the time he had gotten out of the shower and to the door, Athens police officers had already apprehended the suspect.

Rogers had taken jail keys and handcuffs, authorities said, and he was charged with auto burglary and theft under $500.

The sheriff also learned a lesson — he said Rogers got into the cruiser through an unlocked passenger door.

Suspect Gives Himself Ride From Scene

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (AP) — Being handcuffed behind his back wasn't enough to stop a vandalism suspect from driving away in a Wayne County Sheriff's Department (search) cruiser.

Deputies answered a call about a man throwing rocks at a house in Highland Park about 5:50 a.m. Sunday, Deputy Chief Robert Dickerson said. They interviewed the alleged victim, then placed traditional bracelet-style handcuffs on the suspect and put him in the back seat.

The man managed to drive away, and the car was found abandoned several blocks away nearly six hours later, sheriff's spokesman John Roach told the Detroit Free Press. The suspect remained at large.

"It's happened before other times," Dickerson said. "This gentleman has a rather small frame, about 5 feet, 7 inches, and if the cuffs are not on tight, they can slip off."

It was not clear where the deputies were at the time the cruiser was driven away.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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