Man Leaves Wife, Realizes Six Hours Later

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Honey, you're quiet back there ... honey?

A Macedonian man left his wife at an Italian service station and six hours passed before he realized he had driven off without her, Italian news agency Ansa said Monday.

According to Reuters, the couple, who were traveling with their 4-year-old daughter, pulled over for gas in the coastal city of Pesaro as they were heading back to their home in Germany.

After filling the tank, the husband reportedly drove away — without noticing that his 30-year-old wife had got out of the car to go to the bathroom.

The woman, who had no money or documents with her, contacted the police, who eventually traced her husband to Milan, some 210 miles north of Pesaro, Reuters reported.

The husband reportedly told police he hadn't missed his wife because she always sat in the back of the car with their daughter.

They're Not Really Ignoring Us

Men have long been accused of not listening to the women in their lives — and now they have a scientific excuse for it: women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to than other men's, researchers say.

According to London's Daily Mail, researchers at the University of Sheffield tracked activity in the brains of 12 men while playing recordings of different voices.

There were startling differences in the way the brain responded to male and female sounds.

Men deciphered female voices using the auditory part of the brain that processes music.

Male voices engaged a simpler mechanism at the back of the brain.

Researcher Dr. Michael Hunter said: "The female voice is actually more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural 'melody' in their voices. This causes a more complex range of sound frequencies than in a male voice."

The findings, published in the journal NeuroImage, may help explain why people suffering hallucinations usually hear male voices, say the scientists.

Texas Man Aims to Visit Every Starbucks

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — Documenting a caffeine-powered quest to visit every Starbucks in the world has become the mission of a Nebraska attorney.

Bill Tangeman, 32, of Kearney, who was a journalist before going into law, is making a documentary film about a Houston native who goes by the name Winter, who set out in 1997 to get a caffeinated drink at every corporate-owned Starbucks store on the planet.

On his Web site (, Winter, who was born Rafael Antonio Lozano, said that as of Aug. 8, he had visited 4,775 Starbucks in North America and 213 in other parts of world. Outside of North America, Winter has gone to Starbucks in Spain, England, France, and Japan. There are 5,715 corporate-owned Starbucks in the world, according to the Seattle-based company's August newsletter on it Web site.

Winter said his trek has been satisfactory on many levels, not the least of which is that it has allowed him to be on a nearly constant road trip for eight years.

But having the incessant goal of reaching the next Starbucks provided another benefit.

"Every time I reach a Starbucks I feel like I've accomplished something," Winter said, "when actually I have accomplished nothing."

Tangeman got in touch with Winter and has since spent several days on the road with him, gathering about 40 hours of film for the movie, which will be called, "Starbucking."

The speed at which new Starbucks are opened has been a major obstacle in Winter's quest, Tangeman said.

Tangeman wants to complete "Starbucking" by the end of the year in hopes of submitting it to the Sundance Film Festival, which begins in late January in Utah.

Some Days, It Just Doesn't Pay to Be a Crook

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (AP) — A man with a knife tried unsuccessfully to rob two women, failed at breaking into an apartment, carjacked and crashed a vehicle and failed to get a woman to give him her toddler, authorities said.

Joe Lucero, 30, was taken to a hospital and was expected to remain there for several days for observation before being booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of multiple felonies, South Salt Lake Police Capt. Tracy Tingey said.

The crime spree began about 5:45 a.m. Sunday when a man attempted to rob two women at knifepoint in the parking lot of a convenience store, Tingey said.

When the women got away without giving him any money, he ran to an apartment complex and tried to break into an apartment.

When that failed, the man crossed the street and forced two people out of a Jeep at knifepoint. He took off in the vehicle but rolled it, suffering cuts and bruises.

He then entered an apartment complex, and attempted to break into several apartments, leaving bloody handprints on the doorknobs, Tingey said.

The assailant then kicked in the door of the Hernandez family.

He barricaded himself and the family inside their apartment, and paced up and down screaming, "Police! I have a gun," Melva Hernandez said.

She grabbed her 18-month-old daughter, Esperanza, and hid her in the bedroom closet. The assailant broke a coffee table in the living room and then went into the bedroom and began tearing the sheets off the bed.

Melva Hernandez said she offered him money, but he refused and asked for the toddler.

"He looked at me and said, 'The baby,'" Melva Hernandez said. "That freaked me out. I said 'Uh-uh. You got to get through me.' "

When the man heard police cruisers approaching the apartment complex, he jumped out a bedroom window.

Police spotted Lucero and arrested him. He was transported to St. Mark's Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. Tingey said he became agitated at the hospital and had to be sedated.

New Zealander, Washington Man Win Tree Climb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fifty-two tree-climbers from several countries scrambled up trunks and limbs at the weekend's International Tree Climbing Competition, but Tennessee's favorite came up a bit short.

Chrissy Spence of New Zealand and Dan Krause of Seattle were named world champions Sunday. Ben Poteet, 22, of Nashville, placed second in belayed speed climbing, in which climbers race for pure speed using ropes and straps. Poteet is the champion tree climber of Tennessee and the Southeast.

"Things went as well as I had hoped for," Poteet said Saturday as he watched the top five male finalists compete for the championship. He was helped by a local fan base wearing T-shirts printed with his name and cheering each shimmy and tug up the rope.

Like most of the competitors, Poteet works in the tree-care industry. The contests are meant to spread awareness of safe climbing techniques, said Jim Skiera, executive director of the International Society of Arboriculture, the main sponsor of 29th annual event.

Judging for the competition is strict, with penalties for unsafe maneuvers and bonuses for creativity, confidence and use of equipment. The top prize is $1,000.

"It's definitely a growing sport because the tree-care industry is growing at 5 percent to 6 percent a year," Skiera said. The competitions have grown from 50 to about 1,200.

"We come because of the people," said Australian Kiah Martin, who placed second at the world-class level. "Tree people are the best people you'll ever meet."

Court Date Set in Spanking Strippers Case

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A Sept. 15 court date was set Thursday for three women accused of spanking a truck driver too vigorously at his birthday party.

The three — Kelly Eslick, 21, of Jacksonville; Lisa Nolen, 23, of Cabot; and Charlene Smith, 23, of Ward — appeared before Pulaski County District Judge Wayne Gruber to face felony charges of participating in an obscene performance and misdemeanor charges of third-degree battery.

The three all work at Sensations Night Club in Jacksonville, where customer Keith Lowery of Bald Knob says they went overboard in giving him an onstage spanking paid for by friends of Lowery who were with him at the club for a 31st birthday celebration.

Lowery told sheriff's deputies that he suffered bruises so severe that he was unable to sit comfortably for five days.

The three women were arrested June 17, along with two other employees of the private club, James Daugherty, 31, of Jacksonville, and Dena Mitchell, 30, of Sherwood, after Lowery filed a complaint with police.

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, according to investigators with the Pulaski County sheriff's office.

North Little Rock attorney Jeff Wankum entered innocent pleas Thursday for the defendants.

Compiled by's Jennifer D'Angelo.

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