The high price of gas is putting the brakes on an age-old teen ritual — “cruising.”
As filling up a tank becomes more and more expensive, young people near Atlanta, Ga., are cutting down on the flirtatious behavior immortalized in the 1973 George Lucas (search) movie “American Graffiti.” (search)
Instead, teens are finding other ways to show off their wheels, meet friends and check each other out — like hanging out in parking lots where they can turn off their engines and stop wasting gas.
Near Atlanta, the most popular places are shopping malls and "park-and-ride" lots, where as many as 200 teenagers can congregate.
One man who operates a program to teach teenagers how to avoid accidents says the up side to the gas crunch is that teens aren't driving recklessly up and down the streets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A Jordanian man is divorcing his wife — for the third time — on the grounds that her habit as a chatterbox is putting him in the poor house.
Abu Sami told the Petra new agency the phone bills his wife has charged up have cost him more money than he even earns.
"My wife would talk on the phone for hours with her sisters and girlfriends to discuss recipes, clothes and the latest fashion," Abu Sami told the new service.
And this isn’t the first time the couple has had money trouble. Abu Sami has divorced his wife twice before for running up a high phone bill. They’ve reconciled after each split under pressure from friends and family.
But things got out of hand when Abu Sami's wife began using the family landline phone to dial international numbers to participate in games run by Arab satellite channels, the man complained.
"The phone bills represented threefold my salary," he said, adding that this prompted the first and second divorce.
Abu Sami said this divorce will be the couple's final one.
In line with Muslim law the couple can no longer re-marry unless she finds an interim husband before going back to Abu Sami.
Judge Ends Discounted Booze on 'Ladies Night'
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The state's top civil rights official has ruled that taverns cannot offer discounts to women on "ladies nights," agreeing with a man who claimed such gender-based promotions discriminated against men.
David R. Gillespie said it was not fair for women to get into the Coastline nightclub for free and receive discounted drinks while men paid a $5 cover charge and full price for drinks.
In his ruling Tuesday, J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, director of the state Division on Civil Rights, rejected arguments by the nightclub that ladies nights were a legitimate promotion. Commercial interests do not override the "important social policy objective of eradicating discrimination," he ruled.
The ruling specifically addressed the weekly ladies nights at the Coastline in Cherry Hill, but it carries the force of a court decision and applies statewide. Vespa-Papaleo said state officials would write formal rules after a public hearing.
The restaurant's attorney, Colleen Ready, did not immediately return a telephone message left Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Courts in other states have issued divergent opinions on such promotions.
Judges in Pennsylvania and Iowa have said similar events are illegal, but courts in Illinois and Washington state have said that ladies nights are permissible because they do not discriminate against men but rather encourage women to attend.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — A woman who claimed she found a mouse in her soup while celebrating Mother's Day at a Cracker Barrel (search) restaurant was accused with her son of planting the rodent and attempting to extort money from the company.
Carla Patterson, 36, and Ricky Patterson, 20, were charged Tuesday with attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit a felony as they sought money from Cracker Barrel, said Howard Gwynn, the commonwealth's attorney in Newport News.
Patterson claimed she had already eaten some of her vegetable soup when she scooped up the mouse on May 8, the day before Mother's Day (search).
The discovery prompted the 500-store chain to stop serving vegetable soup nationwide, but a company investigation discovered the mouse did not originate from the Cracker Barrel kitchen.
"We learned that the mouse died from a fractured skull before it entered the soup," Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Julie Davis said. In addition, the animal had no soup in its lungs, nor had it been cooked — signs it had been dropped in the soup after its death, she said.
The company took its suspicions to prosecutors last week.
Patterson and her son had sought $500,000 from Cracker Barrel, Davis said.
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A 22-year-old man who climbed an electrical tower survived a 69,000-volt shock that a utility official said was nearly always fatal.
Jason Grisham was in fair condition Wednesday in a hospital burn unit.
Police and a Cinergy/PSI employee found Grisham asking for help as he emerged Sunday from behind a building at a substation where the tower was scaled. Grisham "appeared to have extensive burn marks on his chest and his pants appeared to have exploded," police said.
Grisham, from New Albany, scaled the fence around the tower about 6:30 a.m. and then started to climb the tower itself, rising 12 to 15 feet before he "received a dose of ... electricity and was knocked to the ground," said police, who were seeking a toxicology report.
"Contact with that level of voltage is almost always fatal," Cinergy/PSI spokeswoman Angeline Protogere said. She noted that household voltage is mostly 120 volts.
Protogere said the shock disrupted power to 6,800 customers.
The fence Grisham climbed is 7 feet tall and has three strands of barbed wire on top of it, and there are "clearly visible signs" saying "Danger/High Voltage," Protogere said.
Compiled by Foxnews.com's Marla Lehner.
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