Some Scottish toll collectors may be in trouble — for holding up an ambulance over $1.75.
Paramedic Mike Lumsden insisted the Scottish Ambulance Service (search) "rapid response vehicle," which he was driving last Thursday across the Forth Road Bridge, was exempt from tolls.
Not so, said collectors on the Forth Road Bridge (search), a very pretty suspension bridge that spans the Firth of Forth estuary south of Edinburgh.
The car, a late-model Ford Mondeo (called the Contour in the U.S.) station wagon, had "AMBULANCE" written on the hood, but not along the side, which seemed to make a difference.
Lumsden, who was on his way back from an emergency call, said he only had 65 pence (about $1.15) on him, not enough to cover the one-pound ($1.75) toll.
"Normally when we go across the bridge, we just sign a [receipt], but this time they decided I wasn't getting through unless I paid one pound," he told the Courier newspaper. "If I'd had the money, I would have paid them just so that I could get on with my job."
After half an hour, an on-the-spot settlement was finally reached. Lumsden agreed the bill for the toll could be sent to his home, and bridge officials are adamant that he personally pay it.
"Ambulances don't have to pay tolls on the bridge, but miscellaneous support vehicles do," explained Barry Colford of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA). "This was a [station wagon] which could not be considered capable of carrying sick, injured or disabled people, was not an ambulance and as such was not exempt."
Scottish Ambulance Service plans to meet with FETA over the matter.
— Thanks to Out There reader Peter L.
Woman Faces Fine, Jail for Illegal Sitting
NEW YORK (AP) — It's an "only in New York" story.
A woman was given a ticket last week for sitting on a park bench because she doesn't have children.
The Rivington Playground (search) on Manhattan's Lower East Side has a small sign at the entrance that says adults are prohibited unless they are accompanied by a child.
Sandra Catena, 47, said she didn't see the sign when she sat down to wait for an arts festival to start.
Two New York City police officers asked her if she was with a child. When she said no, they gave her a ticket that could bring a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
The city parks department said the rule is designed to keep pedophiles out of city parks, but a parks spokesman told the Daily News that the department hoped police would use some common sense when enforcing the rule.
The spokesman told the paper that ticketing a woman in the park in the middle of the day is not the way you want to enforce the rule.
— Thanks to Out There readers Wendy L., Stephen C., Bill B. and Don W.
Smelly Man Causes Judge to Recuse Self
SANDPOINT (AP) — A northern Idaho judge has disqualified himself from hearing nearly 300 pending criminal and civil cases after a complaint was lodged claiming he wrongfully barred a man from the courthouse because he smelled bad.
Steven Aver of LaClede says First District Judge Steven Verby ordered bailiffs to eject him from the courthouse twice last winter.
Officials say courthouse workers became nauseous because Aver smelled of dog feces.
But Aver says there's no law against smelling bad.
His complaint is being investigated by the Bonner County (search) prosecutor.
Until it's resolved, Verby opted out of any cases involving the prosecutor to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
— Thanks to Out There reader Brad R.
Entire State Declares War on Non-Tourists
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A new billboard campaign is reminding would-be tourists that someday it really could be too late to visit the northern frontier.
The billboards in Seattle, Los Angeles and Minneapolis proclaim "Alaska B4UDIE" — "Alaska, before you die."
The Alaska Travel Industry Association (search) launched the monthlong, $180,000 campaign Monday.
"People say time after time that Alaska is on the list of places they want to go," said association spokesman Dave Worrell. "We want to get people thinking about Alaska now rather than later."
The campaign uses a simple 14-foot-by-48-foot sign, and the slogan is written on the state's classic license plate — blue letters against a bold yellow background.
"In 17 years of marketing Alaska tourism, this is the first time we're not featuring wildlife or Alaska scenery," said Debbie Reinwand, with Bradley Reid & Associates, an Anchorage-based ad firm working with the nonprofit association. "This is edgy. We want people to have that 'ah-ha' moment, like in, 'Ah-ha, I do need to go there."'
Many daredevils are attracted to the state for such death-defying thrills as mountain climbing or extreme backcountry skiing, but organizers don't equate such activities with the new travel theme.
"'Before you die' is such a common theme today that it's not morbid," Worrell said. "We certainly don't mean it that way. If anything, it's more in a fun spirit."
Click in the photo box above to see Alaska's threat to Angelenos.
Anaheim Mayor Ends Baseball Feud for Playoffs
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The regular season is one thing. But there are no hard feelings in the postseason.
Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle (search) did not attend a single Angel baseball game this season because of the legal dispute between the city and the club over the team's name change.
But he has decided to put aside the feud — at least for one game — and planned to seat himself in the city suite behind home plate during Tuesday's playoff opener against the New York Yankees (search).
Pringle said he was going to wear a red Angel shirt while hosting seven children from the Anaheim Boys & Girls Club (search). He did not say whether he will attend any other games.
"Having the Angels in the playoffs is exciting for the whole community," Pringle said Monday. "I want to make sure I'm clear in supporting the team. We've been very consistent the whole year in encouraging people to go to the games, and I don't want anything to take away from that."
Anaheim sued the team after owner Arte Moreno changed the club name from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (search).
Man Still Drives First Car, 67 Years Later
SHELTON, Conn. (AP) — Clarence Curtiss isn't the kind of guy to trade in his car every few years.
He still has his first car, a 1929 Model A Ford (search) he bought when he was 15 for $10.
"Everyone says, 'I'll triple your money.' I wouldn't sell it for a million dollars. I won't sell it no-how," said the 82-year-old Connecticut man.
More than 60 years ago, Curtiss carved his initials and his then-girlfriend's nickname — "CC" and "DOT" — into the steering wheel.
That girl, Dorothy Powers, became his wife of 56 years, until Curtiss became a widower in 1998.
"She was a jewel. She didn't drink, smoke or swear," Curtiss said.
His daughter's first tiny white shoes are nestled on a ledge above the windshield.
During Prohibition, Curtiss' father filled Mason jars with illicit booze. Curtiss used the liquor for fuel as he and his brother, John, sneaked out their father's Model Ts for rides on what were then country roads.
"It had the nicest smelling exhaust," Curtiss recalled.
Curtiss was an auto dealer and collected more than two dozens cars over the years. But he said none of his cars was as special as his first.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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