Odd News -- November 10, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Police in Washington charge a Secret Service officer picked the wrong hooker for a little action. The street walker was actually an undercover cop. WUSA-TV reports a marked Secret Service Uniformed Division patrol car pulled up to the supposed hooker. Authorities say a Secret Service sergeant discussed sex acts and agreed to pay 20 bucks. The uniformed Secret Service officer was busted by D.C. police in the sting operation and charged with solicitation. The arrested officer's name hasn't been released. The Secret Service says the officer has been placed on leave while the case is being investigated.

MADISON, S.D. (AP) - Students at Dakota State University are cracking passwords and hacking into computers. But they won't get in trouble. It's all part of the course work at DSU. The school is one of less than 90 sites in the country that Uncle Sam has designated to teach computer security. Director Kevin Streff says there's strong demand for their grads' expertise. The training is done in a secure lab. But the students have to pledge they won't cross over to the dark side with their hacking skills.

WACO, Texas (AP) - Amy Jones and her four-legged best friend have new law degrees from Baylor University. Jones got her juris doctor degree over the weekend. Her service dog Skeeter got a doggie diploma, too. Jones has used a wheelchair since a 2002 skiing accident left her a quadriplegic. Her black Lab Skeeter has been a constant companion and helper during Jones' years in law school. Dean Brad Toben says Skeeter is part of the school's family. The pooch was given an honorary sheepskin. Classmate Jolie McCuiston tells the Waco Tribune-Herald Skeeter could do something students couldn't -- growl at a professor.

PENROSE, Colo. (AP) - Chris Clear is used to people calling him a pinhead. In fact, he says it fits him pretty well. Six months ago the 19-year-old survived a freak accident with a garden tiller. The machine shot a nail-like metal pin into his head. He didn't know what actually happened until two days later, when X-rays showed the metal object embedded deep in his brain. It took nine hours of delicate surgery to remove it. Now, folks around Fremont County, Colorado, wear T-shirts that have his brain scan picture. And Clear tells The Colorado Springs Gazette he keeps the pin in his pickup, just in case anyone doubts his story.

FRASER, Mich. (AP) - A suburban Detroit library has a deal for people hungry for a good read. The Fraser Public Library is letting people pay their late fees with food. Each can of food is good for 50 cents off an overdue fee. Library users can have up to five bucks of their book fines waived under the food program. Librarian Mary DeSantis tells the Detroit Free Press book lovers can help themselves while they help their community.

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - It's round, plastic and plays music. But it's not a CD. We're talking vinyl -- as in vinyl records. In the age of Internet music downloads and declining CD sales, lots of folks are new fans of old-school music playback. The Duluth News Tribune reports there's revival in Minnesota. The Vinyl Cave has 300,000 titles, while the Electric Fetus store has a whole floor devoted records. It's not just the sound that attracts people to the 12-inch plastic platters. A co-owner of the Vinyl Cave says people are also drawn to the artwork on the large album covers.

by Jamie Friar

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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