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Oct. 12, 2009 at 6:00 AM
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Man wants to buy back his stolen bicycle

CHICAGO, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A 27-year-old Chicago man says he will pay whoever stole his bicycle to return his beloved two-wheeled transport, no questions asked.

U.S. Army veteran Charlie Dennis wants to be reunited with the bicycle he rode on an 1,800-mile solo journey from Denver to Chicago two years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"I only care about getting it back," Dennis said. "That's all that matters to me."

Dennis has posted signs offering to buy back his bike, even if he must pay off whoever stole it the week before last. Dennis would not specify how big a reward he is offering but he gave the newspaper a glimpse into why the bicycle is so important to him.

"I'm never going to make that trip again," he said.


Newlyweds begin 'honeymoon' in jail

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A Tennessee couple broke into the wedding chapel where they had been married a few hours earlier and stole a lockbox holding $500, police said.

Brian Dykes, 21, and Mindy McGhee, 24, of Jacksboro were in the Sevier County Jail Friday after being arrested at a Denny's Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel reported.

"The jail may have to get a honeymoon suite, because that's where they'll spend their honeymoon," Joyce Whaley, owner of the Angel's View Wedding Chapel, told the newspaper.

Dykes and McGhee were married Wednesday afternoon at the chapel. At about 1 a.m., an employee who stopped by to make sure the place was secure discovered a door had been forced open and recognized the car in the parking lot.

"The wedding picture is what identified them," Whaley said. "They look exactly the same in their mug shots."

Police said the couple admitted the break-in and gave up the lockbox and stolen cash.

Whaley said her lawyers have advised her the marriage is still legal.


Elephant poop a hot circus commodity

TROY, Ill., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A worker with a circus that recently arrived in Troy, Ill., says circus elephants' dung is a popular draw for gardeners and sculptors.

Armando Loyal, who works with animals for the Kelly Miller Circus, said circus visitors routinely ask for elephant dung to use as fertilizer or as the basis for paperweight sculptures, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

"One lady got some dung from us, and a year later she came back. She brought us a tomato that looked like a softball," Loyal said.

The circus is never at a loss for elephant dung. Its three female Asian elephants produce nearly 4 cubic yards of fecal matter daily.

Circus owner John Ringling North, whose circus arrived in Troy Friday, even offered advice to gardeners considering using the animal waste to improve their gardens.

"You don't put it on fresh. You need to compost it. Let it rot down," North told the Post-Dispatch. "Then it really is super."


Moonshine arrest nets lots of liquor

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Alcohol enforcement officers say they arrested an alleged moonshiner near North Wilkesboro, N.C., in one of the largest liquor seizures in recent memory.

Roger Lee Nance, 63, was charged Wednesday with possession of non-tax paid liquor, possession of the liquor for the purpose of selling, and possession of equipment and ingredients intended for the use in the manufacture of an alcoholic beverage, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent Bobby Crumpler said.

He told the Wilkes Journal-Patriot officers found 929 gallons of moonshine with an estimated street value of $32,500, based on an estimate of $35 per gallon. Most of the moonshine was in glass quart jars and had peaches, strawberries or other fruit for flavoring. Other liquor was in 20-liter plastic containers.

Nance had been under investigation for about two months before the arrest. He was issued citations for the offenses and police continue to investigate.

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