Tree decorated with 400+ travel souvenirs
FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A Texas couple said their Christmas tree is covered in more than 400 travel souvenirs they picked up during their globetrotting adventures.
Billy and Carolyn Caldwell of Fort Worth said they collected their first souvenir, a red stained-glass heart, on their honeymoon trip to San Antonio in 1979 and they have since collected more than 400 items while traveling the world in support of Billy's career as a geologist, the Fort Worth Star-Telegraph reported Wednesday.
The couple said their collection, which includes items from Australia, the Falkland Islands, South America, the Virgin Islands, Egypt and Israel, has grown to the point where it now takes about three days to set up their Christmas tree.
"Each one is individually wrapped, so when we take it out we are unwrapping a wonderful memory," Billy Caldwell said of the souvenirs.
"It can be a chore, but as long as I'm living, I like putting up my Christmas tree," Carolyn Caldwell said. "Every time you take one (souvenir) out, you think about what a wonderful time you had and the great people you met."
'Marrying Man' returns to magistrate job
COVINGTON, Ky., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A Kentucky man who became known as "The Marrying Man" after presiding over more than 20,000 weddings has been reappointed as a county magistrate.
Steve Hoffman, 53, who served as a Kenton County magistrate, a position that exclusively presides over weddings, from 1989 to 2002. He was returned to the position by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to finish the term of Linda Scully, who resigned prior to the end of her term in 2012, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.
Hoffman, who continued to marry couples as an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church after finishing his previous tenure as magistrate, said he takes his duties seriously.
"It all comes down to one thing when you're doing a wedding," Hoffman said. "You're trying to make a couple of people's dreams come true. By gosh, you'd better do it right."
"People are very excited on their wedding day and nervous," Hoffman said. "You've just got to get them to calm down. You have to have patience to make people calm. You've got to be there for them."
Deputy: 911 caller 'ate too much food'
FORT PIERCE, Fla., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said they arrested a woman at a motel who told a deputy she called 911 because she "ate too much food."
The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said a deputy responded to the 911 call Dec. 18 from the Traveler's Inn motel in Fort Pierce and saw a woman "jumping up and down and yelling in room #108," TCPalm.com reported Wednesday.
A man came out of the room and identified the woman as his girlfriend, Mary Ellen Lisee, who he said would not stop talking so he could sleep. The deputy said Lisee smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated when she followed the man out of the room.
Lisee said she called 911 "because I ate too much food."
"She then began repeatedly yelling that she had not consumed cocaine in over a year," the arrest affidavit states.
Lisee was arrested on charges of misuse of 911 and disorderly conduct.
Boy, 16, sets bicycle manual record
SUNRISE, Fla., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A Florida 16-year-old set a Guinness World Record by riding his bike 686.25 feet without the front wheel touching the ground.
Zach Hutelin, a student at American Heritage in Plantation, made multiple tries for the "longest manual" record Dec. 4 at Markham Park in Sunrise and eventually surpassed the 2008 world record of 334 feet by more than doubling the old record on try No. 12, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.
"It's something I've been wanting for a while and now it's something that's been witnessed," Hutelin said.
He said the record attempt was verified by the University of Florida's Geomatics team, the Broward County chapter of the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society, a videographer and several signed witnesses.