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Building with a past in eBay auction

A 6-acre tract in Philadelphia, owned by a church group derided as a cult, is available in an eBay auction, starting at $4.5 million.

UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Word list: Scrap the term 'fiscal cliff' ... Police: Woman was upset about laundry cash ... Police: Drunk man crashed into bar ... Parliament shells out $130K on costumes ... UPI Quirks in the News.

Wine industry relies on water-witching

Marc Mondavi, a California winery operator, has a new vocation, water-witching, and is called upon to find ground water for local wineries, using copper rods.

Sonar-equipped boats could solve mysteries

The head of a Seattle submarine rental company said the wreckage of lost planes such as Navy Flight 19 and Amelia Earhart's can be found -- for the right price.

Cities vie for Ponce de Leon title

Two Florida cities are battling for the title of conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon's 16th century landing spot ahead of the event's 500th anniversary.

County offers $100 for DUI reports

A Florida county is offering $100 rewards to motorists who report drunken drivers to the authorities.

Police: Burglar left cellphone at scene

Police in Florida said they arrested a man accused of stealing $600 from a nail salon after he allegedly left his cellphone behind at the scene.

Man calls deputies, gets arrested

Authorities in Florida said a man who called the sheriff's office to complain about his neighbors was arrested for possession of 3.8 ounces of marijuana.

'Backstroke' fails to help suspect escape

Authorities in Florida say a woman suspected in several residential burglaries did the backstroke in a canal in an unsuccessful escape attempt.

Police: Woman was upset about laundry cash

Police in New Jersey said they arrested a woman accused of charging at her boyfriend with a hammer when he refused to pay for laundry.

Police: Drunk man crashed into bar

Police in Michigan said they arrested a man who crashed his car through the wall of a bar and ended up in the establishment's bathroom.

Berlin politician decries Swabian influx

The former president of the lower house of Germany's legislature said he is upset with Swabian influence on Berlin culture.

Crepe company spills classified info

A crepe manufacturer in France spilled the beans on the defense minister's classified visit to Afghanistan, saying he would be taking its products with him.

Parliament shells out $130K on costumes

Freedom of Information requests by The Sun revealed Britain's Parliament spent more than $130,000 in taxpayer money on ceremonial garments for officials.

'The Floured' take over Spanish town

A group of characters known as "els enfarinats," or "the floured," seized control of a Spanish town as part of a more than 200-year-old tradition.

Word list: Scrap the term 'fiscal cliff'

Word-minders at Lake Superior State University say "fiscal cliff" should disappear as the term used for the U.S. budget crisis.

Watercooler Stories

Florida woman arrested after post-sex row ... Orphaned orangutan dies in Milwaukee zoo ... Suspected grease thieves arrested ... Vultures vex Everglades visitors ... Watercooler stories from UPI.

Jockstrip: The world as we know it.

17-foot python spotted, killed in Florida ... Dog crate thieves halt pet adoptions ... Survey: Italians stay home for New Year's ... Swearing woman freed from jail ... The world as we know it from UPI.

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.
By United Press International

2013 names predicted: Kindle, Pearl, Roy

A baby-naming website says it predicts next year popular U.S. infant names will include: Hashtag, Tweet, Android and Pearl, Florence, Nellie and Eleanor.

Survey: Italians stay home for New Year's

An Italian business association says its survey indicates more than eight in 10 Italians will stay home on New Year's Eve for financial or other reasons.

17-foot python spotted, killed in Florida

A 17-foot Burmese python shocked a family when it slithered into a picnic area in Florida.

Dog crate thieves halt pet adoptions

Thieves halted efforts to get some 40 homeless dogs new homes for the holidays in the Atlanta-area, pet rescue officials said.

Swearing woman freed from jail

A Michigan woman jailed over the Christmas holiday for swearing as she left a court clerk's office has been released on bond, officials said.

Orphaned orangutan dies in Milwaukee zoo

Zookeepers are mourning the loss of Muhal, a 5-year-old orangutan so popular the red-haired ape had his own Facebook page.
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