Toy Hall of Fame inducts 'Star Wars'
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The Toy Hall of Fame in New York state announced its latest additions are dominoes and "Star Wars" action figures.
The Rochester museum said Thursday a national selection committee picked the inductees from a shortlist that included classic toys such as the Magic 8 Ball, Simon, Twister, Lite-Brite, the Fisher-Price corn popper and the tea set, NBC News reported Thursday.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported the "Star Wars" action figures, released in 1978, led to an increase in toys made to tie in with popular movies and TV shows.
Dominoes, which were also finalists in 2010, were invented in China and later made their way to Europe.
Police: Mom hired strippers for teens
SOUTH GLEN FALLS, N.Y., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Police in New York state said they were looking into allegations that a mother hired strippers to perform at her 16-year-old son's birthday party.
South Glen Falls Police Chief Kevin Judd and Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III said the mother, whose name was not released, threw a surprise party for her son's 16th birthday Nov. 3 at Spare Time bowling alley, and the event was attended by 80 people, mostly 14- and 15-year-olds, The (Schenectady, N.Y.) Daily Gazette reported Thursday.
Murphy said the parents of some teenagers called police when they discovered the event was attended by exotic dancers from Tops and Bottoms, an Albany strip club.
"We're looking into it," Judd said.
A Spare Time employee declined to comment on the incident.
Cross seen in trunk of cut tree
LAFAYETTE, Calif., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Some California Christians say they perceive a religious message in the image of a cross seen in a slice from a fallen pine tree.
Tree trimmers at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette said they discovered the image Tuesday while cutting through a fallen California pine. The 4-inch-thick tree slice is currently being displayed in the office of cemetery administrators, the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times reported Thursday.
"Since my brother passed away, I've been looking for signs, waiting for him to come to me in my dreams, tell me goodbye," said Juan Ochoa, 45, a cemetery groundskeeper who said the image is helping ease his pain.
Lewis Feldman, a professor of plant biology at the University of California-Berkeley, said the cross shape may be an aromatic scar tissue known as "heartwood," which trees transport to the dead tissue of their centers.