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17th time's a charm for masculine family

LOCKPORT, Ill., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- An Illinois family that hadn't had a girl born into its ranks in four generations, finally got a break last month when it welcomed a new daughter.

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Members of the Baranowski family in Lockport said their family has had a lengthy yet accidental tradition of only giving birth to sons. But that all changed when little Marie Frances was born in August, The Joliet (Ill.) Herald-News reported.

In fact, the trend had become so much of a given in the family that the girl's grandfather thought the good news was simply a good-natured joke.

"It was quite a shock," Ken Baranowski said. "I didn't believe (my son) when he said it's a girl until I got to the hospital."

The proud grandfather was quick to admit to the newspaper the family's newest member would get her fair share of attention.

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"I'm just so excited that we have a girl in the family. She's going to be spoiled rotten, our little princess," he said.


Pickup bed is just right for baby bear

LEWISTON, Maine, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A woman in Paris, Maine, is struggling with the problem of a bear cub that appears to be fond of sleeping in the back of her pickup truck.

Hair salon owner Cindy Thibodeau said the cub typically crawls into the back of her 2001 Sport Trac Explorer at night, but always checks out by early morning, The Lewiston (Maine) Sun-Journal reported Sunday.

It got to the point where Thibodeau contacted local authorities for help, and the game warden only recommended she make the truck a less hospitable place for the cub.

"He advised her to do stuff to make the bear uncomfortable in the truck, like putting mothballs or a cup of ammonia in the bed," said warden service spokesman Mark Latti.

Thibodeau has taken the warden's advice, but she doubts the precautions will keep the cub away, the newspaper said.


Small woman wins big eating contest

BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- One of the smallest contestants won this year’s United States Chicken Wing Eating Championship, feasting on more than 170 wings in 12 minutes.

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Sonya Thomas, a 5-foot-5, 105-pound store manager from Alexandria, Va., won the championship among a crowd that consisted of mostly men, some who weighed almost 300 pounds.

The contest, which took place at Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo, N.Y., was part of the sixth annual Buffalo Wing Festival, The Buffalo News reported.

Contest organizers calculated Thomas consumed about 5.17 pounds of meat in 12 minutes. Cholesterol counts were unavailable, the News reported.

Last year’s winner, Chip “Dr. ChipBurger” Simpson, came in second.

The Buffalo Wing Festival is a huge attraction, drawing people from hundreds of miles away. Festival organizers told the News the festival is growing larger every year.


Spectators watch fireball drop to ocean

NEW YORK, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Officials and spectators off the New Jersey shore were mystified Saturday evening at what was identified as a fireball falling into the ocean.

The falling object was seen by at least 15 witnesses on the beach at around 8:40 p.m., The New York Post reported.

"It was dispatched as a fireball, out over the ocean, going into the ocean," Deputy Chief Tim Cook of the Toms River, N.J., Fire Department told The Post.

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The Federal Aviation Administration reportedly had no idea what the object was. Coast Guard cutters and helicopters were dispatched, but found nothing, The Post said.

Experts said a rare meteor shower might have been the cause.

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