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Sept. 18, 2008 at 6:00 AM
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ABC star hitches ride after gas runs out

NEWPORT, Mich., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A pair of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" fans from Michigan say they gave Ty Pennington, a star of the ABC show, a ride after his vehicle ran out of gas.

Diane Grassley of Newport said she and her daughter, Colleen, were driving on Interstate 75 Saturday evening when Pennington flagged them down from the side of the road, WTVG-TV in Toledo, Ohio, reported Wednesday.

"It was kind of dark but our headlights lit up his face," Grassley said. "We both looked at each other and started laughing. It was like, oh my gosh! That's Ty Pennington!"

Grassley said Pennington told them his Suburban had run out of fuel so they gave him a lift to a nearby gas station where he purchased a gas can and some gas. The women took a cell phone picture of Pennington at the station as proof of their celebrity encounter.

They said he also sampled one of the brownies they were keeping in their car for a school party.

"He did tell us that he was hypoglycemic and that he probably shouldn't eat one. But he said they smelled so good," Grassley said.

In exchange, the star of the reality series left Colleen a note reading: "Hey, you're awesome! Thanks for the ride."

Couple reunited by daughter after 40 years

TAUNTON, England, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A British man and woman say they are finally getting married 40 years after their relationship was interrupted when her family discovered she was pregnant.

Christine Orchard, 57, and Chester Locke, 64, said they began a 2-year relationship in 1965, when Locke was 21 and Orchard just 14. Orchard's mother put an end to the relationship two years later when her daughter became pregnant, The Sun reported Wednesday.

"There was always quite a lot of hoo-ha about Chester because of the age difference," Orchard said. "When my parents found out I was pregnant my mum and her sisters went into a room and basically decided my future."

The couple said it was their daughter, Tracey, now 40, who tracked down her father and reunited them.

"I was always told my dad was a waste of space but I needed to find out for myself," Tracy said. "After all, everyone changes in 40 years."

Orchard and Locke said that since the reunion, their relationship has re-ignited and they are now planning to marry.

"We've made our mistakes but she's the love of my life and I couldn't be happier," Locke said.

Man phones police from museum vent shaft

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Police in Knoxville, Tenn., say a man has been arrested for burglary after he phoned authorities and told them he was stuck in a museum ventilation shaft.

Knoxville police said Anthony Smith, 25, called 911 shortly before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday and told the dispatcher he was wedged in the ventilation system at the Knoxville Museum of Art, WBIR-TV in Knoxville reported.

Police and firefighters arrived at the museum to find Smith wedged 40 feet down a ventilator shaft but investigators said they are unsure of how he could have gotten onto the building's roof.

Authorities said nothing was disturbed inside the museum. However, Smith was arrested on the burglary charge after being extracted from the tight space.

Candidate apologizes in advance for calls

MCCOOK, Neb., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A city council candidate in McCook, Neb., has apologized in advance for automated phone calls his campaign plans to make this week.

Mike O'Dell, 46, said that while the voice broadcasts may be annoying to some residents, the three-minute message being sent out by his campaign addresses important local issues, the McCook Daily Gazette reported Wednesday.

"I don't know of very many people who look forward to receiving automated calls," O'Dell said. "We looked for other ways to gather information on a city-wide scale, and this is the only one that made economic sense."

"The call addresses important local issues and is voiced by four of our McCook neighbors, so I hope that will generate genuine interest," he said. "This is the one and only automated call that I'll be sending out this election cycle. If I interrupt someone's evening meal or favorite television program, please accept my apologies."

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