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Jan. 22, 2009 at 6:00 AM
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Obama girls get their own dolls

CHICAGO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A U.S. toymaker is hoping to make a buck off the nation's first daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, selling dolls that look like them.

Ty Inc. started marketing a limited number of "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia" dolls this month as part of its TyGirlz Collection, Crain's Chicago Business reported Wednesday.

It wasn't known how the girls' parents -- President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama -- feel about the dolls made in their daughters' images.

"We certainly hope that they like them," a spokeswoman for the Westmont, Ill., toy company said.

Ty Inc., perhaps best-known for its line of plush toys known as Beanie Babies, started the TyGirlz the line in 2007.

"We hope TyGirlz are as popular as Beanie Babies," the spokeswoman said.

Laura Leve, manager of Lamont's Gift Shop in Chicago, received a shipment of the dolls last week and had sold two. But she said she expects interest to perk up.

One lawyer says the Obamas could pursue royalties from sales of the dolls, Crain's reported. But Chicago lawyer Phillip Barengolts said while public figures have a right to control the use of their likeness, "Realistically it is not something (the Obamas) would want to challenge, as long as the dolls are not offensive in any way."


Man finds box of valuables on beach

GALVESTON, Texas, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A contractor in Galveston County, Texas, said he discovered a box full of valuables while clearing hurricane debris from a state park.

Michael Pate, 43, said he was working Jan. 7 at Galveston Island State Park when he discovered a green steel U.S. Army ammunition canister on a beach about 100 to 150 feet from the water, The (Galveston County) Daily News reported Wednesday.

"It was heavy, and I said, 'This thing is full of sand,'" Pate said. "I shook the sand off and opened it up. It was unreal!"

Pate said that among the valuable items in the box were two diamond rings, military medals believed to have been from World War II or Vietnam, a $50 Confederate note from 1863, silver bracelets, watches, an Art Donovan football card and a glass radiator cap for a Ford Model A.

He said the canister also contained a wallet that he traced to John Sidwell, 59, who is currently serving a two-year jail sentence for his conviction on intoxication assault charges.

Pate said he was able to contact a friend of Sidwell to get word to the owner that his box has been found.


Boys find man's ring after 20 years

LUFKIN, Texas, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A Texas man said a class ring he lost more than 20 years ago has been returned to him by two young boys who found it buried outside of a church.

Franklin Weeks, 95, of Lufkin, said he believes he lost the ring while helping to build a playground at Ryan Chapel Church in Diboll, where it was found buried by Luke Lytle, 12, and his brother Sam, 8, the Lufkin Daily News reported Wednesday.

The Lytle boys said they were playing with their new metal detector at the church Monday afternoon when they found the Stephen F. Austin University ring that Weeks obtained in the 1930s.

"When I first saw it I thought 'oh boy, Cash for Gold here I come' but soon I heard the Lord telling me that I needed to return the ring to its owner," Luke Lytle said.

The boys said they used the Internet to track Weeks down and returned the ring to his home in person Tuesday.

"I've been looking for that ring a long time," Weeks told Luke and Sam. "I can't believe you boys found it."

Weeks said he gave the boys a $20 reward for returning his ring and the modest youngsters had to be convinced to accept it.


Police: Man tried to return lobster shell

AMSTERDAM, N.Y., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Authorities in New York state said they have arrested a man who allegedly stole crab legs from a store where he tried to return an empty lobster shell.

Montgomery County sheriff's deputies said Walter Tessier told employees at the Price Chopper store in Amsterdam that he wanted to return a $10.99 lobster because "it was bad," the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union reported Wednesday.

However, Tessier allegedly ran from the store with the bag of crab legs he was planning to exchange the lobster for after workers discovered the lobster was only a reassembled shell, deputies said.

They said Tessier was arrested at his home but he allegedly had already eaten the pilfered crab legs. He was charged with petit larceny and given a court appearance ticket.

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