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Oct. 16, 2009 at 6:30 AM
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Theme park fears phantasms after seance

CHERTSEY, England, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A British theme park suspended six workers and hired a paranormal expert to investigate the results of their Ouija board seance atop a ride, a spokesman said.

Sources with Thorpe Park in Chertsey, England, said officials suspended the employees for holding the seance atop Saw: The Ride, a roller coaster based on the "Saw" horror films, after the park closed Oct. 12, The Sun reported Thursday.

"A full investigation is under way and the six employees have been suspended pending the outcome of this inquiry," the spokesman said. "We take staff and guest feedback very seriously and for this reason, we called in Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe, a leading paranormal expert, to help us investigate reports that have arisen from this situation."

A source with the park gave further details on the complaints of paranormal activities.

"Guests started to report an extreme drop in temperature when they walked into the ride building where the seance was held and others (reported) unusual happenings," the source said. "Lights started to go on and off with no explanation and the special effects would start up even after being switched off and there were reports of footsteps with nobody there."

Fanthorpe said he will conduct an exorcism if he discovers spirits "crossing over from the other side."

Woman's snoring reaches 111.6 decibels

DEEPING ST. JAMES, England, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A 60-year-old grandmother has been dubbed Britain's loudest snorer for her 111.6-decibel breathing at nighttime.

Experts said Jenny Chapman, 60, of Deeping St. James, England, whose snoring was measured during a seminar last week at the Hilton Warwick Hotel in Warwick, England, eclipses the sound of a washing machine by 33 decibels and is 61 decibels louder than the average snorer, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

"I was shocked to hear how loud my snoring was at its peak. I knew I was noisy but not that noisy," Chapman said. "It was a bit embarrassing to be told in front of everyone but it was all good fun by then. The experts said it was the loudest they had ever experienced."

She said she can now sympathize with her husband, who is always complaining about her snoring.

Graham Carr-Smith of Helps Stop Snoring, which ran the seminar, said he is attempting to help Chapman with her snoring through a combination of diet, exercise and natural remedies.

Newsom sends gifts to Sacramento mayor

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A California mayor whose garment bag was swiped during a visit to San Francisco received a gift basket from that city's mayor as a means of mending ties.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said he sent Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson a basket containing two tickets to a San Francisco 49ers game, a two-night stay at the Fairmont Hotel, a baseball signed by San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum and a necktie created by tailor Wilkes Bashford, the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported Thursday.

Newsom sent the basket Wednesday, the same day officials announced Johnson's garment bag had been recovered and would be returned.

Johnson said the bag, which contained a suit he wore to the White House a decade ago, was taken Saturday while he was helping an elderly man climb into a taxi cab. The bag and its contents were recovered Tuesday night by a San Francisco resident walking in the area.

Newsom said the items in the gift basket were donated by local businesses.

"We want to encourage Mayor Johnson to come back and visit San Francisco soon, so we're extending the warm hand of hospitality," Newsom said. "When San Francisco's business community heard about Mayor Johnson's misfortune, they stepped up to the plate and donated gifts as an invitation to return to our city."

Oregon apartments lift flag ban

ALBANY, Ore., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- An Oregon apartment complex property manager says she has lifted a ban on tenants flying flags after getting some legal advice.

Barb Holcomb, property manager with Oaks Apartments in Albany, said she rescinded her ban on displaying flags on the exteriors of apartments and vehicles because she received legal advice indicating she didn't have the power to impose it, KVAL-TV, Eugene, Ore., reported Thursday.

"If people want to fly any flag of any nationality, it's their right," Holcomb said, adding that right extends to tenants' automobiles.

Holcomb said the ban, which applied to all flags, including the U.S. flag, was based on her interpretation of language in the rental agreements signed by all tenants. She did not say whether a specific incident led to the ban.

"What we were trying to do was to keep the peace," she said. "Obviously, we were wrong. If the peace needs to be kept, it belongs to the police department."

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