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Nov. 22, 2011 at 6:00 AM
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Carjackers foiled by stick shift

VALLEJO, Calif., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Police in California said three would-be carjackers were foiled because the vehicle they targeted had a manual transmission.

Vallejo police said the men, at least two of them armed with handguns, approached a man in front of his home around 7:10 p.m. Saturday while he was unloading groceries from his car, the Vallejo Times-Herald reported Monday.

Police said the attackers, each around 20 years old, forced the man to the ground and took the keys to his car, then fled after discovering they were unable to operate the stick shift.

New York Griswolds shun film's decorations

NEW YORK, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- New Yorkers with the same last name as the Griswold clan from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" say they won't emulate the movie family's holiday display.

The New York Daily News said it contacted city residents sharing the last name of Chevy Chase's protagonist in the 1989 film, Clark Griswold, and none of them expressed plans to emulate the over-the-top holiday decorations from the movie.

"I don't even watch Chevy since he made these movies," New Yorker John Griswold said. "This name has been in this country since the revolution, and I'm pissed off."

David Griswold, 20, said his father Robert has "tried to go along with that Griswold thing, but he's failed miserably."

"He's a dentist. He tries to go up on the roof and do the lights, but it just doesn't work out," he said "We don't throw much up other than a wreath."

Man, 80, makes 80 skydives in 6 1/2 hours

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- An 80-year-old man broke six skydiving records by making 80 skydiving jumps over a 6 1/2-hour period in Lake Elsinore, Calif.

The man, Pat Moorehead of Long Beach, was celebrating his 80th birthday Sunday with an epic skydiving adventure, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise reported.

Low clouds threatened to cancel the event, but the weather ultimately cooperated and Moorehead accomplished his goal.

"The plane has to be at least 2,000 feet in altitude for him to make a jump, so we will be keeping an eye on the clouds," explained Lyn Fogleman, one of the safety officers at Skydive Elsinore.

Moorehead said he made his first jump in 1960 in Lake Elsinore.

"I was a firefighter and some of the guys and I saw a program on skydiving and we all decided to give it a try," Moorehead said.

A team of three planes and 50 volunteers helped Moorehead reach his goal of 80 jumps during the day. Once a plane reached the right altitude, Moorehead jumped out and floated to the ground, where volunteers removed his parachute and place another pre-packed parachute on him before he ran aboard a waiting plane.

"It was really fun and the weather really wasn't an issue," said Jeff Winkler, who piloted 22 of the 80 jumps Sunday.

Moorehead's granddaughter and fellow skydiver, Chrysta Whitten, watched and cheered Moorehead on as he jumped over and over.

"I grew up in the drop-zone and watching him jump," Whitten said. "It takes a certain kind of person to skydive. I've been jumping for over two years and I think it's awesome.

Moorehead, who has more than 6,000 jumps under his belt, broke six skydiving records Sunday, three in the over-70 years old category and three in the over-80 category.

Ring finds its way back to nun

BUFFALO, N.Y., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A New York nun who gave her jewelry to a relative when she joined the convent 25 years ago said she was shocked to hear one of her rings was found in a park.

Sister Brenda Whelan, director of pastoral care at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, said she gave her 1985 D'Youville College class ring to her niece when she became a nun.

Sister Whelan said the Niagara Frontier Relic Hunters Club contacted her recently to say the ring had been found at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island, The Buffalo News reported Monday.

The nun said she was shocked by the news. She said she believes the ring may have been lost by a daughter of her niece while on a swimming trip to the park four or five years ago.

Michael Kasprzyk, who found the ring while searching the beach with a metal detector Oct. 27, said his wife, Michelle, performed the detective work to track down Whelan.

"I've found quite a few rings over the years," he said. "I felt that I already have found plenty of treasures to add to my collection, and I wanted to give back, too."

The ring was presented to Sister Whelan at a ceremony Sunday.

"Now I think I'm keeping it for a while," she said. "D'Youville was an amazing time for me. I got my education there, and it's where I began my teaching career. It's a special piece to get back. I'm really, really grateful they took the time to bring it back."

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