This week's odd news column features a naked haunted house, legalized duck races and a man who got reimbursed after his dog chewed up five $100 bills. The video of the week is of a skeleton scaring drive-through workers.
Man gets $500 back that dog chewed
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HELENA, Mont. -- A Montana man who painstakingly gathered and reassembled parts of five $100 bills eaten by his golden retriever has been reimbursed by the U.S. Treasury for the "mutt-ilated" currency.
Wayne Klinkel of Helena received a $500 check on Monday, the Independent Record (http://bit.ly/1540xEA) reported.
"It was great to get the check after all the crap I went through," Klinkel, a graphic artist at the newspaper, joked.
His 12-year-old dog, Sundance, downed all but half of one of the bills in December. Sundance, a rescue from a Wyoming animal shelter, snacked on the cash left in the family vehicle while Klinkel and his wife ate at a restaurant, but left a $1 bill untouched. They were on a road trip to visit their daughter in Colorado.
Klinkel carefully picked through the dog's droppings over the next few days to recover parts of the bills and his daughter recovered more when the snow melted in the spring.
Klinkel cleaned and carefully reassembled the bills, put them in plastic bags and sent them to the U.S. Treasury in April with an explanation.
He got a receipt for the bills 10 days later, and didn't hear from the Treasury until he received the check.
"I gave Sundance a pat, showed it to him and told him not to eat it," said Klinkel.
He said there wasn't any correspondence with the check, but the memo section in the bottom left read: "MUT. CURR REFUND."
Birthday cake attacked in Wash. courthouse
KELSO, Wash. -- A woman in Washington state brought her child's birthday cake into a courthouse, thinking that would be safer than leaving it in the car with her dog. She realized her error when a stranger grabbed and ate handfuls of the cake.
The chocolate cake passed through a metal detector and was sitting on a table when it was attacked.
Cake and frosting went flying when a Cowlitz County sheriff's deputy grabbed the cake molester and took him to the ground. The Daily News of Longview (http://is.gd/OtNaHR) says more deputies rushed to help Tuesday, only to end up smeared with frosting.
Deputy Joe Connor told KATU-TV that 50-year-old Robert Fredrickson was arrested on charges of investigation of third-degree theft. The Daily News says the man had been on his way to a court appearance.
A local grocery offered to replace the cake.
German cops find abandoned gold bars
BERLIN -- Attention all passengers: could the person who left a stash of gold bars and a pile of bank notes in the luggage deposit at Cologne's main railway station kindly contact German police?
That was the appeal that police in the western German city issued Friday for information to track down the owner of the several kilos (pounds) of gold and a six-figure sum of euros in cash.
The stash was found in April in a luggage locker at the station, a major European transport hub. Police said they're going public after being unable to link the haul to any crime and hearing nothing from any legitimate owner.
Whoever the owner is shouldn't leave it too much longer. Police say that if nobody comes forward, the stash will be sold.
Dallas cop helps deliver surprise baby
CARROLLTON, Texas -- A suburban Dallas police officer ended up playing midwife to one mother in labor.
Gene Kimpton says he entered a home in Carrollton Wednesday morning with his weapon drawn. All he knew is there was some sort of emergency situation in the house.
A young boy pointed Kimpton into the bathroom, where his mother -- who hadn't realized she was pregnant -- was in labor.
Kimpton helped guide the baby boy out and wrapped him in a towel until paramedics arrived and cut the umbilical cord.
Police say the mother and child are resting comfortably at an area hospital.
Pa. haunted house puts underwear on 'naked event'
Naked and scared has turned into semi-clothed and kind of spooked.
A Halloween attraction's heavily publicized plan to allow guests to go through one of its haunted houses in the buff was revised amid opposition from local officials in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Shocktoberfest, a popular seasonal attraction outside Reading, promoted the "Naked and Scared Challenge" as a way for thrill-seekers 18 and over to, um, expose their fears and phobias by wandering through a haunted house completely nude.
But owner Pat Konopelski said officials in nearby Spring Township and Sinking Spring borough told him they weren't comfortable with it. So, for now, he has agreed to require guests to wear underwear.
"We didn't really feel a battle would have been fruitful or help any of the parties involved," he said.
Konopelski, who launched Shockertoberfest about two decades ago and has seen it grow into one of Pennsylvania's largest Halloween attractions, said he was inspired by cable TV's "Naked and Afraid," in which two strangers are dropped into a challenging environment without clothing, food or water. He said that by allowing guests to disrobe, "they'll be very, very vulnerable," thus heightening the fear factor.
"Every year we keep thinking we gotta go bigger, we gotta go better, we gotta impress them more. Rather than going bigger better, I could now scare you with a feather," he said.
Spring Township awarded Konopelski a public gathering permit in May, but told him that allowing guests to go nude was a significant change to his original application and that he couldn't do it without first getting the township's approval. Sinking Spring delivered a similar message.
"We didn't have time to react or fully think through all the issues that could arise from something like this," said Spring Township Manager Jay Vaughan. "He certainly has the right next year to make application and we will react accordingly, but that's next year."
Konopelski said he hopes to work it out with municipal officials and offer an all-nude option in 2014.
Quack! Wisconsin bill would legalize duck races
MADISON, Wis. -- A Wisconsin lawmaker is introducing a bill, no pun intended, that would legalize duck races.
Well, not real ducks but the plastic ones with numbers on the bottom. Nonprofit organizations commonly race the little plastic ducks as fundraisers. Participants usually buy a raffle ticket corresponding with a duck's number.
The first to float across the finish line wins.
State Rep. Andre Jacque circulated a proposal Thursday to legalize the races. He says the village of Mishicot was warned by the Wisconsin Department of Justice that its annual rubber duck race amounts to illegal gambling.
Jacque's bill creates an exemption for duck races, similar to laws in Minnesota and Michigan.
Rubber duck races in Wisconsin include the "Ducktona 500" in Sheboygan Falls and the "Lucky Ducky Derby" in Menomonee Falls.