2-story snowman frosts neighbors

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Snowzilla may be a smash hit with shutterbugs, but the towering snowman has detractors closer to home.

Some neighbors of the two-story high snowman say they’re fed up with the hordes of gawkers clogging their street.

“When you get 20 people out there in their cars, now the whole street comes to a stop and nobody can get through,” said Anthony Bahler, who can see Snowzilla from his front window. “They just stand out there, in the middle of road, talking about a snowman.”

Bahler’s neighbor, Billy Powers, supervised construction of the original Snowzilla last year. Through the Internet, it became a media sensation, drawing crowds of visitors and TV crews from Japan and Russia before it melted in the spring.

This year, Powers resurrected the snowman and its giant hat made from tomato cages, corncob pipe and beer-bottle eyes. At 22 feet, the new Snowzilla is six feet taller than its predecessor.

Once again, traffic is streaming through the neighborhood.

“Everybody likes it,” Powers said. “That’s the reason I do it, really, I like the smiling faces.”

Mike Schmitz, whose family lives next door to Bahler, would prefer if Snowzilla were somewhere else.

“If it’s such a public thing, you’d think the community could get together and find a place to do it,” he said.

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) _ A mother and son accused of stealing a snake from a pet store were arrested when they returned to the store and asked for books on how to care for the animal, police said.

Store clerks recognized the suspects from surveillance video taken during the theft and stalled them until police arrived.

The video showed the 15-year-old taking the 30-inch baby boa from its cage, wrapping it around his neck and hiding it with his jacket, while his mother acted as a lookout, police said.

The video appeared to show the head of the red-tail boa sticking out of the boy’s jacket collar, police said.

Mother and son were arrested Dec. 22. The snake, worth $300, was recovered from their home and returned to the Petland in this Cleveland suburb, police said.

Sebrina Hill, 35, faces theft charges and is scheduled to appear in court next month. Her son was booked and placed in the custody of relatives, police said.

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MOULTRIE, Ga. (AP) _ A search for an elusive criminal came to an unexpected end when the man crashed through a ceiling from his attic refuge and landed near the officers who had come to arrest him, police said.

“Normally you have to crawl up there and root them out,” said Capt. Tommy Rabon, head of the Moultrie Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. “But he came out on his own _ the hard way.”

Officers had gone to a home Wednesday with a bail bondsman to apprehend Danny Butts, 21, for a probation violation in adjoining Brooks County. He was also on probation in Colquitt County, which includes Moultrie, for theft.

When police arrived at the home, they became suspicious when the brightly lit interior suddenly went dark, police said.

An occupant said Butts wasn’t there, but the officers spotted debris below an attic entrance and while they continued to question the woman, Butts fell through the ceiling onto a bedroom floor, police said.

“He went up into the attic trying to evade them,” Rabon said. “He fell through.”

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WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) _ High school wrestler Dusty Holmes used to wear pajama bottoms to school, saying it helped him stay relaxed on the day of his matches. Not anymore.

Administrators at West Fargo High School decided to ban all PJs after a teacher complained last month.

The students have been circulating a petition to reverse the decision.

“We just wanted to be a little more casual; more down-to-earth,” said Holmes, a junior.

Principal Gary Clark said the school is not strict about what its 1,600 students wear, but trying to decide which pajamas are proper would be too difficult.

“It’s just what’s appropriate for in schools,” Clark said. “It just makes more sense to us for pajamas to be worn at home.”

Sharon Holmes said her son’s pajamas were anything but offensive.

“I’ve seen the way some of those kids come in and out of that school, and believe me, (pajama pants are) the least offensive thing,” she said.

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