LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Ed “Cookie” Jarvis is the big cheese – when it comes to grilled cheese.

Jarvis, of Nesconset, N.Y., won the grilled cheese-eating championship at the Arkansas State Fair on Saturday, stuffing down 19 sandwiches in the 10-minute race.

For his big appetite and swallowing skills, Jarvis won $1,000. He will compete against other first-place winners for the world title at a time and place to be determined.

Patrick Philbin, of Moonachie, N.J., came in second, scarfing down a sandwich-and-a-half less than the champion. But third place was too close to call. Two contestants consumed 10 grilled cheeses in the 10 minutes allowed, and the judges had to call for a one-minute runoff. With 11 1/2 sandwiches in his belly, Michael Finnell, of Sherwood, Ark., was declared the third-place winner.

All of the six contestants finished without getting sick, said Michael Castellano of the International Federation of Competitive Eating.



LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – One gas station manager’s mistake paid off for drivers who were in the right place at the right time.

For 30 to 45 minutes Friday, three of the Kabredlo’s Convenience Store’s four pumps sold premium unleaded gas for 29 cents a gallon. Gas hasn’t been that cheap since 1955, according to AAA Nebraska.

Until the mistake was caught, lines formed at the store as news of the cheap fuel spread, said Max Wolfe, who was doing landscaping for Kabredlo’s.

Wolfe and his co-workers took time out to fill up. “I was on E, and I filled my tank up for $4,” Wolfe said. “It made my day.”

Nathan Olson said he usually pays $72 to fill his gas-guzzling 1998 Ford F-150. On Friday, he filled the tank three-quarters full for $3.50.

On average, Lincoln gas stations are charging $2.93 a gallon for gas, according to AAA.



DALLAS (AP) – Drink up! A bit of Margaritaville has found its way to the Smithsonian Institution.

The National Museum of American History recently acquired the 34-year-old modified soft-serve ice cream machine that was first used to mass-produce frozen margaritas.

“I have a pretty fertile imagination. I have big dreams,” said Mariano Martinez, owner of the Dallas restaurant Mariano Hacienda where the margaritas were made. “But this is beyond what I ever imagined.”

In 1971, Martinez hoped margaritas would set his eatery apart. But his bartenders couldn’t squeeze enough limes or blend the drinks fast enough. Also, customers complained the drink was inconsistent and not even cold.

Inspiration came from a Slurpee machine at a 7-Eleven. He acquired a soft-serve ice cream machine and started mixing.

“To us, it’s a story about American innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Rayna Green, curator of the National Museum of American History.



MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) – Police are looking for a man who, just after robbing a coffee stand, paid for his cup of java with some of the money he had just stolen.

Police said the man rode his bicycle up to the stand just before 7 a.m. on Thursday and ordered a coffee. He then told the female employee that he had a gun and demanded money.

The attendant handed over an undisclosed amount of cash. Before he left, the man paid for the coffee with the money just handed to him. The coffee shop attendant was uninjured.


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