• Variety is the spice of life. The Maricopa County (Ariz.) District Library announced that it received a 15,000-book donation in May from a drive sponsored by the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. However, the announcement did not include the details of the donation, which consisted of 1,000 pasta cookbooks, 200 copies of a book on Windows 95 software and nearly 12,000 copies of one children’s book.
• No mortuary? Ignatius Piazza, 40, is creating a planned gated community in which every resident will be trained to use firearms. He has completed $3 million worth of infrastructure for Front Sight, “the safest town in America,” located 50 miles from Las Vegas. The town will have 177 lots, costing $275,000 each, 12 shooting ranges, a private school and a convenience store.
• Just stepped out for a few things. When an 18-wheeler carrying grocery store items spilled its contents in Providence, R.I., Thomas Jackvony, maintenance supervisor for the state Department of Transportation, was called to supervise the cleanup. Later, however, he was charged with larceny for swiping 15 packages of cookies, 15 bathroom scales and 20 cassette tapes from the spill and putting them in his car.
• Monkey business. Three monkeys were seen throwing bananas and crab apples at cars on I-95 near Jarratt, Va., in September, according to the Associated Press. When State Trooper Mike Scott arrived on the scene, he found a van and a station wagon on the side of the highway with fruit smeared on them. “A man said, `I know this sounds crazy, but a monkey threw an apple at our car,'” Scott says. Almost immediately, something hit the van, and Scott saw the monkeys jump from an oak tree, run across the highway and escape into more trees.