Originally created 05/21/05

Odds and Ends

PHILADELPHIA - White dress? Got it. Flowers? Check. Tuxedo for the Phillie Phanatic? Of course.

Army Sgt. Thomas Miller, who is awaiting deployment to Iraq, and Angela Baldwin got married Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.

The Rev. Richard Sparling, the Phillies' chaplain, conducted the ceremony in front of about 40 family and friends two hours before the St. Louis Cardinals played the Phillies. When the ceremony concluded, the couple was greeted with a hug by the Phillie Phanatic mascot, dressed in a tuxedo.

"It was a spectacular, spectacular day," said the new Mrs. Miller. "I couldn't have asked for anything more. Except for one thing. If the Phillies beat the Cardinals, it will cap the day."

She got her wish. The Phillies beat the Cardinals 7-4.


LOS ANGELES - A dilapidated old gas station in the ritzy Pacific Palisades looks like a surefire candidate for demolition.

But it's not - the 80-year-old station has just become a local landmark.

The Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association had petitioned for the designation, saying the 80-year-old station was a tribute to the beginnings of car culture in Southern California.

"It's bizarre to look at a gas station as a monument. But this is Los Angeles," said Mary Klaus-Martin, president of the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles City Council committee granted the request.

Next-door neighbor Chris Hoffmann bought the station, which closed last fall, for $2.1 million. He told the council that he wanted to prevent someone else from buying the property and building a "mega-mansion."

"I have no idea what I'm going to do with the station," he said.

The new designation bars relocation or demolition of the station and its three pumps, and places tough conditions on other construction on the site.


TYRONE TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Road kill is usually something to be avoided. But Tim Strong doesn't think so.

He hauls away road kill - for free - because the Livingston County Road Commission says it can't afford to do it.

"Not that this is my dream job or anything," said Strong, 35. "But it makes me feel good - like I'm doing something to help my kids out. It gives me the satisfaction that I've done something right."

When a deer or other animal comes out on the losing end of a collision with a car or truck, Strong - pickup truck and outdoor freezer at the ready - is the go-to guy.

Strong buries some of the deer in a nearby field, with the owner's permission. He said another 30 are buried on his own property.

"I've got three to pick up today," he said Thursday. "One lady called at 3 in the morning. I figured that one could wait."


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