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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Oddities News Archive - January 04, 2009

British lawyers say divorce filings rise in January because the holiday season stresses marriage -- and this year the economy has caused more stress. Takelegaladvice.com said lawyers report about 30 percent more couples have taken the first step of seeking legal advice this year than last, The Daily Telegraph reported. It is a combination of Christmas and the credit crisis, said Mary Heaney, who works for the Web site.

Authorities in New York say a Long Island duck hunter was charged after accidentally shooting his partner in the arm. Ricardo Carter, 50, of Brentwood and the unidentified victim were tracking ducks Saturday from their hay-covered boat near Point Lookout when Carter's gun allegedly discharged, the New

A couple who met working at the baseball field where the White Sox play have become the first to marry in Chicago in 2009. Venus Davis, 38, and Tony LeFlore, 36, beat out several other couples in arriving at 7 a.m.

One Alaska resident says people sick and tired of their names and eyeing a legal change should be prepared to open their wallets. Julie Hasquet-Woolston said she turned down a free name-changing when she divorced her husband four years ago, not considering how expensive the legal process could turn out to be later, the Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday. It's a ridiculously expensive process, she said.

An 85-pound Labrador retriever named Timber endured cactus spines and a cut to hunt down his California family 2 miles away at a house he'd only visited by car. Timber had been staying with Justin Murrietta's parents because Murrietta's landlord in Yorba Linda does not allow dogs, the Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Sunday. On Dec.

A California contractor working in Iraq stunned his mother on her 50th birthday by appearing live on a computer screen in a store window she was passing. That's my son! Ginger Barnett of Anaheim, Calif., squealed Saturday night when she saw 33-year-old Carl waving hello from the screen inside Ben Bridge Jewelers in the Brea Mall. Next to the computer screen was a Rolex watch with a card that read, Happy 50th Birthday Mom, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Sunday. Brown said he enlisted family and friends to set up the live Web cam and accompany his mother to the mall and past the store, where she had often admired the jewelry and watches. I can't stop shaking, Barnett said.

A new primary school in Britain has decided against calling itself a school because the word is too negative. One reason was many of the parents of the children here had very negative connotations of school, said head teacher Linda Kingdon, calling Watercliffe Meadow a place for learning. Watercliffe

The Mad Malden Mud Race justified its name Sunday, as more than 200 costumed competitors staggered across the River Blackwater in eastern England. A crowd of 10,000 people, wrapped warmly against below-freezing temperatures, cheered the racers on, The Telegraph reported. The race dates back around 30 years, when drinkers in the Queen's Head pub in the Essex town would cross the river, drink a barrel of beer and then return to the bar to get hosed down by the landlady.