MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP
! COOLER COPY !
NEW YORK (AP) — As far as catfights go, this is a doozy.
Barbie, long the reigning queen in the doll world, has suddenly been thrust into the battle of her life.
But Barbie's competitors look nothing like the blue-eyed, blonde-haired, long-legged fashion icon. And they don't come with the same old standards of beauty either.
Monster High dolls are vampy teens that are patterned off the offspring of monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein. They wear mini-skirts with skulls on them and go by names like Draculaura.
Although it's still the No. 1 doll, sales of Barbie have slipped for four straight quarters, even while the overall doll category is up 6 percent, according to the NPD Group. Meanwhile, the No. 2 doll brand in just three years.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A demolition company has mistakenly torn down a three-bedroom home in North Texas rather than the condemned building next door.
David Underwood and his wife placed their Fort Worth house on the market with the intention of moving into the retreat they purchased near the shores of Lake Worth. The lakeside land has been in the family for decades and Underwood bought it from an aunt earlier this year.
But when they stopped by to mow the lawn Saturday, they found the home was gone. A slab of foundation remains.
Fort Worth hired the demolition company to raze the condemned building, and was billed more than $6,000 for the work.
The condemned structure remains standing.
Underwood is seeking a settlement from the city. A city spokesman says officials are investigating.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say a construction crew has unearthed what appears to be a cannonball near Centennial Olympic Park.
Police spokesman Gregory Lyon says the crew dug up the suspected cannonball Thursday afternoon and authorities took it to a bomb range.
Centennial Olympic Park is owned by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. Spokeswoman Jennifer LeMaster says the cannonball was removed from the property, but authorities have not yet determined exactly how old it is.
Police spokesman John Chafee says bomb technicians said the artifact may have been from the Civil War era, but authorities say the suspected cannonball has not yet been examined by an expert.
When federal troops besieged Atlanta in 1864, they fired thousands of cannon shells into the downtown area that now includes Centennial Olympic Park.
GROSSE POINTE FARMS, Mich. (AP) — Need a telescope?
How about a power screwdriver or a video camera?
In communities across the U.S., it's possible to borrow these items from the local public library instead of forking out cash for something that might only get used a few times.
Libraries in Grosse Pointe Farms and Ann Arbor, Mich.; Oakland, Calif.; and Burlington, Vt., among others, feature what Ann Arbor library official Celeste Choate calls "unusual collections."
The Grosse Pointe Public Library, for example, offers more than 100 tools — bolt cutters, bow saws and radiator wrenches for those in need of a little DIY assistance.
Carolyn Anthony, president of the national Public Library Association, says tool-lending and the like show libraries will provide "whatever they see as a need in the community."
Mermaid Banned from Pool
LITHIA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman has been banned from swimming in her community's pool because she wants to wear a mermaid tail.
Jenna Conti, who lives in the FishHawk Ranch subdivision, had been in the Aquatic Club pool with her custom-made tail once before with the staff's approval. But last week, employees told her it violated a policy against swim fins. On Monday night, the FishHawk Community Development board voted to keep her out of the pool because of the swim fin policy.
The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1aTxMPm) reports that Conti's dream is to swim at the Florida Aquarium, which features mermaid performers.
The full-time hair stylist hasn't been a mermaid for very long. She and her 10-year-old son saw the mermaids at the Tampa Bay Renaissance Fair earlier this year, and she says she was "enthralled."
Created: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 03:15:27 EST
Updated: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 03:15:27 EST