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! KICKERS !
NEW YORK (AP) — Happy Valentine's Day! And it will be for 300 couples invited to a champagne party in Brooklyn today. They all have been married for at least 50 years. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has organized the Valentine's Day party for the last 11 years. He says the long-lasting marriages are the "ultimate love story." Markowitz and his wife will also be renewing their vows. But they're practically newlyweds compared to the other couples. Marty and Jamie Markowitz have been married a mere 13 years.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Going topless could become a prison offense in North Carolina. The state legislature is set to approve a bill expanding the indecent exposure law to include the "female breast." The move was triggered by a pair of topless rallies held in Asheville. Women prosecuted under the revised law could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the bare-chested circumstances. Backers say the legal change is needed because of a court ruling that said "private parts" defined under the existing statue did not include breasts.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeing red. That's what folks in the nation's capital may be looking for when they want a taxi. A special board in Washington is recommending that cabs be painted red. The panel is advising the D.C. Taxicab Commission on reforms. Now, cabs can been found in a rainbow of colors. The recommendation notes that red is "strongly associated" with the city and is used on some buses and its bicycle-sharing service. But Mayor Vincent Gray has his doubts. He's concerned that red cabs might be mistaken for emergency vehicles.
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — Throwing a pie at your teacher would get most students in trouble. But not at one southern Iowa school. Middle school students tossed more than 400 pies at their teachers -- as part of a fundraiser. It took 150 tubs of whipped cream to make all those pies. Students at Evans Middle School paid two bucks a pie. The flying pies raised more than $800 to benefit two school employees who lost almost everything in a house fire.
TACO BELL-COOL RANCH DORITOS
NEW YORK (AP) — Cool Ranch is likely to be hot at Taco Bell. The chain is rolling out a new flavor of Doritos Locos Tacos. Nacho Cheese is big hit for Taco Bell. The company says it has sold more than 350 million of the tacos. It was their biggest product launch ever. The Cool Ranch version will be at Taco Bells March 7, a year after Nacho Cheese was introduced.
STOP TWEETING FOR LENT
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Put down that smartphone. A Pittsburgh pastor has a new idea for a Lenten fast: No social media. KDKA-TV reports the Reverend William Curtis is asking members of his church to give up Facebook and Twitter for Lent. But the faithful don't have to go cold turkey through Easter. Curtis says he's not even asking his members for a full 40-day fast, just three or four days. Curtis confesses it's going to be hard for him, because he practically lives on Twitter.
by Jamie Friar