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THE FIRE CHALLENGE, MARIJUANA DISCOVERY AND INEFFICIENT COUNTERFEITERS

STOLEN BUDDHA

It's a heavy crime. Someone has swiped a 400-pound statue of Buddha from a Maryland man's back yard. Jim Elliot says the statue was taken overnight Monday. It's made of solid granite and was a gift from a military buddy of Elliot's when they served in South Korea. The Washington County Sheriff's Office is investigating the Buddha theft. Elloit tells the Herald-Mail of Hagerstown he's also doing some searching on his own. He's been looking online to see if anyone's trying to sell his Buddha on eBay or craigslist.

IOWA-STUDENT TICKETS

The University of Iowa is putting a promotion on hold that offered free tuition to students. The plan was to give the tuition freebie to five randomly selected students who bought football season tickets. But legal concerns have forced university officials to temporarily shelve the idea. Athletic director Gary Barta says questions have been raised about whether the giveaway complies with state raffle laws. Tickets sales for Hawkeyes games have dropped in recent years.

MARIJUANA DISCOVERY

Prisoners out of the joint find plenty of pot. Inmates on a work crew have discovered more than 600 pounds of packaged weed in northwest Missouri. The prisoners were doing roadside cleanup and were guarded by a Buchanan County sheriff's deputy. The St. Joseph News-Press reports the marijuana was in 678 1-pound packages, as well as three large sacks of loose weed. Investigators believe the pot was locally grown.

GRACIE MANSION-FURNITURE

First came the new house. Now, the new furniture for his honor, the mayor of New York. The Big Apple's first family moved into Gracie Mansion this week. It's the official residence of the mayor. Officials of Bill de Blasio's administration say the mansion has gotten a donation of modern furniture from the West Elm chain. De Blasio had lived in Brooklyn, where the chain is based. The $65,000 worth of furniture was a donation to city, which means it stays when the current mayor moves out.

INEFFICIENT COUNTERFEITERS

A counterfeiting scheme has investigators stumped in Montana. They can't imagine why anyone would go to the trouble of making phony $1 bills. Authorities in Butte say someone used seven fake ones to make a purchase over the weekend. Officials tell the Montana Standard the phony bills are softer than real money and are cut unevenly. The Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff (George Skuletich) says counterfeiting $1 bills "just doesn't make a whole lot of sense."

TRUMP'S NEIGHBOR

You may not be able to fight city hall -- but you can fight Donald Trump and win. Vera Coking became a folk hero in Atlantic City for standing up to developers. Trump tried buying her Boardwalk boarding house to tear it down. She once called Trump "a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb." The case went to the New Jersey Supreme Court and Coking beat Trump in 1998. She's now 91 and has moved to California to be near her family. Trump laughed off a question this week whether he would now be bidding on Coking's property.                                                                                    HAVE YOU SEEN THE FIRE CHALLENGE ONLINE..? 

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