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EAU CLAIRE — The Krause family can retain its bragging rights, but its claim to be a cherry-pit-spitting dynasty may be under siege by a 17-year-old girl.

Rick “Pellet Gun” Krause repeated as winner of the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship, held Saturday at the Tree-Mendus Fruit cherry orchard in Michigan, with a spit of 58 feet, 1½ inches.

But Mr. Krause, 58, needed all three attempts in the championship round to outdistance upstart Amanda Jennings, who finished second in the otherwise all-male championship event with 52 feet, 5½ inches.

Miss Jennings, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, used her determination and focused spitting form to win the women’s division after edging out five-time women’s champion Maureen Krause, Rick’s wife, with a spit of 47 feet, 6½ inches.

The pit spit marks the beginning of the southwest Michigan tart cherry harvest, organizers said.


Leafy disguise used in robbery

MANCHESTER — A man was arrested yesterday after police say he robbed a bank while disguised as a tree.

Just as the Citizen Bank branch opened Saturday morning, a man walked in with leafy boughs duct-taped to his head and torso, and robbed the place.

“He really went out on a limb,” police Sgt. Ernie Goodno said yesterday.

Police said the leafy man didn’t saying anything about having a weapon, just demanded cash, and was given an undisclosed amount.

Although the branches and leaves obscured much of the man’s face, someone who saw images from the bank’s security camera recognized the robber and called police.

Officers said James Coldwell, 49, was arrested early yesterday at his Manchester home and charged with robbery.


State workers face budget furlough

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