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Nation in brief: Mistrial declared in obscenity case

A federal judge under scrutiny for posting sexually explicit material on his own Web site declared a mistrial Friday in an obscenity trial over which he was presiding.

Judge Alex Kozinski said he would ask that the case be assigned to another judge.

Kozinski is chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals but was serving as a trial judge in the prosecution of a man who distributed videos showing bestiality and extreme fetishes.

Ness City, Kan.

No contest plea in bathroom case

A western Kansas man has pleaded no contest to mistreating his girlfriend, who became stuck to a toilet after refusing to leave the bathroom for two years.

Police discovered Kory McFarren’s girlfriend, Pam Babcock, physically stuck to the toilet in February.

Blanchard, Mich.

16-year-old on a lucky streak

No one quite understands the term “striking it lucky” better than 16-year-old BreAnna Helsel. The Michigan teen survived being struck by lightning and went on to win $20 in the lottery the next day.

Helsel was at her home watching thunderstorms roll by on June 6 when she noticed rain entering an open kitchen window.

“She went to close the window and the lightning came through and hit her,” said her mother, Linda Johnson.

Helsel was examined at a local hospital and the only signs of the lightning strike were some darkened fingertips on her right hand and a shaking arm from damaged muscles that will require some therapy. A full recovery is expected.

Hospital employees suggested that Helsel was on such a lucky streak, she should immediately play the lottery. Her mother went out the next day and bought the winning Michigan lottery ticket for her.


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