-Brian Murphy
Inmate electrocuted on toilet by headphones

PITTSBURGH - An inmate was electrocuted when he sat on a stainless 
steel toilet while wearing a set of homemade headphones. Laurence 
Baker, a 47-year-old murderer serving a life sentence, died late 
Wednesday or early Thursday. Baker was watching TV with a headset, 
which is required to prevent the sound from disturbing other 
prisoners. The headphones, which violated prison rules because 
they were homemade, were plugged directly into the television. 
State police blamed bad wiring in the headphones.
Elmo designer was checked by FBI

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Tickle Me Elmo's designer says he was 
investigated for six months by the FBI agents looking for 
the Unabomber. "I was always sending batteries and headless 
dolls in the mail," Mark Johnson-Williams told the San Jose 
Mercury News. "I think that's what caught their attention.''
 Johnson-Williams thinks he caught the FBI's eye because he 
matched the agency's profile of the elusive killer in several 
ways. The agency was seeking a Northern California resident 
in his 40s who had been a science student in the Midwest. 
Johnson-Williams has said he started working on Tickle Me 
Elmo in 1994. The doll, a Sesame Street character that makes 
a giggling sound when squeezed, was the most popular toy in 
the nation for Christmas giving this year.
Cholesterol good for Philippines

Philippine President Fidel Ramos says he'll auction the lump of 
cholesterol surgeons scraped off an artery in his neck last week, 
saving him from a possible stroke. "I'm preserving a relic," says 
Ramos. His wife, Amelita, says he'll use proceeds to finance 
projects for Manila slum dwellers.
Commission cracks down on Snacktime doll 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission wants children to know 
long hair can get caught in the mouths of Cabbage Patch Snacktime
 Kid dolls. Hair can also be pulled out by the doll's chewing
 mechanism. Thirty-five such incidents have been reported since
 the doll was introduced in September. Mattel says there are no
 immediate plans to take the doll off the market. Its 
battery-powered chewing action can be stopped by pulling on its 
backpack. Consumers can call Mattel at 800-524-8697.
Burglary suspect found lodged in chimney

BALTIMORE - A man who tried to make a Santa-like entrance into 
a convenience store was found Christmas morning stuck in the 
chimney. Dwayne Terry, 33, was booked on attempted robbery 
charges after police who were tipped off by an anonymous caller 
found him lodged 2 feet down the chimney. He was freed by 
rescue workers about 1 a.m. The man told officers he was hungry 
and decided to go down the store's chimney to get some food, 
said police Lt. John Bevilacque. 
Java to go

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - If it had been raining Wednesday, downtown 
Louisville might have been awash in French roast coffee. A 
tractor-trailer overturned and cans of Hills Bros. ground 
coffee spilled across the westbound lanes of Interstate 64, 
closing it for 10 hours while workers used a front-end loader 
and street sweeper to clean up the java. No one was injured 
in the wreck.
High passion upsets Valley folks

LOS ANGELES - "This is the last straw - people fornicating in 
the skies over our city," Gerald Silver, president of 
Homeowners of Encino. He's talking about new flights sold 
by Mile High Adventures that include chocolate-covered strawberries 
and champagne in a bedroom cabin for amorous couples. So far, 
25 couples a month are paying $429 each to take the high-flying 
adventure. Already upset about the noise at Van Nuys Airport, 
Residents - who have battled noise at the Van Nuys Airport - are 
in high dudgeon over the new romance flights. "It's sleazy," he 
said. "What people do in their own bedroom is their business. 
What they do over our heads is the community's business. ... 
It's not the kind of thing that should be flying out of our 
bedroom community."