From a drunken (and expensive) Uber ride to the state of Indiana banning eyeball tattoos, here's a look at some of this week's strangest headlines from around the world.
Jazz hall's signature sousaphone stolen in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Be on the lookout for a wraparound tuba: Someone has stolen the signature sousaphone belonging to Preservation Hall in New Orleans.
Creative director and musician Ben Jaffe wrote about it on the traditional jazz venue's Facebook page, saying he bought it after Hurricane Katrina to replace one lost to the 2005 storm.
A photo shows him playing the brass sousaphone, which has "Preservation Hall, New Orleans" painted on the bell.
He says it was taken Saturday, after a performance at New Orleans Airlift.
Jeanette Jaffe said Thursday they've received multiple calls since the message was posted Wednesday, but none led to recovery of the instrument. She says some callers even offered their own instruments.
There's a reward.
Sousaphones can cost up to $13,000.
Drunk man takes $1,600 Uber from West Virginia to New Jersey
GLOUCESTER COUNTY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man who got drunk in West Virginia and mistakenly ordered a $1,635 Uber ride back to his home state says the experience was "crazy."
NJ.com reported Wednesday that Kenny Bachman thought he was taking an Uber to where he was staying, near the West Virginia University campus.
But when his driver woke him up two hours into the more than 300-mile journey to New Jersey, Bachman says he didn't know what was happening or who the driver was.
The trip was made more expensive because Bachman gave the driver money for tolls and ordered an UberXL, which can hold up to six passengers.
He says he unsuccessfully challenged the fare with Uber, which confirmed that the ride occurred.
Bachman says he gave the driver five stars.
Motorists offered ice cream as sweet relief from potholes
FRANKLIN, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit business is offering a treat for those who have had their driving disrupted by potholes in recent weeks.
The Detroit Free Press reports Farmhouse Coffee & Ice Cream in Franklin is offering a free scoop of Ashby Sterling Ice Cream's "Michigan Pothole" for those who have replaced a tire or fixed other damage due to a pothole.
The newspaper says to get a scoop bring in a receipt from Feb. 1 and beyond detailing the repair. The promotion runs until March 25. The ice cream flavor is described as "thick black tar fudge and chocolate ice cream with chunky chocolate cookie asphalt pieces."
Road crews in Michigan have stepped up efforts to patch potholes that have become damaging and dangerous amid fluctuating winter temperatures.
Indiana lawmakers approve bill banning eyeball tattooing
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Legislature has approved a bill to effectively ban the practice of eyeball tattooing.
The measure comes after a flurry of news reports last fall about a Canadian model who had major complications from getting her eyes tattooed purple.
Under the Indiana proposal, tattooists would be prohibited from coloring the whites of an individual's eyes. An exception would be made for procedures done by licensed health care professionals. The bill imposes a fine of up to $10,000 per violation.
The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. John Ruckelshaus of Indianapolis. He says he's not aware of any problems in Indiana. Oklahoma is the only other state with a similar law.
The legislation was sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk on Thursday following an 82-11 House vote. It was previously approved by the Senate.
Man with red sauce on face charged with meatball theft
HAZLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Police say a damning clue led to the arrest of a Pennsylvania man charged with stealing a pot of meatballs — red sauce smeared on his face and clothes.
Authorities in Luzerne County have charged 48-year-old Leahman Glenn Robert Potter with burglary, criminal trespass and theft by unlawful taking for allegedly swiping a pot of meatballs from a man's garage on Monday.
Police say the victim reported his meatballs missing and told officers at around 2:30 p.m. Monday that he saw Potter standing in front of his house with red sauce on his face and clothes. The pot was found on the street.
It's unclear if Potter washed the sauce off before he was arrested a short time later.
Potter's attorney did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.
Oops! Errant email said students who vote won't have finals
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — What's one way to get students to vote for a school bond measure? Promise them they won't have to take final exams.
That's what an email sent to students at Warren Central High School in Mississippi said. The principal says the email was sent in error.
The Vicksburg Post reports a Feb. 20 email asked the students to help pass a bond measure to renovate district schools. The email said those who vote in March are exempt from finals.
Retired educator Diana Emfinger filed a complaint with the county election commission the next day, asking for an investigation because an authority figure "has not just suggested how students should vote, but offered them a tangible benefit."
District spokeswoman Christi Kilroy wouldn't disclose the message's origin.
Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com
Jury duty anyone? North Carolina county finds few takers
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The judges, deputies and clerks showed up for court, but one key element was missing: No one had invited any jurors.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that North Carolina's fourth-largest county failed to mail notices to the 1,700 or so prospective jurors needed to hear cases this week.
After no one showed up for jury duty Monday, Forsyth County officials made a plea through local television station WXII for any volunteers willing to fulfill their civic duty.
But only 19 people showed up Tuesday. One judge in the county of 370,000 residents even sent deputies to a mall to seek volunteers, but found no other takers.
"We don't have enough jurors," Judge Stuart Albright said in court Tuesday afternoon before dismissing the few who had shown up.
New notices were sent asking hundreds of prospective jurors to be there Thursday, while other trials were postponed until next week.
Normally, a county printing office makes the notices and sends them. That happens after a jury clerk determines how many prospective panelists are needed and uses a system to select them at random, Forsyth County Clerk of Court Susan Frye said in an email.
But this time, the notices weren't mailed because of an error by someone in the county print shop, said Kirby Robinson, the county's property manager.
"It's an unfortunate thing, and we sincerely apologize to the people who were inconvenienced," he told the newspaper.
Frye said this is the only time this kind of error has happened during her eight years as clerk of court. She said she's working with the county to ensure the mistake "does not occur again."
Police: Man stole officer's car, used credit cards for food
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut police say a man stole a rookie officer's car and used his credit cards buy food at a Taco Bell and shop at Walmart.
The Republican-American reports 21-year-old Waterbury resident Derrick Johnson was charged Tuesday with multiple offenses, including burglary, second-degree larceny and identity theft.
Police say Johnson stole the car from a Waterbury parking garage on Jan. 23, the night of the officer's police academy graduation. Investigators say Johnson bought items from Walmart and Taco Bell with the stolen credit cards before leaving the car in a private lot.
Police later recovered the car. Investigators say they identified Johnson using surveillance footage.
Johnson is being held on a $25,000 bond. A hearing is scheduled in Waterbury Superior Court next month.
Town seeks $1 from town for increased school budget
TIVERTON, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island school district is asking local taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets to fund next year's school budget.
But don't expect outrage in Tiverton. The school committee wants a total of $1.
The committee is proposing increasing the next fiscal year's school budget by $800,000 over last year, but noted that it is getting an expected $340,000 in state aid and will withdraw almost $460,000 from its reserve fund. That leaves the town on the hook for $1, a minimum amount required by state law.
School Committee member Deborah Pallasch tells The Newport Daily News that the board has never asked for just $1 before.
A town referendum May 19 will allow registered voters to decide on the budget.
Hog wild: Pigs outnumber people in Denmark, No. 1 in Europe
BERLIN (AP) — Statistics show pigs are hogging the market in Europe as the largest livestock category and outnumber people in Denmark by more than two-to-one.
European statistical agency Eurostat said Thursday that with a population of about 150 million in the European Union, pigs far outnumber cattle and other bovines, the second-largest livestock category with 89 million head.
Eurostat says 40 percent of the EU's pigs are in Spain and Germany, with significant numbers also in France, Denmark, Netherlands and Poland.
Denmark is the only country where pigs outnumber people, with 215 pigs to every 100 residents. Not coincidentally, it's also a country known in Europe for its quality bacon.
The Netherlands is next with 70 pigs per 100 people, Spain with 63 to 100, and Belgium with 54 to 100.
Car vandalism culprit? Evidence points to unidentified bear
SONTAG, Miss. (AP) — Stealing a picnic basket is one thing. Mauling a car is quite another.
A Mississippi wildlife department biologist says a bear attacked a woman's car Friday in the Sontag community about 60 miles south of Jackson.
Jamie Holt tells the Jackson Clarion-Ledger there were tooth and claw marks consistent with a bear on the front wheel wells and hood. There was headlight damage, and the front license tag holder was ripped off. There was also a muddy bear track nearby.
No one was inside the car, and it's not clear what prompted the attack. There was no food inside.
A nearby trash can was untouched, as were apples in the yard.
Mississippi's black bear population is growing, and bears are increasingly seen in areas where they've not been seen before.
Fire breaks out — in same building as fire headquarters
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore firefighters probably made record time arriving at the scene of a recent fire. That's because it broke out in the building housing the fire department's headquarters.
Fire department spokeswoman Blair Skinner told The Baltimore Sun that an electrical fire Thursday triggered the evacuation of the 85,000-square-foot (7,900-sq.-meter) downtown building the fire department shares with the city's finance and information technology departments.
Skinner says firefighters responded in a matter of minutes, in addition to the fire chiefs already in the building.
She says the smoke appeared to have originated on one of the floors above the fire department's offices.
No one was injured. The exact origin is still under investigation.
Elvis Presley is running for an Arkansas congressional seat
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Elvis Presley is officially running for a congressional seat in Arkansas. But don't confuse him with the rock 'n' roll icon, unless he's performing.
Elvis D. Presley performs shows as the late superstar Elvis A. Presley, but he's also now filed to run as the Libertarian nominee challenging Arkansas Republican Rep. Rick Crawford.
Both men filed paperwork Monday to run for the 1st Congressional District in eastern Arkansas. Crawford has represented the area for four terms.
Presley has previously run for Arkansas governor, land commissioner and the state Legislature. The Libertarian Party selected its nominees at a convention over the weekend.
The one-week filing period for state and federal office in Arkansas ends Thursday.