I'm ready; let's go

In Poing, Germany, jail inmate Maria Brunner is hoping her husband can't raise the money to cover the fine that landed her behind bars. Yes, you read that correctly. Hubby, you see, was ticketed for illegal parking but failed to tell her. As time went by without the penalty having been paid, it rose to $4,700 - far beyond what she could afford as a mother of three young children with a part-time job cleaning other people's houses. Did we mention that her spouse is unemployed and, in Maria's words, "lazy"? Jail time, she added, "means I can finally get some rest without having to cook, wash, and clean for everyone." Unless he can come up with the cash, she'll spend 90 days as a guest of the city. Said one of the police officers sent to arrest her: "She seemed really happy to see us."

To be cool in Seattle, teens hit jazz high notes

Metropolitan Seattle is a powerhouse in the world of high school jazz. When the awards were handed out last weekend in New York at the 10th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival, Seattle-area schools took three of the top four spots, plus had another among the 15 national finalists. The grand prizewinner, however, was the New World School of Arts in Miami, Fla. Each of the top three award- winning groups performed two Duke Ellington compositions at the new jazz hall at Lincoln Center, including one number apiece with artistic director, star trumpeter, and guest soloist Wynton Marsalis. The top high school jazz bands and ensembles, where they finished, and the cities they represent:

First: New World School of the Arts, Miami, Fla.
Second: Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Third: Mountlake Terrace High School, Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
Honorable mention: Shorewood High School, Shoreline, Wash.

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