Tue Dec 30, 9:09 pm ET
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said an 88-year-old woman fended off a naked intruder by grabbing the man's crotch and squeezing. Deputy Paul McRedmond said the man got into the house Tuesday through a sliding door. He backed the woman into her living room and pushed her face down onto a chair.
That's when the woman reached behind and squeezed. The man tore free and fled.
McRedmond said a county code enforcement officer who heard the police call on his radio spotted a car near the woman's house and passed on the license information to authorities.
Troutdale police arrested a 46-year-old man. He has been jailed on accusations of burglary, harassment and private indecency. Bail was set at $110,000.
Tue Dec 30, 9:09 pm ET
BERLIN, Vt. – A Vermont man is $650,000 richer after retrieving a lottery ticket he had been given for Christmas but accidentally threw away. Steven LeClair of Richford got the ticket for the Dec. 24 Tri-State Megabucks drawing as a gift from his mother. But it was in a gift bag that LeClair threw out, not knowing it was inside.
Hadley Melendy says LeClair's wife found out two days later that the only winning ticket had been sold at a market in Richford. So LeClair went through the trash at his home and found it.
LeClair works for a car dealership and doesn't normally play the lottery. He couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday; his telephone number isn't listed.
New Hampshire and Maine also participate in Tri-State Megabucks.
08:54 AM PST on Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By ERIC ADAMS, kgw.com Staff
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A man who robbed a northeast Portland car wash is on the loose and police are asking for the public’s help in apprehending him.
Police said a masked man robbed the Washman Carwash on NE 81st Avenue Saturday morning, but his gun fell apart in the middle of the heist.
The suspect approached an employee at about 10:45 a.m., pulled a gun out from underneath his sweatshirt and demanded money.
He then dropped his gun and it fell apart, police said.
The suspect began waving his fist at the employee and demanded money, according to a police report, and the employee opened up the cash register.
But as the suspect reached for money the employee grabbed a power washer and sprayed him in the face, causing the suspect to flee on foot, westbound down NE Everett Street, police said.
The suspect was described by police as a white male in his 20s, about 6’ tall, weighing 180 pounds and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a white “skeleton” ski mask.
The employee described the man as having “unusually long arms” and dark eyes.
Police said the man should be considered armed and dangerous.
Crime Stoppers offered a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Dec 29, 2008 5:00 pm US/Mountain
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (CBS) ?
Have you ever rubbed up against your cell phone in your pocket, causing it to randomly dial someone in your contact list without you realizing it? A similar situation happened to a man in Middletown, N.Y. – a man whose apparent plan to steal car parts was foiled when he "pocket-dialed" 911 in the middle of the act!
Sometime around 3 a.m. Monday at Sierra Auto Body Parts in Middletown, police say Andre Pryce and Fabian Corley were breaking into cars to steal parts. A third party, Xavier Jenkins, was waiting nearby in a getaway car, according to police.
The suspects were captured quickly by police because one of the suspects accidentally called them from his own cell phone.
"The criminal, or defendant actually called the police department accidentally and conversations were heard by the dispatcher," said Middletown Sgt. Jay Tobin.
On the police tapes one of the suspects is heard saying: "You better come! We're getting the tires…just shut the car off. They're going to think we're stealing it!"
That's when the dispatcher radioed officers saying, "It sounds like they're ripping a car off…it dialed in their pocket by accident. They're taking the tires off a car.
Police say when they arrived they caught two of the suspects in the act stealing parts from the cars. The suspects tried to run, jumped a fence, but there was no way out.
John Sierra Jr., who runs the shop, told CBS 2 that because of tough times, they'd been keeping customers' cars longer while they get back on their feet.
"Kind of like pay as you go along, so we're trying to help and it turns out this morning they broke into a couple vehicles, and it's really not a good time," he said.
If it wasn't enough that one of the culprits dialed 911 by accident, but the dispatcher kept the line open, monitored it and used GPS technology to pinpoint the location and tell cops exactly where to go.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says it is holding an emerald estimated to be worth as much as $370 million while the stone's owner is determined.
A department spokesman said the 850-pound gem will be in safekeeping until a federal judge determines who rightfully owns it.
The "Bahia Emerald" was reported stolen in September from a secured vault in South El Monte, Calif.
CNN reported the emerald has been at the center of a dispute between a California man who claimed ownership, a company with which he contracted to sell it and a potential buyer.
It is alleged the gemstone's owner tried to go around the broker, who received a $19 million offer, and sell the emerald to the same buyer for $75 million.
The Brazilian stone was located in a Las Vegas warehouse, where the person in possession claimed to be the rightful owner, Los Angeles Sheriff's Lt. Thomas Grubb said.
A federal judge ordered the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to hold the 180,000-carat emerald until he can sort out the legal issues, Grubb said.
United Press International
Thu Dec 25, 12:31 pm ET
MURRAY, Utah – A thief remains at large after pulling off a daring heist — in the pet food aisle.
Surveillance video at a supermarket in this Salt Lake City suburb caught a dog shoplifting, KSL-TV reported Wednesday.
The video showed the dog walking in the front door of Smith's Food & Drug in Murray, and heading straight to Aisle 16, the pet food aisle, where it grabbed a bone worth $2.79.
The thief wasn't even perturbed by a face-to-face confrontation with store manager Roger Adamson.
"I looked at him. I said 'Drop it!'" Adamson said. "He looked at me, and I looked at him, and he ran for the door and away he went, right out the front door."
Information from: KSL-TV, http://www.ksl.com/
PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press Writer Paul Elias, Associated Press Writer – Friday Dec 26, 6:22 pm ET
LOS ANGELES – Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, the state's high court on Thursday said a would-beaccused of rendering her friend paraplegic by pulling her from a "like a " can be sued.
California's Supreme Court ruled that the state's only protects people from liability if the are administering emergency medical care, and that Lisa Torti's attempted rescue of her friend didn't qualify.
Justice Carlos Moreno wrote for a unanimous court that a person is not obligated to come to someone's aid.
"If, however, a person elects to come to someone's aid, he or she has a duty to exercise due care," he wrote.
Torti had argued that she should still be protected from a lawsuit because she was giving "medical care" when she pulled her friend from a .
Alexandra Van Horn was in the front passenger seat of a car that slammed into a light pole at 45 mph on Nov. 1, 2004, according to her negligence lawsuit.
Torti was a passenger in a car that was following behind the vehicle and stopped after the crash. Torti said when she came across the wreck she feared the car was going to explode and pulled Van Horn out. Van Horn testified that Torti pulled her out of the wreckage "like a rag doll." Van Horn blamed her friend for her paralysis.
Whether Torti is ultimately liable is still to be determined, but Van Horn's lawsuit can go forward, the Supreme Court ruled.
Beverly Hills lawyer Robert Hutchinson, who represented Van Horn, said he's pleased with the ruling.
Torti's attorney, Ronald Kent, of Los Angeles didn't immediately return a telephone call
IRVINE, Calif. – The box of crackers Debra Rogoff bought from the grocery store had some crackerjack in it — an envelope stuffed with $10,000.
Yet the Irvine woman was more curious than ecstatic about her daughter's find. After all, who would leave money in such a place?
"We just thought, 'This is someone's money,'" she said. "We would never feel good about spending it."
Rather than go on a shopping spree, the family called police and was initially told the money could be part of a drug drop.
Police later heard from store managers at Whole Foods in Tustin that an elderly woman had come in a few days earlier, hysterical because she had mistakenly returned a box of crackers with her life savings inside. In a mix-up the store restocked the box rather than composting it.
The Lake Forest woman, whose identity was not released, had lost faith in her bank and decided the box would be a safer place for the money.
Luckily for her, the box of Annie's Sour Cream and Onion Cheddar Bunny crackers were bought by the Rogoffs, who discovered the crisp $100 bills in an unmarked white envelope on Oct. 10.
The Rogoffs never heard from the woman and didn't receive a reward, but Rogoff did return to Whole Foods a couple weeks later.
"I asked them if I could have another box of crackers," she said with a laugh. The store obliged.
Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com
PENSACOLA, Fla. – A Christian woman claims she was fired from her job because she greeted callers with "disgruntled employee.," but the vacation rental company says it's no Scrooge and the woman is just a
Tonia Thomas, 35, said she refused to say "Happy Holidays" and was fired, even after offering to use the company's non-holiday greeting. The religious discrimination. She is seeking compensation for lost wages.filed a federal complaint that accuses the company of
"I hold my core Christian values to a high standard and I absolutely refuse to give in on the basis of values. All I wanted was to be able to say 'Merry Christmas' or to acknowledge no holidays," she said Tuesday. "As a Christian, I don't recognize any other holidays."
Thomas said she is Baptist.
Her former employer, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc., said she wasn't fired for saying "Merry Christmas," but would not elaborate.
"We are a Christian company and we celebrate Christmas," said Andy Phillips, the company's president. Thomas is "a disgruntled employee," presenting a one-sided version of what happened when she was fired Dec. 10, Phillips said.
Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based legal group that advocates for people discriminated against because of their religion, is representing Thomas before the federal . Their complaint also accuses the company of harassing and taunting Thomas after she was fired by calling the police to watch her pack her belongs and leave.
Thomas could have hard time winning the case, said G. Thomas Harper, a Jacksonville-based labor attorney who writes a newsletter on Florida employment law.
"I wouldn't think an employee has the right to insist (on saying Merry Christmas) unless that really is a tenet of their faith. She would have to make a strong case that was part of her beliefs, if not, it becomes insubordination," he said.
Thomas has found another job, but she makes less than the $10.50 an hour she earned with the rental company. She said the trauma of being fired and the pay cut has made for a tough holiday season for herself, her husband and their 6-year-old son.
Harper said when it comes to, the smartest choice might be ignoring the season.
"The best option is just not to say anything," he said.
OKLAHOMA CITY – A trail of tobacco spit has led investigators to a suspect in at least five burglaries across eastern Oklahoma, police said.
Randy Lee Shoopman Jr., 33, was charged with 11 counts of second-degree burglary after a sample of his DNA matched that taken from expectorant left behind at the scene of several burglaries in Oklahoma, said officer Brad Robertson, a spokesman for the Tahlequah .
Shoopman was taken into custody Friday in Merced, Calif., on an unrelated stolen property charge, Robertson said.
Investigators also said Shoopman may be involved in break-ins at businesses across Missouri.and in
Stilwell police detective Chad Smith said he was investigating the burglary of an insurance company in September when he noticed a tobacco stain on papers in the ransacked office.
"None of the ladies that worked there chewed tobacco," Smith said. "You could tell that the stains were from the suspect."
Smith said he sent a sample of the spit to thefor testing. Detectives in Tahlequah who were investigating Shoopman as a possible suspect in a string of burglaries obtained a warrant to get a DNA sample from him.
The sample linked him to at least five burglaries in which the suspect also left behind tobacco spit, Robertson said. Shoopman was released on bail before the DNA match was obtained.
The evidence helps build a strong case for prosecutors, said Shannon Otteson, assistant district attorney in Adair County.
"Eyewitness testimony is unreliable at best. Even video tape surveillance is sometimes grainy. But this is pretty good," Otteson said. "Through this guy's bad habit, we could possibly solve several different burglaries."
Oklahoma officials hoped to have Shoopman extradited from California soon to face charges, said Otteson.
A telephone message left Wednesday with Shoopman's attorney in Muskogee was not immediately returned
This news is weird, no doubt but also sad. Daniel Petric, a 17 year old boy shot his parents after they took away Halo 3 (an xbox 360 video game).
He came home after sneaking out to buy the game. His father then took it, placing the game in a lockbox—the same lockbox in which he stored his 9mm handgun.
Somehow, Petric retrieved his game and the gun from the lockbox. And according to his father, Petric entered the living room with a chilling request.
“Would you guys close your eyes?” I have a surprise for you.At that point, he was said to shoot both of his parents in the head, killing his mother.
December 23, 2008 9:00 A M EST
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Fire officials in New Bedford, Mass., say a man using a blowtorch to melt ice on his back porch ended up setting his , causing up to $30,000 in damage.
Fire Capt. Scott Kruger tellsof that no on was injured during Monday's incident at the three-story home.
Kruger says the man was using a torch hooked up to a 20-pound propane cylinder. He got too close to the building's wood frame and ignited the vinyl siding. The fire quickly spread into the building's second- and third-floor apartments.
It took 25 firefighters to subdue the blaze that damaged bedrooms in the upstairs units, and caused damage to the structure and wiring.
The homeowner will not be charged.
Information from: The Standard-Times, http://www.southcoasttoday.com
ROME (Reuters) - Down-and-outs and hard up pensioners in Milan will enjoy a rare Christmas treat this year: choice beluga caviar confiscated from traffickers.
Italian police seized over 40 kg (88 lb) of the delicacy, worth some 400,000 euros ($558,300), from two men who last month smuggled it into the country from Poland for sale in the shops of Milan and the rest of the wealthy Lombardy region.
The head of the local forest police who carried out the raid kept the bounty in barrack fridges for several weeks, but realized it would soon go bad.
"Tests showed us the food was still perfectly OK to eat but it couldn't be stored much longer, so we decided to give it to the poor," Juri Mantegazza told Milan daily Corriere della Sera.
A small amount of the sturgeons' eggs have been kept for further analysis while the rest has been sent to voluntary associations, charity kitchens and old people's homes.
"Everything that comes our way is very welcome, even though most of our guests don't even know what those little black balls are," said Virginio Colmega, a priest who helps run the House of Charity in Milan.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Katie Nguyen)
Associated Press December 22, 2008
MINDEN, Nev. – A 39-year-old woman was arrested last week on suspicion of smoking marijuana with her two teenage children. Douglas County sheriff's deputies said the woman was detained after they responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. Deputies said the woman told them that she was teaching her son to drive, but they smelled marijuana emanating from the vehicle.
The suspect's son, whose age was unavailable, and 14-year-old daughter told deputies they had shared two bowls of marijuana with their mother.
The woman was booked into jail Tuesday on charges of child endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a drug.
The 14-year-old was released to Child and Protective Services, while the boy was placed in juvenile detention.
Sun Dec 21, 6:29 pm ET
NEW YORK – The's latest discovery is a diamond in the rough: a visitor's $15,000 gem in a vacuum-cleaner bag.
The one-carat stone fell out of Catherine Hart's ring during a "" sleepover event at the storied New York institution Dec. 13 and 14.
Custodial supervisor Herbert Andujar says staffers in gloves and masks combed through the dust in four, scrutinizing everything that glittered, before finding the gem.
Hart says she's thrilled to have recovered the diamond, which her husband gave her in 2000. The 59-year-old intends to give it to her granddaughter someday.
Hart says it shows a diamond really is forever, "because it came back to me."
The Tampa Tribune
December 20, 2008
Just after 8:30 this morning, Temple Terrace police say they received a call that the resident of a home on 5400 E. Busch Blvd. was injured and that a man was in the yard firing a revolver.
According to the report, police questioned Lorrie Ann Fernandez, 39, who denied making any calls. Then the officers recognized Fernandez.
Last month, she called 911 to report that someone was possibly injured and that she heard gunshots. At the time, she told police that she called 911 "because she wanted to know what her neighbors were doing."
That time, the police let her go. She was not so lucky this morning.
After she was read her rights, Fernandez told police that "it wasn't against the law to make 911 calls."
Fernandez, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of making a false 911 call. She is being held at the Orient Road Jail on $1,000 bond.
Dec. 19, 2008
A 24-year-old man wounded in a struggle over a gun during an attempted robbery reported the shooting to police but was soon arrested when officers discovered that he was the robber himself, an investigator said today.
Police said the robber went to a home last night in the 3200 block of N. 12th St. armed with a gun, but encountered a person who resisted the robbery and attempted to take the gun away.
The robber was struck in the shoulder with a bullet during the struggle and ran off, according to police.
He reported the shooting a short time later. Police realized his possible involvement in the original robbery and arrested him.
He was being treated today at a hospital and was in police custody.
The robber said he knew the person he had attempted to rob, according to police.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dec 18 08:20 AM US/Eastern
A British passenger plane was forced to turn back minutes before landing in Paris because the pilot of 30 years' experience was not qualified to land in fog, an airline confirmed on Thursday.
Speaking over the address system as the Flybe flight approached Charles de Gaulle airport, the pilot announced to startled passengers "I am not qualified to land the plane" and turned back to Cardiff.
A spokeswoman for the low-cost airline said the pilot was "an experienced aviator with more than 30 years commercial aviation experience flying a number of different passenger aircraft types."
"He has relatively recently transferred his 'type-rating' from a Bombardier Q300 to a Bombardier Q400 and has not yet completed the requisite low-visibility training to complete a landing in conditions such as the dense fog experienced in Paris Charles de Gaulle," she said.
"The captain therefore quite correctly turned the aircraft around and returned to Cardiff; a decision which the company stands by 100 percent."
One passenger, 29-year-old Cassandra Grant, said she had missed a job interview in the French capital as a result.
She told the South Wales Echo newspaper: "Twenty minutes outside Paris, the captain said, 'Unfortunately I'm not qualified to land the plane in Paris. They are asking for a level two qualification and I only have a level five. We'll have to fly back.
"The whole thing beggars belief. If I had not been on the plane, I would not have believed it."
The Civil Aviation Authority described the incident as "quite unusual but probably not unheard of.
"I guess he thought when he initially took off that conditions would be suitable for him to land," a spokesman said.
"There are different classifications of aircraft and when an aircraft is updated, pilots who have flown an older version have to completely retrain.
"Different climatic conditions like fog require a certain level of skill and he probably didn't have the level of training required for this particular aircraft."
A man who was hit by a stray bullet in the back of the head is back at work - with the slug still stuck in his skull. E.T. Strickland, 74, a commercial real estate seller, said the bullet hurts, but not enough to keep him from his job.
Strickland was told by his doctors not to have the bullet removed unless it was pressing on any arteries or causing health problems. He does plan to see a neurosurgeon though because he wants it taken out if possible.
Police said Strickland was hit by a bullet Tuesday night from an attempted robbery outside a Walgreens store. A second person was also shot, several times, as he was leaving the store. Police said that person was listed in stable condition Wednesday.Information from: The Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com
December 17, 2008 --- 7:15 a.m.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- A woman is suing a Pennsylvania sports bar and restaurant, saying she got stuck inside a toilet bowl for 20 minutes after the seat broke.
Kathleen Hewko of Delran Township, N.J., says she was in the bathroom at Starters Pub near Allentown when the handicapped toilet seat she was sitting on cracked and dumped her into the bowl.
Hewko says in her lawsuit filed in federal court in November that she had hip surgery prior to the Nov. 19, 2006, incident and was re-injured when the seat broke.
The lawsuit names Starters and Kohler Co., the company that made the toilet seat.
Representatives from both companies said they couldn't comment.
The Associated Press.
Wed Dec 17, 6:15 am ET
NEW YORK – Santa Claus has added a New York City traffic agent to his naughty list after she gave him a ticket while delivering gifts to children.
Chip Cafiero says he'll fight the $115 ticket he received in Brooklyn on Black Friday when he was dressed as Santa.
The 60-year-old retired schoolteacher was riding a horse-drawn carriage and handing out toys and candy canes. An SUV carrying the toys and protecting the horse from traffic was double parked next to him.
Santa says he yelled "Ho! Ho! Ho!" to get the traffic agent's attention because the SUV wasn't blocking traffic. But in his words, "This grinch just went ahead and fined me."
Local politician Martin Golden calls the parking ticket "ridiculous."
Police won't comment on it.
Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com
A dramatic battle to free a trapped eight-year-old Turkish boy from an airtight bank safe has been captured on camera.
Watched by scores of onlookers, fire officers in Istanbul used a sledgehammer and electric saw to free Cihan Sevinc.
The youngster had found the disused unit while playing in a footpath in Istanbul with friends. It had been left outside a safe shop, whose owner was away on holiday.
Unaware of the danger it posed Cihan climbed into the safe, his companions shutting the door behind him as a joke.
One alarmed passer by who saw what had happened called the fire brigade. "I saw the children playing. Then they put the boy in the vault and closed the door. I rushed and called the police," the witness said.
When police and fire crews finally cut open the door and freed the frightened child, he was seen covering his ears in fear before being carried to safety. His only injury was a small cut above his right eye.
|12/15/2008, 3:17 p.m. ET The Associated Press|
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns fan Mike Meredith is a couch potato with a cause. Meredith has a motorized sofa — the "Go-Kouch" — that he usually rides around a municipal parking lot for tailgate parties before games.
But on Nov. 23, he decided to take the couch, a converted riding mower, the extra two blocks to the Browns' stadium for a game with Houston. Meredith said several police officers waved him through. One didn't, issuing him citations for driving an unregistered vehicle and having expired plates.
Meredith pleaded not guilty and will argue his case in court Tuesday. He has prepared a defense, walking the couch route and snapping pictures of every officer who gave him the go-ahead.
He could receive fines or community service in lieu of payment if he loses.
Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com
Monday, December 15, 2008 3:01 AM
A surgeon will spend an estimated $370,000 to equip her home in Gloucestershire, England, with a state-of-the-art three-room suite for her two Great Danes -- complete with cameras to monitor them via the Internet. Instead of an ordinary dog door, a retina scanner will control entry to the suite -- and, without the need for human stewards, the big darlings will be dispensed dry food and filtered water automatically in self-cleaning bowls. A temperature-regulated saline spa will allow relaxing dips before the dogs hit the sack on sheepskin-lined beds.
-- Chuck Shepherd Universal Press Syndicate
Sun Dec 14, 10:34 am ET
SOUTH EL MONTE, Calif. – Fed up with the nocturnal work habits of its mayor, a California city council has approved a curfew limiting how late she can work at City Hall.
South El Monte council members say they have safety and liability concerns for Mayor Blanca Figueroa, who frequently works until the wee hours of the morning. She must now leave the building by 11 p.m.
The mayor — a self-described night owl — calls the restriction petty. She says she needs to stay late because her daytime schedule is filled with meetings and her inbox is overflowing with letters from residents affected by the worsening economy.
South El Monte is a city of 21,000 about 14 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Council members approved the curfew Wednesday.
Dec 13, 2008 2:26 pm US/Mountain
MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) ?
Police say a pizza delivery man fought back with the one weapon he had handy when a gun was pulled on him in a stickup: A large, hot pepperoni pizza.
Delivery man Eric Lopez Devictoria, 40, flung the steaming pie at the gunman, buying time as he ran for safety, police said.
At least one shot was fired as Devictoria fled, but the deliveryman wasn't hurt and was able to quickly call police, according to authorities.
Three teenage suspects were nabbed soon after Wednesday's run-in with the cheesy weapon, police said, adding they were charged with armed robbery.
(AP) -- When Baby Jesus disappeared last year from a Nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Fla., community center, village officials didn't follow a star to locate him.
By SUSAN FIELD
Clare Managing Editor
A suspicious package found at an Isabella County post office Friday morning turned out to be Christmas presents.
Isabella County sheriff's deputies were called to the post office at 3905 E. Rosebush Road in Isabella Township at 7:22 a.m. when a postal worker noticed a large, standard green military-style foot locker in the lobby, Undersheriff John Vinson said.
The footlocker contained no name, address label or any type of writing. However, nothing out of the ordinary was found near the item, Vinson said.
As a precaution, several homes and businesses surrounding the post office were evacuated as officers waited for a Michigan State Police Bomb Squad from Lansing to arrive. Local police called for the team at 7:45 a.m., Vinson said.
As police waited for the bomb squad to get to the scene, a local woman approached officers and said she thought the locker may have been left at the post office by her brother, who is a mentally challenged adult and had planned on donating toys to the needy, the undersheriff said.
The woman told police she thought her brother planned on dropping off the donated toys at a local gasoline station and identified the item, confirming that it was missing from her garage, after police showed her a photograph.
She also told police the footlocker contained toys.
When the bomb squad arrived at about 9 a.m., members briefly inspected the footlocker before heading back to Lansing, Vinson said. Deputies left shortly after.
The employee who discovered the footlocker told police the post office lobby doors should have automatically locked at 7 p.m. Thursday and that workers had been having problems with the lock freezing up.
When the worker arrived Friday morning, however, the lobby door was locked.
Isabella Northeast firefighters assisted at the scene.
Fri Dec 12, 1:10 pm ET
CANBERRA (Reuters) – An Australian gambler who lost millions in a A$1.4 billion ($909 million) gaming spree is suing one of the country's largest casinos, claiming he was targeted by managers despite a known gambling addiction.
In a case which lawyers say could have implications stretching to China, gambling addict Harry Kakavas is suingin Melbourne for A$50 million damages after a mammoth 14-month baccarat binge in which he lost A$37 million.
At the time in 2007, property developer Kakavas had been barred from every casino in Australia.
But the Supreme Court in Victoria state was told that Crown's management did not "give a monkey's" about a prohibition in place since 2004, the Age newspaper said.
Supreme Court documents said Kakavas wore a concealed recorder that captured Crown managers allegedly attempting to lure him back to its riverside baccarat tables.
Crown is owned by Australian billionaire Macau and is developing a second casino project, The City of Dreams, in the Chinese territory. Last year the company reported profits of A$370 million., who also operates Crown
"We have no intention of responding to the allegations made publicly. We are defending the action vigorously," Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill told Reuters.
Crown Chief Executive Rowen Craigie and Chief Operating Officer John Williams face accusations of unconscionable conduct while in charge of Crown, which this month reported revenue from table games and gaming machines up 4 percent as Packer looks to expand in Macau.
Court documents in Melbourne alleged that emails detailed a Crown plan to lure back Kakavas after managers discovered he had lost millions of dollars gambling in Las Vegas.
If found guilty, Crown could be judged to have breached Australia's Trade Practices Act, state gambling regulations and special laws covering the high-profile casino's operation.
(Reporting by Rob Taylor; editing by Roger Crabb)
By Randi Weiner
The Journal News • December 11, 2008
CLARKSTOWN - It may have been the missing watermark or the missing security fibers that tipped Clarkstown Police Officer Robert Reilly that the two $100 bills he was holding were fake.
Or it could have been that identical serial numbers, HJ00407598A, appeared on both bills.
Whatever it was, it certainly put the brakes on Jean Etienne's plan to pay his bail with the two fake bills after he was arrested in connection with skipping a court hearing on shoplifting and disorderly conduct charges.
Now Etienne, 20, of Garnerville is facing a maximum seven-year prison term if convicted of two counts of possession of a forged instrument instead of a year in county jail in connection with the missed court hearing on the two lesser counts.
"You see stuff like this, you shake your head," Sgt. Bernard Cummings said. "There is a comic edge to this thing - but not for him. The moral of the story is whenever you are posting bail, use legitimate currency."
Etienne was employed by Macy's in the Palisades Center in April 2007, when management found $20 was lifted from the till. He was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor. He was charged in July 2007 with disorderly conduct, a violation, in an unrelated case.
When he failed to show up in Clarkstown court on the disorderly conduct charge, a single warrant was issued against him in both crimes, Cummings said.
Etienne's contact with police took a more immediate turn Saturday, courtesy of poor automotive upkeep on the part of a friend.
Stony Point police stopped a car with a loud muffler on Route 9W at Lowland Hill Road about 10:10 p.m. Saturday and found out through a routine identification check that Etienne, the passenger in the car, was wanted on the warrant.
Stony Point officers transported him to Clarkstown Town Court, where he was arraigned before Judge Rolf Thorsen on the two-count warrant.
Thorsen set bail at $200.
Etienne told police that he had $200 to pay his bail, and police took possession of the two $100 bills he had.
When Reilly spotted the missing security measures on the bills and then checked their serial numbers, Etienne was returned to the town lockup. He was arraigned later in the day on the felony forgery charges.
Clarkstown police called the Secret Service, which oversees U.S. currency forgery cases. As of yesterday evening, a Secret Service agent had not spoken with Clarkstown police. Cummings said he did not know how the bogus bills had been disseminated or if others were in circulation.
Cummings said Etienne made a statement about how he got the bills, but the statement was not being made public.
Etienne was being held in the Rockland County jail without bail pending a hearing in Clarkstown Town Court at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.
ASHLAND, Ohio -- A company reopening the former Archway cookie plant stunned displaced employees by presenting them with $1,500 Visa gift cards.
Lance, Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C., will begin operations next week at the former Archway plant with a staff of 50 to 70 workers. Nearly 300 employees lost their jobs when Archway filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.
Each former full-time employee received a gift card at a meeting yesterday at Ashland High School's Little Theater.
"It was absolutely astounding," Ashland Mayor Glen Stewart said today. "It was a sigh of, 'I can't believe this is happening.' Totally unexpected and totally appreciated in a genuine way."
Lance spokesman Russell Allen said it was the first time the company has made such a gesture and that it was done to show good will to workers and the Ashland community.
Cathy Hayes of Ashland, who worked at the bakery for nearly 30 years before Archway's bankruptcy filing, said the company seemed compassionate.
"I'm excited. I'm ready to go back to work," Hayes said. "It seems like they care about their employees."
Lance, which makes and distributes cookies, sandwich crackers and other snacks, expected to finish hiring workers by Thursday. It has promised to hire workers at the same rates they were making at Archway -- an average of $14.93 per hour.
"It feels like it's going to be a positive change, something we've been needing for a long time," said former Archway employee Michelle Fife of Mansfield.
The plant will resume production of cookies under the Archway brand.
Archway & Mother's Cookie Co. Inc. cited rising food and fuel costs in closing its U.S. operations. Lance announced last week that it completed the purchase of Archway Cookies LLC for about $30 million.
Lance has about 4,700 full-time employees and has manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, Arkansas and Ontario, Canada. It also sells cookies and chips under the band names Cape Cod and Tom's.
Ashland is about 50 miles south of Cleveland.
From NBC News:
His white Santa gloves suddenly became red and Jonathan Bebbington says he's got the wounds to prove this was no ordinary kitty.
"It hurt, it had a lot of power in its jaws," said Jonathan Bebbington.
The volunteer Santa Claus was repeatedly clawed and bitten by what he believes was a 30-pound bobcat.
"It was about that large, she was walking it around on a harness," Bebbington said.
It's the pet. Yes, the pet of a woman who brought it to this Petsmart store in Mays Landing Sunday morning for photos with Old Saint Nick. Bebbington says the bobcat didn't become violent until it was on his lap.
"I never expected this while volunteering to do this," explained Bebbington.
"The person was saying how she paid 15-hundred dollars to have this animal shipped in from Wyoming," Christine Tartaro of Penny Angels Beagle Rescue said.
The photo shoot benefitted Penny Angels Beagle Rescue. The woman is believed live in Egg Harbor Township, but she and the young bobcat split before anyone got her name.
Organizers want to find to her and get their hands on the creature's veterinary records.
"Without the record of the shots, I have to go through a series of rabies shots which are very painful," added Bebbington.
It's NOT LEGAL to have a bobcat as a pet in New Jersey. Violators could face a fine of up to $5,000.
Vincent Sonetto of Cape May County Zoo says "any kind of wild animal is just not a good idea for a pet, regardless of how nice it is. Eventually, it can snap."
Jonathan says "if you're a pet owner, you have to be responsible."
Petsmart will be paying Jonathan Bebbington's medical bills. Meanwhile, authorities are working to track down the woman and her biting bobcat which left this Santa scarred for Christmas. Santa "Clawed" Attacker Comes Forward
Elusive no more. The owner of a large cat that attacked a man posing as Santa Claus last weekend in South Jersey came forward Wednesday.
Despite initial fears that the animal was a bob cat—illegal to own as pets in New Jersey-- the animal’s owner, Christine Haughey insists "Benny" is actually an 8-month old Pixie Bob, a recognized, legal breed.
It is“a unique breed of cat with bobcat heritage,” according to the website, catsinfo.com. But the head of the Atlantic County S.P.C.A. can't be certain and Pixie Bob breeders across the country have been contacting NBC10 to say they believe it is a bobcat.
He shouldn’t worry, she said. Haughey showed NBC10 Benny’s veterinary records and rabies tag to prove the cat has received all necessary vaccinations.
Last Update: 12/10 12:26 pm
LONGVIEW, Texas – A $1 million bank deposit slip wish by a Longview minister to pay for a new church came true — and then some. The Rev. Thomas McDaniels of LifeBridge Christian Center said a businessman, who chooses to remain anonymous, wrote him a $1.5 million check.
Members of LifeBridge, which formed in 2005, had met at a Longview hotel. Their new church opens in a few weeks.
McDaniels described on Monday how in January 2007 he took a bank deposit slip and wrote $1 million, "meaning that one day someone would give us a million dollar gift."
The minister, who prayed over the deposit slip, said a business owner Dec. 2 asked how much was needed to pay for the church.
McDaniels said $1.4 million. The benefactor's check included an extra $100,000.
McDaniels says, in these economic times, that "the Lord wanted to show his power."
Information from KLTV-TV & Longview News Journal
An extraordinary lucky streak for Maryland lottery players has meant more bad news for a state budget already hobbled by the recession.
Maryland lottery revenue has fallen $27 million below projections since July, largely because a high number of lottery players won big on the Pick 3 and Pick 4 games.
December 9, 2008
Defying the odds, a series of the same digit was drawn eight times for the game in which players choose three numbers, and once in which they choose four. In those games, players often pick a same-number series out of superstition or for other reasons, officials said.
When the winning Pick 4 series was 1-1-1-1 in August, about 1,400 players won $5,000 each, a $7 million combined payout.
When 1-0-1-2 hit last month, 1,100 players won a total of about $5.5 million.
"We expect a couple of those a year; we don't expect 10 of those in four months. That's an incredible percentage," said Maryland Lottery Director Buddy Roogow, who gave a fiscal briefing to the House Ways and Means Committee in Annapolis yesterday on lottery proceeds, which are the third-highest source of state operating revenue, after income and sales taxes. "I couldn't believe it."
Roogow said he couldn't guess the psychological reasons players choose a series of the same numbers, though he mentioned that three 6's, which came up in July, is the "number of the beast" in the Bible.
Copyright © 2008, The Baltimore Sun
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