Odds & Ends The Associated Press
Saturday, January 20, 2018 - January 26, 2018
Police: Man used
cash to buy engagement ring
Middletown, Ohio (AP) -
Authorities say a man robbed a bank in Ohio and used the money to buy
his fiancée an engagement ring. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News
reports 36-year-old Dustin Pedersen has been charged with robbing a
Fifth Third Bank branch in Trenton on Dec. 16. Police say records show
that Pedersen spent $4,500 on an engagement ring less than an hour after
the robbery and presented it the next day. A Trenton police detective
said in court Wednesday the robbery netted $8,800. Police say Pedersen
became a suspect after a man wearing an identical hat robbed a Butler
County bank six days later. Pedersen has denied robbing any banks, but
told police that surveillance photos of the robber look like him.
Pedersen’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment Thursday.
Russian army demonstrates latest weapon: Cuddly puppies
Moscow (AP) -
The Russian Armed Forces has unveiled its latest cutting-edge weapon in
a New Year’s greetings video: cuddly puppies. After a year of showing
off its military might in Syria, the Defense Ministry has taken a softer
approach in a one-minute video showing dozens of puppies sharing food
and cuddling with each other. Older dogs are shown playing with
unidentified officers. In the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the year of the
dog, so many Russians are using dogs in their holiday greetings this
season. Over 3,000 dogs are employed in the Russian armed forces. Dogs
from the 470th Dog Breeding Center outside Moscow are among the most
decorated in Russia. The center won an international competition last
summer against the canine forces of Belarus, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan.
(AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
Police: Snow thwarts shoplifter
in North Dakota
Minot, N.D. (AP) -
Authorities say a North Dakota man who wheeled a
shopping cart with stolen merchandise out of a Hobby Lobby craft store
was stopped by snow. Police say 22-year-old Dustin Johnson filled up a
cart with about $4,000 in products at a Hobby Lobby store in Minot on
Wednesday. After the cart got stuck in the snow in the parking lot and
tipped over, Johnson allegedly ran off. Police say that along with the
merchandise, Johnson left behind his wallet - which contained
identification with his address. Johnson is charged in Ward County with
theft of property. Court documents do not list a lawyer for him.
Rats! DC wages war against resurgent rodents with dry ice
Washington (AP) -
Any mists spotted rising over the swamp may just be Washington wielding
its newest weapon in its never-ending war on rats: dry ice. The District
of Columbia’s rodent control division’s program manager, Gerard Brown,
tells The Washington Post the frozen form of carbon dioxide complements
the poison the city uses, as reported rat complaints reach a four-year
high. Last month, Brown and Mayor Muriel Bowser oversaw a demonstration
in which health department staffers stuffed dry ice into a northeast
Washington alley rat hole. As the ice smoked, the emanating carbon
dioxide suffocated the rats, according to Brown’s explanation. Residents
are encouraged to purchase their own dry ice. The city is working on
usage guidelines. Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy
Wells says dry ice is relatively humane, cheap and pet-friendly.
(Salwan Georges /The Washington Post via AP)
Update January 13, 2018 - January 19, 2018
(AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)
Box of horse manure addressed to US treasury secretary
(AP) - Authorities say a gift-wrapped box
of horse manure addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
(mih-NOO’-shin) was found near his home in Los Angeles. The package was
found Saturday night in the tiny Bel Air neighborhood after it was
dropped off at a neighbor’s house. The Los Angeles Police Department’s
bomb squad was called to the home and officers opened the box, finding a
pile of horse manure inside. Police said the package had been
gift-wrapped and was marked as being from “the American people.” Police
said the Secret Service was taking over the investigation. A Secret
Service spokesman said the agency was aware of the incident but declined
to comment further. A spokesman for the Treasury Department did not
immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Retired justice ‘so disappointed’
to be kept off jury
Boston (AP) -
She was impartial enough to serve as a justice on the highest court in
Massachusetts, but apparently that wasn’t enough for Geraldine Hines to
be named a juror in a murder trial. The 70-year-old Hines, who retired
from the Supreme Judicial Court in August, said she was “so
disappointed” when the prosecutor rejected her as a juror Wednesday.
Hines tells The Boston Globe, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to be a
juror in a criminal case.” After questioning from defense attorneys and
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Mark Lee, Lee used one of his
challenges to keep Hines off the jury. He apologized outside of court.
The case involves two gang members involved in a gunfight at a festival
in Boston in 2014 that took the life of an innocent bystander.
Fed-up passenger sought fast
track on Ryanair wing
Madrid (AP) -
A Ryanair passenger who apparently got fed up waiting to get off a plane
surprised fellow passengers by using the emergency exit to jump onto a
wing. The incident on New Year’s Day took place 30 minutes after the
flight landed in the southern Spanish city of Malaga from London’s
Stansted Airport, where it had also been delayed. The man was coaxed
back into the plane while police were called. Fellow passenger Fernando
del Valle Villalobos, who videoed the incident, said he heard the man
say he got fed up waiting. Police said Wednesday that they have opened a
complaint against the man for breaching security. They confirmed he is a
non-Spanish citizen. Ryanair said the incident was now in the hands of
Woman claims surgeon talked
on cellphone during operation
N.Y. (AP) - A suburban New York City
woman has sued a doctor, claiming he used his cellphone to take a
language test while operating on her. The Journal News reports
70-year-old Mary Edwards, of Port Chester, filed a lawsuit Monday in
state Supreme Court against Dr. Eric Fishman and his employer, Westmed
Medical Group. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages. Fishman
performed surgery on Edwards to fix varicose veins twice in 2017.
According to the lawsuit, Edwards claims Fishman had a conversation in
Spanish on his cellphone during the second outpatient procedure.
Edwards’ attorney says his client was terrified for the rest of the
operation. Edwards claims Fishman later explained he was taking a
Spanish proficiency test during the surgery. A Westmed spokeswoman said
the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
Gaza eatery offers discounts
to North Koreans but no takers
Gaza Strip (AP) - A Gaza eatery is
offering massive discounts to North Korean diners but there is just one
problem - there are no North Koreans in Gaza. Ibrahim Raba, manager of a
shawarma restaurant in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, says he is offering
the 80 percent discounts to show his appreciation for North Korea’s
rejection of President Donald Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as
Israel’s capital. He has also placed a large photo of reclusive North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the glass door entrance to his restaurant.
A new Kim fan, Raba likes to quote the North Korean leader, saying:
“Trump proved he is mentally deranged.” And though Raba knows there are
no North Koreans in Gaza, he hopes they will come someday, perhaps after
joining other foreign aid workers.
Update Saturday, Jan. 6 - Jan. 12, 2018
Man’s 1944 love letter
within remodeled home’s walls
(AP) - Massachusetts police have a new
mystery to solve: Who wrote a 1944 love letter discovered within the walls
of a house being remodeled? The Greenfield Police Department took to
Facebook on Saturday to ask for the public’s help in figuring out the
backstory behind the handwritten letter. Police say the letter is dated
April 19, 1944, and was penned by a man who identified himself only as
Walter. The letter was addressed to Miss Betty Miller, of Greenfield. In the
letter, Walter makes no attempt to hide his affections. He writes: “I have
always thought more of you than any other girl, and I still do.” Police say
they only have one motive: reuniting the letter with Miller or her family.
cougar in your luggage?
Hunting carcass found at airport
Las Vegas (AP) -
Police say a hunter’s trip home hit a snag in Las Vegas after security
screeners found a dead cougar in his luggage. No crime was committed because
the man had a hunting tag. But police Lt. David Gordon told the Las Vegas
Review-Journal that Transportation Security Administration agents held the
man at McCarran International Airport late Tuesday to confirm the validity
of the Utah hunting tag. His name and where he was headed weren’t released.
Airport spokeswoman Melissa Nunnery says the man ended up shipping the
cougar carcass home, not on the airplane. Gordon says it’s not a crime to
transport legally possessed game on an airline flight. But he says airlines
can refuse to transport certain items.
Life-size elf decoration turns heads, even loses his own
(AP) - A life-size elf mannequin on display
in a Massachusetts yard has been turning heads - and occasionally losing his
own. Actress Melissa McMeekin has been having a little fun by moving her
6-foot-tall elf doll to different locations outside her Rockport home.
During the countdown to Christmas, Daryl the red-suited elf has appeared
seated on a tree branch, riding a bicycle, lying on a hammock and tied up
like a hostage. McMeekin tells the Gloucester Times her family has been
getting a kick out of the double takes the moveable elf has elicited from
passers-by. She says on one blustery day Daryl fell off his bike and his
head landed a few feet away. McMeekin’s acting credits include “The
Fighter,” ‘’American Hustle” and other films.
fake news: ‘Whatever’ tops
annoying word list, literally
N.Y. (AP) - The shoulder-shrugging reply
“whatever” continues to annoy Americans more than other words or phrases,
but “fake news” is coming on strong. The annual Marist College poll of most
annoying words and phrases found “whatever” topping the list for the ninth
straight year. It was the pick of one third of poll respondents, who were
given five choices. The recent addition “fake news” was slightly ahead of
“no offense, but” for second place, 23 percent to 20 percent. About one in
10 found “literally” to be most grating, as did a similar number for “you
know what I mean.” The telephone survey of 1,074 adults conducted Nov. 6-9
has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Special delivery Family welcomes 2nd Christmas Eve baby
Stony Brook, N.Y.
(AP) - For one suburban New York family,
Christmas Eve is turning into a tradition of very special deliveries.
Newsday says Stony Brook residents Jacki and Josh Grossman had their second
son on Sunday, four years after their first son arrived. Baby Elliott and
older brother Oliver were delivered at Stony Brook University Hospital by
Dr. Phil Schoenfeld. The doctor has worked Christmas Eve at the hospital for
the past 17 years. Jacki Grossman says she “couldn’t feel more blessed” than
to have her boys share such a special day. She says, “It must have been
meant to be.” Oliver says he doesn’t mind sharing his birthday with his new
brother. His mother says he ran around the hospital spreading the news.