November 19, 2015
New Jersey Mall Frees Up Santa’s Lap:
Cherry Hill, NJ (AP) Santa Claus is free again.
A New Jersey mall on Monday eliminated a requirement that parents pay $35 to $50 for a photo or video package for their kids to get into a Santa exhibit.
The decision to charge for an attraction that had been free last year sparked anger from many parents, some who said the fee inherently pushed away low-income families and ran counter to the spirit of the holiday.
Man Arrested In Soap/Cocaine Mix-Up Sues Pennsylvania
Allentown, PA (AP) A New York man who spent 29 days in jail after Pennsylvania state police mistook homemade soap for cocaine has filed a lawsuit.
The (Allentown) Morning Call reports Alexander Bernstein says he had to pay thousands of dollars in court costs and missed Thanksgiving with his toddler before the charges were dropped. He’s seeking damages exceeding $150,000. State troopers and the field test manufacturer are named in the suit filed last week.
Bernstein was a passenger in a Mercedes-Benz police pulled over for speeding near Allentown in November 2013.
Troopers smelled marijuana, searched the car and found packages the driver said was homemade soap, but tested as cocaine. Lab tests later showed it was soap.
The driver was charged with marijuana possession and speeding.
State police declined to comment.
Pocket Dial To 911 Leads To
Arrests In Halloween Vandalism
Lewiston, ME (AP) Police in Maine say a teenager’s pocket dial to 911 led to three arrests for vandalism that included damage to a fleet of school buses on Halloween.
The Sun Journal reports that the errant call in Lisbon led police to the teenagers, who were charged with illegally consuming alcohol and vandalizing school buses. Police say the teenager who accidentally called police had 911 on speed dial.
Two 18-year-olds, one from Old Orchard Beach and one from Sanford, along with a younger boy from Old Orchard Beach were charged with criminal mischief. Police say damage to the buses is about $1,500. It was not immediately clear if the three had lawyers.
Investigators did not say which of the teens placed the pocket call.
Pharmacy Owner Returns Wallet Months After Man Lost It
Albuquerque, NM (AP) A man has gotten back his wallet, which contained $1,200 in cash, two months after losing it thanks to an Albuquerque pharmacy owner.
KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reports that the owner of Sam’s Regent Pharmacy discovered the wallet at a local restaurant on Friday.
The wallet contained cash, an ID card and six credit cards.
The pharmacy owner called police and gave them the wallet.
The police were able to find the owner and return the wallet to him.
According to police, the wallet’s owner had misplaced it about two months ago.
Woman Fighting Potential $500 Fine For Posting Pro-Cop Sign
Canonsburg, PA (AP) A Pennsylvania woman is fighting possible $500 daily fines for posting a handmade crime watch sign in her window warning drug dealers to stay away.
Canonsburg Mayor Bob Kipp says Cindy Davis received the notice of having a “non-confirming sign in a residential area” after at least one person complained the sign may be making it harder for neighbors to sell their property.
The (Washington) Observer-Reporter says the sign says, “Thank you CBG police. Neighbors watch for drug dealers. You will be turned in.”
A district judge continued Thursday’s hearing on the citation indefinitely. The mayor says Davis could resolve things amicably if she’d just take down the sign until January, when borough council is expected to update and improve the sign ordinance.
Davis says she’s fighting to publicize the Canonsburg Crime Watch Facebook group.
Wildlife Workers Free Hungry Bear’s Head From Milk Can
Thurmont, MD (AP) In an episode reminiscent of “Winnie the Pooh,” Maryland state wildlife workers used an electric hand saw to remove a milk can that was stuck on the head of a bear.
Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Karis King says the wildlife response team was called early Monday to a rural location near Thurmont to rescue an adult male black bear with his head stuck inside a metal milk can.
King says the bear was calm, but the workers tranquilized him for safety reasons before carefully removing the can. She says the animal regained consciousness, lifted his head and walked into the nearby woods.
King says the bear weighed 175 to 200 pounds.
In the children’s story, a bear named Pooh gets his head stuck in a honey jar.
Gum Returns To Famed Seattle Wall Days After Cleaning
Seattle (AP) Chewing gum once again adorns Seattle’s famed gum wall less than a week after it was steamed clean of 20 years’ worth of old chewing gum.
Seattlepi.com reports a flash mob met Saturday to leave their gum behind on the wall in the city’s Pike Place Market.
The group made a peace sign with the Eiffel Tower in the middle to honor Paris after Friday’s terror attacks.
Last Tuesday powerful steam cleaners melted off an estimated 1 million pieces of gum from the wall, which hadn’t been cleaned in 20 years.
Market officials said they had expected people to continue leaving their gum after the cleaning.