January 2, 2014
Atlanta Home Prompts
911 Calls With Fake Dangler
Berkeley Lake, GA(AP) A metro Atlanta homeowner says he hopes he didn’t offend anyone by his Christmas decoration of a mannequin with outstretched arms entangled in a string of Christmas lights and clinging to a ledge that prompted an emergency response to his house.
Bubba Murphy Lake told WSB-TV that someone passing the house in Berkeley Lake with their children thought the display looked so realistic that they called the emergency fire dispatcher. He says fire officials told him to take the display down, at least temporarily. The display also had a ladder toppled over in the front yard.
Murphy says homeowners in his Cobb County neighborhood go all out with their Christmas displays every year.
Berkeley Lake is about 22 miles (35 kilometers) northeast of downtown Atlanta.
Not Merry: Lack Of Beer
Is ‘Cause’ Of SC Assault
North Charleston, SC (AP) South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel. The Charleston County Sheriff’s office says in a report that deputies found a man covered with blood when they arrived at Helen Williams’ North Charleston home early Wednesday. She told investigators the man fell and cut himself, but couldn’t explain why her hands and clothes were also bloody. Deputies say the man said Williams was so angry when he returned without beer because stores were closed on Christmas Eve that she grabbed a ceramic squirrel, beat him in the head, then stabbed him in the shoulder and chest. Williams was in jail Friday and charged with criminal domestic violence. It wasn’t known if she had a lawyer.
Man Follows Hunch & Buys
Rare Sheet Of Postage Stamps
Buffalo, NY (AP) A collector credits a hunch with helping him land one of just 100 sheets of stamps recently issued by the United States Postal Service featuring a corrected version of its rare and famous error, the 1918 “inverted Jenny.”
Art Van Riper bought the stamps in Waverly, N.Y., after reading that the Postal Service had printed a new batch of inverted Jenny stamps celebrating the 95-year-old edition that, by mistake, featured an upside-down biplane.
He also read that, as a way to draw more people into stamp collecting, the Postal Service randomly distributed 100 sheets featuring the plane right-side up among the 2.2 million sheets replicating the original and distributed nationwide.
“I needed some stamps and thought `what the heck,’” Van Riper said by phone earlier this month from his Sayre, Pa., home, on the New York border. “I just had a feeling that maybe there would be one in Waverly.”
He intended to purchase five sheets of the $2 stamps, at $12 a sheet, and use them to mail Christmas presents and for stocking stuffers. Postal clerk Betty Gable persuaded him to take more.
“I told him our office had 45 and he might as well buy them all,” she said. The last one would probably be the one with the right-side up airplane, she told him.
“I’ll be a son-of-a-gun it was,” said Van Riper, who has a jewelry store and said he collects oddities ranging from baseball cards to old steins.
Van Riper’s was the fourth of the 100 sheets to turn up since the post office launched the campaign in September, USPS spokesman Mark Saunders said. One of the four is listed at $25,000 online, Van Riper said, but he doesn’t have plans to sell his sheet.
Among stamp collectors, the inverted Jenny, produced by a printing error, is gold. Only one sheet of 100 stamps commemorating the nation’s first airmail flight was sold. One of the stamps recently sold for $977,000, according to the Postal Service.
Let’s Reminisce, Shall We?
Weird Stuff Of 2013
Boston (AP) A mysteriously pregnant anteater, a farmer who feeds beer to his turkeys and a man charged with disorderly conduct for whistling loudly as he strolled around town were among the more unusual stories that made headlines in New England in 2013. Here’s a look at some of the odd things that happened in the past year:
As always, there were plenty of tales of animals—and their owners—doing strange things. At the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn., an anteater named Armani gave birth even though her male counterpart had been removed from her pen long before her six-month gestation period would have begun. Also in Connecticut, a debate over whether horses should be classified as a naturally vicious species went all the way to the state Supreme Court after a horse named Scuppy bit a boy in the face.
A Henniker, N.H., farmer named Joe Morette said the secret to the flavorful turkeys he raises is feeding them beer, specifically, lager. And in Providence, a cat fight broke out over missing feline health certificates at the Rhode Island Pet Show when state environmental police showed up and asked some members of The International Cat Association to provide health and rabies certifications.
Lawmakers made plenty of unusual headlines as well. In Rhode Island, a bid to make calamari the official state appetizer failed. In Massachusetts, a bill is still pending to make the Fluffernutter (peanut butter combined with marshmallow Fluff, which was invented there) the state sandwich. Also in Massachusetts, the fight continues over whether the state song should be ``Dream On’’ by Aerosmith or ``Roadrunner’’ by the Modern Lovers. And a candidate for state Senate in Maine found himself on the defensive for appearing in Brazilian-style swim trunks in an online video advertising coconut water.
Police across the region had their share of odd run-ins. A doctor’s license was suspended when police say they found marijuana in his car after he wandered into a stranger’s house in Westerly, R.I., and claimed he was attempting to check on a friend who wasn’t feeling well. A man twice cited for disorderly conduct for whistling loudly in downtown Portland, Maine, reached a deal with the city that allows him to keep whistling as long as he doesn’t linger in one spot while he does it.
In Manchester, N.H., a man who denied swallowing a diamond ring worth $3,200 at a jewelry store was busted when X-rays showed it inside him. A 10-year-old Brockton, Mass., boy called 911 to report his mother because he did not want to go to bed. And robbers made off with a frozen beverage machine from a Bridgeport, Conn., convenience store after an employee told them he didn’t have the $2,700 they had demanded. The store owner later told police he’d borrowed money from one of the suspects.
Four men were charged in connection with the theft of more than $200,000 in gold coins from the Alburgh, Vt., property of an eccentric loner known only as Radkin. In other hermit news, police finally caught up with the man dubbed the North Pond hermit, who had lived for nearly three decades in the Maine woods and may have been responsible for as many as 1,000 burglaries of food, clothing and camping and cooking gear.
There were also some stories that defied categorization. In Rhode Island, the couple that lives in the Burrillville house made famous in the movie ``The Conjuring’’ say they’re being troubled by people curious about the 1730s-era home showing up in the yard in the middle of the night. A pile of goat manure spontaneously caught fire in Windsor, Vt., spreading stench and wrinkling noses through the town. In New Haven, Conn., a man named Noel was arrested after police said he climbed a tree decorated with Christmas lights on the city green. A woman paid $560,000 for two parking spots near her home in Boston. And on a sweltering September day in Massachusetts, the Amherst Regional School District closed six schools because the floors were too slippery. The floors had been waxed during the summer and the high temperatures melted the wax.
The Donut War Still Rages:
28th Toilet Put In Maine Yard
Augusta, ME (AP) A toilet protest by an Augusta man angered by the city’s decision to flush a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts shop in his neighborhood is growing.
David Labbe, a plumber, put five commodes in his yard in October when the city’s planning board, backed by his neighbors, rejected a zoning change that would have allowed the Dunkin’ Donuts plan to go forward. The developers were prepared to offer Labbe three-times what he paid for his home so they could tear it down and build the coffee shop. The Kennebec Journal reports that Labbe’s protest has now grown to 28 snow-covered toilets. He says he thinks he can fit 100 toilets in his yard.
His neighbors call his protest childish.