Jun 03 2014
A California man who found a bag containing $125,000 said he returned the cash to the armored truck company that accidentally dropped it because it was the "right thing to do."
Joe Cornell, 52, told the Fresno Bee newspaper he saw the bag of cash fall out of the back of a Brinks armored cash transport car as it drove over railroad tracks in downtown Fresno on Thursday afternoon.
Cornell, who was working in the lot of a Salvation Army location as part of a substance abuse rehabilitation program, told the newspaper he recovered the bag and found it stuffed with hundred dollar bills.
"I started crying and shaking," Cornell said. "Everything was going through my mind, the good devil/bad devil thing," he said.
Cornell made up his mind to alert his boss at the Salvation Army and the pair called Fresno law enforcement authorities who helped facilitate the bag's return to Brinks.
The Virginia-based company could not be reached for comment Friday, but a spokesman told the Fresno Bee it had thanked Cornell for his honesty with a $5,000 reward and another $5,000 donation to the Salvation Army.
For Cornell, deciding to give back the cash became a simple decision.
"They're going to back-track," he said of Brinks officials when they realized the money was lost. "There are cameras everywhere now. You'd be doing federal time. And it's the right thing to do."
Who says that senior citizens don't know how to use modern technology?
An elderly Washington couple was able to outwit a would-be robber who broke into their home by scaring him off with their car alarm.
Jim and Betty Lilja of Milton had just returned home from the Emerald Queen Casino with $500 cash when a young man stormed into their house.
"And then he jumped up, pushed me in and had his hand in his pocket and he said, 'Okay, I've got a gun and I'm going to shoot you,'" 85-year-old Jim told KOMO TV. "I said 'I'm 85 years old, if you want to shoot, go ahead and shoot.'"
The Liljas have been married for 66 years.
"He says, 'I want your money and I want it all.' I looked at him and said 'what money?'" said 80-year-old Betty. "Maybe between the two of us we could have taken him down. I don't know. But he ain't going to get my money. I know that."
The suspect apparently believed the Liljas about the money – which was in a purse on the kitchen table the whole time – and went to search the bedroom for valuables.
They quickly got outside and put the car alarm to good use. "I reached into my pocket and I had my car keys. I said, 'I'll just push that car signal and see what happens. Boop, boop, boop," Jim said.
The noise scared the robber and he sped off in a waiting Lexus. "All of a sudden when he heard that alarm he went out of here like a bat out of you know what," Betty said.
Jun 01 2014
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – Authorities say that a 28-year-old man suspected of robbing a woman at a Washington ferry terminal friended her on Facebook the next day.
The Kitsap Sun reports Saturday that Riley Allen Mullins was charged Friday in Kitsap District Court with second-degree robbery.
Authorities say a woman was sitting at the Bremerton ferry terminal on Tuesday using her headphones when she was struck on the head from behind. After being struck, a man grabbed her iPod and purse and ran. She didn't recognize the man but noticed a tattoo of a triangle on his neck.
The next day, the woman received a Facebook friend notification and recognized the sender as the man who robbed her.
Investigators confirmed the Facebook account belonged to Mullins, and they noted a profile picture of Mullins showing the triangle neck tattoo.
It took a Texas man five days to polish off what has been hailed as one of the most expensive drinks produced at Starbucks, a several-thousand calorie frozen concoction that included 60 shots of espresso and was topped with whipped cream.
"It was delicious, very strong, very sweet," Andrew Chifari said on Thursday. "After the first day, the ice crystals had melted and it was just good strong iced coffee."
Chifari, 27, entered a Dallas Starbucks on May 24 with a 128-ounce glass and asked baristas to create the most expensive frappuccino that would fit in his container, but still taste good.
The drink cost $54.75, but Chifari walked away without paying a cent after racking up enough points under a loyalty plan for a free drink of his choice.
Starbucks does not want others to follow suit.
"This particular customization was certainly excessive. It's something that we don't encourage," said spokeswoman Maggie Jantzen.
Starbucks did not say whether it would revise its free-drink policies in response to Chifari's order.
The coffee monstrosity is now recognized as the current record holder of the most expensive Starbucks drink by Caffeine Informer, an Internet site that keeps track of the coffee industry.
Caffeine Informer estimates the drink had 4,500 mg of caffeine, more than 10 times above what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers to be a maximum safe amount for a healthy person to drink on a daily basis.
Chifari consumed a third of the drink on the first day and polished off the rest in small intervals. The final caffeine surge on Wednesday caused him to have erratic sleep and vivid dreams.
"It was worth it. Overall, considering how much caffeine I consumed, I would have expected the sleep ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
LIHUE, Hawaii – A judge sentenced a Hawaii man to one year of probation and a $200 fine for making his son walk a mile home from school as a form of discipline.
Judge Kathleen Watanabe called the punishment "old-school" and no longer appropriate, the Garden Island newspaper reported Thursday.
Robert Demond of Kilauea said he picked up his son from school and asked about a matter that had been brought to his attention. When the son didn't respond, Demond made him walk home to think about his actions.
The age of the boy is unclear. Demond's attorney and a prosecutor didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment from The Associated Press.
Demond was also ordered to attend a parenting class after being convicted of endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor. Demond pleaded no contest and said he would handle the situation differently now after the case went through two courts.
Demond told Watanabe in court on Wednesday that he didn't think the punishment was morally wrong or criminal. He said it was a common form of punishment when he was growing up.
Watanabe said times are different today, given child predators and traffic.
Demond's attorney Margaret Hanson argued Demond had no criminal history and isn't a risk to the community.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gary Nelson said the punishment was inappropriate but Demond did it to teach his son a lesson, not out of anger.
WINTER PARK, Fla., May 29 (UPI) --A Florida high school's yearbook is filled with so many mistakes and errors that it may have to be re-released to students as a DVD.
According to the principal of Winter Park High School, Tim Smith, the yearbook's advisor took over in the middle of the year and its pages were never copy-edited before being sent to the publisher.
"This is a student run publication with a teacher who instructs students and oversees production," Smith told the Orlando Sentinel in an email. "Unfortunately, the production was not up to standards and we are working to improve the product for next year."
Winter Park High parent Randy Noles noticed the errors when his son brought the yearbook home. Noles was so disturbed by the "full-color advertisement" showcasing the ineffectiveness of public schools, he reached out to school board member Joie Cadle about the mistakes.
"I saw not only typos but spelling errors and misused words on pretty much every page," Noles said. "I find it really inexplicable that anyone in authority would let it go out in that condition."
A school superintendent said the situation was "unfortunate" but was non-committal about the possibility of the yearbooks being reissued.
Noles has offered to help with next year's edition of the yearbook.
Nepal said on Tuesday it was investigating whether a Chinese woman, this season's sole climber of Mount Everest from the Nepalese side, used a helicopter to reach a high camp after a deadly avalanche last month washed away part of the route.
Using a helicopter would constitute a serious moral violation of tradition in climbing the world's highest peak. But Wang Jing, 40, who completed the climb last Friday, denied she had used the aircraft to advance up the mountain.
The April 18 avalanche killed 16 Nepali guides, who were fixing ropes and ferrying supplies for their foreign clients to scale the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) peak. Guides then refused to accompany foreign climbers out of respect for their dead colleagues and hundreds had to abandon their expeditions.
Wang completed her climb with five Sherpa guides arranged privately to become the first to go up from the Southeast Ridge route after the deadliest accident in the mountain's history.
Authorities said they were looking into reports that Wang took the helicopter and flew over the route damaged by the avalanche to the site of Camp II at 6,400 meters (20,997 feet).
"We have asked the helicopter company whether they flew Wang to Camp II as reported," Madhusudan Burlakoti, a senior official at the Tourism Ministry, told Reuters.
Nepal normally allows helicopters above Everest base camp located at about 5,400 meters (17,716 feet) to rescue climbers in distress or to drop climbing equipment and supplies.
Climbers must walk on ropes and aluminum ladders fixed on snow, including over the treacherous Khumbu Icefall, known for crevasses and avalanches.
Burlakoti said Wang, who returned from the summit at the weekend, had denied using any helicopter for climbing, but acknowledged having one drop her cook and a porter at ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
May 27 2014
CEBU CITY , Philippines, May 27 (UPI) --A zoo in the Philippines has started offering visitors the chance to receive a relaxing 15-minute massage from its four Burmese pythons that it currently has in captivity.
The Cebu City Zoo's pythons - Michelle, Walter, EJ and Daniel – are supposedly fed 10 or more chickens before giving out the massages so they won't be tempted to snack on the guests.
During the "therapeutic and calming" massages, zookeepers keep watch as the snakes slither back and forth across a bamboo bed.
Once the snakes are put on, it's virtually impossible to escape because they weigh about 550 pounds combined.
"I had to lie on my back on a bamboo daybed in the open air. I was briefed on what to do and what not to do during the massage," volunteer Ian Maclean told the Daily Mail.
He'll take a coffee with milk, sugar….hold the chlorine cleanser.
A Colorado man has been posting warning signs in his Lakewood neighborhood after he says he drank tainted coffee from 7-Eleven.
Dave Dugan, an avid coffee drinker, said his coffee contained chlorine cleanser, CBS Denver reported.
"As soon as I started drinking the coffee, all my taste buds turned numb and my lips started to burn and I had heartburn all in my chest," he told the station. He said the store's manager told him that the cleaner was used in the coffee maker.
The station reported that a spokesman from the company said it is investigating the matter.
Dugan told the station that he has no plans to sue the company, but wants safer cleaning practices.
"How many more people that we don’t know about have been affected by this?" he asked the station.
A 99-year-old Maine woman has graduated from college 75 years after a $5 fee kept her from getting her diploma on time.
Beal College in Bangor awarded Jessie White her degree during a special ceremony on Friday hosted by Alan Stehle, the college's president.
White says the special ceremony was wonderful and a lot of fun.
White was supposed to graduate in 1939, but couldn't afford the $5 transcript fee.
A friend who recently learned of her decades-old predicament called Stehle, who paid her balance and set up the ceremony.
White, a Maine native, received her degree in stenography and bookkeeping.
White suffered a disability from a polio infection, but she persisted until she landed a job and worked for years as a bookkeeper.
"It took me years to get a job because they wouldn't hire me because I was on crutches," White told Fox Bangor.
Stehle described White's story as one of "perseverance," according to the station.
White said finally getting her degree made her feel "great."
"Never give up learning. They say when you give up learning you grow old," she told the station. "So I don't intend to give up learning."