April 11, 2013
Goat That Walked Into Bar Was Taken From Zoo
Butte, MT (AP) So the goat that walked into a Montana bar last weekend ... was stolen from a petting zoo.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort general manager Steve Luebeck says staffers knew the goat was missing but didn’t realize it had been stolen until they saw a story in The Montana Standard on Wednesday reporting that a goat had been taken into a Butte bar early Sunday.
The pygmy goat, named “Shirley, was returned to the resort’s petting zoo.
Luebeck tells The Standard he has never had an animal stolen from the zoo, which has goats and miniature horses. He says zoo managers would like to know who took the animal so they can press charges.
Montana Pet Owner To Feds: The Dog Ate My Money
Helena, MT (AP) A Montana man whose 12-year-old golden retriever ate five $100 bills hopes to be reimbursed by the federal government.
Wayne Klinkel tells the Independent Record that his dog Sundance ate the bills while he and his wife were on a road trip to visit their daughter.
Klinkel says he carefully picked through the dog’s droppings, and his daughter recovered more when snow melted.
He says he washed the remnants of the bills and taped them together and sent them to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing with an explanation of what happened.
The bureau’s website says an “experienced mutilated currency examiner” will determine if at least 51 percent of a bill is present and eligible for reimbursement. The process can take up to two years.
Iowa Museum Finds Missing
Tortoise In Elevator
Dubuque, IA (AP) An 18-pound African leopard tortoise who went missing from an Iowa museum has been found alive in an elevator in the building.
KWWL-TV reports that officials at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque believe the tortoise named Cashew was stolen, but that the thief quietly returned the animal.
The museum says a visitor found Cashew on the elevator floor Thursday. She appears to be in good health.
The museum discovered Cashew was missing Tuesday from an exhibit with a 4-foot glass wall. Museum officials suspected she was taken as a prank or to sell. Museum officials are reviewing surveillance video to try to figure out exactly what happened and find a possible suspect.
All 18 Taxis In NH’s Largest City Not Fit To Be Driven
Manchester, NH (AP) Odds are you won’t get a cab in New Hampshire’s largest city after police sidelined all 18 licensed taxis for inspection failures or failing to show up for inspection. Seventeen cabs in Manchester were cited for mechanical violations. The 18th was sidelined for failing to show up.
Police Lt. Maureen Tessier said Tuesday six of the 18 cabs had such severe defects including conditions that could compromise their brakes inspectors pulled their registrations and they had to be towed.
Queen City Taxi has surrendered its operating permits to the city clerk’s office. The taxi that wasn’t inspected belongs to Manchester Taxi Dispatch. The companies haven’t commented.
Tessier says officials appreciate the inconvenience to those among the city’s 110,000 residents who rely on taxis and will work with the companies to get the taxis back on the road.
NYC ‘Zombie’ Finds Missing Long Island Cat In Times Square
New York (AP) It took a zombie to find Disaster at the Crossroads of the World.
Two years after he disappeared from his Long Island home, Disaster the cat was found this week in the heart of Manhattan by a Times Square haunted house promoter dressed up as a zombie.
Jeremy Zelkowitz, who sells tickets for the Times Scare haunted house, spotted Disaster early Saturday morning crossing 42nd Street. He snatched up Disaster, a black and white cat who appeared to be well-kept and neat, and brought him to a nearby animal hospital.
“I was shocked,” said Helliesen. “How did he get to Manhattan? That’s quite an adventure.”
For years Helliesen has adopted stray cats he finds hanging around his Brooklyn precinct. Two years ago he adopted Disaster after he strayed from the precinct and ended up getting captured by local Animal Care and Control. That’s when Helliesen got him fixed and implanted with the chip.
But six months after living in his Long Island home, Disaster escaped one day through an open window and never returned.
Helliesen never thought he’d get the cat back and has since taken in eight more cats he’s found around the precinct who need homes. “Disaster makes it nine,” he said. “My wife has been very understanding.”
Frog-Phobic Man Awarded $1.6M Over Runoff Flooding
Clarence, NY (AP) Paul Marinaccio Sr. traces his fear of frogs to a childhood incident in Italy when a man holding bullfrogs chased him away after he’d wandered from the vineyard where his parents worked.
Decades later, he found himself describing his phobia to a jury, calling himself “a prisoner in my own home” after runoff water from a nearby development turned his 40-acre property into wetlands and inundated it with frogs.
“I am petrified. I go home at night and I can’t get in my garage because of the frogs,” Marinaccio testified in 2009. “They’re right in front of the damn door, OK?”
It was part of a seven-year legal fight involving Marinaccio, the town of Clarence and a developer that, according to The Buffalo News, finally ended last month when the state’s highest court ruled that Marinaccio, who was awarded $1.6 million in compensation after the 2009 trial, is not entitled to an additional $250,000 in punitive damages.
Marinaccio sued Clarence, a Buffalo suburb, and Kieffer Enterprises Inc. after runoff diverted onto Marinaccio’s property from a new Kieffer subdivision turned it into wetlands. A town engineer initially said the water would flow into a ditch elsewhere on Kieffer property. The town later discovered the ditch was actually on Marinaccio’s property, and that it was too small to handle the flow of water.
“I’m petrified of the little creatures,” Marinaccio, 65, said in Monday’s Buffalo News.
The lower court jury returned a verdict of $1.3 million against the town and $328,400 against Kieffer for compensatory damages, as well as $250,000 in punitive damages against Kieffer.
As part of a post-verdict agreement, the town will dig ditches to help dry out Marinaccio’s land.
The property owner told the newspaper his plans involve much bigger creatures than frogs.
“I’m going to put cows out there,” Marinaccio said.
Lockup Recommended For Man Who Sneaked Into Jails
New York (AP) A man who repeatedly used phony credentials to gain entry into New York City’s jails may get his wish to do more time.
Prosecutors told a judge on Thursday that they want Matthew Matagrano to be locked up for 10 years. Matagrano, a former inmate, pleaded not guilty to felony burglary in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The judge doubled his bail to $100,000 and ordered him to get medical attention.
The New York Post reports that according to police statements released in court, Matagrano said he repeatedly sneaked into jails because the people inside were “nice” and made him “feel important.”
Authorities say Matagrano tried to get inside multiple city lockups, including Rikers Island and the Manhattan Detention Center, where he mingled with inmates for hours.