February 5, 2015
Funds Pour In For Man Who Walks 21 Miles To, From Work
Detroit (AP) Hundreds of people have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to help a Detroit man who says he typically walks 21 miles to get to and from work.
The Detroit Free Press reports that James Robertson rides buses part of the way to and from his factory job in suburban Rochester Hills, but because they don’t cover the whole route, he ends up walking about 8 miles before his shift starts at 2 p.m. and 13 more when it’s over at 10. Lately, he’s been getting occasional rides from a banker who passed him walking every day and finally asked what he was doing.
After the newspaper wrote about the 56-year-old’s situation over the weekend, multiple people started crowdfunding efforts to help him buy a car and pay for insurance. Some have offered to drive him for free and others have offered to buy or give him cars.
Robertson began making the daily trek to the factory where he molds parts after his car stopped working ten years ago and bus service was cut back. He’s had perfect attendance for more than 12 years.
“I set our attendance standard by this man,” said Todd Wilson, plant manager at Schain Mold & Engineering. “I say, if this man can get here, walking all those miles through snow and rain, well I’ll tell you, I have people in Pontiac 10 minutes away and they say they can’t get here ‚Äî bull!”
Evan Leedy, a 19-year-old student at Wayne State University, read the story and started a GoFundMe site with the goal of raising $5,000. As of Monday evening, he had raised more than $90,000.
Robertson said he was flattered by the attention and amazed strangers would step in to help.
Asked about a federal program newly available through Detroit’s bus system that might pick him up at home and drop him off at his job, Robertson said, “I’d rather they spent that money on a 24-hour bus system, not on some little bus for me. This city needs buses going 24/7. You can tell the City Council and mayor I said that.”
Woman Dials Wrong Number To Offer Drugs
Albuquerque, NM (AP) Police say a woman selling drugs made a big mistake that landed her in jail, she mistakenly called an Albuquerque police detective.
KOB-TV reports that 30-year-old Renea Lucero was arrested last week when she called the detective at his department-issued cellphone and made the officer an unexpected offer.
Court documents say the detective knew Lucero from a prior criminal case. But the report says he didn’t think Lucero realized who she had dialed.
The officer then set up a drug bust.
The detective says Lucero pulled the heroin out of her bra during a sting.
Lucero was arrested on trafficking charges.
Bats Cause Mayhem, Send People Screaming From Court
De Queen, AR (AP) There was disorder in the court when 30 bats flew inside an Arkansas courtroom during a trial.
The Texarkana Gazette reports that several people ducked, screamed and ran from the room Thursday as the bats swooped into the room at the Sevier County Courthouse in De Queen.
One bat tried to bite a deputy who caught it and held it by the wings while onlookers took photos.
The bats calmed down after the lights were turned off and court was moved elsewhere.
Circuit Judge Tom Cooper said hundreds of bats live at the courthouse and that their excrement is everywhere.
The county’s chief administrative officer, Greg Ray, said hundreds roost in an elevator shaft.
Man Who Lived Modestly Donates Millions
Brattleboro, Vt. (AP) A Vermont man known for frugally foraging for firewood has bequeathed millions of dollars to his local library and hospital.
Ronald Read left $4.8 million to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and $1.2 million to the Brooks Memorial Library upon his death in June at the age of 92. The Brattleboro Reformer reports they’re the largest gifts either has received.
Read served in World War II before returning home in 1945. He was a private, modest man who worked at a service station for nearly 25 years, then at JC Penney until 1997.
But lawyer Laurie Rowell says Read had two hobbies: cutting firewood and picking stocks. She says over time, his investments “grew substantially.”
The institutions who received the surprise donations say they’ll be transformative.
Not Just Monopoly Money: Game Will Have Real Thing
Paris (AP) You can pass go, get out of jail free and collect real money.
The French version of Monopoly is celebrating its 80th year by slipping cash into 80 boxes of the game.
One box will have the full complement in real money‚ 20,580 euros ($23,600)‚ as well as the Monopoly money needed to actually play the game, one of the most popular in France.
Another 79 boxes will have smaller amounts, according to Hasbro. The promotional offer runs from Feb. 2-March 30.
The Paris version lets players buy the Champs Elysees, four railroad stations and other famous avenues of the French capital.