December 17, 2015
Aspen, Colorado, Homeless Man Wins Big Lottery Prize
Aspen, CO (AP) For years, Michael Engfors built the wood trim, doors and shelves in the mansions in this exclusive resort town before losing work during the recession and eventually becoming homeless about five years ago. But his luck changed last week when he took $10 that he earned working odd jobs to buy a scratch ticket and hit the $500,000 jackpot.
Vince Savage, who runs the Aspen Homeless Shelter where Engfors had been staying, said he drove the 61-year-old to a Colorado Lottery claims office in Grand Junction on Monday and he walked out with a check for somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 after taxes. He said they drove right to Engfors’ bank to deposit the winnings in a checking account that had less than a dollar in it.
While the winnings should change Engfors life in many ways, he probably still can’t afford a place of his own in Aspen, where homes sell for millions, rather than hundreds of thousands, of dollars. Savage said the steep price of housing is a major stress for working people there and many of the 20 or so people who end up staying overnight in the shelter, open only during the winter, are working like Engfors.
Driver Dodges Death When Metal Beam Pierces Windshield
San Jose, CA (AP) Northern California authorities say a driver is lucky to be alive after a large metal beam pierced the windshield of his SUV while on a San Jose freeway. San Jose Fire Department Capt. Christopher Salcido says the beam fell off of a flatbed truck, crashing through the windshield and lodging itself into the driver’s seat of the BMW.
The driver, 66-year-old Don Lee of San Jose, California, suffered a small scratch to his right arm.
Both vehicles were traveling at 60 mph when the incident occurred around noon Friday on I-280. Twenty-two-year-old Javier Zambrano of Los Banos was driving the Ford flatbed truck carrying the beam. California Highway Patrol spokesman Ross Lee says Zambrano will be cited for spilling a load once the investigation is complete.
Zombie Nativity Back In Ohio Yard A Year After Controversy
Cincinnati (AP) A “zombie nativity” that spurred complaints and zoning violation notices last year is on display again in a suburban Cincinnati yard, with a change to avoid fines.
Officials have concluded Jasen Dixon’s display complies with local zoning laws because he has removed its roof. Sycamore Township zoning administrator Harry Holbert says the issue was always about the structure and zoning rules, not the zombie figures.
The scene includes a sharp-toothed, grayish figure with black-ringed eyes sitting in the manger where the baby Jesus would be in traditional Christmas nativities.
Dixon was threatened with fines last year when officials said the display violated rules on size and placement of yard structures. WCPO-TV reports he removed it before being cited and didn’t have to pay fines.
Woman Finds Shoplifting Suspect In Husband’s Pajamas
Deltona, FL (AP) Deputies say a wife thought her husband was having an affair when she found a 22-year-old woman wearing his pajamas. Turns out the woman was just hiding from the law.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Monday that Eryn Rice slipped into the couple’s Deltona home on Sunday after escaping from a deputy who’d arrested her for shoplifting. They said she washed her clothes, showered and took a nap.
The Orlando Sentinel reports when the 73-year-old woman first saw Rice, she thought her husband was cheating on her. The husband was playing golf; when he returned, he swore he’d never seen her before.
Not knowing she was on the run, the couple drove Rice home. Later, they contacted authorities, who arrested Rice.
Jail records didn’t list an attorney.
Sixth-Grade Cocaine Assignment To Be Reviewed
Keller, TX (AP) A Texas school district is reviewing a sixth-grade assignment that had students make a step-by-step plan showing how cocaine gets from a drug cartel to a street dealer.
KTVT-TV reports that a teacher in Keller, northeast of Fort Worth, gave out a science class assignment called “The Cocaine Trade: From Field to Street.”
Parent Scott Pick says he contacted administrators after his 11-year-old son brought home the study sheet for an assignment on “Following a Sequence.” He says he felt it was “a diagram of how to become a drug dealer.”
Administrators issued a statement Monday saying the assignment “will be reviewed before being considered for future use,” adding that the district will continue efforts to regularly “review, remind, and revise drug educational material.”
Police Seek Public’s Help In Finding Missing ‘SWAT’ Cat
Boston (AP) SWAT cat is missing.
The Boston Police Department’s SWAT team is looking for a stray that’s become its unofficial mascot.
The department posted a note on Facebook this week seeking help finding “SWAT Cat,” which has white, black and light orange fur. The note includes a picture of the feline lounging on the hood of an armored tactical truck.
The department says the cat has been beloved part of the team since 2013.
The department says “SWAT Cat” would show up for chow time with the unit and roll over for belly rubs from officers. The cat hasn’t been seen for about three weeks.
The department’s Facebook post that it was sad the cat wasn’t around anymore because she’d become like family.
Moscow Authorities To Offer Free Wi-Fi At Cemeteries
Moscow (AP) As part of their campaign to bring Wi-Fi to crowded public spots in the Russian capital, Moscow authorities are connecting up an unlikely new location: cemeteries.
The Moscow city hall said in a statement Thursday that free Wi-Fi will be available at the city’s three main cemeteries starting next year.
Artyom Yekimov from a state-owned funeral directors company did not mention the permanent residents of the cemeteries but said Wi-Fi will attract more visitors to the city’s’ historic cemeteries where many illustrious Russians have found a resting place.
Internet connection will also help visitors to “unwind” at specially designated places in the cemeteries, Yekimov said.
Some 120,000 people are buried in Moscow every year, with a further, smaller number cremated.