February 4, 2016
Cats In Maine Still Await Inheritance From $200,000 Estate
Dixfield, ME (AP) A Maine town and a group of cat caretakers have sued estate trustees in a long-running dispute over a woman’s wishes that her life savings go to care for abandoned cats.
Barbara Thorpe died in 2002 and left most of her $200,000 estate to give food, shelter and veterinary care to the stray cats of Dixfield. The Sun Journal reports that only a few thousand dollars have been given for the cats’ care. Lawyers have taken more than $16,000, and the estate’s trustees received over $22,000.
Dixfield and five women who care for the town’s strays sued the trustees last week. The suit says the trustees excessively billed fees to the trust and have failed to carry out Thorpe’s wishes. The trustees’ attorney says they “vehemently deny any wrongdoing.”
$5K Fine, Year Probation For Florida Manatee Zone Violator
Fort Pierce, FL (AP) Speeding through a Florida manatee zone is going to cost a Fort Pierce man $5,000 and require him to serve a year’s probation.
A federal magistrate judge on Friday handed that punishment to 37-year-old Christopher McManus, who previously pleaded guilty to a federal water violation. The $5,000 fine will go into a federal Lacey Act fund that supports wildlife conservation.
Court documents show McManus was operating his boat in July 2015 well above minimum speed requirements in a manatee protection zone. The violation occurred in the Indian River portion of the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Lucie County.
Prosecutors say McManus has previous convictions for violating fish and wildlife regulations.
Slow-moving manatees have been listed as an endangered species for decades. Federal officials recently proposed improving their status to threatened.
DC Bill Would Pay People Not To Commit Crimes
Washington (AP) They say crime doesn’t pay, but that might not be entirely true in the District of Columbia as lawmakers look for ways to discourage people from becoming repeat offenders.
The D.C. Council is voting on a bill Tuesday that includes a proposal to pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. It’s based on a program in Richmond, California, that advocates say has contributed to deep reductions in crime there.
Under the bill, city officials would identify up to 200 people a year who are considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. Those people would be directed to participate in behavioral therapy and other programs. If they fulfill those obligations and stay out of trouble, they would be paid.
Oops! Jury Summons Directs People To Call Sex Hotline
Pascagoula, MS (AP) Hundreds of southeastern Mississippi citizens received jury summons that incorrectly instructed them to call a sex hotline.
Multiple news outlets report that at least 350 jury summons with the incorrect phone number were sent out in Jackson County to potential jurors.
Circuit Clerk Randy Carney says people started calling the circuit clerk’s office Monday morning to report the problem. Others stopped by in person to address the issue.
Carney says he doesn’t know what caused the mix-up. He has drafted an apology letter that will go out those who received the erroneous summons. He says he doesn’t know if his office will be liable for costs associated with any potential jurors billed for using the hotline.
Carney added that he’ll personally review summons before they’re mailed out from now on.
Patriots Fan Gets Tattoo Declaring Super Bowl Win
Boston (AP) A New England Patriots fan was a bit premature when he got a tattoo declaring the team champions of a game they never reached yet he says he has no regrets.
Thirty-one-year-old Burke O’Connell says he strongly believed the Patriots would win the AFC Championship and advance to the Super Bowl.
The Massachusetts native had a friend ink the celebratory tattoo across his calf two days before the Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos.
The black-and-white tattoo depicts a Lombardi Trophy rising above the Patriots’ logo, along with the number “50” and the word “Champs.”
O’Connell, who now lives in Los Angeles, tells The Boston Globe he has no regrets. He says his chin tattoo of an ex-girlfriend’s name now covered up‚ was much worse.
Fugitive Found In Elaborate Tunnel System At Trailer Park
Sitka, AK (AP) Authorities arrested a fugitive convicted on drug and theft charges after finding him hiding this week in what they called an “elaborate tunnel system” dug underneath a trailer home in Alaska.
The tunnels narrowed as officers walked further in, forcing them to trudge through on their knees and then on their stomachs. Police in the city of Sitka say they eventually spotted Jeremy Beebe’s foot sticking out of another hidden entrance, catching him after an officer pulled back the skirting around the trailer.
Police Lt. Lance Ewers said Beebe, 42, had failed to report to the police department on Jan. 12 after he was sentenced to nearly two years in prison, the Sitka Sentinel reported.