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February 14, 2013

Mistrial Declared When Prosthetic Eye Pops Out

Philadelphia (AP) An assault trial over a fight that cost a man his left eye ended in a mistrial Wednesday when his prosthetic eye popped out as he was testifying, startling jurors.

John Huttick was weeping on the witness stand in Common Pleas Court as he testified about the impact of losing his eye in the August 2011 fight in the parking lot of a bar called the New Princeton Tavern, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Suddenly, the $3,000 prosthetic blue eye popped out. Huttick caught it and cried out as two jurors gasped and started to rise.

“I couldn’t believe it just came out,” Huttick said.

Judge Robert Coleman, who called it an “unfortunate, unforeseen incident,” granted a mistrial motion by defense attorney Eileen Hurley. He scheduled a new trial for March 4.

A group of people including Huttick and defendant Matthew Brunelli had been drinking at the bar, Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson said. Brunelli left with a girlfriend but got into an argument with another patron that turned into a fight in the parking lot, and when Huttick tried to separate the pair Brunelli threw a punch that hit Huttick’s left eye, Gilson said. Hurley said her client, who’s charged with aggravated assault, struck Huttick with a fist, but Gilson said he “stabbed” Huttick with a metal key sticking out between his fingers.

Dallas Chocolatier Pumps Out Chocolate High Heels

Dallas (AP) Florists and chocolate-makers are working around the clock in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

In Dallas, chocolatier Andrea Pedraza, who loves designer high heels, molded her pedestrian passion into chocolate form. Her most well-known creations are chocolate pumps done in the style of Christian Louboutin shoes.

Prices for the pumps range from $30 to $55, but more if you fill the heel with more chocolates.

Pedraza says men buy the chocolate pumps the most, so she keeps extras on hand for last-minute shoppers.

Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/U8WWkt

Pocket Dial, Low Battery Led To Ohio Burglar

Sidney, OH (AP) Authorities in Ohio say a pocket-dialing prowler got himself arrested after his cellphone turned informant. Twice.

Investigators say an emergency operator traced an accidental 911 call on Tuesday night to a home in Sidney, about 60 miles northwest of Columbus.

Shelby County sheriff’s deputies dispatched to check on the house found a window forced open. They arrested Douglas Wolaver, of Piqua, inside.

The sheriff’s office says Wolaver was found in a bathroom after his phone’s low-battery alert led deputies to his hiding place.

Ohio School Cancels Prom Over Water Balloon Fight

Cincinnati (AP) An Ohio high school has canceled its prom to punish students for a prank: a massive water balloon fight at lunch.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the principal of Withrow High School in Cincinnati says students used social media last month to plan the prank.

Principal Sharon Johnson says staff found out and tried to prevent it. She made announcements the day of the planned prank, warning students the prom would be canceled if they had the balloon fight. School officials were concerned over safety.

But about 150 to 175 students went ahead with it. Johnson says there was water everywhere and some students were upset and slipping and falling. Johnson says she had received only a few phone calls from upset parents.

NYC Valentine’s Day Sewage Tour Back By ‘Demand’

New York (AP) Lovers of the unusual are getting another chance to impress their Valentines this year in New York City.

The Department of Environmental Protection is again offering Valentine’s Day tours of the Newtown Creek sewage treatment plant in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section.

The DEP says it’s offering three tours this year due to “overwhelming demand.”

The 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. tours were quickly filled. So another was added at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Highlights include the plant’s giant egg-shaped digesters, which break down noxious waste into harmless sludge and gas.

During last year’s tour, the plant’s gung-ho superintendent warned the visitors a digester egg was about to emit a foul odor. It didn’t disappoint.

NY Mom Used Kiss To Give Jailed Son Drugs

Penn Yan, NY (AP) Police say an upstate New York woman passed drugs to her son while kissing him when she visited him in jail. Sheriff’s deputies in Yates County tell local media outlets 54-year-old Penn Yan resident Kimberly Margeson was visiting her son last week when she hid oxycodone pills and passed them from her mouth to his while giving him a kiss.

Police haven’t said how the drugs were discovered. Margeson pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband. She’s free after posting bail. Authorities say her 30-year-old son also was charged with promoting prison contraband. He remains in jail on an unrelated felony weapon possession charge, and a lawyer for him couldn’t be contacted.

Pianist’s Music Fails To Put Tortoises In The Mood

London (AP) No wonder they’re endangered.

Galapagos tortoises at London’s zoo lumbered around impassively as famous French pianist Richard Clayderman serenaded them with music from his latest album, “Romantique,” on Thursday.

The music billed by his record company as an attempt to put the reptiles in the mood to mate ‚Äî appeared lost on the slow-moving giants. The tortoises didn’t appear particularly impressed by Clayderman’s hit, “Ballade pour Adeline,” and even a rousing rendition of “Chariots of Fire” did little to lift their spirits.

They only seemed to perk up when zookeepers brought them some carrots.

Galapagos tortoises are the largest in the world and can live for over 150 years. But the gentle animals have struggled to fend off predators and are now under threat.

Clayderman said that his golden retriever loved to lie by the piano when he was playing, “so maybe it’s good for the animals to listen to music.”

Maybe. But it’s possible tortoises just don’t appreciate what Clayderman has described as his “New Romantic” style.

Clayderman himself seemed a bit bemused by his record company’s launch stunt.

“After playing all around the world, I used to do concerts in Asia, in South America, in Europe‚ it’s funny to be here, in this very nice zoo,” he said.

 


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