September 12, 2013
Art Heist Trial Help Up
Over Lawyer’s Sneakers
Bucharest, Romania (AP) - Don’t mess with my blue shoes, a lawyer told a court in Romania.
Defense lawyer Catalin Dancu was hit Tuesday with a fine of 5,000 lei ($1,148) - the maximum allowed for flouting dress regulations and for being late at the trial of five Romanians accused of art theft.
Under his black robe, Dancu wore blue jeans and bright blue sneakers- triple-stripe models that he said cost 200 euros ($264).
“I am scented, shaved and fresh,” the lawyer noted, explaining he had been delayed in another court. “I am going to contest this fine.”
Proceedings were adjourned after Dancu moved for the judge to be suspended in the case, which another court will rule on.
The five defendants are being tried for the theft of seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Monet, among others, which were stolen in October from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal gallery.
Bay Bridge In California Gets Good Luck Charm
San Francisco (AP) A final piece of safety hardware a bearded, spindly legged troll has been installed in the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
The troll is meant to be a protector and good luck charm, modeled after a similar statue placed surreptitiously by a steelworker on the old span after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
The new statue forged by an unknown artist was installed at an undisclosed location, Bay Area Toll Authority spokesman John Goodwin told the San Francisco Chronicle in a weekend story.
The original troll was removed from its perch on Labor Day in preparation for the demolition of the old bridge and will likely be housed in a museum or park, but plans were still being finalized.
The new, $6.4 billion portion of the Bay Bridge opened to traffic on Labor Day, nearly 24 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the old span.
Goodwin said the new troll, with an axe in one hand and a hammer in the other, is somewhere inside the new bridge but its whereabouts will be kept secret. ``A new troll appeared, as these things happen, on Labor Day, under the cover of darkness,’’ Goodwin said.
1,200 California Chickens Retiring On The East Coast
Sacramento, CA (AP) Their egg-laying days behind them, some 1,200 Northern California chickens are heading for a cozy retirement on the East Coast, where they will live outside of cages and have plenty of room to spread their wings.
The Sacramento Bee reports that an anonymous $50,000 donation is funding Operation Chicken Airlift, which will send the hens on a cross-country cargo flight to upstate New York on Wednesday evening.
From there the white Leghorn chickens will be ferried to different sanctuaries. Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York, where 200 of the birds will end up, is providing perches, grass and even a wooded area where they can roam.
Laying hens are generally too lean for human consumption and are usually slaughtered after they stop providing eggs.
Red ‘Honey’ in Utah May Come From Candy Eating Bees
Salt Lake City (AP) What appears to be red honey is showing up in some Utah beehives and state officials say it may be coming from bugs feasting on candy cane byproduct.
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food officials say they’ve received several complaints about the odd-colored goo in hives in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties.
They say the bees were apparently fed the byproduct that came from a candy factory.
Officials say they don’t have any reason to call the red substance unsafe, but advise beekeepers not to mix it with normal-colored honey and to report it to the state.
Regulators are investigating whether the substance can be considered honey. Beehive State standards define honey as a product that originates from a floral source.
Man Tries To Enter US Via Red Chile Shipment
Columbus, NM (AP) Authorities say an immigrant suspected of entering the country illegally attempted to make his journey in an unusual but hot place - a shipment of red chile.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at a New Mexico border checkpoint said the man was discovered Thursday face down among a commercial load of the spicy stuff.
Columbus Port Director Robert Reza says next to the “highly intoxicated” 35-year-old was a bottle of tequila.
The man, who authorities described as a Mexican national, told agents that he climbed into the commercial hopper while it was being staged in Mexico. He got into the truck-full of chile in hopes of catching a ride to Chicago, the El Paso Times reported.
Agents said he got less than 100 yards into New Mexico before he was discovered. He will be returned to Mexico, officials said.
The red chile shipment was later released.
Spelunkers Find Wallet Man Lost In NY Cave 17 Years Ago
Watertown, NY (AP) The wallet a man dropped in 1996 while spending two days lost in a northern New York cave has been found by a group of spelunkers.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that members of a cave explorers’ group from western New York found Joseph Sweet’s wallet Saturday while exploring the caves under the city.
The wallet contained money, bank and library cards and Sweet’s driving permit.
Sweet was 19 when he and another man became lost in the system of caves in July 1996. The batteries in their flashlight died, so the men were forced to burn $70 in bills for light and warmth. They were eventually rescued by firefighters.
The cavers plan to give Sweet his wallet back this weekend.