December 19, 2013
Tourist Distracted By Facebook Falls Off Pier
Sydney (AP) A tourist in Australia had to be rescued by police after plunging off a pier while browsing Facebook on her phone, officials said Wednesday.
The woman was walking along a bay in Melbourne on Monday night when she became distracted by her Facebook feed and plummeted off the pier into the chilly water, Victoria state police said.
A witness called for help and police rushed to the woman’s aid. They found her flailing around in the water, about 20 meters (65 feet) from the pier.
“She was still out in the water lying on her back in a floating position because she told us later that she couldn’t swim,” Senior Constable Dean Kelly of the state water police told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “She still had her mobile phone in her hand and initially she apologized and said sorry.”
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment. Police said she is a foreigner, but declined to say from which country.
“With Facebook, or social media in general as far as we’re concerned, if you’re anywhere near the water just pay attention,” Kelly said. “Especially if you can’t swim.”
Gold Coin Found In Salvation Army Kettle
Kokomo, IN (AP) Someone has again anonymously dropped a gold Krugerrand coin into a Salvation Army red kettle in a central Indiana city.
Salvation Army Capt. Dale Brandenburg says the South African coin was found in one of its Kokomo kettles last week and it was sold it for $1,220. The Kokomo Tribune reports this marks the fifth straight year that a Krugerrand donation has been made in the city.
Brandenburg says the coin sold for about $400 less than last year when the price of gold was higher.
He says the donation of the coin is a big boost since the group is about $50,000 short of its $82,500 fundraising goal for Kokomo.
Brandenburg says it’s always exciting to find one of the gold coins inside a kettle.
Ho Ho Ho - Pot In Christmas
Presents Not From Santa!
State College, PA (AP) Pennsylvania State Police say they found 20 pounds of marijuana in boxes wrapped as Christmas presents inside a minivan after a traffic stop.
The Centre Daily Times reports that 38-year-old Randy Jesus Valdivia, of Surfside, Fla., faces felony drug charges after the stop on Interstate 80 near State College.
Police say they became suspicious after Valdivia was stopped Thursday afternoon, and got him to agree to a search.
They say they found 20 pounds of weed vacuum-sealed inside large boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts.
Online court records say he was taken to the local jail. A defense lawyer wasn’t listed.
Man Gets Ticket For Trying
To Trade Gator For Beer
Miami (AP) Florida wildlife officials say a man tried to trade a live alligator for beer at a Miami convenience store.
State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino says the man received a citation for illegally capturing and trying to sell the gator. Pino tells WTVJ-TV that the man trapped the 4-foot-long gator at a nearby park and brought it to the store Dec. 10. When he proposed to trade the animal for a 12-pack of beer, the store clerk called authorities. Pino says the alligator was “pretty much in good shape.” The animal was released back into the wild.
Swimmer Nabs Monster Lobster Off California Coast
Huntington Beach, CA (AP) Joseph Ali says onlookers thought he was drunk when he dove into the nighttime waters around a Southern California pier. But he came away with a monster of a lobster and the catch of a lifetime.
Ali tells the Orange County Register he was closing his father’s business, Zack’s Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, on Monday when he saw the ocean was calm and decided to dive for dinner.
He was down about 15 feet going after a smaller lobster when he saw the giant. He says it was too big to grab properly, but it latched onto him, and he wrestled it to shore.
The lobster weighed nearly 18 pounds‚ even a 5-pounder is considered trophy-sized and was likely at least 30 years old.
NY Mock Trial For ‘The Night Before Christmas’
Troy, NY (AP) It’s a controversy whose roots trace back nearly two centuries to a holiday poem first published in an upstate New York newspaper: Who really wrote “A Visit from St. Nicholas”?
This week, a mock trial will be held in a courtroom in Troy, where the now-classic also known as “The Night Before Christmas” was first published anonymously in the Sentinel newspaper on Dec. 23, 1823.
The Daily Gazette of Schenectady reports that Wednesday’s trial will have a prominent local lawyer representing Clement Clark Moore, a wealthy scholar from New York City who’s credited with writing the poem.
Other attorneys will argue the side of Henry Livingston Jr., whose descendants claim the gentleman farmer from the Hudson Valley was the true author. Actors portraying Moore and Livingston will take the stand during the courtroom showdown.
Milan Orders Removal Of Naughty Christmas Tree
Milan (AP) A provocatively adorned outdoor Christmas tree in central Milan was just too naughty for city officials, who have ordered it denuded of its racy red sex toys.
The city said in an order that the Christmas season, “qualifying as a holiday for children and families, requires sobriety in urban decorations,” in particular when using “traditional symbols that distinguish Christmas.”
Norma Rossetti, who launched an Italian sex toy e-commerce website this year, said Friday she complied immediately with the order.
But she defended the so-called “Tree of Pleasure,” saying the objects chosen were elegant and not obviously X-rated.
She said her goal is to break down taboos by making sex toys “completely normal everyday objects. “
Rossetti acknowledged some complaints, but said most passers-by during the one-day display were enthusiastic.