January 23, 2014
Beloved Dog’s Ashes Returned To Owner After Two Years
Tacoma, WA (AP) The ashes of Onyx, a 165-pound rottweiler, were returned to her owner Wednesday, ending the mystery of a box purchased for $2.99 from a Puyallup Goodwill.
Kim Johnson, a Parkland woman, lost her 13-year-old dog two years ago, had her cremated, then had the box containing Onyx’s ashes stolen a year ago.
``I’ve looked for her ever since,’’ Johnson said. ``I’ve lain awake nights wondering where she is.’’
Gerry Sperry, the Puyallup artist who bought the box on Dec. 31, was delighted to return it to Johnson.
``It brings closure to someone who really loved their pet,’’ he said. ``It obviously was emotional for her, and I’m glad the story has a happy ending.’’
After Sperry’s story ran in The News Tribune, he said he got plenty of email from folks who had similar boxes - and all of those contained pets, not human remains. When Johnson saw a photo of the box, she said, she instantly recognized it.
``I had her from the time she was 5 weeks old until she died at 13, and she went everywhere with me,’’ Johnson said. ``When the box was stolen about a year ago, I filed a police report. We got files that had been taken, but not what mattered most - Onyx.’’
White Castle’s Sliders Are “The Most Influential Burger”
Columbus, OH (AP) Time magazine says White Castle’s small, square “sliders” are “the most influential burger of all time.”
The magazine notes the “now-iconic square patty” that debuted in 1921 in Wichita, Kan. was the first burger to spawn a fast-food empire. White Castle has been based in Columbus since 1934.
The Time story puts the White Castle burger at the top of the list of the 17 most influential burgers of all time, beating out burgers from McDonald’s and In-N-Out.
White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson tells The Columbus Dispatch that “slider” has been a term of endearment for the delectable little burgers since the 1950s.
4 Kittens Pull ‘Break-In’ At Upstate NY Jail
Fort Ann, NY (AP) A litter of kittens has found a cozy home in the least cozy of places‚ a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.
The Post-Star of Glens Falls reports four kittens found their way into the basement of the Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Fort Ann a few months ago. That’s near the Vermont border 55 miles northeast of Albany.
The family of feral felines has been cared for by inmates and prison staff, including head electrician Bruce Porter. He arrives at work early so he can tend to the cats, which live in a large cage built by an inmate.
Another inmate takes care of the cats on weekends when many prison employees are off.
Prison officials say they’re hoping to find the kittens homes among the staff.
An Outdoorsman Till The Very End: Boat Hauls Casket
Mount Wolf, PA (AP) A man who loved the outdoors was carried to his grave in a boat pulled by a truck on Wednesday.
The casket of 78-year-old Ronald Bloss Sr. was loaded onto a small motor boat and trailer and pulled to a cemetery by a pickup truck driven by one of his five sons, Diehl Funeral Home director Michael Gladfelter said.
Bloss, who lived in Mount Wolf, about 30 miles south of Harrisburg, the state capital, loved hunting, fishing and spending time on rivers, the York Daily Record reported. He had several boats, and family members came up with the idea of using one for his final journey, Gladfelter said.
Gladfelter said he doesn’t recall the funeral home ever using a boat in place of a hearse before and he wishes there had been time to create a sign reading “Gone Fishing” to hang on the side of it.
“It would have been so ideal,” Gladfelter said.
Bloss was a U.S. Navy veteran who also enjoyed coaching and umpiring. He died at his home on Saturday.
Theft Check List: Gas Money? Map? Can You Drive Stick?
Springfield, MA (AP) A trio of would-be Massachusetts car thieves had to hit the brakes on their plan because none of them knew how to drive a stick.
Police in Springfield say the men pulled a knife on a food delivery driver Tuesday night and demanded the grub and his keys. But then they noticed the car had a manual transmission.
Sgt. John Delaney tells The Republican newspaper the thieves argued among themselves then ran down the street with their ill-gotten dinner.
The driver was not seriously hurt. There have been no arrests.
Couple Advertise Home As ‘Slightly Haunted’
Dunmore, PA (AP) Between the mysteriously banging doors, the odd noises coming from the basement, and the persistent feeling that someone is standing behind them, homeowners Gregory and Sandi Leeson are thoroughly creeped out by their 113-year-old Victorian.
So when they put the house in northeastern Pennsylvania up for sale last month, they advertised it as “slightly haunted.”
Then things got REALLY weird.
There were calls from ghost hunters. An open house attracted lots of curiosity seekers, but no legitimate buyers. And a former resident came out of the woodwork to tell the couple that when he was a kid, he found a human skull in the basement, the same basement whose door Sandi Leeson once barricaded because she swore she could hear the clicking of a cigarette lighter emanating from the subterranean depths.
The listing attracted local and national media attention. Now the Leesons just need an actual buyer for the four-bedroom home, on the market for $144,000.
“I tried to word it with a little bit of a sense of humor,” says Greg Leeson, a 35-year-old who works in information technology, but “I don’t think it has helped with marketing. We’re not really getting very many interested buyers. We’re getting a lot of nonsense people.”
Spring should bring more traffic. But if it doesn’t sell, Leeson said they might consider renting it out‚ by the night‚ to folks looking for spooky thrills.
While Leeson concedes the home has a “creepy vibe,” he doesn’t believe in ghosts.
And his wife?
“I definitely think there’s a spirit or a ghost in the house, just from my personal experiences,” she said.
Pennsylvania Pizza Shop Delivers Medicines During Cold Snap
Ligonier, PA (AP) A western Pennsylvania pizza shop has been delivering prescription medicines and other supplies to ill and elderly residents so they don’t have to go outside in the bitter cold.
Tom Wynkoop, owner of Fox’s Pizza Den in Ligonier, tells WPXI-TV that he tweeted his offer because his community about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh has a lot of elderly residents.
Wynkoop told those in need to call his cellphone to arrange deliveries of prescription medicines and other products‚ no strings attached. That’s right: Folks don’t have to order food from Wynkoop’s shop to get help.
Wynkoop says his shop has made four deliveries. He says, “You have to be there for your residents.”
The region was hit with record-low, subzero temperatures on Tuesday.
Temperatures were subfreezing by Wednesday.
NJ’s Pigskin-Picking Camel Dies Before Super Bowl
Lacey Township, NJ (AP) New Jersey’s pigskin-prognosticating camel has died just weeks before the state is set to host its first Super Bowl.
Princess was a fixture at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township for 10 years and gained fame for picking winners.
Zoo manager John Bergmann tells the Asbury Park Press the 26-year-old Bactrian camel was euthanized after arthritis made it impossible for her to stand.
Princess’ made her picks with graham crackers. Bergmann would hold one in each hand, marked with the names of the competing teams. Whichever hand she chose was her prediction.
Princess correctly picked the Baltimore Ravens in last year’s Super Bowl.
Her best run came in the 2008 season, when she picked 17 of 22 games correctly, including the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLIII.