March 28, 2013
Caretaker Charged With Taking Care Of Old Whiskey, Too
Greensburg, PA (AP) Fifty-two bottles of well-aged whiskey disappeared between his lips, police said, and now it’s time for a western Pennsylvania man to settle up.
John Saunders, the former live-in caretaker of a Pittsburgh-area mansion, faces criminal charges for allegedly drinking more than $100,000 worth of the owner’s whiskey.
Owner Patricia Hill found nine cases of whiskey hidden in the walls and stairwell of the century-old Georgian mansion built by coal and coke industrialist J.P. Brennan after she bought it in 2012. The Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey was produced in the early 1900s by the nearby West Overton Distilling Co.
“My guess is that Mr. Brennan ordered 10 cases . pre-Prohibition,” said Hill, a New Yorker who bought the house to convert it into a bed-and-breakfast. “I was told by his family that family members used to greet him at the door each day with a shot of whiskey.”
Scottdale police told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Saunders drank dozens of bottles whiskey valued at $102,400 by a New York auction house.
Saunders initially denied drinking the whiskey when questioned by police, but Pritts said a DNA linked him to three of the empty bottles.
A phone listing for Saunders could not immediately be located Friday.
Goblin-Proof Chicken Book
Wins Odd-Title Prize
London (AP) A supernaturally tinged barnyard manual has won Britain’s quirkiest literary award, the Diagram Prize for year’s oddest book title.
“Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop” by Reginald Bakeley was awarded the prize Friday by trade magazine The Bookseller.
The book took 38 percent of the votes in a public ballot, beating finalists including “How Tea Cosies Changed the World,” ‘’Was Hitler Ill?” and “God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis.”
“Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop” is subtitled “and other practical advice in our campaign against the fairy kingdom.” It is described by its Massachusetts-based publisher, Conari Press, as “the essential primer for banishing the dark fairy creatures that are lurking in the dark corners and crevices of your life.”
Diagram Prize overseer Horace Bent said it was no coincidence “in these austere times that a book aimed to assist members of the public frugally farming their own produce proved the most popular title.”
The book’s editor, Clint Marsh, said he and the author were honored to receive a prize that “celebrates the playfulness that is at the heart of much of the world’s best book publishing.”
The prize was founded in 1978. Its rules say the books must be serious and their titles not merely a gimmick.
Previous winners of the quirky prize include “Bombproof Your Horse,” ‘’Living With Crazy Buttocks” and “Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way.”
Belgium’s Chocolate Stamps Offer A Tasty Lick
Brussels (AP) Feel like having chocolate at Easter in Belgium? Well, send a letter and really lick that chocolate-flavored postal stamp. The Belgian post office released 538,000 stamps on Monday that have pictures of chocolate on the front but the essence of cacao oil in the glue at the back for taste and in the ink for smell. Belgian stamp collector Marie-Claire Verstichel said while the taste was a bit disappointing, “they smell good.”
Easter is the season for chocolate in Belgium with Easter eggs and bunnies all over supermarkets and specialty stores. A set of five stamps costs 6.2 euros ($8) but might leave a customer hungry for more.
OK To Boo, Politely, At Board Meetings In NY Town
Riverhead, NY (AP) A New York town’s board members have decided it’s OK to boo at their meetings but only if it’s done politely.
The Riverhead board voted to ban booing earlier this month. But Newsday reports that the board voted 4-1 on Tuesday to strike the anti-boo rule from the books.
The board on Long Island retained another part of its code. That part prohibits disruptive behavior and disruptive demonstrations.
No explanation was given on how to boo without being disruptive.
Councilman James Wooten says the town supervisor should be able to keep order at a meeting without written rules.
Supervisor Sean Walter defends the intent of the anti-booing rule. He says there are similar regulations in towns across New York state.
Ooooh That Smell! School Asks Students To Lighten Up
Bethlehem, PA (AP) A Pennsylvania high school wants its students to cut back on the body spray.
Freedom High School in Bethlehem says one of its students was recently taken to a hospital after being exposed to Axe Body Spray. Now, officials are asking students to stop using it as a cologne or fragrance while attending the school.
Unilever, which makes Axe, says it is looking into the report. The company says in a statement that the safety and well-being of users “is always our first priority” and consumers with concerns should call the toll-free number on the back of the package.
School officials say the affected student is severely allergic to the spray. It wasn’t immediately clear what type of reaction the student had or what chemical may have been involved.
No Cheerios & Skim Milk For Jailed County Executive
Annapolis, MD (AP) A former Maryland county executive serving a sentence for misconduct has made special requests for Cheerios, skim milk, bananas and orange juice. And jail officials say those and other requests have been denied.
The superintendent of the county’s detention facilities, Terry Kokolis, said in a statement Monday that John Leopold “has burdened staff with multiple special requests and needs that have not and will not be provided.”
Leopold, a former Anne Arundel County Executive, is serving 30 days in jail. Authorities said that, among other things, he forced members of his security detail to perform campaign work and had another county employee empty his urinary catheter bag.
The Capital of Annapolis reports Leopold also asked for his electric shaver and dental floss. Those requests also were denied.