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June 26, 2013

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Without a hitch

DES MOINES, Iowa - A man who robbed a Des Moines area fast food restaurant had an unusual getaway car. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says a man entered a Wendy's Restaurant just before 5 p.m. Sunday. He told an employee he had a weapon and demanded money. 

He was given an undisclosed amount of cash, and then fled across a parking lot of an adjacent building. 

He got into a maroon Ford Ranger pickup pulling a large trailer that contained furniture, covered by a dark tarp. 

Witnesses say the trailer had blue, out of state license plates. 

TME Those moving expenses aren't going to pay themselves.

A bone of contention

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - An Iowa man's online classified ad offering an oak coffin for sale neglected to mention the full skeleton inside, so police interrupted the deal and seized the bones. 

The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported that the coffin belonged to the now-defunct Council Bluffs chapter of the International Order of Odd Fellows, which promotes anonymous giving to the poor. 

Dave Burgstrum placed the ad on the Craigslist website to sell the coffin for $12,000 because he's trying to raise money to pay the property taxes on the fraternal organization's hall. 

Burgstrum said the coffin was made in the 1900s and had been used in the group's rituals to represent death. The bones had been in there for years. 

'They were just there as long as anyone could remember,' said Burgstrum, who is one of a handful of remaining members of the Council Bluffs chapter of the Odd Fellows. 

Burgstrum said lodge records suggest the skeleton was donated by a doctor who retired in the 1880s. 

But Council Bluffs Police detective Michael Roberts said human remains cannot be sold without proper identification. 

'If they had papers of origination, then they would be OK to own,' Roberts said. 

TME If we're paying 12 grand for a coffin, there darn well better be a skeleton in it.

Monkey shines

ARANSAS PASS, Texas - A South Texas police officer had to deal with some unexpected monkey business as he wrote a speeding ticket. 

A pet monkey bit Aransas Pass Officer Keith Moore on the hand in an attack captured on videotape. 

KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi reported Thursday that Moore had a video camera on his glasses during the traffic stop. 

Moore is seen handing the driver something to sign when a monkey leaps from the back seat, bares its teeth and bites the officer's right hand. 

Moore says the monkey 'came out of nowhere' during Wednesday's incident. The bite left a mark, but the 21-year-old officer was not hurt otherwise. 

The trained monkey makes appearances at carnivals and other entertainment events. 

TME It could have been worse it could have been poop.

Free as a bird

SAN DIEGO - The public is being asked to keep eyes to the skies for an exotic stork that flew the coop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. 

UT San Diego says the bird caught a sudden wind gust and flew away while working with handlers Monday afternoon. 

Park officials and birding groups have had no luck finding the painted stork, so now they are asking for help from city residents. 

The newspaper says the one-year-old female was in training for the park's Frequent Flyers bird show. It was practicing with handlers when it flew high and got caught in a thermal current, which pulled it out of the park grounds. The bird's wings were not clipped. 

The painted stork stands about three feet tall and has white feathers and a yellow beak.

TME We anticipate a lot of unexpected infants in San Diego over the coming months. 

Udderly well-groomed

ADEL, Iowa - Grooming cows so they look like unusually large poodles is a well-known beautification practice in the show cattle industry. 

But although it may be decades old, it's just now getting attention on the Internet. 

It started with a photo of a male cow named Texas Tornado who had a particularly fluffy coat. 'Fluffy cow' photos are now making the rounds. 

The practice is meant to help sell livestock for breeding or harvesting. 

The cattle go through a beauty pageant regiment: They're washed, brushed and blow dried. Special oils add an extra fluff. 

The bull's owner, Matt Lautner of Lautner Farms in Iowa, helps raise many fluffy cows. He's using social media to run with the overwhelming response, and hopes it brings more attention to the industry. 

TME No word on whether the hairstyles make them more delicious.

Melon felony

OREGON CITY, Ore. - Police and Clackamas County sheriff's detectives say two men stole 17 pallets of watermelon - about 5 tons - from grocery stores in Beaverton and Tigard. 

Officials say they hit WinCo stores in the early morning hours of June 7. The watermelons had been left outside for sale. The men told one employee who confronted them at the Beaverton store they were removing the melons because they had black spots. 

The Oregonian reports surveillance video helped investigators identify two suspects - 42-year-old William Jake Traverso of Canby and 40-year-old Brad A. Taylor of Molalla. Deputies arrested Traverso Tuesday at his parents' home. They're looking for Taylor. 

Police believe the pair sold most of the melons to small markets to support a methamphetamine addiction. Five pallets were recovered. 

TME We wouldn't expect this kind of entrepreneurial spirit from meth-heads.


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