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Weird National Briefs (12/18/2019)

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Forever fruitcake

TECUMSEH, Mich. - Some families pass down jewelry, watches or even recipes. But a Michigan family has its own heirloom: a 141-year-old fruitcake.

“It’s a great thing,” said Julie Ruttinger, the great great granddaughter of Fidelia Ford, who baked the cake in 1878. “It was tradition. It’s a legacy.”

The cake was initially preserved to honor Ford. She established a tradition of baking the cake and letting it age for a year before serving it during holiday seasons. Ford died at age 65 before her 1878 cake could be eaten, and by the time the holidays arrived, the family considered her handiwork a legacy, not food.

Until his 2013 death, the cake was in the care of Ruttinger’s father, Morgan Ford, who was Fidelia Ford’s great-grandson. He had stored it in an antique glass dish on the top shelf of a china cabinet in his Tecumseh home _ which is where it remains today.

“He took care of it to the day he left the earth,” Ruttinger said. “We knew it meant a lot to him.”

Guinness World Records doesn’t have an entry for the oldest fruitcake, but as for cakes in general, the Ford fruitcake is nowhere near the world’s oldest, The Detroit News reported. That honor goes to a 4,176-year-old cake that was found in an Egyptian tomb, according to the Guinness organization. It is on display in a food museum in Switzerland.

TME – This story really takes the cake.

Grapefruit gaffe

OCOEE, Fla. - Traffic came to a citrusy standstill when nearly 1,000 grapefruits spilled from a delivery truck onto the Florida Turnpike in Orange County, authorities said.

The fruit-hauling truck was traveling on the turnpike Wednesday afternoon when crates inside the vehicle broke, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said. The grapefruits spilled from the vehicle and blocked a section of the roadway near Ocoee, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The truck pulled over so the remaining fruit could be secured. Traffic was stopped completely for several minutes while state workers cleaned up the spilled citrus to open up one lane. Video taken by witnesses showed crews using push brooms to round up the rolling fruits.

It took another three hours to clear the rest of the roadway and return traffic to normal.

No injuries were reported.

TME – Without a sugar delivery spill, what’s the point?

This week in criminal masterminds

SOPHIA, N.C. - A North Carolina woman ran to man’s house Wednesday to say she had just escaped an attempted kidnapping by a stranger.

Virginia Saavedra, 37, then allegedly took advantage of the Good Samaritan’s kindness by stealing his truck before leading authorities on a high-speed chase, according to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon hearing Saavedra’s story, the man let her sit in his truck to warm up while he called 911, news outlets report. Saavedra allegedly then stole the truck, which was spotted by deputies responding to the man’s 911 call.

Deputies tried to stop the truck, but Saavedra led them on a 26-mile chase into a neighboring county, they say. Deputies soon boxed the truck in and it got stuck on a grassy shoulder. Deputies said Saavedra then tried to reverse the stolen truck and rammed a patrol car before trying to flee. She was arrested on more than a dozen charges including driving the wrong way on a divided highway and felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official.

She gave authorities a fake name upon her arrest, but was correctly identified when she got to jail, deputies say. It’s unclear if she has a lawyer.

TME – You love it when a plan comes together.

Barber of Coupe De Ville

ANTIOCH, Calif. - A San Francisco Bay Area mother suspected of ramming her car into her son’s barber following a haircut surrendered to authorities, police said.

Ruby Delgadillo, 28, brought an attorney with her when she turned herself in Wednesday and refused to give a statement to detectives, the Antioch Police Department said.

Police said Delgadillo last week rammed into Brian Martin, 63, with her car, smashing him into a glass storefront and breaking his leg because she was upset with her son’s haircut.

“She was trying to kill me,” said Martin, owner of the Delta Barber Shop in Antioch, a city 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of San Francisco.

Martin told reporters Delgadillo had been his customer for over a year and was usually pleasant but last Wednesday she became upset over a small nick on her son’s neck.

Martin said she appeared to snap, locking eyes just before driving into him.

He said the boy sustained the small scratch because he wouldn’t sit still.

Delgadillo, of Brentwood, was booked into Contra Costa County jail in Martinez and is scheduled to be in court Thursday, the department said in a statement. It did not say what charges she faces.

TME – Some moms just have a hair trigger temper.

Have an ice trip!

CHICAGO - Two workers escaped safely after a Chicago Park District salt truck slid on ice and into Lake Michigan on Wednesday.

The Chicago Park District pickup truck was traveling on a lakefront path about 7:15 a.m. when it skidded sideways and slipped backward into the water on the city’s near North Side, police said. It slid halfway into the water before getting caught on a breakwall.

The two occupants were able to escape and crawl to safety. They both refused medical treatment.

“They were out there salting the area and the truck slid in,” Park District spokeswoman Michelle Lemons told the Chicago Tribune.

Light snow blanketed the Chicago area Wednesday morning with temperatures measured about 17 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

A lakefront bike path was closed while crews worked to remove the truck from the water.

TME – NBC’s next “Chicago” spinoff looks slick.

Pig in a poke

SHELBY, N.C. - Barrels of raw pork shoulder were riding fat in a tractor trailer pulled over by North Carolina deputies.

Approximately $3 million in cash was recovered from the barrels Saturday, the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Tuesday. The driver of the tractor trailer was accused of failing to maintain his lane and impeding the flow of traffic on Interstate 85.

Deputies became suspicious of the truck when a K-9 alerted to the trailer, the post says. Deputies searched the tractor trailer and discovered the cash wrapped in plastic in the barrels.

The money is believed to have been obtained from drug sales throughout the region and was headed to Mexico, Sheriff Alan Norman said.

“It’s one of the largest U.S. currency seizures in Cleveland County history,” Norman told The Shelby Star.

The Department of Justice has been called to assist in the investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

TME – We thought pork barrel spending was just a D.C. thing.

Last modified on Tuesday, 17 December 2019 07:48

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