Tortoise Timmy stolen from owner after 63 years

Boyhood Friends: Rex Coxeter with his pet Timmy

A grandfather in England is praying for the return of a life-long companion after thieves stole his pet tortoise from his home.

Rex Coxeter was given the creature, named Timmy, as an 11-year-old schoolboy and has looked after it for more than 60 years – but last Wednesday, he returned from vacation to find him gone.

The 74-year-old checked his closed-circuit TV and saw thieves had struck just hours after he left for Scotland with wife Jane on April 23.

Although the cameras do not cover Timmy’s enclosure, the footage showed a white Ford Transit van pulling up between noon and 2pm, and an intruder prowling around the garden.

When Mr Coxeter came back, he immediately saw his beloved pet was missing and called the police. He has also alerted the National Theft Register, an agency that helps find stolen exotic animals.

Timmy, an endangered Hermann’s tortoise, weighs in at a hefty 10lbs and has distinctive markings on his shell. His age is unknown, but it is thought he could be 90 or more.

He was given as a present to his owner while he was a schoolboy almost 60 years ago.

Mr Coxeter said: “I knew he was gone as soon as I got back. He’s kept in a large area, and it’s like having a cow in a field– you instantly notice if they’ve gone missing.

Dead man wakes up at his own funeral in Egypt

The funeral of a 28 year-old waiter in southern Egypt turned into a celebration when he woke up after being declared dead.

Hospital officials had pronounced dead Hamdi Hafez al-Nubi, who came from the village of Naga al-Simman in the southern province of Luxor, after he suffered a heart attack while working.

His family says grieving relatives took him home and, according to Islamic tradition, washed his body and prepared him for burial Friday evening.

A doctor sent to sign the death certificate found it strange that his body was warm. At closer observation she discovered he was still alive.

His mother fainted upon hearing the good news.

With the doctor’s assistance, both al-Nubi and his mother were awakened and soon were celebrating with guests.

Marblehead blows away leaf blower ban

It’s still OK to use leaf blowers in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Town Meeting members on Tuesday voted 285-211 to defeat a partial ban on the yard maintenance devices.

Christopher Bergonzi had at first proposed a complete ban on leaf blowers, saying their emissions were a public health risk. He compared leaf blower emissions to second-hand smoke.

But he later amended that, proposing a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers between May 15 and Sept. 15, while still allowing the use of battery-powered and electric leaf blowers.

The Daily Item reports that resident Edward Friedman questioned Bergonzi’s scientific research and said leaf blowers are hardly used between May 15 and Sept. 15 anyway, making the article irrelevant.

From The Hertz & Essex Observer, The Chicago Sun-Times and The Boston Herald.