Monday 1/26/09

Human Interest News   —   Posted on January 26, 2009

By The Editors of

Far from home page
The skyline pictured on a Wisconsin state government website wasn’t Madison, the state’s capital-or even Milwaukee, the state’s largest city. “I’m looking at that thinking, what the heck?” state Sen. Jeff Plale told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Dec. 29. What Plale saw on the state’s new website for campaign finance disclosures was a picture of the Wisconsin state capitol building set against a backdrop of the Minneapolis, Minn., skyline. State officials paid $1 million to develop the site, but say they won’t be able to cut out the image of a Minnesota city from the site’s home page until later in January. “The state doesn’t need to outsource their skyline,” Steve Filmanowicz, aide to former Milwaukee mayor John O. Norquist, told the Sentinel.

Run down
Police in Monterrey, Mexico, say a woman well known for spending her days begging for change from her wheelchair fled on foot Jan. 5 after a bungled attempt to rob a furniture store. Authorities say the 30-year-old woman and her husband tried to break a window in a local storefront when they were scared away by a security guard. Police arrested the couple when they returned to the furniture store to recover her wheelchair.

Six times nine lives
While responding to a fire at a local residence, firefighters in Buckinghamshire, England, found another purpose for tiny oxygen masks designed for babies. Firefighters were told all the humans had escaped from the burning structure, but seven cats remained. The fire crew was able to locate six of the smoked out felines trapped inside the house, bringing them outside and reviving them with the baby-sized oxygen masks. “A few of them were unconscious or a little woozy but they soon came around,” a spokesman for the fire and rescue service told the Daily Mail.

Rock and a hard place
Finders keepers rules do not apply in the case of one of the largest gemstones ever unearthed. A federal judge in California will decide who gets possession of the gigantic, 850-pound Bahia Emerald that was once appraised at $370 million. Three parties claim ownership: a California man, the company he hired to sell it, and a third party claiming to have bought it. A flimflam artist with fake papers stole the rock from a secure vault in suburban Los Angeles and moved it to a Las Vegas warehouse in September. With a court order, deputies repossessed the emerald for safekeeping with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department until the judge can determine ownership.