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The skinny

Neighborly favor may have also been grand theft

White out

According to police in Howard County, Md., David Earl Bryant thought it would be nice to clear the driveways of all his neighbors. And with all the snow that the area has been hit with lately, it's certainly hard to argue with the intention. It was the execution that police took issue with. To clear that much snow, one would need heavy machinery. And police say that Bryant stole a front loader to do the otherwise good deed. After the owner reported it missing, police tracked it with LoJack and found it in a driveway. The homeowner said their friend brought it over to clear the area. Bryant has been charged with theft of a motor vehicle, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Wedded bliss

Farmer too pooped to buy Valentine

There is no way to know if it was a totally original idea, or if Bruce Andersland of Albert Lea, Minn., is just an avid follower of romantic trends. Either way, he didn't go to the store and get his wife of 37 years, Beth, one of those silly, traditional little paper Valentines. He took the resources on hand at his farm and made a half-mile wide heart out of manure. She loved it. "Why not do something fun with what you got?" she told the Alberta Lea Tribune. The biggest problem is continuing snowfall has mixed with the manure and made it less pronounced. In early January, farmer Dick Kleis of Zwingle, Iowa, forgot to get his wife a birthday card and did something very similar. And his wife liked it too. Aw.

Groom says he was duped by bride

This possibility is never mentioned when countries are considering banning veils, but seems elemental: An Arab ambassador had his marriage annulled after he went to kiss the bride and found facial hair. The Sun reports that the diplomat had met the woman only a couple of times, and each time she was wearing a face-shielding niqab. According to the groom, he was tricked into the marriage because the bride's mother had shown his mother photos of the bride's sister, leading to the signing of a marriage contract. It's a cultural thing. He also wanted $140,000 for all the stuff he bought her. The court annulled the marriage but denied his compensation.

coin collecting

One little typo costs them a lot

To be fair, when people got hired at the mint in Chile, it is totally possible that no one gave them a spelling test. And probably no one asked if they knew how to spell "Chile." It would be the kind of thing that might be assumed. But not anymore. Not since the 2008 50 peso pieces — about the equivalent of a dime — came out with the word "Chile" spelled "Chiie." The coins have become collectors items, and there is no plan to take them out of circulation . . . and it took almost two years for anyone to notice. But the general manager and several other employees were fired after it was discovered.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

Neighborly favor may have also been grand theft 02/12/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 13, 2010 1:27am]
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