Alcatraz had bird man, Arkansas has rose man
Luis Camacho-Mendoza escaped from a jail in Van Buren, Ark., using a tool he fashioned from a pair of screwdrivers. That wasn't his only creative expression in the bust out, though. He also fashioned a nice rose out of toilet paper and left it for the police. His escape didn't last long. On a tip, they found him later in the day, hiding in a closet under laundry with a pillowcase on his head. "You could see the outline of his head in the pillowcase," said investigator Ken Howard. "We all grabbed him pretty quick." But what was with the flower? "He said he felt sorry for the captain for escaping," Howard said. "(The flower) looked pretty nice."
Insurer not covered for flood damage
The headquarters of United Fire & Casualty insurance company in Norway, Iowa, suffered some heavy losses in the ongoing flooding problems in the Midwest. When the Cedar River overflowed on June 20, six feet of floodwaters deluged the office's first floor, destroying computer equipment. Luckily, it is an insurance company, so it probably has good coverage. Whoops. Turns out it was not fully covered. The company won't divulge damage estimates or how much risk the company had taken. "We consider ourselves good analyzers of risk,'' said chief financial officer Dianne Lyons.
Museum artifacts: Here we go again
In Pittsburgh, the flooding at the Carnegie Science Center was caused by a broken water pipe. No one was injured, there wasn't any major damage, just some stuff in the gift shop. The only reason it bears mentioning is the exhibit at the museum was temporarily closed as a result of the flood. It was "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition."
He showed them
Protester loses car, gas in protest
A German man drove his 1995 BMW to the convention center grounds in Frankfurt, jumped out, poured a canister of gasoline on the car and lit it. By the time the fire department responded, the car was engulfed. He said it was a protest against gas prices, which in Germany convert to about $9.40 a gallon. He didn't say which was worth more, though: the car, or the gas he used to burn it.
Bid for eBridesmaid
The winner of Kelly Gray's eBay auction of a spot in her wedding party was Dr Pepper. A representative of the company won the auction and will donate $10,000 — and drinks — to the nuptials of Gray and Karl Gau on April 19, 2009. The company will either launch a Web site to find someone to stand up for Gray at the ceremony, or arrange for a surprise guest. Expect it to be well documented in television commercials.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.