LOVELY FLOWERS COME WITH CASH WITHDRAWAL
He walks up to the bank teller with a bouquet of flowers to introduce himself. He wonders if the teller would be so kind as to hand him the cash in the drawer. New York police say the man has robbed two banks in Manhattan while armed with flowers or a plant. On Monday, police released a security photo of the man holding fresh flowers that were neatly bundled in pink tissue paper and plastic. Hidden inside the arrangement was a note demanding $50 and $100 bills and a message for the teller, "Don't be a hero." On July 10, police said Tuesday, the same man appeared at another Manhattan bank, holding a threatening note under a leafy plant and handing it to a teller. He reached over the counter and grabbed cash, leaving the plant behind.
Uh, never mind
Look, Coast Guard is training; call 911!
To some 911 callers, it looked like a fiery plane crash just offshore of downtown Anchorage, Alaska. Others thought it was a boat in trouble. The Coast Guard was practicing shooting emergency flares during a rescue exercise Tuesday morning, but no one informed city authorities. They hustled fire crews to the scene after getting as many as half a dozen reports from worried callers. The Coast Guard says it won't happen again.
PARIS IS CALLING
Beach fun without going to the beach
Once again, Parisians are finding an excuse not to visit Florida over the next month. Not because of that oil thing. "Paris Beach" opened Tuesday for the ninth year, with 1.3 tons of recycled sand poured on the quays of the Seine River. Yep, sand, palm trees, bikinis. A Paris mayor started it as a way to give those who can't leave town a touch of summer fun. Soyeon Kim, a South Korean who has lived in Paris for a year, figured the faux beach would look "weird." But no. "I see it's beautiful," she said.
up in smoke
Now if matches had not worked ...
It's true: Some days it's better to just stay in bed. Two men in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., can explain. They went to a shop that builds and services race cars to take a thrill ride Sunday night. So they put about four gallons of methanol in a 55-gallon barrel in the parking lot, sat on top and lit it for a "barrel ride," fire Chief Dean Klinger told the Skagit Valley Herald. "Apparently it was supposed to slide across the parking lot like a rocket. Instead, it blew up." No kidding. The two are hospitalized with severe burns.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.