500-foot ambulance ride cost $673
ROCKFORD, Ill., March 23 (UPI) -- An Illinois man says he will not pay the bill for an ambulance ride until someone explains to him why the five-minute, 500-foot ride cost $673.
Ken Ward was further incensed to learn that the January trip -- which took him from a heart clinic to Swedish American Hospital -- was charged at double the typical rate because he lives outside the Rockford, Ill., city limits.
Rockford Fire Chief William Robertson said the City Council set the price and the distance is irrelevant.
"It cost what it cost," Robertson told the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star. "Whether we go across the street or whether we go five miles, you have the same care in the back of the ambulance."
Ward threatened to take his complaint to the City Council and disputed a claim that he was given advanced life support during the trip.
"I probably could have walked it," Ward told the newspaper. "If I had known it would be that much, I literally would have crawled across the street."
Wild chase captures Central Park coyote
NEW YORK, March 23 (UPI) -- A coyote led authorities on a wild chase Wednesday through New York's Central Park only to be captured by tranquilizer-wielding sharpshooters.
The 1-year-old -- nicknamed Hal for the Hallett Nature Sanctuary where Central Park denizens first spotted a "wolf-like" creature -- had been spotted numerous times since the weekend.
Coyotes have to be "particularly adventurous" to come into New York, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told WCBS-AM.
"This is New York," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "I would suggest the coyote may have more problems than the rest of us."
It was Central Park's first known coyote sighting since 1999.
The coyote found back then remains at the Queens Zoo but will not have company any time soon.
Officials said the healthy male captured Wednesday would be taken someplace far away from Big Apple and released into the wild.
Pantyhose snags cross-dressing robber
MONTEREY, Calif., March 23 (UPI) -- A pair of women's pantyhose dragging on the ground proved to be the downfall of a cross-dressing man accused of robbing a Monterey, Calif., gas station.
Authorities say the pantyhose stuck in a car door led to the arrest of Michael Clouse, 26, of Salinas, Calif., less than one hour after the armed robbery Sunday, the Monterey (Calif.) Herald reported.
Witnesses said the robber wore a black wig, black evening dress, black purse and black boots.
When authorities stopped Clouse's vehicle, they said they found he was wearing a black evening dress under his pants and shirt.
A wig, purse, boots and other items were found inside the car.
Clouse was being held on armed robbery and parole violation charges.
What's in a name? Ask Slobodan Milosevic
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., March 23 (UPI) -- Illinois resident Slobodan Milosevic says it's tough to share a name with a dead Yugoslavian dictator.
The Serbian says it took his Croatian wife a month to give her relatives his name when they got married in 1993.
Then there was the time he got arrested for speeding -- going 107 mph in a Mercedes.
"In court, when the judge called my name, he said, 'Are you a president?' And I said, 'No.' He said, 'You drive like one,'" the Schaumburg, Ill., resident told the Pioneer Press.
When the former Yugoslavian president died earlier this month, Milosevic said: "My friends said I should send e-mails out to everyone saying, 'It's not me.'"
Has Milosevic ever considered changing his name?
"Yeah -- to Brad Pitt," he told the newspaper. "I'm always being screened at the airport."