Boy George accused of chaining man in flat
LONDON, April 30 (UPI) -- London police said they are investigating allegations that singer Boy George kidnapped a male escort and chained him to a wall in the singer's London home.
Auden Carlsen claimed he was grabbed by the one-time Culture Club singer and another man and chained up after the star invited him to his house to pose for photographs for a fee, the Daily Mail reported Monday. Carlsen claimed he met Boy George, real name George O'Dowd, on the Web site, Gaydar.
"I was convinced I was going to die," he said of Saturday's incident. "George handcuffed me to a hook by the bed as they held me down."
He said Boy George showed him whips and sex toys and said, "Now you'll get what you deserve."
Carlsen said he escaped by pulling the hook from the wall and fleeing to a nearby news stand, where he called police.
Scotland Yard said it was investigating allegations of false imprisonment and common assault.
Boy George, free on bail, had no comment.
Poultry farms stinking up California homes
RIVERSIDE, Calif., March 19 (UPI) -- Homeowners in California's Riverside County are struggling with a way to control the prevalent smell of manure from a nearby poultry farm.
The Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise reported that area residents have tried to have the Jong's Poultry Farm act upon the odors they create and some are eyeing relocation as a final resort to escape the foul smell.
"We're like prisoners in our home," Elizabeth Budlong, a resident in the nearby Victoria Grove community, told the newspaper. "The first time we smelled it, my husband thought it was a dead body."
Despite such complaints, the farm falls within government guidelines and it was built before the surrounding residential areas.
"The poultry farm was here first," the farm's attorney, Mike Schaefer, said. "We didn't ask that these houses be built."
The Press-Enterprise said that nonetheless, in an attempt to quell the problem, the farm's owner is building a $300,000 odor-control system to offer locals a breath of fresh air in the future.
Birthdays all the rage in top U.S. cities
MINNEAPOLIS, April 30 (UPI) -- Birthday parties thrown in major U.S. cities like New York and Los Angeles have the most potential for excess, recent research suggests.
Research by the organization Birthdays Without Pressure found parents in such major cities, including Washington and San Diego, succumb the most easily to increasing pressure to throw excessive parties for their children's birthdays, a University of Minnesota news release reported Monday.
Topping the study in terms of community pressure for extravagant birthday parties was New York, with Hawaii, Washington and New Mexico close behind.
The findings were based on data from 2,993 parents and were collected on the organization's Web site.
University of Minnesota professor Bill Doherty said the celebratory practice may seem encouraging to children initially, but could ultimately prove detrimental to the family dynamic.
"We're raising overindulged children who then feel entitled to more and more and bigger and bigger," he said. "This trend is creating more stress for parents and their stress affects children and in turn, creates difficulties for families."
Disappearances abound at Florida A&M
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 30 (UPI) -- A recent state audit of Florida A&M University has found 987 items have gone missing from the school, including a golf cart and a salad bar.
While university officials have maintained the stance that the missing items are mostly worthless, state auditors have stepped up their efforts, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Monday.
The total value of the missing items when they were originally purchased is estimated at $2.7 million. The list was compiled last September.
The list also featured 21 missing musical instruments, a pair of industrial popcorn makers and a $24,000 marquee sign.
Auditors have been unable to determine where exactly the property went and instead have focused on pushing the school towards more efficient accounting practices.
To aid in that effort and ensure no more salad bars go missing, the university instituted a policy this month that requires school authorities to be informed of all missing property.