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Feb. 28, 2008 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Former Mafia property becomes restaurant

CORLEONE, Italy, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A country property that once belonged to one of Italy's most infamous organized crime bosses is being converted into a restaurant and inn.

The three-acre property, which once belonged to jailed Mafia boss Salvatore "the Beast" Riina, will soon be a haven for those seeking traditional Sicilian cuisine and a bed for the night, ANSA reported Wednesday.

''There'll be room to feed 88 people, and 16 beds for people to stay over if they've had a bit too much,'' said Floriana Di Leonardo of the Pio La Torre Cooperative, which is carrying out the conversion.

''The days of Riina are long gone. All you'll find here now is good old country cooking and a nice comfortable bed," Di Leonardo said.

Riina, who headed the Mafia from the 1980s until his arrest in 1993, is currently serving multiple life sentences in prison.


Family captures suspected mailbox vandals

HATLEY, Wis., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Police in Hatley, Wis., said they arrested three vandals after family members who witnessed the suspects damaging their mailbox hunted them down.

Greg Fisher, 49, his son, Dustin, 18, and his wife, Kim, 47, said they pulled an all-night stakeout Saturday after their mailbox was damaged for the fourth time in two weeks, the Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald reported Wednesday.

Fisher said his family saw the occupants of a truck smash the mailbox between 2 and 3 a.m. Sunday and Dustin pursued the vehicle in his car. However, he was only able to obtain a partial license plate number before the truck sped off at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour.

The family contacted the Marathon County Sheriff's Department, but a deputy was unable to identify the vehicle with only the partial number. However, Kim and Dustin Fisher saw the truck hours later at a BP gas station and blocked the vehicle's means of exit until deputies could arrive at the scene.

A police report said two 16-year-olds were held on juvenile charges and a 19-year-old was held on suspicion of criminal damage to property.


Man forwarded nude pics of Internet lover

GLOUCESTER, England, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A Gloucester, England, man who e-mailed nude pictures of a woman he met through the Internet to everyone in her address book could face time behind bars.

Prosecutor said Stephen Hailes, 48, had entered into an Internet-based romance with Karen Parker, 36, a married mother of two, and became jealous after he hacked into her e-mail account and saw she had been flirting with other men, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

Hailes forwarded naked pictures Parker had sent him to everyone in her address book.

"She learned of his action when her friends contacted her and asked her why she had sent them naked photographs of herself," prosecutor Sharon Jomaa told Cheltenham Magistrates' Court. "In police interview the defendant said that he wanted her husband to realize what sort of woman his wife was."

Hailes has pleaded guilty to indecent and grossly offensive images by public communication network, and prosecutors said he could face jail time. He is scheduled for sentencing March 19.


Dromedaries drop by campus loading dock

HUNTINGTON, W.Va., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Marshall University students may have been tempted to quip "One hump or two?" after seeing two camels on the Huntington, W.Va., campus.

The ships of the desert milled around the loading dock of Smith Hall, a classroom building, as part of an international broadcasting class taught by Joanne Gula of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, The Parthenon student newspaper reported Wednesday.

"I thought it would help students realize there are other things around the world they'll need to discover," Gula said, explaining the animals' presence Tuesday was part of a class presentation.

Mary Beth Hampton, a student in Gula's class, suggested the camels be part of her her presentation on other cultures. Her father, Jack Hampton, just happened to own two and transported them to campus, Gula said

Gula said she didn't seek a permit or zoning exception for having the animals on campus.

"I'm not considering it a visit," Gula said of the live visual aids. "I'm just calling it a pit stop."

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