Wrestler to have Romney tattoo removed
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- An Indiana pro wrestler who was paid $15,000 to have a Mitt Romney logo tattooed on his face said he wants the tattoo removed because Romney is a "sore loser."
Eric Hartsburg of Michigan City said Friday he decided to have the tattoo removed when he heard the former Republican nominee comment that he lost because President Barack Obama gave "gifts" to women, minorities and college students, the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported Monday.
"I could deal with being a part of a losing campaign, but to still stand behind Governor Romney with the positions he's taken post-election with the blame game instead," Hartsburg said. "To be such a sore loser about it, to me I can't walk around representing that."
Hartsburg, who said he is thinking about giving up wrestling for an acting career, said he will move to Los Angeles to undergo the removal process for his facial tattoo, which will be spread across several sessions over a year.
R.I. tree ceremony upsets some officials
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Rhode Island lawmaker said many people are "not happy" about Gov. Lincoln Chafee giving only 30 minutes notice before lighting the Statehouse "holiday tree."
State Rep. Doreen Costa said many people are "not happy" about Chafee giving only 30 minutes notice before Thursday's tree lighting and holding the event early in the day instead of the evening when more people would be able to attend, Tribune Newspapers reported Monday.
"People weren't able to go, but it's OK," she said. "We'll have an actual Christmas party."
Chafee, an independent, said at the ceremony he was trying to avoid some of the unpleasantness that surrounded last year's event when protesters interrupted the lighting to demonstrate against Chafee dubbing the shrub a "holiday tree" instead of a Christmas tree.
"Last year, unfortunately, this event turned into a very disrespectful gathering," Chafee said. "So let's light the tree, go and greet the performers and have a very merry holiday season."
Russian officials ask for Dec. 21 caution
MOSCOW, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A group of Russian politicians is asking media outlets to refrain from suggesting Dec. 21 will mark the end of the world.
Mikhail Degtyarev, an LDPR party member of the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, and deputy chair of the Duma Science Committee, said the group sent a letter to TV stations asking them to be wary of suggesting Dec. 21, the end of a 5,125-year long cycle for the ancient Mayan calendar, will bring about the end of humanity, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
"We discussed this and sent an official letter to executives at Russia's leading TV networks," Degtyarev said. "In our compatriots' interests, we ask you to pay attention to the dissemination of pseudo-scientific information about the end of the world in your media."
The letter called on media outlets to label any mention of a Dec. 21 apocalypse as unscientific.
The politicians said too much talk about the world's end could have negative effects on the mental and emotional states of residents and allow some con artists to victimize those who fear an oncoming end.
$9,000 lithograph bought for $12.34
MILWAUKEE, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin woman said the print she bought for $12.34 at a Goodwill store turned out to be an Alexander Calder lithograph worth $9,000.
Karen Mallet said she bought the painting at the Milwaukee store when she spotted the price tag and Calder's signature, and after some research discovered it was No. 55 of only 17 lithographs of the "Red Nose" abstract sketch made in 1969, WISN-TV, Milwaukee, reported Monday.
Cheryl Lightholder, communications manager for Goodwill in southeastern Wisconsin, said workers try to sort out valuables to auction on its website but some objects slip through and end up in stores.
"That's kind of part of shopping at Goodwill -- the thrill of the hunt," Lightholder said. "You never know what you're going to find."
Jacob Fine Art Inc. of suburban Chicago set the lithograph's replacement value at $9,000.