Anonymous man drops rare coin in kettle
LEHIGH ACRES, Fla., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Someone in southwest Florida dropped a gold coin worth $1,700 in a Salvation Army red kettle bucket in memory of someone named Mimi, officials said.
For the past eight years, someone, likely the same person, has dropped a rare coin into random Salvation Army kettles, WBBH-TV, Fort Myers, Fla., reported.
The coins are always accompanied by a handwritten note that reads: "In loving memory of Mimi."
This year, Sherman Scott was working the kettle outside the Lehigh Acres Walmart when the coin was dropped off.
"I can recall a guy. I thought it was a check he was putting into my bucket," said Scott.
The coin that was given this year was a gold coin dated 1907 and valued at $1,700.
The Salvation Army believes they're coming from the same person.
"We would love to know who it is," said Sarah Clark, with the Salvation Army. "If the person would ever want to contact us and sit down, I'm sure we'd love to hear stories about Mimi. We all feel like we know her."
Scott described the man as a "white male, in his 40s, 5'7-5'8, red hair."
"I hope he comes back. I'll be watching out," Scott said.
Man gets jail for stealing, snorting ashes
SILVER SPRINGS SHORES, Fla., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- One of three men accused of stealing, then snorting human and canine ashes in Florida, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
Jose David Diaz-Marrero, 20, pleaded guilty in June to four burglaries, including one in which he and two others stole urns, that contained the cremated remains of Holli Tencza's father and her two dogs, the Ocala (Fla.) Star Banner reported.
The trio also allegedly stole about $1,500 worth of jewelry, a laptop, a DVD player and a 42-inch flat-screen television.
When questioned by detectives, the suspects said they thought the urns contained crushed pills and decided to taste and snort the contents.
Later, they realized they snorted were the remains of a woman's father and her two dogs.
"I recognize that I've made a big mistake," said Diaz-Marrero, who was sentenced Friday.
"I wish the victims were here so that I could tell them how sorry I am," he said.
Along with serving 8 years in prison, Diaz-Marrero was sentenced to six years probation, and to pay more than $20,000 in restitution to the victims in the cases.
One of Diaz-Marrero's accomplices, Matrix Andaluz, 19, pleaded guilty in June to the burglaries and was sentenced to nine years in prison and 12 years of probation.
The other suspect, Waldo Soroa, 21, still has a pending case.
Woman, 87, dances with Rockettes in NYC
NEW YORK, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A Florida woman, 87, said she had the dance experience of her dreams when she joined the Rockettes kick line at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
The Wish of a Lifetime Foundation of Denver teamed up with Brookdale Senior Living Center to fulfill the lifelong dream of center resident Pauline Clark of Clearwater to dance with the Rockettes, the New York Daily News reported.
"I feel like a celebrity. I have marveled at the Rockettes ever since I first saw them on TV," said Clark, who shot out a happy kick while clutching her walker under the music hall's marquee.
Clark has been dancing since her brother insisted she have lessons at age 7, the Daily News reported.
Clark, who had never before seen the Rockettes live, was treated Saturday to a matinee performance of the 85th annual "Christmas Spectacular" and was given a backstage tour.
Clark became the oldest person to participate in the Rockette Experience, in which about 50 guests take a dance workshop. Clark posed for photos with three Rockettes, the newspaper said.
"They were telling us to kick with the left foot and then to kick with the right, and so forth. I made out OK! I can always kick. I'm always dancing and using my legs," Clark said.
The silver-haired siren has eight decades of dancing under her feet, including her years teaching at the Arthur Murray School of dance in Tallahassee, Fla.
Clark dances at her senior center's happy hours.
"We do the jitterbug; we do the old waltz. I'm just one that loves dancing," she said.
Festivus pole added to nativity scene
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- This year, a nativity scene in Deerfield Beach, Fla., features a "Festivus pole" made of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, as well as a Menorah.
The pole, a reference to the Dec. 23 atheist "holiday" that became a pop culture hit after being featured in a "Seinfeld" episode, was installed Thursday by activist blogger Chaz Stevens, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Stevens said he had been trying to get the city to remove the nativity scene for five years, and this year he decided to ask for space to express his own beliefs.
"It's just 23 beer cans stacked 8 feet high and conveniently located 6 feet from baby Jesus," said Stevens.
"Think of how many people have died over the years to give us our freedoms," Stevens said. "So I've got to push back a little."