PARIS, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Security guards told a poor family visiting a Paris museum they had to leave because people were complaining about their smell, a charity official said.
The couple and a young child were on a free trip to the Musee d'Orsay with a charity that supports struggling families, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
The family was browsing a room with paintings by Van Gogh when guards told them they had to leave.
"I argued with the security man, telling him the family were all decent and properly dressed," said a worker with the charity Act for Dignity.
The director of the museum told French news sources he was saddened by the incident.
Claire Hedon, vice president of the charity, said she wrote to Aurelie Filippetti, the French culture minister, to complain about the incident.
Man in jail for stealing food from fridge
VIGO, Spain, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A man in Spain who stole food has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail, even though the owner of the food has not pressed charges, court officials said.
ThinkSpain said the man took a window out of its frame to get into the house in Vigo.
He stole sausages, lobsters and other food from the fridge inside the home, ThinkSpain reported.
The owner of the house could have received compensation for the food, but refused to accept it.
"I don't want anything. He stole food, he must have been hungry -- I hope he enjoyed eating it," she said in court.
ThinkSpain said the incident was the man's second infraction, and his sentence for the first episode was a suspended 3 1/2 year sentence he would only have to serve if he committed another crime.
'Cookie Monster' ransoms golden cookie
HANNOVER, Germany, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The culprit behind the theft of a golden cookie from a German company's headquarters dressed as Cookie Monster for a picture accompanying a ransom note.
Bahlsen headquarters in Hannover said the Leibniz cookie, which has been on display outside the facility since 1913, was stolen during the weekend and chairman Werner Behlsen offered a $1,353.90 reward for information leading to its return, The Local.de reported Wednesday.
The Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper said it received a letter Tuesday purporting to be from the thief. The letter was accompanied by a picture of the "Sesame Street" character pretending to take a bite out of the Leibniz cookie.
"I have the biscuit!" the letter reads. "You want it and therefore you want on one day in February, to give biscuits to all the children in Bult hospital. But those with milk chocolate, not those with dark chocolate and not those without chocolate. And a golden biscuit for the child cancer ward."
The letter demanded the $1,353.90 being offered as a reward be instead donated to the local animal shelter.
"This is serious!" the letter says. "Otherwise it will end up with Oscar [the Grouch] in the dustbin, really!!!"
The company said investigators are working to verify the letter is genuine.
Toronto schools stink, raccoon infested
TORONTO, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Parents of students at five schools in Toronto say they have banded together to get the school board to replace decrepit, raccoon infested portable classrooms.
The 20-year-old buildings are part of several overcrowded schools in the East York section of the city, the Toronto Star reported Wednesday.
"We deserve to be at the top of the list for capital funding," said Peter Saros, co-chair of the parent council at Secord Public School.
The lack of funding for schools in East York was "offensive," Saros said, adding, "We don't have political sway. If we speak out, it's not heard."
School trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher said the portables at two schools are "decaying and prone to infestations of raccoons." The stink, she said, is "incredible."
Schools that were already overcrowded were made worse when full-day kindergarten was introduced at one public school in the area. That forced some students to be shifted to other schools. In one instance, elementary school students ended up at a middle school not equipped for grade schoolers.
Cary-Meagher said the board passed a motion in June for one school to get $30 million in funding. The request was sent on to the province.
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