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Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Woman with 300+ rats being evicted

PLOVER, Wis., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Authorities in Wisconsin said a woman found to be living with more than 300 rats running loose in her trailer home is being evicted.

The Portage County Sheriff's Department said Darlene Flatoff will be evicted from her Birch Tree Estates home in Plover within the next 10 days after health officials discovered the woman has been keeping more than 300 rats loose in her home since March of last year and possibly longer, the Wausau Daily Herald reported Thursday.

Officials said the rodents and their droppings are posing a health risk. They said Flatoff bought her first rats from pet stores and they eventually reproduced with wild rats.

"The health department is looking for me to meet with them in person along with the exterminator," Birch Tree Estates owner Luke Hilgers said. "Just to make sure that the exterminator's plan to address the issue will satisfy their expectations."

Officials said the eviction was planned after Flatoff failed to abide by an order to rid her home of rats by Jan. 17.


Man quits over 666 on tax form

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Tennessee man who quit his job after receiving a W-2 tax form stamped with the number 666 said he was trying to save his soul.

Walter Slonopas, 52, resigned as a maintenance worker at Contech Casting LLC in Clarksville, Tenn., last week because accepting the form stamped with 666 -- believed by some to be the "number of the beast" associated with the apocalypse -- would be a one-way ticket to hell, The Tennessean, a newspaper in Nashville, reported Thursday.

"If you accept that number, you sell your soul to the devil," he said.

Slonopas said he was initially given the number 666 to clock in when he was hired in April 2011 but his complaints led to it being changed to 668. He told the newspaper he resigned after the number reverted to 666 when the company changed time clock systems three months later but he returned to work a few days later when the company apologized.

Bob LaCourciere, vice president of sales and marketing for the Revstone Corp., which owns Contech Casting, said he was shocked the mistake was repeated with a stamp on Slonopas' form.

"I am completely at a loss for words," he said.

LaCourciere said Slonopas will be issued a replacement form and he hopes the worker can be convinced to return to the company.

However, Slonopas said he will not return to Contech.

"God is worth more than money," he told The Tennessean.


1865 baseball card fetches $92K

BIDDEFORD, Maine, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man who paid $92,000 for a baseball card said the object is an investment for his son's future medical costs.

Jason LeBlanc of Newburyport bought a 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics card Wednesday for $92,000 at the Saco River Auction Co. in Biddeford, Maine, the Portland Press Herald reported Thursday.

The card, which may be the last of its kind, was found by an antiques picker in Baileyville, Maine, last year.

LeBlanc said the card is an investment for his 4-year-old son, Alex, whose health problems require frequent hospital stays. The boy's mother died after giving birth, LeBlanc said.

"Alex is everything to me, and this is something I hope pays off," the father said.


Monti adopts dog on TV

ROME, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was presented with a small white dog he dubbed Empatia during an appearance on a TV program.

Monti appeared Wednesday evening on La7 TV program "Invasioni Barbariche" and host Daria Bignardi showed him a picture of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi kidding his new puppy, Vittoria, ANSA reported Thursday.

Bignardi then asked Monti if he would also like to adopt a dog and brought out the small mixed-breed canine.

Monti said holding the fluffy dog felt "magnificently good."

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