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Feb. 19, 2013 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

44 tons of tomatoes thrown in Chilean city

QUILLON, Chile, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Officials in a Chilean city said about 7,000 people lobbed tomatoes at one another for the third annual "War of the Tomato."

The event, inspired by the tomato festival in Bunol, Spain, involved more than 44 tons of tomatoes being thrown Saturday in Quillon, CBS News reported Monday.

The War of the Tomato was founded by local man Miguel Pedreros and some friends two years ago, but this year they handed control over to municipal officials.

The city obtained their tomatoes from local farmers aiming to boost the national profile of their crop.


Man ordered to demolish castle

REDHILL, England, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A British farmer who used haystacks to conceal construction of a castle on his property has been ordered to tear down the structure.

Robert Fidler, 63, was ordered by the Planning Inspectorate to demolish Redhill, England, castle at the end of a six-year planning battle, The Sun reported Monday.

Fidler concealed the castle, which includes ramparts and canons, behind a 40-foot stack of hay bales and tarpaulin for four years in an attempt to circumvent planning rules using a rule stating property built without permission but unchallenged for four years could not be "enforced against."

However, the Reigate & Banstead Council said in 2007 Fidler's castle would not be granted retroactive planning permission because he "set out deliberately to deceive" the council.

"His actions in constructing the dwelling house behind a wall of straw bales, and then living in the building for over four years before the bales were removed, was intended to conceal the building and its use from the council's knowledge and thus prevent any enforcement action being taken before it was too late," Inspector Sara Morgan wrote in the council's report.

Fidler previously said he would take the battle to the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary.

"This house will never be knocked down. This is a beautiful house that has been lovingly created. I will do whatever it takes to keep it," Fidler said.


Zookeepers hand-raise baby gorilla

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Officials at a Texas zoo said they are hand-raising a 17-day-old gorilla that appeared to have been rejected by her mother.

Jerry Stones, facilities director at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, said Kiazi, a gorilla on loan from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, gave birth Jan. 29 and soon seemed to have rejected the baby, The Brownsville (Texas) Herald reported Monday.

"The mother just ignored it and walked away; every once in a while there's a female that does that," Stones said.

Stones and his ex-wife, Cindy Stones, supervisor of the Small World exhibit, where the zoo keeps baby animals, have been caring for the infant gorilla.

"You know what it's like to stay up all night?" Cindy Stones said. "She got up every 2 hours last night."

The baby will be transferred to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden within the next week, officials said.


School phones 'locked' by bill collector

BRUNSWICK, Ohio, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- An Ohio school district said its phone lines are being "locked up" by an overseas bill collection company.

Brunswick Schools Superintendent Mike Mayell put out an automated message Friday to parents saying the company's constant calls were preventing other callers from getting through to the district's central office phone lines and voicemail system, The Medina (Ohio) Gazette reported Monday.

"I'm calling to let you know our central office phone lines and our voicemail system is being locked up by a foreign company," Mayell said in the automated message. "We informed them that we are a school district and their response was, 'We don't care.'"

Brunswick police said a district employee arranged with the collections agency to pay off the bill in installments, but it did not stop the calls.

Officials did not reveal the nature of the bill behind the calls.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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