Girl, 12, leads police on 20-minute chase
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Police in North Carolina said a 12-year-old girl stole a parked truck and led officers on a 20-minute chase that reached speeds of 70 miles per hour.
Investigators said the girl, whose name was not released, got into a fight with her father Monday at their Gaffney, S.C., home and left after he fell asleep on the couch, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., reported Wednesday.
The girl apparently walked to the Veterans of Foreign Wars center about a quarter mile from her home and stole a truck from the parking lot. The girl drive through South Carolina back roads before being spotted by police in Charlotte, who thought she was a drunk driver.
Police said the girl drove through uptown Charlotte before getting back on Interstate 77. They said the chase reached speeds of 70 mph before slowing down enough that police vehicles were able to surround her.
The girl is facing multiple charges.
The owner of the truck said the vehicle had been parked at the VFW for about two weeks after it broke down. He said he does not know how the girl managed to start the vehicle.
$750,000 in checks, money orders in trash
BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A Florida man said he discovered more than $750,000 worth of checks and money orders in the trash at a gas station.
Demetri Cirillo said he was vacuuming out a rental van at the Marathon Gas Station in Boca Raton about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday when he spotted a stack of U.S. Treasury checks, American Express travelers checks, U.S. Postal Service money orders and Money Gram money orders, WPEC-TV, West Palm Beach, reported Wednesday.
Cirillo said the checks were made out to people in several states, including California, Idaho, Kansas and New Jersey. He said some of the checks were worth more than $156,000 each.
"I just came over here, I saw these checks laying in the garbage, so I picked them out. I started looking and my jaw dropped! I was totally dumbfounded! When I looked inside there, I was shocked!" Cirillo said.
Cirillo said he turned the 59 checks and money orders over to Boca Raton police.
Police: Mom got strippers for teen party
SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Authorities in New York state said a woman was arrested for allegedly hiring strippers to perform for the teen guests at her 16-year-old son's birthday party.
Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said Judy Viger, 33, hired two strippers from a company called Tops in Bottoms to perform in a private room Nov. 3 at the Spare Time Bowling Center in South Glens Falls, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.
Investigators said the women performed "personal and intimate" dances with the party guests, who were as young as 13 years old.
"The charges stem from an allegation that she endangered not only the welfare of her own child, but the welfare of the 14- and 15-year-old children that were at the birthday party as well," Murphy told the Glens Falls Post-Star.
Viger was arrested Monday and charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Tops in Bottoms officials said the dancers were unaware the party-goers were underage. Police said the company is cooperating with the investigation and employees are not facing any charges.
'GI Bill' parody draws official response
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office confirms it queried the Pentagon about a satirical report that Guantanamo detainees will get GI Bill benefits.
The parody appeared in The Duffel Blog, founded in 2012 by a Marine veteran and frequently described as a military version of the satirical news website, The Onion.
It quoted a fictitious Defense Department spokesman as saying, "By allowing the detainees to use the Department of Veterans Affairs, we hope to completely crush their souls with bureaucracy" -- and included a made-up quote attributed to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, saying his department is prepared to process detainees' GI Bill benefits claims "in 12-15 years as per standard operating procedure."
McConnell, R-Ky., wrote to a Pentagon official in November "on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits," Wired magazine reported Tuesday.
"I would appreciate your review and response to my constituent's concerns," he wrote.
Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, told Wired, "The very idea that the U.S. government would extend GI Bill benefits to enemy detainees is a patent absurdity."
"The senator's office had a request from a constituent asking us to inquire about an issue," McConnell spokesman Michael Brumas said. "Our office forwarded the constituent's question to the Defense Department."
The Duffel Blog carried articles Wednesday with such headlines as "Afghanistan declared gun-free zone" and "Change of command ceremony dissolves into giant orgy."