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Watercooler Stories

March 1, 2013 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Girl sends apology for sticks from park

YOSEMITE, Calif., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A Reddit user who says he's a ranger at Yosemite National Park shared a letter from a junior ranger that apologizes for taking home two sticks from the park.

The Reddit user, who goes by the name of bestmattever, uploaded a photo of a hand written letter from a girl identified as Evie, KPIX-TV, San Francisco, reported Wednesday.

In the letter, Evie said she accidentally brought home two sticks -- which were attached to the note -- from her time as a junior ranger in the park.

"I know I'm not supposed to take things from the park, so I am sending them back. Please put them in nature," Evie wrote.

Bestmattever said he wrote back to the girl and her parents, commending her for her honesty and promising to put the sticks back in the park.

The letter was trending on Reddit on Wednesday and has received more than 7,000 likes on Yosemite National Park's Facebook page.


Newark Mayor Booker gives romance a nudge

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker helped give love a nudge when he helped a New York lawyer propose to his girlfriend.

Israel Burns, who attended law school in Newark from 2009 to 2011, contacted Booker via Twitter, and the mayor offered to lend his assistance, BuzzFeed.com reported Wednesday.

Burns wanted to ask his girlfriend, Misha Wright, to marry him at the place where they met last year -- the Asian American Bar Association of New York's annual dinner at in New York, the BuzzFeed.com account said.

While at the event Wednesday, Burns excused himself, leaving his cell phone with Wright. Booker called and told Wright he'd met her boyfriend and she should come upstairs to join them, BuzzFeed.com said.

Wright found Burns waiting for her with two glasses of champagne, a ring and a poem he wrote, the report said.

She said yes.

Asked why, Booker told BuzzFeed.com, "You know, I'm a romantic guy and I love to help with surprises."

Booker gave a Twitter shout-out to Burns: "Israel! Congrats on ur engagement. Thanks 4letting me play a small part in the proposal. May ur love 4 each other ever increase @israelburns"


Fake stomach failure provokes complaint

BEIJING, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A woman on a Beijing subway with a fake pregnancy stomach, to enhance chances of getting a seat, complained to its maker after it fell off, officials said.

The woman, whose last name was Zhang, wore the silicone stomach on the train and was "found out and mocked" by other passengers when its waist belt came loose. Monday she lodged a complaint to the Liyuan Industrial and Commercial Bureau over the quality of its manufacturing, officials at the bureau told The Beijing News.

The bureau refused to take her seriously, saying she did not use the product "as a consumer should for daily use."

Fake stomachs are typically sold as theatrical props, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday, noting the incident provoked thousands of Chinese to assail the woman with Internet comments.

"I can't believe how disgraceful this woman is," said one, another calling her action "the most shameless complaint in history."


Man charged after missing crowbar report

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A Florida man who reported a missing crowbar to police faces charges after he allegedly admitted that the tool was used in two home invasions.

Nathaniel Lee Smith, 29, of Lauderdale Lakes, called police to report the missing crowbar, along with other personal items, the South Florida Sun Sentinel said.

"A small crowbar, a miniature crowbar, uh, my black skully was with my book bag, uh, my wallet is missing, everything," Smith is heard saying in a 911 tape released Wednesday.

Mike Jachles, a spokesman with the Broward Sheriff's Office, said investigators looked into Smith's claim, but in the end did not believe him.

Smith then allegedly admitted he made up the theft to cover for the crowbar and skullcap after he dropped them during an attempted home invasion.

Smith allegedly admitted to using the crowbar in two robberies. The first was on Sunday at the Hawaiian Gardens condominium. A gunman with a crowbar entered a condo and ordered residents to the floor. The man rummaged through the home, taking jewelry, cash, cellphones and a laptop, officials said. No one was injured in the incident.

The second incident happened Tuesday at another condominium.

Residents Jacques Baillargeon and Louise Morin were relaxing with their front door open when a gunman carrying a crowbar stormed in. Baillargeon, 66, sprayed the gunman in the face with window cleaner and managed to disarmed the suspect, who then fled, dropping the crowbar and skull cap, Jachles said.

Smith was charged with kidnapping and armed home invasion and was being held at the Broward Main Jail without bond.

© 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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