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Nov. 30, 2007 at 6:00 AM
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Truck hits snowman, snowman hits car

LAPORTE, Ind., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A LaPorte, Ind., driver who hit a snowman in the street has agreed to pay for the damage the snowman's head inflicted on a neighboring car.

Amanda Boes said she saw the gray Ford F-150 pickup accelerate toward the snowman while she was watching out a window, the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported.

The snowman, which had been built in Boes' front yard but which was moved into the street by unknown culprits overnight, was destroyed by the impact with the truck, she told the newspaper. Its head was thrown into the back of Boes' mother's car and broke the rear window.

Neighbor Thomas Ross admitted to driving the truck into the snowman and has agreed to pay the $600 needed to replace the window, the Tribune said.

Hockey player mistakenly detained

CHICAGO, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Tuomo Ruutu was mistakenly detained by police who said he matched the description of a robbery suspect.

Bensenville, Ill., Village Manager James Johnson said police stopped Ruutu, who was taking a quick 5-minute jog after team practice, because he matched the description of a man who attempted to rob an apartment complex at gunpoint Tuesday, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Johnson said the robbery suspect, who did not get any money from the crime, fled the scene wearing a black hat, black jacket and black pants.

Ruutu was wearing his team sweat suit and a black knit hat when he was stopped.

"He met the initial description," Johnson said. "This was just an unfortunate coincidence."

Ruutu said his brief stay in the back of a police car was "a fun incident."

Johnson said an officer asked Ruutu for an autograph after his identity was confirmed and a witness to the crime said he was not the robber.

"I believe this was one of his son's favorite players," Johnson said.

Couple offers $10,000 for parrot's return

NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A New York couple has offered $10,000 for the return of an African gray parrot that disappeared from a pet-sitting business during the Thanksgiving weekend.

"Our baby, one of our most important family members, is gone," Leigh Ann Frankel told The New York Post. "Franklin is my child -- every day he wakes up and says, 'Hi, mommy, how are ya?'"

Frankel has owned Franklin for 16 years and says he saw her through a messy divorce and depression before she married Lee Frankel.

The Frankels left Franklin at Sutton Aviary while they traveled to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with Leigh Ann Frankel's mother. The bird was last seen Wednesday during a feeding.

Marcia Habib, the business' owner, said an employee who found the cage empty apparently did not realize the bird was missing and simply cleaned it out. She said someone might have sneaked Franklin out of the building by hiding him under a jacket.

Donations replace wind-blown cash

MONTAGUE, Mass., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Donations more than replenished the $1,000 an elderly Massachusetts woman lost in a freak shopping cart accident that sent her cash a-blowin' in the wind.

Mary Olive Corbiere, 83, left her purse in a shopping cart in a parking lot in Montague, Mass., Tuesday when a wind gust sent the cart under a passing delivery truck, The Republican in Springfield, Mass., reported. The cart broke free but the retired English teacher's purse didn't and friction from the truck's tires burned and shredded it.

When the purse finally released its contents, the ripped and singed cash flew out along the pavement. Police recovered some of it but most was picked up by passing motorists, the newspaper reported.

When word got out about Corbiere's predicament, donations poured in, police said, including a $1,000 check from a customer at a cafe that took up a collection.

Corbiere, who had taken the money out of the bank for Christmas presents and to pay bills, expressed her gratitude for the donations, saying she would donate the extra money she received to charity.

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