Esquivel selling $40,000 shoes
BUENA PARK, Calif., March 7 (UPI) -- California-based luxury shoemaker George Esquivel has broken a price barrier for men's footwear with a pair selling for $40,200.
The shoes, custom-made for a foreign businessman, sport ruby, diamond and gold buckles, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported. The buckles can also be used for cuff links.
Esquivel grew up poor in Southern California and once worked as a truck driver. Now he sells shoes to the likes of Kevin Costner and Drew Carey, people who can afford to pay several hundred dollars or more for style and comfort.
Business has been good in spite of the recession. He told the Register he expects income at Esquivel Worldwide to double this year.
"I try to build a recession-proof business," he said. "I don't need 10,000 people to buy my shoes to have a good year."
Bookie spooked by 'super dog'
LONDON, March 7 (UPI) -- British bookmaker William Hill is so spooked by rumors of a "super dog" he has stopped taking bets on which breed will win Crufts Best in Show.
Hill is worried because suddenly the previously unfancied category called "utility dog" is now the odds-on favorite in the breed betting. That includes breeds such as bulldogs, miniature poodles and Dalmatians.
The favorite usually comes from far more fancied pastoral, terrier, hound, toy, gun and working dog classes, the Telegraph said.
The show opened Thursday in Birmingham, England.
French mayor bans dying
SARPOURENX, France, March 7 (UPI) -- A mayor in southwest France has threatened residents of his village of Sarpourenx with severe punishment if they die because there's no room in the cemetery.
Mayor Gerard Lalanne posted an ordinance in the council offices advising the village's 260 residents that "all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish."
It added, "Offenders will be severely punished," Homes Worldwide said.
The 70-year-old mayor, who is hoping to be re-elected in local elections, told journalists, "It may be a laughing matter for some, but not for me."
Golfer allegedly killed bird
ORLANDO, Fla., March 7 (UPI) -- A pro golfer could face a $10,000 fine after his golf ball struck and killed a red-shouldered hawk at an Orange County, Fla., course.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Nationwide Tour player Tripp Isenhour was filming an instructional video at Grand Cypress Golf Club when he became angered by the bird, which repeatedly interrupted the shoot with its loud calls, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.
Isenhour hit several balls at the tree where the hawk was perched, eventually striking and killing the animal, the commission said. He has been charged with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird, both misdemeanors. He could face a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted.
A prosecutor has suggested Isenhour be ordered to perform community service at Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.