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March 5, 2009 at 6:00 AM
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Fencing plan for officials draws criticism

NAPLES, Italy, March 4 (UPI) -- A proposal to use fencing lessons to help relax public officials in Naples, Italy, has drawn criticism from some other local officials.

ANSA reported Wednesday that the plan was approved by Naples' provincial government to ease stress levels among officials with "bonding" courses and psychological training.

The provincial councilor for human resources, Giuseppe Capasso, said he was ''amazed'' such a ''comical'' initiative had been approved.

''I'd like to pass it off as a joke but in fact it's a slap in the face of every provincial worker at a time when we're struggling with pay and job cuts,'' Capasso was quoted by the Italian news service as saying.

A fellow councilor, Francesco Emilio Borrelli, urged the unidentified official who approved the plan "withdraw this disgraceful initiative."


Police: Woman did not pay for Botox

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 4 (UPI) -- Police in California said they are searching for a woman suspected of receiving Botox treatments at two clinics and then slipping away without paying.

Newport Beach Police Department spokesman Sgt. Evan Sailor said the woman, described as between the ages of 45 and 50 with brown eyes and brown hair, received three injections of Juvederm and one of Botox at Dr. Jon Glazer's Newport Beach office Jan. 6 and left the clinic without paying, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Sailor said a woman whom investigators believe to be the same person received Botox shots Feb. 23 at the Nulooks Med-Spa and again left without paying.

The spokesman said the woman gave her name as Miriam Flemings on the first occasion and used the name Miriam Gombar during the second incident.

Sailor said the woman could face grand theft felony charges if she is apprehended.

Sgt. Steve Burdette said police currently have no leads as to the identity of the Botox bandit.

"She just ran off, expressionless," he said.


Mysterious shaking hits Calif. county

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 4 (UPI) -- Residents of Orange County, Calif., reported a mysterious shaking that experts said was not caused by an earthquake or space shuttle.

Dozens of residents across the county reported the shaking, which they said mostly caused windows and doors to rattle, at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, a time that Edwards Air Force Base said did not line up with any space shuttle activity, the Orange County Register reported Thursday.

Bob Dollar, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, ruled out an earthquake as the cause of the shaking.

"We did not record any earthquake tonight that could have caused this kind of shaking around Orange County," he said.

High explosive activities were scheduled for Tuesday at U.S. Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, but a base official said he did not notice any shaking and sounds and vibrations from live fire exercises at the base are rarely noticed beyond the southern-most portion of the county.


Grandma chases down purse snatcher

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 4 (UPI) -- A Texas grandmother said she jumped in her car and chased down a man who shoved her and snatched her purse in a Fort Worth parking lot.

Val Renfro, 65, said she was getting into her car outside of an Office Depot when a man, identified by police as Ricky Lee Sample, 47, pushed her twice, snatched her purse and fled on foot, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.

Renfro dialed 911 on her cell phone and began chasing the man in her car. She gave the operator a detailed description of the suspect while she followed the suspect and shouted for him to give her purse back or she would hit him with her car.

The mother of three and grandmother of four said she hit the man once with her car but he continued running until bystanders who joined the chase on foot cornered the suspect and retrieved the purse.

Renfro said Sample shouted apologies to her when they both arrived at the police station. She was giving a statement and he was under arrest on a charge of aggravated robbery.

"I thought, 'How do I respond to that?'" she said. "He said it a third time and I said, 'Apology accepted. God bless you.'"

Sample was held at the Mansfield Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

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