Earhart 'hair' found to be thread
CLEVELAND, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- DNA analysis of what was believed to be a strand of Amelia Earhart's hair found the item was actually thread, a Cleveland aviation museum said.
The International Women's Air and Space Museum at Burke Lakefront Airport said the item, given to the museum by the Smithsonian Institution 20 years ago, was loaned to a team seeking remains of the lost pilot and her plane on a Pacific island, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Tuesday.
Toni Mullee, executive director of the museum, said the group hoped to use the hair to check any DNA evidence discovered during the search, but testing on the item found it to be a piece of thread, rather than human hair.
"Not only wasn't it Amelia Earhart's hair, it wasn't hair at all," Mullee said. She said the thread will remain on display at the museum with an explanation of its origins.
Mullee said the thread was initially given to the Smithsonian by a man in Pennsylvania.
"We don't think it's a hoax," she said. "We think they thought they had something special and wanted an institution to have it."
Cafe owner gives up flamingo fight
BALTIMORE, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A Baltimore restaurant owner said she has relented to city officials and removed a large pink flamingo sculpture from outside of the eatery.
Denise Whiting said she and some volunteers removed the flamingo from outside of Cafe Hon before dawn Tuesday, three days before the deadline imposed by city officials, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.
Whiting said she placed 10 phone calls to various city departments but she was unable to convince officials that the flamingo does not count as a sign and should therefore be exempt from an $800 permit fee.
"It's not a sign. It's public art," Whiting said. "And maybe I have to pay a permit fee, but there are some things in the town that are unique and part of what make up the uniqueness of the town."
However, city officials said the flamingo is subject to a "minor privilege permit," which amounts to an annual fee, because it projects "into the public right of way."
Whiting said the sculpture, made of chicken wire and a bed sheet, was installed about seven years ago.
"I didn't want to incur any more wrath in the city about the bird," she said. "Nobody needed a permit after seven years, so why now? There are so many things Baltimore City can spend it's time on, and they choose this? I think they're a little misdirected."
Robber pauses to pray with victim
INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Police in Indianapolis said an armed robber took time out during his crime to pray with a cashier, but he still took money from the business.
Investigators said the man walked into Advance America at about 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon and made his intentions to rob the establishment known to cashier Angela Montez, the Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.
"He said that he hated to have to do this, but times were hard and he had no choice," Montez told police.
Montez said she began crying and asked the man to reconsider committing the crime, mentioning God. She said the man told her he had a 2-year-old to support and asked her to pray with him.
Police said the pair went down on their knees and prayed for nearly 10 minutes. Montez said the man took a bullet out of his gun, saying it was the only bullet, and gave it to her as a sign that he would not harm her. However, he sent Montez into a bathroom and took $20 in $5 bills from her cash register, leaving other cash behind.
Investigators said they have an image of the man's face captured from security camera footage.
Police: Burglar napped in freezer
RIDGE MANOR, Fla., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a man found napping in a closed pub's walk-in freezer was arrested and charged with burglary.
Investigators said Timothy Dean St. Clair, 49, used a screwdriver to pry open a locked door to the storage shed of the former Shakers Grill & Club in Ridge Manor early Sunday morning, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Tuesday.
Police said he discovered a can of tomatoes inside the shed and ate the contents before settling down for a nap inside the freezer, which was turned off.
A Hernando County sheriff's deputy discovered St. Clair sleeping in the freezer during a security check. The suspect was booked into the Hernando County Jail on suspicion of commercial burglary.