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Dec. 8, 2009 at 6:30 AM
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Mid-air rescue earns pilot bravery award

LONDON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A British pilot who put his plane on autopilot to rescue a parachutist dangling from the aircraft's wheel is being presented with a bravery award.

The Royal Humane Society said Garth Greyling was chosen to receive the organization's Bronze medal after Major Jeremy Denning became tangled on a wheel of the plane during a July 2008 jump over Bad Lippspringe, Germany, The Daily Mail reported Monday.

"In all the years we have been making awards for bravery we have never had an incident like this one," Royal Humane Society secretary Dick Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said Greyling set the controls to keep the plane as steady as possible then walked the length of the Turbo-Islander plane to cut Denning free.

"It was possible that any turbulence or the act of cutting the Major free could have put the aircraft in a dive," Wilkinson said. "Thankfully though all went as he had planned. The plane made a safe landing and after he had been cut free the Major was able to use his emergency chute to land safely."

GM unveils song for Chevy Volt

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- General Motors officials said "Chevy Volt and Me," a song promoting its latest electric vehicle, is playing once an hour at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Maria Roher, director of global Volt marketing for GM, said the song can also be heard with an accompanying photo montage at GM-Volt.com, Mlive.com reported Monday.

"'Chevy Volt and Me' explains what Volt is all about as a better EV in simple friendly terms," Roher said on the Web site. "We debuted it live at the LA auto show for anyone who wants to hear and see it come to life. It is running once per hour."

The song's lyrics include: "It's leaner, it's greener, it's cheaper, it's cleaner, whether you're in Albuquerque or in Pasadena."

The Auto Show runs through Dec. 13.

Survey: British don't feel wealthy

LONDON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A British insurance firm said its survey of professionals in the country found many households with income of about $160,000 do not consider themselves wealthy.

Hiscox said its survey of 1,100 British professionals found the majority of households earning about $160,000 do not consider themselves wealthy and would have to earn at least $251,000 to change their minds, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

However, Hiscox said about one-quarter of the respondents, who had an average income of $153,000, take at least two vacations in foreign countries each year and have at least $41,000 in savings.

The firm said many of those polled said they have scaled back expenses on vacations, restaurants and entertainment.

"Many of the working wealthy have suffered a crisis of confidence and have scaled back their spending and exposure to risk," said Steve Langan, managing director of Hiscox.

Man: Millionaire's family hiding body

CEE, Spain, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A Spanish taxi driver who claims to be the son of a deceased millionaire is accusing the man's family of hiding the body to prevent DNA tests.

Enrique Caamano of Cee, Spain, accused the three daughters of Crisanto Lopez, who died at the age of 81 in 2007, of hiding the deceased millionaire's body to prevent having to share the $17.8 million fortune he left behind, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

Authorities in Cee attempted to exhume Lopez's body last week to extract DNA for a paternity test but they found the grave had been robbed at some point in the past couple of weeks.

"How dare they so brazenly decide to hide the body?" Caamano said, accusing the family of hiding the body.

However, one of the daughters, Angelina Lopez, denied the accusations and suggested Caamano himself may have been behind the theft of the body.

"Perhaps he realized they were going to prove he wasn't the son and so he got rid of the body," she said.

Police: Stolen tree balanced on bike

PORTAGE, Ind., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Police in Indiana said they arrested a man who was allegedly trying to ride his bicycle home with a stolen Christmas tree balanced on the handle bars.

Portage police said they found Phillip Menefee balancing the $40 fir tree, which still bore a price tag, on his bicycle near a Mathisen Tree Farms lot after the business closed at 1 p.m. Friday, the Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune reported Monday.

Investigators said Menefee first claimed to have purchased the tree from the lot, but changed his story after officers told him the lot was closed. The suspect then allegedly told police he bought the tree at the Sunset Lounge bar, officers said.

Police verified that Menefee had been drinking at the bar and the business was not selling any Christmas trees.

Menefee, who was riding a bicycle with a homemade motor and no lights, was arrested and charged with theft and public intoxication. The tree was returned to the lot.

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