Van's GPS leads to robber's conviction
NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A New Yorker has been convicted of robbery after police used his vehicle's GPS to find him.
Kevin Cheeks was convicted Tuesday in a Queens court of holding up the Shinki Nail Salon in December 2009, The New York Post reported.
Claiming to have a gun, he herded four customers and three employees into the back of the salon and stole their valuables and $300 from the cash register, witnesses testified.
An employee saw him jump into his employer's ambulette, which he was using on his day off.
Police used the van's GPS to track it to the Bronx and then Cheeks' Queens home before returning to the company garage on Long Island, where Cheeks was arrested.
He also was seen on the salon's surveillance video wearing clothes found in his home.
Jurors took 2 hours to convict Cheeks, who faces up to 20 years in prison.
Beach visitors rescue washed-up squid
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A Florida lifeguard said he and a group of concerned beach visitors helped a 3-foot squid washed up on the sand return to the ocean.
Delray Beach Ocean Rescue lifeguard Conor Gorman said the squid seemed weak and was squirting ink when it washed up on the beach Tuesday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday.
"It's used to being in places that are dark and black," he said. "To be in the sunshine on the beach was not a good spot."
Gorman said beach-goers placed the squid in a cooler and attempted to release it in the water.
"He wasn't doing too good," Gorman said. "He was swimming like straight down and shooting ink. He was trying to swim against the current."
The lifeguard said he then walked the squid further out into the water, where it was able to swim away.
"He'll probably get eaten by a shark," Gorman said. "But I'd rather have (the squid) die in the ocean where it's supposed to."
Inmate loudly objects to his release
MEMPHIS, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A Tennessee nightclub owner held on drug charges has been freed -- against his will.
Prosecutors dropped felony drug charges against Thorne Peters Monday, citing inadequate proof, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
Since Peters faced only misdemeanor marijuana charges, Judge Bobby Carter Tuesday dropped his $25,000 bond and ordered him released on his own recognizance.
"You're sending me into the snow with a tank top and pajama bottoms?" Peters shouted.
"You've been in jail 19 months," Carter replied. "You only have a simple possession case left and the maximum punishment is 11 months and 29 days. You're entitled to your day in court, but I'm not going to hold you in jail all week. My job is to make sure you get a trial."
As Peters kept protesting his release, Carter had him removed from court. He set trial for Feb. 22.
Peters, 48, had been in jail since his Imbibrios Bar in Millington was closed down in July 2009 as a public nuisance for allegedly allowing drug use and sales.
Swedish 8th graders assigned sexual essays
TOMELILLA, Sweden, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Parents of students in a Swedish eighth grade class said they were shocked and outraged to learn their children had been instructed to write sexual essays.
The parents said the class of mostly 14-year-olds at the Kastanje school in Tomelilla were instructed as part of a Swedish lesson to write a half-page essay with "passion," detailing their past sexual encounters or sexual fantasies, The Local reported Wednesday.
"Just the thought that a teacher would sit and ask about their sexual fantasies makes me sick," a parent told the Ystads Allehanda newspaper on condition of anonymity. "Can they really do this? As a parent, it doesn't feel right and it irritates me that we're talking about a graded assignment in a Swedish-language lesson."
A teacher at the school said the assignment was part of a joint lesson the Swedish language department planned with the biology, and sex and well being departments. The teacher said the assignment will be reviewed next year.