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Feb. 18, 2011 at 6:00 AM
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327-pound fish caught in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Mississippi wildlife officials said a man caught a potentially record-setting 327-pound fish, an alligator gar, in Chotard Lake.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said it weighed the 8-foot, 5 1/4-inch fish at 327 pounds after it was caught by Kenny Williams on the Issaquena County lake on Valentine's Day, WAPT-TV, Jackson, Miss., reported Thursday.

"At first I didn't think he was that big. But as I was getting him into the boat, it was like, 'How big is this thing?' It was a lot of effort just to get him into the boat," Williams said. "I don't even know how to describe it. It was just huge and hard to get into the boat."

Dennis Riecke of the wildlife department said the alligator gar may have been the largest ever caught and is definitely the largest on record caught in Mississippi.

Officials said Williams donated his catch to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.

Burglary suspect cut free from chimney

ARLINGTON, Texas, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A burglary suspect was arrested after firefighters cut him free from the Arlington, Texas, chimney where he was stuck, police said.

Tiara Richard, a spokeswoman for the Arlington police department, said Justin James Cain, 21, yelled for help early Wednesday, the Fort Worth Standard-Telegram reported. Police found him in a home chimney.

Cain was being held in lieu of $11,500 after being charged with burglary of a habitation. He was also charged with marijuana possession after officers said they found the drug in his 1996 Jeep Cherokee.

Plumber's 'once in a lifetime' ring rescue

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania plumber who retrieved a $10,000 ring inadvertently flushed down a toilet said it was probably a "once in a lifetime opportunity."

Kristen Kalis of Cranberry Township said she awoke to use the restroom at about 4 a.m. Monday and dropped her wedding ring while the toilet was flushing, WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Thursday.

Kalis said she searched her bathroom and eventually determined the ring must have gone down with the toilet water. She said she tried calling several plumbers, but they all told her there was no hope of retrieving the ring until Steve Cirigliano from Mr. Rooter offered to give it a try.

Cirigliano said he was unable to find the ring in the sewer lines using a camera so he shoved a shop vac into the main house trap in the hopes the ring was stuck inside.

"(I) stuck the Shop Vac down through there. It's about 4 feet deep (and I) sucked it all out. After all the water was drained, (I) unplugged the Shop Vac, took off the lid, dumped the water out and there was the ring," Cirigliano said.

Kalis said she was "screaming and yelling" when Cirigliano gave her back the ring.

The plumber said he was overjoyed to be able to help.

"I was pretty excited," Cirigliano said. "Once in a lifetime opportunity. Probably never happen again."

Sheriff: Man invented shooting story

HILLSBORO, Mo., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Police in Missouri said a man who claimed to have been shot during an attempted roadside robbery invented the story after accidentally shooting himself.

Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver "Glenn" Boyer said the 25-year-old man, whose name was not released, told deputies he stopped at the roadside Monday to assist a man who appeared to need help, but the man pulled a rifle and attempted to rob the motorist, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.

Boyer said the man claimed to have been shot in the hand while struggling with the gunman.

However, the sheriff said the man admitted after helicopter and dog teams were unable to locate the suspect that he made the story up after accidentally shooting himself while firing a gun at a feral cat in his yard.

The man, who was treated for his injury at a hospital and released, was arrested on suspicion of making a false report, Boyer said.

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