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July 5, 2011 at 6:00 AM
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Groom denies stepmom's e-mail was PR stunt

LONDON, July 5 (UPI) -- A British man said his stepmother's scathing e-mail to his fiancee about her manners was not a publicity stunt for his recently formed catering company.

Freddie Bourne, 29, of London, formed the Mise-en-bouche catering company, which purports to specialize in "dream" weddings, with two friends June 16, and his stepmother, Carolyn Bourne, became the subject of headlines days later when her e-mail to Bourne's fiancee, Heidi Withers, was leaked to the Internet, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

The e-mail labeled Withers as "vulgar" and included a slew of criticisms on topics including her table manners, conversation topics and choice of wedding venue.

Freddie Bourne said the timing of the events was an "unfortunate coincidence."

"I categorically deny that any of this is a publicity stunt," Bourne said.

Bourne said his wedding to Withers is still going forward.

Cat rescued from New York barge

NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) -- A team of rescuers said their 5-hour search for a cat spotted stranded on a New York barge ended with the successful retrieval of the feline.

Animal rights activist Christine Berk said the cat, first spotted on the East River barge by Choltilde Testa while she was on a bike ride, received no help when Testa and boyfriend Robert Walker contacted police and firefighters, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

Testa and Walker sought help online and made contact with Berk and Pennsylvania animal rescue farm owner Joseph Newman.

The group met up with an Animal Care and Control officer and boarded the barge Sunday under the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge. Berk said it took them about 5 hours to corner the oil-stained feline.

"We really risked our lives for this cat," Berk said. "It was pretty rad."

Testa said she was hoping to adopt the cat, which was named Skipper by the rescuers.

Robber's doughnuts left uneaten

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 5 (UPI) -- Florida authorities said a man who robbed a Dunkin' Donuts didn't bother to eat a pair of pastries placed in a paper bag alongside the cash.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Department said a clerk at the Pasadena Avenue store in St. Petersburg told them she placed two doughnuts into the robber's bag of cash at about 6 a.m. Sunday to make him appear to be a normal customer and avoid alarming other employees, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Monday.

The cashier told investigators the man had displayed a handgun in the waistband of his pants.

Deputies said they discovered a suspicious vehicle in a nearby parking lot at about 8 a.m. Sunday and found the suspect, Michael John Ray, 26, leaning over in the front seat in an apparent attempt to hide.

Ray told deputies he committed the robbery to raise money for new tires. Deputies said they found a plastic gun inside the car along with the two uneaten glazed doughnuts. It was unclear from the report whether the cash was recovered.

Ray was taken to the Pinellas County Jail on a charge of armed robbery.

Eater wins fifth Nathan's hot dog contest

NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) -- Competitive eater Joey Chestnut won his fifth straight Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest at the annual Fourth of July event in New York.

Chestnut downed 62 hot dogs with their buns in the space of 10 minutes Monday at Nathan's Famous on Coney Island, finishing nine sausages ahead of second-place finisher Patrick Bertoletti, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

The eater fell short of his 68-hot dog world record, set at the 2009 competition.

"I'm feeling pretty damn good right now," Chestnut said. "At the end, I kept messing up my rhythm …(but) I just kept pushing."

Sonya Thomas took home the grand prize in the women's competition by downing 40 hot dogs.

Meanwhile, Chestnut rival Takeru Kobayashi, who was not allowed to participate in Monday's event because he refused to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating, downed 69 hot dogs in a concurrent event at the 230 Fifth bar in Manhattan.

"I think I showed them," Kobayashi said. "I'm very happy about my win today but I feel like I'm not at my peak. I think I could go up to 90 or 85."

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