United hails its 10-million-mile man
CHICAGO, July 11 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area auto sales consultant has become the first United Airlines frequent flyer to log 10 million miles in the air.
Tom Stuker of Bloomingdale, Ill., set the record somewhere over Iowa Saturday on United Flight 942 from Los Angeles to Chicago.
Champagne was popped during the flight, and when he landed at O'Hare, United Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smisek and other executives welcomed him with the first titanium Mileage Plus membership card, MSNBC reported. His name also was painted on the fuselage of a Boeing 747 jet, after already adorning one of United's 777s.
Since joining United's Mileage Plus program in 1982, Stuker has flown 5,962 flights, including travels to all 50 U.S. states, 200 round trips to Australia and nearly 30 round trips to Asia, the airlines says.
In a rare display of dedication to air travel, he has spent five consecutive days in the air on three occasions, living on airplane meals, The (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald reported.
"I love the solace and peacefulness at 40,000 feet," he said. "That's where I do my best creative work writing my training materials."
Woman wants child support after 34 years
NEW YORK, July 11 (UPI) -- A New York woman says she is suing her ex-husband for unpaid child support -- 34 years after their divorce.
Frances Ragusa, 75, and her former husband, Philip, 77, are locked in a bitter court fight over nearly $100,000 in unpaid child support, the New York Post reported Monday.
At issue, Frances Ragusa said, is her ex-husband's alleged failure to pay a $14,393.57 child-support judgment agreed to as part of their divorce settlement in 1977 after 17 years of marriage -- a figure that has grown with interest to about $100,000.
A succession of lawyers has been kept busy on the case for the last 34 years, even though the Ragusas' three children have long since grown up.
Several months ago, Frances, of Staten Island, reportedly called her former spouse for the first time in more than 30 years to try and end the fight.
Philip, a retired carpenter who lives in a Boston suburb, hung up on her, she said.
Last month, she gave a deposition in the case being heard before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Leon Ruchelsman.
"I want justice, that's all. My family did not deserve what he and the system did to us," she said.
Her lawyer characterized the legal battle as one of the strangest he'd seen.
"There's no doubt that this is an oddball case," attorney John Russo said. "A judgment so old is not usually enforceable, but with a child-support judgment, it is."
Bus rider outraged at urinating driver
TORONTO, July 11 (UPI) -- A Toronto bus passenger was outraged after seeing a bus driver urinate on a subway station, officials say.
Rider Gary Pieters witnessed a male Toronto Transit Commission bus driver lean on the Runnymede subway station June 15 and begin to urinate in plain sight of other bus passengers and pedestrians, the Toronto Star reported.
Pieters said he then immediately contacted the transit commission by phone to alert them to the problem and followed up a week later with more identifying information.
Chris Upfold, the commission's chief customer service officer, sent an e-mail response July 5, acknowledging that what Pieters witnessed was unprofessional and unacceptable, as well as telling Pieters the employee had been identified and appropriate actions taken against him.
Gator caught in Boca Raton
BOCA RATON, Fla., July 11 (UPI) -- Boca Raton, Fla., residents were surprised to find a 7-foot alligator roaming the city's Country Park neighborhood, officials say.
Word about the gator spread fast, WPTV of West Palm Beach, Fla., reported Sunday. "Nobody can visit us," lamented 10-year-old Camillo Villegas.
When police arrived, they set up a perimeter, while Bryan Mudd, an alligator control agent with the Division of Fish and Wildlife, began to creep up behind the reptile.
"Once you get his mouth taped, he's pretty much safe," said Mudd, adding "You drag it you let it get tired so when it's tired it's easier to handle. I let it beat itself up."
Alligators that are over 5 feet long are processed for their meat and hide, and thus was the fate of this big guy.