Orthodontist works on sea turtle
PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A Florida orthodontist fitted a 171-pound green sea turtle with braces, officials say.
The endangered turtle, named Andre after the Andre the Giant, a French wrestler who died in 1993, was found in June 2010, stranded on a sandbar near the Juno Beach Pier in Florida, The Palm Beach Post reported.
The turtle had been hit by a boat propeller, leaving two large gashes in its shell, one of which was the size of a human forearm.
He was brought to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a non-profit agency that rehabilitates injured and sick sea turtles.
There, marine life specialists found Andre had a collapsed lung, pneumonia, an exposed spinal cord and severe infections.
"I found a live crab inside," said Melissa Ranly, Marinelife hospital coordinator.
Turtle experts at the center cleaned his wounds and put black foam on them to promote healing.
Then orthodontist Alberto Vargas was called in to use braces to make a bridge from either side of the wounds to push and pull the shell together, promoting growth.
"We lessened the size of the hole," said Vargas, who is based in Abacoa.
After 13 months of treatment, Andre is ready to be released. His skin has covered the once exposed organs and is hard enough to withstand being in the ocean.
"Andre has a real spirit. That's what got him through this. We'll miss him," said Brittany Jo Miller, a spokeswoman for the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
Man sues Hilton over 75-cent newspaper
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A guest at the Hilton Garden Inn in Santa Rosa, Calif., filed a class-action lawsuit against the hotel over a 75-cent charge for a newspaper, officials say.
Rodney Harmon, 55, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He alleges the hotel chain deceived him and is also hurting the environment.
"He did not request a newspaper and assumed it had been placed there by hotel staff," his suit states. Harmon accused the Hilton of intentionally hiding the cost of the newspaper by using an "extremely small font, which is difficult to notice or read" on the sleeve of room cards.
The suit also says because newspaper readership and circulation have been declining, hotel guests are probably not even reading the papers placed at their doors. The unread papers are an "offensive waste of precious resources and energy," the suit states, adding "deforestation caused by paper production is a matter of concern and worry in this state, country and worldwide."
"The alleged consumer injury is substantial, causing millions of guests at defendant's hotels to unwittingly part with money for a newspaper they did not request and reasonably believed was provided to them without charge," the suit says.
Hilton representatives have not commented on the pending litigation.
Man's divorce blog starts free speech dispute
DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A bitter, divorced Pennsylvania man's blog has triggered a free-speech debate, officials say.
Doylestown resident Anthony Morelli created his blog, ThePsychoExWife.com, in 2007 as a way to blow off steam about his ex-wife, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.
But then his ex-wife, Allison Morelli, found out about the Web site and became very upset, calling it "heartbreaking" and potentially harmful to their 9- and 12-year-old sons.
At a June 6 custody hearing, Bucks County Court Judge Diane Gibbons ordered Anthony Morelli to take down the Web site and banned him from mentioning his ex-wife "on any public media" or saying anything about his children online "other than 'happy birthday' or other significant school events."
Over the following two days, Morelli posted two more entries, one saying he would comply with the judge's ruling and then another calling Allison Morelli "a f- psycho" and a "black-out drunk," and asked "what kind of f- judge gives the kids back to her?" He also wrote he would keep the blog going, saying, "The judge has no say over what I write here."
On June 14, Gibbons called the Morellis back to court, saying "It is not just venting that I have read in these pages. It amounts to outright cruelty," and had the Web site shut down.
In early July, Anthony Morelli hired a new lawyer to appeal the case to Superior Court, claiming Gibbons violated his right to free speech.
Some experts agree Gibbons' ruling abridged Morelli's free speech.
"I think the judge did overstep her bounds a little bit in ordering the Web site taken down," said Robert D. Richards, founding director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment at Pennsylvania State University.
Allison Morelli said she just wants the legal battle to end.
"What the judge said in court made perfect sense to me," she said. "Stop doing what you're doing, and do the right thing for your children.
Man's dead tree sculpted into Stanley Cup
EGGERTSVILLE, N.Y., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A hockey fanatic says he had a life-size Stanley Cup carved out of a dead tree stump in his yard to show his enduring love for his team, the Buffalo Sabres.
Doug Harbison of Eggertsville said he had the replica of the NHL championship trophy created as permanent way of showing support for his favorite team, The Buffalo News reported Saturday.
Harbison called a wood sculptor to transform an 8-foot-tall stump into the cup.
"I didn't even ask him how much," Harbison said. "I said, 'When can you do it?'"
Harbison originally dreamed of the cup being as tall as him, but wood sculptor Rick Pratt talked him into keeping close to the real-life dimensions.
"With something like the Stanley Cup, people identify with its size," Pratt said.
Some of Harbison's neighbors are upset by the sculpture.
"Honestly, I love the Sabres and I love the Stanley Cup," said Pam McKenna, a neighbor who lives directly across the street, "but I don't want to look out my kitchen window and see the Stanley Cup every day."
Amherst Council Member Mark Manna said he has received several complaints about the sculpture.
"They're worried about the noise and traffic issues," he said, adding "There's nothing against it legally. It's private property."
Harbison maintains the sculpture is good for the neighborhood.
"You can never see it enough. Never," he said. "And I've been to the Hockey Hall of Fame 10 or 15 times."