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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Man says he's too infirm to grope

NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A New York restaurant owner said his age and health problems made it impossible for him to have committed the sexual assault he's accused of in a lawsuit.

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Silvano Marchetto, owner of the Da Silvano Italian restaurant, filed court papers saying he's "a 65-year-old man with health problems, bad knees and has even suffered a stroke," the New York Post reported Monday.

He said his health makes it "shocking" that Samuel Cruz alleged he "could not defend himself" against Marchetto repeatedly groping his genitals in a parking garage near the restaurant.

The court papers argue Cruz's federal lawsuit should be dismissed because he has failed to provide "any direct evidence, medical or otherwise, as to the approximate damages" he says he suffered.


NYC Illegal-dumping fines up 46 percent

NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- New York City records revealed the number of fines for illegally dumping residential trash in street bins increased by 46 percent in 2011.

The city Sanitation Department said the number of $100 fines increased from 2,512 in 2010 to 3,681 in 2011 partly due to an increase in complaints from residents and elected officials, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

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City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. of Queens said someone crammed a plastic garbage bag into the narrow opening of a street bin near his office last week. He said he wants to see the city increase the fine from $100 to $200 to discourage potential offenders.

"Clearly, more can be done when it comes to the abuses of our city garbage cans," Vallone said.


Boston Tea Party ship restored

GLOUCESTER, Mass., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Officials with the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum in Massachusetts said work on a 90-foot-long replica of one the ships has been completed.

The tall ship Beaver was to depart from Gloucester Marine Railways after months of restoration work and it will be replaced by a second ship, the Eleanor, the Gloucester Times reported Monday.

The Boston Globe said the vessel was a 1908 Denmark cargo ship that was renovated to be a replica of the Beaver.

Lauren Black of Boston's Conventures Inc. said work on the Beaver included replacing the frames, hull planks, deck, bow and stern. She said the Eleanor will receive a new hull.

Both ships are described as historically accurate, depicting vessels that were unloaded in the historic Boston Tea Party. They will eventually make the trip to Boston Harbor to become permanent fixtures of the museum, which is due to open June 25.

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A third ship, the Dartmouth, is set to begin construction in June, with a goal of having it ready for the museum in 2013.


Psychics summoned to appear before board

BOSTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Seven people accused of practicing as psychics without the proper documentation have been summoned to appear before the Boston Licensing Board, officials said

Local psychics are required to show documentation proving they are registered voters, have not been convicted of state or federal crimes and have permission from their landlords to operate their businesses.

Tremont Tearoom, Angela Mitchell Palm and Card, Ann Psychic Readings, Spiritual Energy Readings by Theresa, Stacy's Palm and Tarot, Psychic Readings by Crystal and Brighton Psychic were issued citations and the proprietors are scheduled to appear before the board Tuesday, the Boston Herald reported Monday.

"We recently discovered the oversight, and we're working on it," said Alex Palermo, owner of the Tremont Tearoom.

The Herald said officials from the other businesses could not be reached for comment.

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