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Feb. 6, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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Crowd turns out for downtown cattle drive

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- About 38,000 people gathered in the historic district of San Antonio for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo's fifth annual cattle drive, organizers said.

The event Saturday took place after the city was hit by the winter's worst storm, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

"It never rains on my parade," said Alex Pena, who organized the pre-rodeo downtown cattle drive.

Pena said there were about 8,000 more people at this year's cattle drive than last year's, despite the poor weather conditions.

A parade was held after the cattle drive, which had 300 participants and included an Army marching band from Fort Sam Houston and vintage horse-drawn buggies and stagecoaches.

The cattle drive and parade serve as the kickoff for the rodeo and stock show that begin Thursday at the AT&T Center.

Retrial ordered after judge falls asleep

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A retrial has been ordered for an appeals court case in Gothenburg, Sweden, after the presiding judge fell asleep during proceedings, lawyers said.

"It is (a) very important aspect of the legal process that the person trying the district court decision is present," said prosecutor Margareta Esplund.

The judge, whose name was not reported, maintains he did not fall asleep during the trial but has nonetheless agreed to no longer preside over the case, Swedish news agency TT reported Saturday.

Esplund said all the signs of someone falling asleep were witnessed in court that day.

"Normally when a person falls asleep there are certain indications of this -- you start by closing your eyes and then the head falls forward ... followed by jerking movements as you pull yourself together," she said.

Man builds Egyptian coffin

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- An 89-year-old Florida man said he has spent the past 25 years and about $10,000 building an Egyptian-themed coffin.

"It's an unusual hobby and I'll admit it," said Fred Guentert.

Guentert, who lives near Orlando, said he began crafting the coffin in the mid-1980s, the Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday.

The coffin is hand-painted red, black, gold and green and is made of cedar to resist rot. The nearly 7-foot-tall box was created using chisels, files and sandpaper, and is held together with dowels and glue, Guentert said.

The lid is adorned with a hand-carved image of the Egyptian god Osiris, with other gods surrounding him.

Guentert said he has always been an admirer of Egyptian art. His fascination dates back to when archaeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, the year Guentert was born. He has a collection of Egyptian memorabilia, including statues and miniature masks.

Guentert said when he dies, he'll be wrapped in a shroud, embalmed and placed into the Egyptian coffin. A fiberglass mask of Osiris, the god of the afterlife, will be placed over his face.

Then, Guentert said, he'll be put into the ground, with no viewing and no funeral.

"Put me in the coffin and let me go," he said.

Soldier sets up ruse to propose

CHICAGO, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- An elaborate ruse staged by a U.S. soldier in Chicago culminated in a silent marriage proposal that spoke volumes.

National Guard Staff Sgt. Fred Herzfeldt lured his girlfriend of two years, JoAn Vargas, into an armory drill room on the premise that Herzfeldt's fellow soldiers were going to present him with an award.

With his family hiding out on the second floor of the building, Herzfeldt got on one knee and presented Vargas with a certificate that read, "Will you marry me?"

Vargas accepted immediately.

"I hardly even read it," Vargas told the Chicago-Sun Times. She said she doesn't usually appreciate a lot of attention.

"It's the only thing us guys have, how we propose," Herzfeldt said. "The rest of the wedding is for the women. The flowers, the tablecloths, everything down to everything is their decision. This is all we got."

As Herzfeldt placed the family diamond on Vargas' finger, she bashfully told him: "I'm so embarrassed. I'm so embarrassed. I'm so embarrassed."

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