UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

July 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM
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Facebook yoga teacher fired for stern look

MENLO PARK, Calif., July 11 (UPI) -- A California yoga teacher said she was fired from teaching employees at Facebook's headquarters for trying to restrict cellphone use during class.

Alice Van Ness, 35, of San Carlos said she was hired a few months ago to teach yoga to workers at Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters and she was fired in June after giving a female worker a "look of disapproval" for typing on her phone during class, the Palo Alto Daily News reported Wednesday.

"I understand it's a busy world we live in and you've got to pack it in, but it's beneficial to your whole system to let it go for an hour," Van Ness said. "An hour isn't too much to ask."

Van Ness said she was called into a meeting with her supervisor at Plus One Health Management, the contractor Facebook uses for its onsite gym and fitness programs, two weeks after the cellphone incident.

"They sent me packing, they didn't even want to hear my side of the story," Van Ness said. "They already had my paycheck ready."

The termination letter said the employee complained Van Ness has "made a spectacle of her" during the class.

A Facebook spokesman said the company has nothing to say on the matter since Van Ness was not a Facebook employee.

A Plus One Health Management representative declined to comment.

Stolen car recovered after 42 years

DALLAS, July 11 (UPI) -- A Texas man said an exotic car stolen from him nearly 42 years ago in Philadelphia turned up at a Los Angeles auto dealership.

Bob Russell said his 1967 Austin-Healey was stolen from a Philadelphia apartment complex in 1970, when he was a graduate student at Temple University, and he searched for the cream-colored car for four decades until he found it listed this year on eBay, the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday.

Russell, who still has the original keys and title to the car, said he contacted the dealership selling the vehicle and they offered to sell it back to him for $24,000, which he found unacceptable. However, he said Los Angeles police were unable to help him because there was no record of the theft in the national database.

Russell said he contacted Philadelphia police and they were able to determine the car had been listed under the wrong VIN number in the FBI database, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. They were able to fix the error without having to file a new stolen vehicle report.

The car owner said Los Angeles authorities were then able to impound the car and he was able to travel to California and retrieve it for a $600 impound fee in June.

Man accused of stealing $1.89 candy bar

BRADENTON, Fla., July 11 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said a man accused of stealing a $1.89 Snickers bar apologized to the arresting deputy for wasting police time.

The Manatee County Sheriff's office said a deputy responded to a 7-Eleven store Tuesday where Edward Hodapp, 42, of Bradenton was accused of stealing a large Snickers bar, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Hodapp allegedly told the deputy at first he hadn't stolen anything, but the Snickers bar was found in his pocket during a search and security camera footage allegedly showed him taking the candy bar from the shop.

The sheriff's office said the deputy again questioned Hodapp about the candy bar and the suspect responded by holding his hands out to be cuffed.

The arrest affidavit said Hodapp spoke to the deputy on the way to the jail, saying he "was really sorry for wasting your and the clerk's time tonight ... I should have just stayed at home."

Hodapp was charged with petty theft/shoplifting.

Police: Woman swallows, pawns stolen ring

SALT LAKE CITY, July 11 (UPI) -- Police in Utah said they arrested a woman accused of swallowing a diamond ring and later pawning the stolen item.

Investigators said a worker at the Macy's store in Salt Lake City told police Angela Hardman, 38, asked to try on a $4,100 engagement ring and used lotion to remove it when it became stuck on her finger, the Deseret News, Salt Lake City, reported Wednesday.

However, the worker said the woman handed back the security tag with a counterfeit ring and left before police arrived.

Police said an officer checked surveillance footage and saw Hardman put her hand to her mouth and pull the fake ring from her pocket after getting the real one unstuck from her finger.

Hardman told police she pawned the diamond ring for $600, the report said. She was charged with one count of retail theft, a third degree felony.

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