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Sept. 5, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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Police took joy ride, suspect claims

NEW YORK, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A fraud suspect in New York City claims police took his Mercedes-Benz convertible on a joyride and damaged it while he was in jail.

Richard Lewis, 25, said he was pulled over in Manhattan Aug. 3 for running red lights, and he and a passenger were arrested when police found 13 counterfeit credit cards in the vehicle.

"I was pulled over and arrested and my car was seized. I was at the precinct for 12 or 13 hours. I posted bail and was released the next week," he said.

New York City Police Department records indicate the car was in "good" condition when it was seized Aug. 4, the New York Post reported Tuesday, but when Lewis had it returned to him, "The back window was broken, my driver's side door was keyed and my bumper was scratched," he said.

On Aug. 15 he received a red-light violation ticket in the mail, he said. A traffic camera took a photograph of the car and its unidentified driver, committing a traffic offense in Manhattan while the car's owner was still in custody and the car officially in the hands of the NYPD, the newspaper said.

Marvyn Kornberg, Lewis' lawyer, said his client does not intend to pay the traffic ticket.

"The police department employee driving his car through a red light in a non-emergency situation should be required to pay the summons," Kornberg said.

Couple travel by horse to Packers opener

TOMAH, Wis., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Two Green Bay Packers fans are making a weeklong trip by horse-drawn buggy to Lambeau Field for their team's season opener.

Bob and Maren Retzlaff said they are taking the 160-mile trip from their Tomah home in their green-and-gold buggy to show support for the Packers in Sunday's season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday.

"We do this because we love the Green Bay Packers, but it's also a tribute to the team," Maren Retzlaff said Monday. "We have a great team. We have a lot to be thankful for. You don't appreciate it until you go to other stadiums where they don't have tailgating and police are arresting people."

Bob Retzlaff said this is the 11th time he has traveled by horse to a Packers home opener.

"Going out there at such a nice pace, you let the world go by. Most people are nice. Only 5 percent will say 'Get your horse off the road.' They're probably Bears fans," he said.

Obama sand sculpture survives rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A sand sculpture of President Barack Obama in North Carolina survived heavy rains during the weekend, the organization that commissioned it said.

Nora Battle, a spokeswoman for South Carolina's Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, which commissioned the sculpture to mark the start of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, said the 15 1/2 ton sculpture at BlackFinn Saloon in Charlotte sustained some damage to its arm and bust during Saturday's heavy rains, The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday.

Battle said the damage was repaired within 45 minutes Sunday morning.

The sculpture was created in three days by a team of five sculptors from Team Sandtastic of Sarasota, Fla.

Minn. dolphins headed to new zoo homes

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Zoo's last two dolphins will be moved to different cities soon as the zoo shuts down its dolphin exhibit after 34 years, zoo officials say.

The dolphins, Semo, 48, who has been at the zoo since 1991, and Allie, in her mid-20s and a zoo resident since 2008, have learned a range of tricks that have pleased zoo patrons for years, but haven't been the best of pals, say zookeepers, who believe they will benefit from different social settings.

"I am thrilled to see them go into a better situation," Diane Fusco, marine mammal supervisor, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Selfishly, I hate to see them go. It's kind of an emotional roller coaster."

The duo performed their last show Friday, though visitors will still be able to see the pair through Sunday. The dolphins are being introduced to special harnesses that will be used to transport them to yet-to-be-determined zoos.

Minnesota Zoo dolphin trainers will travel with the marine mammals and stay at their new homes for about a week to help them get acclimated.

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