Watercooler Stories

Sept. 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Man seeks return of stolen lawn flamingos

MANSFIELD, Mass., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man said he is hoping for the return of his 39 lawn flamingos and he turned a ransom note over to police.

Arthur O'Neil said 39 flamingos in colorful costumes have been taken from his Mansfield lawn since May and a ransom note he received in August that used the name "Arturo," a moniker he bestowed on one of the birds, was received with a phone number, The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

O'Neil said he turned the note over to police instead of calling the number, but no arrests have yet been made.

"I understand the police have more important things to worry about, but it hurts," O'Neil said.

O'Neil said he will stop displaying the plastic lawn ornaments if any more are stolen.

"If they steal more, I'll say that's the end,'' O'Neil said. "No more."

Macy's employee retires after 73 years

NEW YORK, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The chief executive officer of Macy's stores was on hand in New York for the retirement celebration of a woman who has worked for the store for 73 years.

CEO Terry Lundgren presented a bouquet of flowers Wednesday to Rose Syracuse, 92, who decided to end her 73-year run at the store after injuring her hip in a fall six months ago, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Syracuse said she would not have retired if she hadn't become injured.

"This was my first job and I didn't go anyplace else," Syracuse said. "I was happy here."

Lundgren said Syracuse's feat is unlikely to be matched.

"For us to be able to say that we've had anyone work for our company for 73 years is just a milestone that will never again be repeated," the CEO said.

Syracuse said she will never fully say goodbye to the store.

"I don't shop any place else," she said. "I'm still a customer."

Men arrested over staged machete attack

LAWRENCE, Mass., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Police in Massachusetts said three men were arrested following a staged act involving a simulated machete attack at a public festival.

Lawrence police said the staged attack, which was being filmed by the performers, featured a man in a coat similar to those worn by the gun-toting teenagers in the 1999 Columbine High School attack in Colorado simulating a machete attack on the other participants in the crows during the 89th annual Feast of the Three Saints, the Boston Herald reported Thursday.

"They had a guy with a machete in a Columbine-type coat," Lawrence Police Chief John Romero said.

Participants in the stunt, which police said involved copious amounts of fake blood, told officers they were filming a scene for the Internet.

"They were disturbing the peace. Clearly people were in fear," Romero said.

Josette Osorio, 19, who police said was the man wearing the trench coat, was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

Mark Hatch, 48, who Romero said was the film's director, was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, as well as disturbing the peace.

Vincent Bencivenga, 29, of Lawrence was charged with disturbing the peace and making a false report.

Man got store credit for stolen toilet

SOMERSET, Pa., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania State Police said they arrested a man caught on camera stealing a toilet from a store and immediately returning the item for store credit.

Investigators said Bobby Clifford Smith III, 32, was caught on camera Aug. 28 taking the toilet from a Lowes home improvement store in Somerset and going directly to the customer service line, where he exchanged the toilet for $667.34 in store credit without presenting a receipt, the Johnstown (Pa.) Tribune-Democrat reported Thursday.

Smith was arraigned Tuesday on a retail theft charge and held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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