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April 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM
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Police: Arson suspect mad about snoring

SALT LAKE CITY, April 1 (UPI) -- Police in Salt Lake City said a man charged with setting fire to his wife's clothing while she slept was upset about the woman's snoring.

Investigators said they responded last week to the home of Bryce Ray Whitaker, 60, on a report of a fire, the (Salt Lake City) Deseret News reported.

Whitaker told officers he let a candle on his gas stove and used it to ignite his wife's pants and a box while she took a nap. He said he decided to light the fire after he and the woman argued about "her snoring and her stuff."

Police said Whitaker woke his wife up when the fire got out of control and they fled the house.

Whitaker was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with a first-degree felony count of aggravated arson.

Man attending 50th Mets opener

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., April 1 (UPI) -- A New York state man said he is taking a trek to New York's Citi Field Monday to attend his 50th home opener for the New York Mets.

Robert Ostertag, 81, of Poughkeepsie, said he and his friends are making the trip to the Queens borough Monday to continue the home opener attendance tradition that he began in 1964 with the first game ever played in Shea Stadium, The New York Times reported Monday.

"We did it in '65, '66, and kept on going, and, lo and behold, I made it to 30 and I started to wonder if I could get to the number 50," Ostertag said. "I will probably keep it up as long as I can."

Ostertag said he expects the team, which he said lacks strong pitchers, hitters and outfielders, to lose more than 100 games during the coming season.

"I'm a born pessimist and I've never been disappointed," he said. "I could have been a Yankees fan but it wouldn't have been as much fun."

Red-tailed hawk lays Easter egg

PHILADELPHIA, April 1 (UPI) -- Bird observers in Pennsylvania said a hawk celebrated Easter by laying her third egg in seven days.

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where the hawk made her nest on a window ledge, set up a webcam feed for enthusiasts to observe the hawk, dubbed "Mom" by fans. When the bird laid her first egg Monday, observers said she was on track to lay another egg Thursday and a third on Sunday, a prediction that came true, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

Hawk watchers said the past three springs have seen Mom lay three eggs, each spaced three days apart.

The observers said Mom's former mate, "Dad," was killed by a truck in the spring, and the watchers were shocked when another male hawk came into the picture and took up the father's role.

"All of us who know red-tailed hawks just marveled at that. There's been no recorded case of all that; it's brand new," said John Blakeman, a retired master falconer and biology teacher in Huron, Ohio. "Usually that's in the off-season. What's brand new is a floater coming in to take up the duties of a deceased tiercel, or father, who is providing all the food during the early incubation."

Blakeman said the eggs will hatch in about a month.

Three of four stolen reptiles recovered

FRESNO, Calif., April 1 (UPI) -- Police in California said they have recovered three of the four reptiles stolen from the Discovery Center in Fresno.

Sgt. Mike Palomino of the Fresno police said suspect Devin Michael Madej, 20, was identified and arrested after officers received tips from children, The Fresno Bee reported Monday.

Police said Zu Zu, a savannah monitor lizard stolen in last week's break-in, was found near the center Thursday and Chief, a red-tailed boa constrictor, was recovered from Madej's home at the time of his Friday arrest.

The suspect was able to direct police to Kaa, a ball python, which was found in the same area as Zu Zu.

Police said they are hoping to find Naala, another ball python, in the coming days.

"We're three for four," Palomino said. "A major league baseball player wishes he had a day like that."

Madej is accused of breaking into the Discovery Center and taking the reptiles along with children's toys, the phone system and a security monitor.

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