QUIRKY WORLD... Widow’s tribute falls flat after balloon lifted

BALLOON STOLEN AT ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FEST

Police say Lucinda Wallace’s hot air balloon was taken early on Saturday morning from the Nativo Hotel. The suspect also took a trailer holding the balloon and a Chevrolet Suburban with a California licence plate that reads “baluner”.

Wallace says daughter

Marilyn was going to fly it in memory of her father. Rick Wallace died more than two months ago of cancer.

The balloon is blue with a rainbow design and a US flag on the side. Meanwhile, the family flew back to their Santa Monica, California, home to get another balloon and drive back to the Fiesta.

USA: A road crew in Washington state has had it with a beaver that persists in building a dam under a bridge.

Crews have removed a beaver dam three times since August. Each time the beaver rebuilds it near Port Orchard, on the west side of Puget Sound, across from Seattle. One was as large as 40ft long and 3ft high.

Kitsap County Roads Superintendent Jacques Dean said he appreciates how industrious the animals are, but the water threatens to undermine bridge abutments.

The county decided to spend $15,000 (€11,917) to hire a beaver trapper.

FRIENDLY THRASHING

ENGLAND: A non-league football team secured a prestigious friendly against international opposition — then lost 22-0.

Cheadle Town were subjected to the thrashing by Russia’s Under-19 team on Sunday. The Cheshire-based team were 1-0 down within four minutes of the kick-off at Mottram Hall.

By half-time their Russian opponents were 9-0 ahead, but they enjoyed an even more productive second half, notching another 13 goals.

LOST PHONES

ENGLAND: Mobile phone owners lose more than 190,000 handsets in the back of London taxis each year, according to research.

Internet security firm ESET surveyed 300 cabbies and found that on average a driver finds around eight forgotten mobile phones in their taxi each year, with around half of them not being secured by any type of pin code or other means, leaving private data vulnerable.

Mark James, a security specialist, said: “Today we use our mobiles for a multitude of tasks, whether it’s our online banking or connecting to corporate email systems, and we do not want our devices to fall into the wrong hands.”

CASH TRAIL

USA: The city of Folsom has completed the first section of the Johnny Cash Trail that will pay tribute to the country music singer and his 1968 album At Folsom Prison.

City officials unveiled the first section of the 2.5-mile trail on Saturday — a pedestrian and bike bridge designed to echo Folsom State Prison’s east gate guard towers, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The trail will cover prison property in California and link to other local trails. The newspaper reports that the city is planning a fundraising drive to pay for a two-acre park next to the bridge and art installations along the trail, including a 40-foot steel statue of Cash.

MARIJUANA MIX-UP

USA: A man says officers looking for drugs mistook his okra plants for marijuana.

Dwayne Perry of Cartersville, Georgia, told WSB-TV he was woken by a helicopter flying low over his house before heavily-armed deputies and a dog unit showed up at his door. They were from the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression and looking for marijuana plants.

What they had seen, apparently, were Mr Perry’s okra plants and a shrub at the end of his house. He said the officers ended up apologising.

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