A World Apart...Crystal ball fails to conjure up elusive retriever


A World Apart...Crystal ball fails to conjure up elusive retriever

Rotisserie chicken, bacon, dog toys, more than a dozen volunteers, and even a psychic have not been enough to find Murphy, an elusive golden retriever whose owner’s five-month search for her beloved pet has captivated one mountainous area of Vermont.

Neighbours have pulled together to try to find three-year-old Murphy since he was spooked by a car crash and ran off onJune 29, going door-to-door with posters, looking for tracks, and setting out food and traps.

He’s been spotted numerous times, in backyards and on trail cameras in Waterbury Center, about 13km from the crash. But any time someone gets close, the cagey canine darts off.

“I definitely think he’s still in the fight-or-flight mode because he seems to run from everybody,” said his owner, 24-year-old Kirstin Campbell, of Morrisville.

Campbell had Murphy with her when her vehicle went off the road and hit a tree in Stowe. She let the dog out after the crash and he ran away, traumatised. He was seen around the resort town in the summer but ended up venturing south to Waterbury Centre, apparently along the one main road between the towns.

At one point, a Massachusetts pet psychic who claims to be able to communicate with animals was enlisted. The psychic told searcgers Murphy was on a parallel path to a road where they had lost track of him and that she was seeing his name.

Ice queens


Letters to Santa have revealed that Disney has overtaken Lego as children’s most wanted present this year.

Royal Mail said the traditional toy has been replaced as the most popular item, with merchandise from Disney film Frozen now the favourite, ahead of Lego and bikes, which took second and third place respectively.

The postal service said it analysed a proportion of the several hundred thousand letters sent from children — before sending them on to the North Pole — and has compiled a list of the top 10 most-requested toys.

The results show tablet devices have grown in popularity as a new entry on the list at number six, while One Direction merchandise made only eighth place, falling from second place last year.

Traditional toys are still firm favourites with Barbie, Snow Glow Elsa, and Monster High dolls all on the list.

Peppa Pig remains a favourite, moving from 10th place to seventh this year.

Flying machine


A BMW sports car went airborne and sailed through the roof of a home in San Diego County, California, but the residents inside weren’t hurt.

The crash happened shortly before 12.30am on Wednesday in Escondido.

Police said the driver of a BMW lost control during a turn, went off a road and plunged through the roof of a home that sits about 6m below the roadway.

Sgt Jim Lanigan says the car was a loaner from a dealership and the driver fled.

Homeowner George Strother says the BMW landed on the hood of his Nissan Pathfinder in his garage and knocked the ceiling down onto another car. He and his wife weren’t hurt.

Police say it appears the driver of the BMW wasn’t hurt either.

Red faces all round


A theatre has apologised after pornography was accidentally sent to children.

Families were expecting to receive recordings of summer school performances from the Edinburgh Playhouse but some DVDs with “highly inappropriate” sexual content were sent instead.

Bosses said the “horrifying” error was made in the duplication process of the DVDs through a third-party company which has also apologised for the mistake.

Rustling not ruled out


More than 150 cattle valued at about $350,000 (€282,000) have been reported missing in Idaho and authorities are not ruling out modern-day cattle rustling as beef prices have soared.

Three ranchers say round-up searches in recent weeks on the remote range where the cattle graze have come up empty. Police say they have little to go on because it is not clear when the cattle might have disappeared.

US cattle industry officials say beef prices are at record highs due to a combination of factors, which include past droughts that caused cattle numbers to shrink and growing global demand for beef.

Recipe with a difference


Authorities say a woman arriving at John F Kennedy International Airport was carrying something extra in the packets of custard and milk powder in her luggage — cocaine.

US Customs and Border Protection says a police dog alerted its handler to a suspicious suitcase at the New York airport. The suitcase’s owner was a woman arriving from Georgetown, Guyana.

A baggage check turned up three packages of milk powder and three packages of custard powder. The substance inside was examined and tested positive for cocaine.

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