QUIRKY WORLD ... Man arrested for sex toy theft after popping the question

USA: A Michigan couple’s engagement is off to a rocky start.

Police say a 25-year-old man proposed to a 20-year-old woman at a Bay City Wal-Mart store, in front of employees and other shoppers who congratulated them, on December 30.

But that same night, William Cornelius Jnr was accused of shoplifting at a nearby store and arrested. Court records show the items included an edible thong and a sex toy.

The Bay City Times, citing court records, reports that his fiancee admitted stolen jewellery was in her possession. Investigators confirmed Cornelius bought an engagement ring at Wal-Mart for $29.

Joke bombs

USA:

A grenade that led authorities to evacuate a county courthouse was a gag gift for the newly elected sheriff, authorities said.

Beaver County sheriff, Tony Guy, ordered the evacuation as a precaution, after the box addressed to him was X-rayed with other incoming mail.

The novelty gift included a disarmed World War II grenade mounted on a plaque, with a sign reading, ‘Complaint department. Take a number.’

A numbered, plastic ticket was attached to the grenade’s pin. The sheriff said he didn’t recognise the sender’s name.

“When I saw the name on the package, that’s the first time I’d seen the name or heard of the person,” Guy said.

County detectives quickly tracked down the sender, who explained he was simply a fan of Guy’s and wanted to welcome Guy into office with a funny gift.

District attorney David Lozier said that the sender won’t be charged with a crime, because his intentions were innocent.

But Lozier issued a warning to others.

“Just because this is legal does not mean it’s smart,” he said.

Undisputed champ

USA:

A man has won prizes worth $2,000 because he was the only person to enter a contest to celebrate a Michigan city’s 150th anniversary.

Taylor Langstaff had to do 25 activities in the Bay City area and stamp them off on a ‘passport’ to win the prizes, MLive.com reported.

He was the only person to submit a fully-stamped passport. The activities included seeing a show at The State Theatre, enjoying a beer at Tri-City Brewing, and going on a holiday tour of homes in Bay City’s Historic District.

Langstaff’s prizes included restaurant gift certificates, a year-long membership to the Bay Area Family Y, Bay City-branded T-shirts and a four-person pass to sail aboard the Appledore IV tall ship.

Because Langstaff was the only entrant, he received all of the prizes for the top-ten places. He’s a native of the city and volunteers at the Bay County Historical Museum. “I love Bay City so much that this was pretty easy,” Langstaff said.

Better days

PORTUGAL:

Happy days are here again, in Portugal — four of them, at least.

The country’s new socialist government got parliament’s approval to discard one of the most unpopular legacies of recent austerity by bringing back four public holidays that were cut two years ago.

The reinstated holidays are All Saints’ Day; Corpus Christi; October 5, commemorating the 1910 establishment of the Portuguese Republic; and December 1, marking Portugal’s 1640 return to independence, after 60 years of Spanish rule.

The holidays were cut by the previous, centre-right government to improve productivity, after Portugal’s €78bn bailout in 2011, amid Europe’s financial crisis.

But ridding Portugal of austerity is a badge of honour for the government, which took power in November.


Lifestyle

Flexibility naturally declines with age but there’s a lot you can to stay supple through the decades, says Peta Bee.At full stretch: How to stay flexible through the years

Simon Prim is owner of Simon Prim Book Shop, Main Street, Kinsale, Co Cork, which sells second-hand books.‘Kinsale is a welcoming town, and everyone is encouraging’

The Everyman hosts Ronan FitzGibbon’s play about singsongs along the Blackwater, writes Marjorie BrennanA river runs through it: Everyman to play to host to Blackwater Babble

WHEN I think about the kind of child I was, I would say that I was the exact same kind of person that I am as an adult. I have always been fascinated by things that I don’t quite yet understand. I recognise that I hardly understand anything and that most of the world is and always has been so beautifully complex to me.School Daze: Chris Hadfield - I realised at a young age that teachers were fallible

More From The Irish Examiner