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Weekly weird news: Feb. 22

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 12:01 am

Cleanup crew returns discarded Ohio birthday card

MEDINA, Ohio — A birthday card containing a $50 bill is back with the intended recipient thanks to northern Ohio sanitation workers who spotted the unopened purple envelope in the trash and drove it to the home where it was mistakenly discarded.

Lucy Hamer tells The Medina County Gazette she was stunned and impressed when the workers showed up at her home with the card her sister-in-law had sent her.

Worker Josh Kerns remembered noticing the card in the trash can and says he held onto it and eventually opened it to make sure it wasn't something important. He said $50 is a lot, and it needed to be returned.

Hamer jokes that she may have been spared an awkward encounter with her sister-in-law if she never thanked her for the gift.

Case dropped against woman jailed over unreturned video

PICKENS, S.C. — The owner of a now-closed video store in South Carolina has decided to drop charges against a woman accused of failing to return a movie nearly a decade ago.

Pickens County sheriff's deputies said the owner decided to not pursue the charge because of the media attention that 27-year-old Kayla Michelle Finley's arrest received.

Finley rented the movie "Monster-in-Law" from Dalton Videos in 2005. The owner took out a warrant against Finley, and she was arrested last week when she was at the sheriff's office for something else and the warrant was found. Finley spent the night in jail before she was released.

Working phone numbers for Finley and the defunct store's owner could not be found.

Bag of pot found in donated pants

SUGARCREEK, Pa. — An act of charity may end badly for one donor to a Pennsylvania Salvation Army outlet.

Sugarcreek Borough police say they were called when workers found a large plastic bag of marijuana among some donated clothes.

Police Chief Matt Carlson tells the (Oil City) Derrick he suspects the owner of the drugs has noticed them missing by now, if only because the bag contained a "substantial quantity" of pot.

Police were working with store employees to determine who donated the clothes and when. Police say the drugs were found earlier this week.

The chief says this isn't the first time officers have investigated an unusual item among donated clothing saying, "we've had guns ... cash ... rings, and now marijuana."

Stolen '57 Chevy returned to owner after 30 years

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Three decades after it was stolen, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air has been returned to a Northern California man — in better shape than when he originally owned it.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports Ian "Skip" Wilson was shocked to get a call from the California Highway Patrol informing him that his long-lost Chevy was taken off an Australia-bound cargo ship.

The 65-year-old says the car has had a lot of work done on it since it disappeared from his Lake County home in 1984. It was returned with a monogrammed interior, 17-inch racing wheels, rack-and-pinion steering and a 350-horsepower V-8 engine.

The retired mechanic says the two-door was in sorry shape when he bought it for $375 in 1975 with plans for fixing it up.

Pizza worker caught urinating in sink fired

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia pizza restaurant has been shut down after a district manager was caught on surveillance video urinating into a sink.

Pizza Hut Corp. spokesman Doug Terfehr said Wednesday the company was made aware of the video Tuesday and fired the employee shortly thereafter. The restaurant in Kermit, about 85 miles southwest of Charleston, was then closed indefinitely.

The video dated Jan. 29 shows the manager urinating in a metal sink in a food preparation area. The incident occurred after business hours.

The restaurant is owned by Wichita, Kan.-based Rage Inc. The company's website says it owns Pizza Huts in seven states. In West Virginia, it also has locations in Ceredo, Chapmanville, Danville and two in Logan.

Rage referred questions to Terfehr, who issued a statement saying the company was "embarrassed by the actions of this individual."

The employee's name wasn't released.

Cleaning woman in Italy throws out artworks

ROME — A cleaning woman in southern Italy has unwittingly thrown away contemporary artworks that were supposed to be part of an exhibition.

Lorenzo Roca, head of the cleaning company, said the woman "was just doing her job" when she thought two artworks were part of trash left behind by those setting up for the show that opened Wednesday in Bari.

Show organizers said one of the works she gave to a city sanitation crew before dawn included pieces of cookies, which were scattered on the floor, as part of an artistic arrangement.

Roca said the cleaning company would use its insurance coverage to pay for the trashed art works, whose value was estimated at 10,000 euros ($13,700).

Kentucky judge not fooled twice

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky judge might have been fooled once, but not twice.

The State Journal in Frankfort reports Franklin District Judge Kathy Mangeot originally fined Gary Thompson $100 and waived court costs when he was arraigned Tuesday morning in a trespassing case. She said in a later hearing that he used a fake voice designed to gain sympathy.

After the arraignment, Mangeot says she searched Thompson's name on the Internet and found news coverage in which he told Lexington TV stations last year that he faked having a disability while panhandling.

Mangeot ordered him hauled back into court and told him several times not to speak during the proceeding. She called him a "con artist," told him to pay court costs and increased his fine.

"I also understand based on the interviews that I watched you speak in, that when you wish to speak in a clear, understandable voice, you do so," Mangeot said. ".The voice you used with me this morning was a voice that I feel certain you were trying to garner sympathy from this court by indicating that you maybe had a mental condition that did not permit you to speak clearly."

She also warned that he would be held in contempt of court if he trespassed on the property in question again and jailed.

WLEX-TV in Lexington reported that Thompson said he used to be a millionaire. He told the station he got a $2.4 million settlement in 1993 over a motorcycle crash, but he blew it all.

Woman says she woke, found intruder asleep in home

MOUNT DORA, Fla. — A Florida woman says she awoke to find an intruder asleep on her couch.

Police say they arrested the man Tuesday at a home in Mount Dora and charged him in connection with some recent business burglaries.

Orlando station WFTV reports the woman heard snoring coming from her living room while she made her coffee.

She said she then found the man asleep on her couch, covered with a blanket, and that he had helped himself to a beer from her refrigerator before falling sleep.

When police arrived, they say they woke him up by removing the blanket and found him holding a butcher knife taken from the kitchen. Police say evidence found on the man linked him to recent burglaries and a car break-in.