Feb. 13 American Oddities

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wedding dress returned 32 years after dry cleaner mix-up

WILLOWICK, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman had given up hope of seeing her wedding dress again after a dry cleaner mix-up three decades ago until her daughter’s friend saw photos of the dress on Facebook.

Michelle Havrilla was nearly speechless after getting the dress back last week for the first time since her 1985 wedding.

Her dress was put in the wrong box by a now-defunct dry cleaner in Willowick and stored in another family’s attic.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Ame Bartlebaugh found the dress on Feb. 4 when she went looking for her mother’s wedding dress.

She posted about the mix-up on Facebook, and Havrilla was reunited with the dress within a day.

Bartlebaugh hopes social media will help her find her mom’s dress before her own wedding next year.

 

Police: ‘Obit bandit’ targets homes of mourners at funerals

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — Police have arrested a man they say broke into people’s homes in Massachusetts while they attended wakes or funerals.

Authorities say they began to suspect 35-year-old Randy Brunelle during an investigation into a series of break-ins on Cape Cod. Brunelle previously had served an 18-month prison sentence on a 2012 conviction for breaking into a police officer’s home as the officer attended his mother’s funeral.

Barnstable police say they followed his car Friday while other officers went to homes of residents attending funerals.

Officers discovered a break-in and pulled Brunelle over. Police say they arrested him after finding jewelry in his pockets.

Brunelle, who police nicknamed the “obit bandit,” is facing multiple charges including felony breaking and entering. The Cape Cod Times reports that he ignored a reporter’s questions while entering court for his arraignment Monday.

 

New Jersey capital to use lasers, audio to get rid of crows

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s capital city is taking a high-tech approach to rid the city of an estimated 30,000 crows that are waking up residents and leaving droppings behind.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday will begin using pyrotechnics, lasers, spotlights, amplified recordings of crow distress calls and crow effigies to try to scare the birds away from Trenton.

USDA district supervisor and biologist Kimberly Clapper tells NJ.com crows and other birds in the winter form large roosts.

Clapper says the crows look for areas where there is less light and few people, such as parking lots.

Clapper says the methods have worked to clear crows from other urban areas.

USDA wildlife officials will spend four consecutive nights in Trenton until Feb. 23.

 

Dozens of nude models brave cold, rain for Polar Bear Paint

NEW YORK (AP) — Cold feet can’t stop naked models from parading around New York City.

Dozens of body-painted models walked through the chilly streets and posed for photos in a drizzle on Saturday as part of the Polar Bear Paint, a nude spin on the traditional polar bear plunges that see people in swimsuits dive into frigid waters to celebrate the New Year.

The Polar Bear Paint was organized by artist Andy Golub, who uses body painting as a way to promote human connection through art.

The models were painted in a Times Square studio and then gathered outside, where the temperature was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a fairly heavy rain subsided and then stopped.

Golub says the Polar Bear Paint models “almost brought the sunshine” with them.

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