Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Small Bits of News You Didn’t Know you Needed

Flight Crew Bailed After Drugs Found in Bags
British customs officials say a South African Airways crew arrested after drugs were found in bags at London Heathrow Airport have been released on bail.
HM Revenue and Customs said Wednesday that three pilots and 12 flight attendants on the flight from Johannesburg to London were questioned overnight and have been released on unconditional bail pending further inquiries. They were told to report to a police station in March.
The crew were arrested as they passed through customs Tuesday after officials found 110 pounds of cannabis in three bags. One of the bags also contained around eight pounds of cocaine, worth around $222,000.
The airline confirmed the crew members had been released and said they were cooperating with authorities.
Passenger Opens Emergency Door on Delta Flight
A man is in custody after opening an emergency door on a Delta Air Lines flight that landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Tuesday afternoon.
Phoenix police have not released the man's name.
Police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson says the 37-year-old man arrived in Phoenix from Salt Lake City about 4:30 p.m.
Thompson says the flight taxied into the gate at Sky Harbor Terminal 3. As people were getting off the plane, the man opened an emergency door and walked out on the plane's wing. The man was later detained by runway personnel until police arrived.
Police and federal authorities questioned the man. Thompson says charges are pending.
Postal Worker Hoarded Mail Instead of Delivering
There were jokes and snickers at a Michigan post office when customers learned that an overwhelmed carrier had rented a storage unit to hide thousands of pieces of mail.
"I heard a couple of people come in and say, 'Can I pick up my mail — or is it in storage?"' said Annette Koss, the postmaster in Howell, 50 miles northwest of Detroit. "We just didn't understand it. It's such a stupid thing to do."
Jill Hull pleaded guilty Tuesday to deserting the mail, a misdemeanor. The case is rare but it happens: From North Carolina to North Dakota, carriers in recent months have been hauled to court for failing to fulfill their routes.
Mail has been found in basements, garages and, in Hull's case, a self-storage unit in Michigan's Livingston County. In North Carolina, a mail carrier admitted to keeping junk mail buried in his backyard.
In September, after she had failed to pay her bill, managers opened Hull's unit and discovered thousands of pieces of unopened mail, including 988 first-class letters. Some had postmarks from 2005.
"I was unable to deliver all the mail," Hull, 34, said during a brief hearing in federal court in Detroit.
In a court filing, postal investigator Douglas Mills said Hull had planned to catch up with late payments and apparently keep the mail under lock and key until she died.
No one on the rural route had complained about missing any mail.
"Looking back at her time sheets, she was leaving early everyday," said Koss, who became postmaster shortly after the discovery. "It's like it got dark and she didn't know what to do with the mail."
Michigan Boy, 8, spent 10 days with dead mom
An 8-year-old boy lived for over a week with the body of his dead mother before telling a concerned shopkeeper his mom was "in a better place," police said. Gaynell Tipado, 41, apparently died Jan. 9 in their apartment in the Detroit suburb of Romulus, and the boy survived in part by eating dried rice, butter and flour, authorities said.
Lee Saco said the boy and his mother came into Romulus Liquor regularly for about a year and a half. But four times during the past week the boy uncharacteristically walked about a block to the store by himself _ sometimes through Arctic cold and other times wearing pajama bottoms.
"I questioned him, 'Where is your mom?'" Saco said when the boy first came into the store by himself to buy milk, chips, candy and bread with cash. During the next two visits, he said the boy bought a number of items, including bread.
Saco, who co-owns the store with his brother Sam, said he was curious from the beginning but his concern heightened on Monday when the boy tried to buy $34.80 worth of grocery items including nacho cheese dip, a package each of processed ham and turkey, hamburger buns, milk, doughnuts and candy with his mother's credit card.
Saco then asked the boy if he could speak to his mother. "She's in a better place," the boy replied, who later told Saco he'd tried to revive his mother by pushing on her chest in an apparent attempt at CPR.
"I sat him down, gave him chocolate milk. Then I called Romulus PD," Saco said.
Police arrived and took the boy home. They called Saco about 10 minutes later to tell him the boy's mother was dead.

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