Nation briefly, July 9
Business pays man’s late DVD rental
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A business has helped an Oklahoma man who had been facing a more than $200 fine and a warrant for his arrest for an overdue movie rental he had forgotten about after becoming homeless.
Tulsa television station KTUL reported Lonnie Perry had rented the movie “Ted” in 2014 from a store in Claremore, northeast of Tulsa.
Shortly after that, he became homeless and packed up the movie along with his belongings.
Perry had forgotten about the rental until recently, when he got a call and a letter from the Rogers County District Attorney’s Office.
Perry didn’t think he could immediately pay the fine.
But Jeff of All Trades, a Tulsa handyman company, went to the movie rental store and paid everything Perry owed on the unreturned DVD.
Lawsuit claims cornhole caused injury
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The owners of a popular dinner cruise ship in Virginia are being sued by a customer who says the ship’s no-skid flooring worked too well.
The lawsuit in federal court accuses the Spirit of Norfolk cruise ship of inappropriately using no-skid flooring on a part of the ship where cruisers play the game cornhole.
The plaintiff, 66-year-old Jeffrey Makuch, said he took a cruise on the ship in June 2016 and fell while playing cornhole. He said the no-skid floor made it impossible for him to properly shift his weight while stepping to throw a beanbag.
The cruise ship owners have filed a reply denying their flooring presents a risk.
The Virginian-Pilot reported the lawsuit seeks roughly $375,000 in damages.
Man joins aviation club of octogenarians
SAND HILLS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man is the newest member of an elite aviation club: the United Flying Octogenarians.
According to a Panama City News Herald report, only about 1,500 pilots nationwide have registered as flying after the age of 80.
Saturday, Dick McFadden joined the club with a birthday flight over Sand Hills in his 1950 Novian Super B model airplane.
McFadden said he was in denial about his eligibility status, adding that he doesn’t feel 80 years old.
McFadden started flying 40 years ago. He said he plans to continue flying as long as he can pass the physical requirements.
Membership in the United Flying Octogenarians is open to anyone who piloted a fixed or rotary wing, glider, sport or balloon aircraft on or after their 80th birthday.
Police tweets draw attention to cold case
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A California police department is drawing attention to a 45-year-old murder case by tweeting about the crime as if it just happened.
The Newport Beach Police Department just south of Los Angeles took to Twitter Saturday to tweet about Linda O’Keefe, an 11-year-old girl kidnapped while walking home from school July 6, 1973.
The girl’s body was found the following morning in a nature preserve.
The department suspended its normal Twitter content to draw attention to the case and posted as if Linda herself were talking to the audience.
The series of tweets includes one that reads: “I was murdered and my body found in the Back Bay. My killer was never found.”
The tweets became a Moment on the social media site and have been gaining attention under #LindasStory.
Land owners getting letters on border wall
ROMA, Texas (AP) — More property owners along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas have said they’ve received notices from the federal government asking to review their land, which could be used for border wall construction.
KENS-TV reported residents in the town of Escobares, including Mayor Noel Escobar, received letters from the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection a few weeks ago to get their consent to survey their land.
“I walk out the back door and what I’m going to see is a 30-foot fence,” Escobar said.
Rio Grande City School District board president Daniel Garcia said the district got a letter in May about district property that’s being considered for “tactical infrastructure, such as a border wall.”
The school board last month approved a request from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to come onto district property for survey and site assessment.
The land is not currently being used by the district. Garcia said had he known it was meant for the border wall, he would have voted against the request.
Roma resident Felix Rodriguez said he was visited by a government employee surveying his land earlier this year, offering $300 for a portion of his 500-square-foot property. He wants at least $1,500.
Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar, who represents the area, said federal officials told him there have been more than 200 of these requests made in Starr and Hidalgo counties.
Bookstore calls 911 during confrontation
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia bookstore owner called police after he said a customer began harassing former White House strategist Steve Bannon in his shop.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books in Richmond, called 911 Saturday afternoon after witnessing a woman confront Bannon and call him a “piece of trash.”
Cooke said Bannon was minding his own business when the woman began harassing him. Cooke asked the woman to leave. She did so only after he called police.
Richmond Police said they received the call about 3:15 p.m. Saturday but the call was canceled before they arrived.
Bannon grew up in Richmond.
The confrontation comes weeks after a Lexington restaurant owner declined to serve White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Porch floor collapses, injuring at least 15
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A porch collapsed at a Connecticut home, sending more than a dozen people to the hospital.
About 20 people were on a second-floor balcony in Hartford Saturday night when the floor gave way.
Hartford police said 15 people were taken to Hartford Hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening.
Among the injured were infants and young children.
Assistant Police Chief Rafael Medina said people were gathered “on the second-floor porch for a family celebration.”
Witnesses told The Hartford Courant the gathering was a party celebrating the birth of two babies.
Jeisnely Vasquez was at the party and about to step on the porch when she saw it give way. “Before I stepped out, it started to fall and I went back,” she said.
First-floor resident Carlos DeJesus heard a thud and saw people and infants on the lawn. “I’m still in shock,” he said.
Police said some had head injuries and lacerations.