Odds and Ends – Friday December 1- December 7, 2017

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Billionaire Norwegian given $30,400 drunken driving fine

Copenhagen, Denmark (AP) – A 22-year-old Norwegian student has been handed a 250,000-kroner ($30,400) fine for drunken driving – but can still count herself lucky. Katharina G. Andresen is reportedly Norway’s richest woman, with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $1.23 billion. Fines for drunken driving in Norway are based on the defendant’s income. Newspaper Finansavisen reported that Oslo City Court said the penalty could have been up to 40 million kroner ($4.9 million) if based on Andresen’s assets, but they “have not yielded any dividend yet” and she has no fixed income. The court did increase the fine because of her estimated wealth, however. Andresen was also banned from driving for 13 months. Andresen’s father gave her a 42-percent share in the family-owned investment company in 2007, leading Forbes to declare her the world’s second-youngest billionaire.

Man detained after Danish police crack public bench thefts

Copenhagen, Denmark (AP) – Police in Denmark say a man is suspected of stealing 12 of Copenhagen’s green public benches that Danes instantly associate with the capital city. Investigator Jesper Cederholm says the unidentified Dane, who was briefly detained Aug. 29, had confessed to stealing 12 benches out of a total of 65 benches that have gone missing and selling them online. The benches had been reported stolen since mid-2016. Copenhagen is home to about 3,000 of the green benches, which feature a dark grey painted iron frame with wrought swirls and weigh approximately 35 kilograms (77 pounds). They cost about 8,000 kroner ($1,250) each and were first introduced in the 1880s. Cederholm said Thursday the case would now be brought to court after a three-month investigation.

Navy grounds air crew that made vulgar drawing in sky

Spokane, Wash. (AP) – The air crew who used their U.S. Navy warplane to create a vulgar sky writing above the town of Okanogan, Washington, this week have been grounded, the U.S. Navy said Friday. An electronic warfare plane from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in western Washington State created sky writings in the shape of male genitals in the skies over the rural community on Thursday. Many residents spotted the contrails in the clear blue skies above the central Washington town of 2,500 people. Witnesses took photos and placed them on social media platforms, where they were widely viewed. “The actions of this aircrew are wholly unacceptable and antithetical to Navy core values” said a statement issued Friday by NAS Whidbey Island. “We have grounded the aircrew and are conducting a thorough investigation,” the statement said, “and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions… The Navy apologizes for this irresponsible and immature act, and anyone who was offended by this unacceptable action.” The aircraft involved was an E/A-18 Growler assigned to Whidbey Island, the Navy said. The carrier-based plane carries a two-person crew. The plane flew over the small town in a pattern “that left a condensed air trail resembling an obscene image to observers on the ground,” the Navy said. The names of the air crew were not released.

Fears squashed: Zucchini mistaken for WWII bomb in Germany

Berlin (AP) – A worried resident in Germany alerted police to what he thought was a World War II bomb in his garden. Officers rushed over – and found a particularly large zucchini. Police were summoned to the scene in Bretten, near the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, on Thursday morning by an 81-year-old man. They said in a statement Friday that officers determined “the object, which really did look very like a bomb” was actually a 40-centimeter (nearly 16-inch) zucchini. The offending vegetable, which was very dark in color, weighed about five kilograms (11 pounds). Police believe someone threw it over a hedge into the garden. Unexploded wartime bombs are unearthed frequently during construction work in Germany, often forcing authorities to evacuate tens of thousands of residents while they are defused.

(Karlsruhe Police Photo via AP)
(Karlsruhe Police Photo via AP)