Odds and Ends – Friday January 5, 2018 – January 11, 2018

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Man’s 1944 love letter found
within remodeled home’s walls

Greenfield, Mass. (AP) – Massachusetts police have a new mystery to solve: Who wrote a 1944 love letter discovered within the walls of a house being remodeled? The Greenfield Police Department took to Facebook on Saturday to ask for the public’s help in figuring out the backstory behind the handwritten letter. Police say the letter is dated April 19, 1944, and was penned by a man who identified himself only as Walter. The letter was addressed to Miss Betty Miller, of Greenfield. In the letter, Walter makes no attempt to hide his affections. He writes: “I have always thought more of you than any other girl, and I still do.” Police say they only have one motive: reuniting the letter with Miller or her family.

A cougar in your luggage?
Hunting carcass found at airport

Las Vegas (AP) – Police say a hunter’s trip home hit a snag in Las Vegas after security screeners found a dead cougar in his luggage. No crime was committed because the man had a hunting tag. But police Lt. David Gordon told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Transportation Security Administration agents held the man at McCarran International Airport late Tuesday to confirm the validity of the Utah hunting tag. His name and where he was headed weren’t released. Airport spokeswoman Melissa Nunnery says the man ended up shipping the cougar carcass home, not on the airplane. Gordon says it’s not a crime to transport legally possessed game on an airline flight. But he says airlines can refuse to transport certain items.

Life-size elf decoration turns heads,
even loses his own

Rockport, Mass. (AP) – A life-size elf mannequin on display in a Massachusetts yard has been turning heads – and occasionally losing his own. Actress Melissa McMeekin has been having a little fun by moving her 6-foot-tall elf doll to different locations outside her Rockport home. During the countdown to Christmas, Daryl the red-suited elf has appeared seated on a tree branch, riding a bicycle, lying on a hammock and tied up like a hostage. McMeekin tells the Gloucester Times her family has been getting a kick out of the double takes the moveable elf has elicited from passers-by. She says on one blustery day Daryl fell off his bike and his head landed a few feet away. McMeekin’s acting credits include “The Fighter,” ‘’American Hustle” and other films.

Not fake news: ‘Whatever’ tops
annoying word list, literally

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (AP) – The shoulder-shrugging reply “whatever” continues to annoy Americans more than other words or phrases, but “fake news” is coming on strong. The annual Marist College poll of most annoying words and phrases found “whatever” topping the list for the ninth straight year. It was the pick of one third of poll respondents, who were given five choices. The recent addition “fake news” was slightly ahead of “no offense, but” for second place, 23 percent to 20 percent. About one in 10 found “literally” to be most grating, as did a similar number for “you know what I mean.” The telephone survey of 1,074 adults conducted Nov. 6-9 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Special delivery Family welcomes 2nd Christmas Eve baby

Stony Brook, N.Y. (AP) – For one suburban New York family, Christmas Eve is turning into a tradition of very special deliveries. Newsday says Stony Brook residents Jacki and Josh Grossman had their second son on Sunday, four years after their first son arrived. Baby Elliott and older brother Oliver were delivered at Stony Brook University Hospital by Dr. Phil Schoenfeld. The doctor has worked Christmas Eve at the hospital for the past 17 years. Jacki Grossman says she “couldn’t feel more blessed” than to have her boys share such a special day. She says, “It must have been meant to be.” Oliver says he doesn’t mind sharing his birthday with his new brother. His mother says he ran around the hospital spreading the news.