Gold spills on Russian runway
after plane door glitch
Moscow (AP) – Russian news reports say the hatch of a cargo plane carrying precious metals accidentally flew open upon takeoff – scattering at least 3 tons of gold on the runway. An investigation is underway after the incident Thursday at the airport in the far east city of Yakutsk, according to the Tass news agency. An An-12 plane operated by the airline Nimbus took off for Krasnoyarsk carrying 9.3 tons of gold and other precious metals, according to a statement from the state Investigative Committee quoted by Tass. Damage to a door handle caused it to fly open and spill some of the metal. Authorities recovered 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tons, Tass quoted Interior Ministry officials as saying. No one was hurt in the incident. Images circulating on social media showed gold bars scattered across a runway.
Maine resident Jesus Christ sends
letter to Oprah Winfrey
Waterboro, Maine (AP) – A letter from Jesus Christ might be the affirmation Oprah Winfrey needs to run for the presidency. WGME-TV reports an 83-year-old Maine woman who changed her name to Jesus Christ says she began a letter writing campaign 50 years ago to spread a message of faith and peace. Christ says she sent the letter to Winfrey because she likes her but had no idea it would get so much attention. Gayle King, one of the hosts of “CBS This Morning,” posted about the letter to Winfrey on Instagram on Wednesday, asking if it was the sign her best friend was looking for. Winfrey said on “60 Minutes” that if God wanted her to run for president “wouldn’t God kinda tell me?” Christ says she didn’t know there was speculation about Winfrey, but she’d vote for her.
Sheriff legally used inmate food
funds for beach house
Gadsden, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama sheriff legally used more than $750,000 of funds meant to feed inmates to purchase a beach house. Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin told The Birmingham News he follows a state law passed before World War II that allows sheriffs to keep “excess” inmate-feeding funds for themselves. Entrekin reported on state ethics forms that he made “more than $250,000” each of the past three years through the funds. The sheriff’s annual salary is more than $93,000. He and his wife purchased a four-bedroom house with an in-ground pool and canal access in September for $740,000. Entrekin got a $592,000 mortgage. The home is one of several properties with a total assessed value of more than $1.7 million that the couple own together or separately.
Rhode Island lawmaker withdraws
proposed outhouse ban bill
Providence, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island lawmaker who introduced a bill that would ban outhouses in the state says he is withdrawing the legislation. Republican Rep. Justin Price said Wednesday he is pulling the measure ahead of a scheduled State house hearing. Price says the issue should be addressed by local municipalities, not the state. The bill would have required any outhouse existing as of Jan. 1, 2019, to be “abandoned, filled up and destroyed” within one year. Price previously said the bill was inspired by a dispute between Warwick residents and their former neighbor who lived within sniffing distance of the family’s outhouse. Those who refused to comply could have faced up to a $1,000 fine.
Gorilla at Philadelphia Zoo takes
stand against dirty hands
Philadelphia (AP) – A male gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo is taking a stand against dirty hands by opting to walk on two legs. Apparently, 18-year-old Louis is a clean freak. When Louis has his hands full of tomatoes or other snacks, he walks upright like a human to keep food and hands clean, rather than the typical gorilla stance of leaning forward on his knuckles. Michael Stern, curator of primates and small mammals, says workers had to install a fire hose over a mud puddle in the yard. The nearly 500-pound, 6-foot-tall primate crosses it like a tight rope to avoid getting dirty. Stern says it’s “pretty unusual” for gorillas to walk around upright. In the wild, Western lowland gorillas like Louis might do it for a few seconds to reach food or wade into swamps.