Police stop 12-year-old boy from driving across Australia

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Sydney (AP) – Outback police have arrested a 12-year-old boy who was almost a third of his way toward driving solo across Australia. The unlicensed boy had driven more than 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) from his home in Kendall on the east coast when he was stopped by traffic police on Saturday on the Barrier Highway near the remote mining town of Broken Hill. He was pulled over because a bumper bar was dragging on the road, a police statement said Sunday. Police said he was driving to the west coast city of Perth, more than 4,100 kilometers (2,500 miles) from Kendall. Police have released no details on why the boy wanted to drive the Perth, whether he would be charged or whether he had refueled during his journey.

 

Vienna bartender appeals fine for public belching – and wins

Vienna (AP) – He who burps loudest laughs best – at least in this case. Nearly a year after a policeman ticketed Edin Mehic for loudly belching next to him, the Vienna bartender has won his appeal. Mehic was fined 70 euros ($75) for a sonorous post-kebab burp next to the officer at an amusement park. The ticket said he violated “public decency with a loud belch next to a police officer.” But a court document Mehic emailed to The Associated Press on Friday shows authorities have ruled in his favor. It says there was “never proof” that he burped to affront the officer. Mehic’s belch resonated in Austria long after it was emitted. Groups organized to support him, and a kebab chain paid for both his ticket and an all-expenses trip to Istanbul.

 

Puerto Rico bank robber flees on bicycle, eludes police

San Juan, Puerto Rico (AP) – It wasn’t a 10-speed, but a bank robber in Puerto Rico was still able to elude police Friday by fleeing on a bicycle. Authorities said the unidentified suspect stole some $3,000 from Banco Popular after handing a teller a note that suggested he was carrying a weapon. The incident occurred in the Rio Piedras suburb of the capital of San Juan. Police said they believe the suspect is the same man who robbed another bank last week, although he did not flee on a bicycle that time.

 

Massachusetts man sentenced for burial plot sale scam

Woburn, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to selling unused burial plots that had already been purchased by other people and pocketing the cash. Prosecutors say 71-year-old John Hughes was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation, the first three months of which must be served in home confinement, and ordered to pay nearly $75,000 in restitution to the city of Melrose. He pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to multiple counts of larceny. Authorities say Hughes, of Revere, was appointed administrator of a city-owned cemetery in 2007. Beginning in 2011, he started selling unused burial plots at discounted rates, even though the plots had already been sold. He didn’t tell city officials and kept the money. He sold 13 plots in all.

 

Chilly justice: Man ticketed for warming up car loses case

Roseville, Mich. (AP) – Warming up your car in the driveway might be a Michigan winter tradition, but a judge says it’s not legal in a Detroit suburb if no one’s behind the wheel. Nick Taylor challenged a $125 ticket in court Thursday and lost. His lawyer, Nicholas Somberg, says a Roseville ordinance against unattended running vehicles shouldn’t apply to driveways. But Judge Marco Santia says the law is in the public interest. Taylor got attention in January when he posted a photo of the ticket on Facebook. The post was shared more than 6,000 times and garnered more than 5,000 comments. Roseville Police Chief James Berlin has defended the ticket. He says a thief could have stolen Taylor’s car.