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Odds & Ends 12/08

Honest man will receive high reward
PROVO, Utah — Honesty and patience have paid off for a maintenance worker who is to receive $10,000 he found in 1996 at Brigham Young University.
    The employee, who was not identified, discovered the money in two pipes while working at BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library.
    The man gave the cash to campus police, but the owner has never been found. Property not claimed after three months must be disposed, under Utah law, but police believed the money was suspicious and warranted a longer investigation.
    ‘‘This just had the feel of fruits of a crime,’’ Lt. Arnold Lemmon said.
    He made one last attempt last month to find the owner. State law requires police to print a legal notice in a newspaper and allow eight days for someone to come forward.
    Lemmon took one call about the money, but the story didn’t match. So the BYU employee will be given the cash.
    ‘‘It was a man who was extremely honest,’’ Lemmon said. ‘‘He never thought it would be returned to him.’’

Salvation Army receives single coin worth thousands 

        BARRE, Vt. — With the drop of a single coin into a Salvation Army holiday collection kettle, the group may have been enriched by as much as $14,000.
    The donated 1908 Indian head coin has a face value of $2.50, said Capt. Louis Patrick. It’s worth at least at $250 and possibly as much as $14,000, according to a preliminary analysis.
    ‘‘I was shocked,’’ Patrick said. ‘‘I’ve heard of this happening in other places, but I’ve never actually seen it.’’
    The coin was enclosed in a protective plastic case.
    ‘‘It was an incredibly generous thing to do,’’ Patrick said. ‘‘We are very appreciative.’’
    The Salvation Army plans to have the coin appraised and sold, possibly before the end of the holiday season.
    ‘‘One hundred percent of the money will be used to benefit our programs,’’ Patrick said. The local Salvation Army distributes toys, food baskets and clothing.
    Before the gold coin donation, the local group had raised about $34,000 this year, Patrick said. It typically raises $80,000 through its kettle collections, he said.

Thief "fishes" our deposit bags from deposit box 

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Using fish line and a hook, a thief reeled in bags of cash from a bank’s night deposit box, police said.
    Police would not say how much money was taken, but think the thief made off with 11 deposit bags, Bloomington police Sgt. David Drake said.
    An employee of the Fifth Third Bank branch called police Monday morning after noticing that there were far fewer deposit bags than usual, Drake said.
    Authorities found the deposit box had been damaged, with one of the metal security pieces sheared off.
    ‘‘It would’ve taken a lot of force to take that off,’’ Drake said.
    Next to the piece of broken metal, police found a dowel rod with fishing line and a hook.
    Drake said authorities believe whoever broke into the deposit box dangled the hook and line into the box and fished out the deposit bags, one by one.
    The bank did not have security cameras aimed toward the deposit box, police said.

Monetary reward offered for stolen mascot
 
    BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Bluefield State College is offering a $300 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Big Blue.
    The big, blue fuzzy college mascot has been an icon on campus for more than decade. But the mascot costume disappeared recently, leaving disappointed Big Blue fans both on and off campus.
    ‘‘We haven’t heard from his captors or whatever, and we haven’t received a ransom note or anything like that,’’ said Joan Buchanan, student services specialist. ‘‘We really miss him, and we would like to have him returned,’’
    Students and staff searched closets and rooms throughout the campus but found no trace of Big Blue.
    ‘‘It’s really detracted from our games not having him especially for the children,’’ Buchanan said. ‘‘We do have a Big Blue week in February, so we sure hope he shows up by then.’’

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