News Around the World

Man Torches Corvette After Suspecting Neighbors of Stealing

If the punishment should always fit the crime, that would have to be one sweet lawnmower.

WKMG reports that the Edgewater, Florida police department arrested Brandon Rivera, 38, of Edgewater, after he set his neighbors’ 1984 Corvette on fire because he suspected them of stealing his lawnmower.

Police responded around 11 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a vehicle fire. An unidentified man at the home said he saw his neighbor, Rivera, set the vehicle ablaze.  The Corvette reportedly belonged to a married couple at the home.

Rivera told police he suspected the couple of stealing things from him, including his lawnmower. So he grabbed a Gatorade bottle filled with gasoline that he had in his vehicle from a landscaping job, doused the interior of the Corvette, and set it on fire.  The unidentified roommate used a garden house to put out the fire.

Rivera was charged with burglary and arson.

News Around the World

Booby Trapped Snowmobile Trail

Snowmobiling is already a dangerous sport, but imagine someone out there trying to make your ride more hazardous.

WTEN in Albany, NY reports that the Columbia County Sheriff’s office arrested Jason Higley, 31, of Sand Lake, for placing a booby trap on his neighbor’s trail last week.

The District Attorney says Higley placed a pipe on the trail and strung a wire between two trees — one of which he cut — so that if a snowmobiler came through, it’d fall on top of them.  According to the deputy sheriff, Higley said he did it because he was angry about the noise and traffic coming from the trail.

Fortunately, the booby trap was discovered it before anyone got hurt.  The Columbia County Sheriff’s office said it wasn’t on a marked trail, but a smaller trail used by locals.

Higley remains in jail on charges including reckless endangerment and will appear in court in March.

News Around the World

Man Burns Down Home Trying to Get Rid of Skunk

There are right ways and wrong ways to rid your home of skunks. This was the wrong way.

The Detroit Free Press reports that a man nearly burned down his house trying to rid his crawlspace of skunks who lived there, by using a smoke bomb.

Firefighters were called Monday morning to the Ferndale community of Detroit, and when they arrived, flames were burning in the crawlspace and on the first floor.  The man apparently waited 15 minutes after the fire started before calling 911.

Ferndale Fire Chief Kevin P. Sullivan said, “We suggest citizens hire pest control professionals.  However, if one is an absolute die-hard do-it-yourselfer, please read and understand the directions and warning labels before applying an incendiary to your home or garage.”

“The house was a complete loss, the occupant lost most (of) his possessions, the structure was severely damaged, fire burned through the floor and the roof, several access holes were cut to fully extinguish the fire,” Chief Sullivan said.

Adding insult to injury, Sullivan also noted that no skunk carcasses were found at the scene.

News Around the World

Kids Pretend to Be a “Tall Guy” to Get Into Movies


Twitter user Pillsbury posted a video on Friday showing him and a friend in line at a movie theater in Carson, California trying to get away with only paying for one movie ticket, using a dodge you normally only see in cartoons.

One boy carried the other on his shoulders and then they draped themselves with a long trenchcoat. The ruse was hardly convincing as bystanders laughed and snapped photos.

The video doesn’t tell the whole story, though: Pillsbury wrote, “We tried getting the two for one special at Black Panther. The manager was not having it.”  What’s not clear is whether the boys were serious in their attempt to get into the theater, or only doing it for laughs.

Regardless, they get points for trying.  The tweet had over 400,000 likes as of Monday night and had been retweeted more than 150,000 times.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Compeer Financial Donates $25,000 to Wisconsin FFA Foundation

Compeer logo 

Compeer Financial, formerly AgStar Financial Services, Badgerland Financial and 1st Farm Credit Services, is committed to supporting the Wisconsin FFA Foundation because of the leadership development and educational opportunities offered to FFA members throughout Wisconsin. 


This year, Compeer Financial has contributed $25,000 to the Wisconsin FFA Foundation to support a variety of agricultural education programming needs. 


“We’re excited our gift will positively impact all aspects of FFA and agricultural education year-round, from the state level of the Wisconsin FFA Convention and the Quiz Bowl contest, to ag educator and alumni efforts, local workshops and more,” says Rochelle Ripp Schnadt, Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America trustee.


“Many of our team members have proudly sported corduroy jackets during their careers, carrying those professional experiences and values into their roles with Compeer Financial.”


As part of the Farm Credit System, Compeer Financial is a champion for rural America and the FFA program to support the agriculture industry’s future leaders. It is a member-owned and third largest Farm Credit cooperative which provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Blaney & Elliott Win Thursday’s Qualifying Races

Ryan Blaney & Chase Elliott win Thursday’s qualifying races as the starting field was set for Sunday’s Daytona 500. Blaney started eighth in the first half of the can-am Duel at Daytona International Speedway, leading the final six laps and beating runner-up … and Team Penske teammate … Joey Logano to the checkered flag by two tenths of a second as Ford swept the top two finishing positions. Rookie Darrell Wallace Junior, Ricky Stenhouse Junior and defending Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch completed the top five. The victory gave Blaney the Number-3 starting spot in Sunday’s “five hundred.” Elliott gave Chevrolet its turn in Victory Lane by winning the nightcap on Thursday, leading the final thirty-four laps and beating Kevin Harvick to the finish by eight one-hundredths of a second to secure the Number-4 starting spot in Sunday’s “Great American Race.” Erik Jones took third place with Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch completing the top five … Front-row qualifiers Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin were already locked into their starting positions for the season opener after topping last weekend’s qualifying and will lead the field to the green flag Sunday in the sixtieth running of the Daytona 500 after finishing fourteenth and ninth, respectively, in Thursday’s races.

News Around the World

Ex-Cop Suing NYPD for Making Him Fat

He swears it wasn’t the doughnuts. Or the pizza. Or the Hostess Twinkies.

The New York Post reports a former New York City Police officer who retired and went on disability at age 43 is suing the NYPD, claiming the job made him fat.

Jose Vega, 46, is a former Marine who first joined the NYPD in 1997 when he weighed 180 pounds.

Now Vega, who is 5’ 10” and used to work in the Bronx’s 42nd Precinct, weighs in around 360 pounds.

Vega said, “I went from 250 to 395 pounds in one year,” he said.

Vega insists it was not his eating habits but the slew of health problems brought by the stress of his former police job that led to his massive weight gain.

Warren Roth, Vega’s lawyer, said the job of a cop isn’t conducive to healthy eating.

“It’s easier to pull into McDonald’s and wolf something down when you’re busy,’’ he said.

Vega called it quits in 2014 as the stress and his weight soared.

He retired on $4,000-a-month disability. The following year, he applied for three-quarters disability and argued that his condition was caused by his police work.

But the medical board did not agree: They determined that only about 10 percent of his medical condition was related to job stress.

Vega defends his eating habits and insists his obesity came from ventricular hypertrophy. “It’s when you suffer from hypertension. Your heart starts to thicken. It’s from stress,’’ he said. “I’m not a diabetic. … I don’t eat nothing sweet.”

The NYPD declined comment on the suit. A city Law Department rep said, “We’ll review Mr. Vega’s complaint.”

Community Events, Lakeshore News, News Around the World

UW-Manitowoc invites community to view recently renovated spaces during March 7 open house

UW Manitowoc - 2.JPGA ribbon cutting ceremony followed by an open house celebrating the completion of a $7 million UW-Manitowoc renovation project will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7 at the campus, 705 Viebahn St., Manitowoc.

A brief program will include remarks by the following speakers:

  • Bob Ziegelbauer, Manitowoc County Executive
  • Ray Cross, UW System President
  • Cathy Sandeen, UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor
  • Martin Rudd, UW Colleges Northeast Regional Executive Officer and Dean
  • Laurie Crawford, UW-Manitowoc Foundation President

The renovation was a partnership between Manitowoc County, which approved $5 million for the project, and the State of Wisconsin, which provided an additional $1.5 million for fixtures, equipment and previously planned energy-saving building modifications. Private donors also supported the project through the UW-Manitowoc Foundation. The general contractor was A.C.E. Building Service, Inc.

This investment in the campus included moving and updating the library; creating a new science commons; and updating art studios, science labs and classrooms. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other infrastructure items were also updated or replaced. Founders Hall, where the majority of renovation occurred, had not been significantly updated since 1962.

With a timeline for the project of less than one year, demolition began in May 2017 immediately following the end of the spring semester and continued through the summer months. Some classes met in temporary spaces on campus during the fall semester so that construction work could continue.

Self-guided tours of the new spaces and light refreshments will be available during the open house event. The evening begins with a ribbon cutting in the new science commons area on the second floor of Founders Hall. These project contractors are providing light refreshments during the open house: A.C.E. Building Service, Dirkse Glass, Edgewater Plumbing, Hubbartt Electric, Kaeden Services and Lee’s Color Studio.

An RSVP is requested, but not required. Please call the UW-Manitowoc Foundation office at (920) 683-5052 or email

For more information about UW-Manitowoc, visit

News Around the World

“My gas pedal is stuck!” BMW driver calls 911 as he barrels down interstate at nearly 100 mph

A BMW SUV tore down a Florida interstate for nearly 40 miles Monday, but the driver managed to keep his cool while authorities made attempts to stop him, telling a 911 dispatcher calmly “my gas pedal is stuck,” according to the Florida Highway Patrol and dramatic recordings.

The driver, Joseph Cooper, was alone in his SUV on I-95 near Vero Beach just before 1 p.m. when he lost control. Authorities helped control traffic as he careened as fast as 95 mph with flashers and a green strobe on.

Asked if he could shift to neutral, he told the dispatcher, “I can’t, ma’am, I tried that already. I’m trying to hold onto the wheel and talk to you at the same time.”

Authorities tossed out stop sticks twice, finally blowing out the right two tires, which slowed the car down to about 60 mph, the highway patrol said.

The car slowed to 40 mph, but Cooper was still unable to stop. “The vehicle was traveling on all 4 rims with no tire,” the highway patrol said.

Minutes later, video shows the SUV coming to a complete stop, and as smoke surrounds the vehicle, the driver exits to talk to authorities.

At that point Cooper had traveled more than 40 miles. Miraculously, no one was injured.

Lt. Alvaro Feola of the Florida Highway Patrol said Cooper made the right choices in the dangerous situation.

“He did call 911, he wore a seat belt, he kept the dispatch aware of the mile markers,” Feola said.

“Thank God in this situation nobody got hurt,” Feola added. “Traffic was maybe a little light, it wasn’t rush hour.”

BMW issued a statement that called the scenario “implausible” and said there were numerous ways in which the driver could have stopped the car.