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Diver finds lost Tiffany engagement ring in lake (AP)

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MINNEAPOLIS – A Minneapolis teacher was devastated when her brand new Tiffany engagement ring fell into a lake — until a treasure hunter came to her rescue.

Adam Segar and Sara Stocco got engaged last month. KSTP-TV reports they were out boating on Lake Minnetonka when she took off the $7,000 ring to keep it clean while she applied sunscreen on Segar.

Stocco put the ring in her mouth but it fell, hit the floor of the boat and bounced into the water.

Denny Geffre of nearby Long Lake, Minn. says he has been hunting treasures in lakes for 40 years. After hearing of Stocco’s loss, he donned his scuba gear and spent three days searching the lake with a metal detector.

He found the ring buried in three inches of sand and was given a $750 reward for his efforts.

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Information from: KSTP-TV, Original article

Follow the money, not the octopus – economists (Reuters)

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BERLIN (Reuters) – A German economic think tank, seemingly envious of an octopus who became an international celebrity for picking World Cup winners, said it came to similar conclusions with a better foundation for its picks.

The DIW Institute for Economic Research used transfer market value estimates of players to pick Spain to win the World Cup. With a value of 650 million euros (539 million pounds) for the 23-man squad, Spain were DIW’s pre-tournament choice.

DIW economist Gert Wagner said the institute picked Spain to win both the World Cup and the 2008 Euro based on that economic model — and were right both times.

Paul was right in all eight of his picks in 2010 but got one of his 2008 picks wrong.

“Let’s see Paul top us,” Wagner said, referring to the octopus from Oberhausen that captured the world’s imagination.

But Wagner did not mention the fact that DIW, using its economic model, had made England their second choice based on the players aggregate market value of 542 million euros.

England were eliminated early in the tournament by Germany.

DIW was not the only institute eclipsed by Paul’s uncanny winning streak. Humbled professors across Europe were recently quoted saying Paul got lucky with his picks.

The octopus predicted football matches by picking food from two different transparent containers lowered into his tank, each adorned with the flag of one of the matches’ competitors.

(Editing by Steve Addison)

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Antiques dealer faces jail over Shakespeare folio (Reuters)

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LONDON (Reuters) – An unemployed British antiques dealer with a taste for the high life faces jail after he was convicted Friday of handling a stolen copy of a rare first collection of Shakespeare’s plays.

Raymond Scott, 53, who drove a yellow Ferrari and posed as an international playboy despite having huge debts, walked into one of the world’s leading Shakespeare research centers with the 17th century book.

Staff at the renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. recognized the valuable book and called the police, the British Embassy and the FBI.

Regarded as one of the most important printed works in the English language, less than 250 copies of the collection survive. They were first printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death.

A jury at Newcastle Crown Court in northeast England found Scott guilty of handling stolen goods and removing stolen property from Britain, the Press Association said. However, he was cleared of stealing the book from Durham University in 1988.

Judge Richard Lowden remanded Scott in custody and said: “There will in due time be an inevitable substantial custodial sentence.”

During the trial, experts told the court the book had been damaged and had pages ripped out after its theft, cutting its value in half to about 1.5 million pounds ($2.28 million).

The 387-year-old collection was brought into court in a locked black strongbox before being taken out and presented to the jury on a pillow next to the witness box.

Scott, who lived with his mother, said he had discovered the book at a friend’s house in Cuba.

“NATIONAL TREASURE”

The chief prosecutor in Durham, Chris Enzor, said Scott had stolen a “national treasure” to help pay for a playboy lifestyle that he could not afford.

“This is a man who, in reality, lived on benefits with his mother but was running up huge credit card debts, funding a lavish lifestyle, driving a Ferrari, traveling around the world, staying in luxury hotels and dressing in expensive clothes,” Enzor said. “No doubt the pressure of his debts led him to try and sell the folio.”

Police said Scott had never worked in his life and owed 90,000 pounds on credit cards.

Scott, from County Durham, had denied all the charges and told police that there had been a conspiracy among Shakespeare experts to convict him.

“It rather looks as if their brief has been to compare the Cuban copy with known records of the Durham copy and look for similarities,” he told detectives. “It is all a very cozy world. They are ganging up against me.

“Do you seriously think I am going to walk into the foremost Shakespeare library in the world and, using my own name and address, with my fingerprints all over it, hand them a copy knowing and believing that it has got a doubtful provenance?”

Author Bill Bryson, who is chancellor of Durham University, said the folio was “arguably the most important book in English literature,” adding: “It is fantastic that Durham’s copy is coming home at last.”

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths)

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Miss. man gives beloved sports shoes to the needy (AP)

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GREENWOOD, Miss. – It was a slam-dunk of a good deed. Jeffrey Nickson said he heard two men scheming to shoplift some sports shoes from a local store and told them they didn’t need to steal. He went home, took two pairs of Air Jordans from his own collection of 25 pairs and gave the shoes to the men.

Nickson told The Greenwood Commonwealth that he then started thinking about how other people need shoes. So he went to the Salvation Army and donated 20 pairs of mint-condition size 14 Air Jordans that he said were valued between $125 and $200 a set.

Nickson works for an electronics firm in the Delta. He collected the shoes for years, keeping them clean and in their original boxes.

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Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, Original article

Sailboaters moon Washington state ferry (AP)

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BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. – It was full moon time after a Washington state ferry took evasive maneuvers to avoid a sailboat in its path. The Kitsap Sun reported the ferry sounded its horn and reversed engines Saturday afternoon to avoid hitting the boat at Eagle Harbor, near Bainbridge Island.

The sailboat briefly disappeared from the ferry crew’s view as they passed. When it was seen again, four men on board dropped their pants and mooned the crew.

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Information from: Kitsap Sun, Original article

Men accused of beating Porky Pig at theme park (AP)

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GURNEE, Ill. – Police said authorities at Six Flags Great America ejected two off-duty employees from the theme park after they allegedly attacked a female colleague dressed as “Porky Pig.” Gurnee Police Sgt. Jon Ward says two young men took a photo with Porky on Monday afternoon, and then punched the mascot in the head 10 to 15 times.

Ward said park security detained the men until police arrived. He said the men wereissued local ordinance citations for battery.

He said the suspects denied the attack, but witnesses confirmed the story.

The 24-year-old woman inside the mascot costume suffered headaches and a stiff neck.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, www.suntimes.com/index

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