Odd Side – February 26, 2019

Volunteer Discovers $4,000 Inside Donated Book in Phoenix

PHOENIX (AP) — KPNX reports that volunteer Cathy McAllister was sorting books for a charity book sale in Phoenix last weekend when she found $4,000 in a space cut inside “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

The station says she initially thought the $100 bills were Monopoly money.

McAllister said the former owner also left a letter and an address label inside the book. The man’s family was contacted and the money returned.

McAllister said the man’s daughter asked him whether he’d done the same thing with other books. McAllister said she suspects the family went home and opened up every other book in the bookcase.

Police: Trespassers Find Caged Tiger in Abandoned House

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police say a group who went into an abandoned home found a caged tiger.

They called the city on Monday. The major offender animal cruelty unit and animal shelter volunteers arrived on the scene. Authorities nicknamed the tiger “Tyson.”

Officials tell KHOU the tiger was well-fed, but the cage was secured by a nylon strap and screwdriver. Officials say it could have easily opened.

The tiger was taken to an animal shelter, then transferred to a sanctuary in Texas on Tuesday.

It’s legal to own a tiger in Texas if one has a wild game permit, but illegal to have a tiger in Houston.

Troopers: Teen Arrested for Taking Control of Alaska Flight

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — A 16-year-old boy was arrested after he briefly took control of a small plane during a short commercial flight over western Alaska, authorities said.

The teen was in the front passenger seat of the Piper Cherokee Six on a recent Yute Commuter Service flight from Napakiak to Bethel, KYUK-AM reported last week.

The flight between the two remote communities usually takes about four minutes.

The teen grabbed the controls shortly after takeoff, causing the “plane to enter a steep climb and then a dive toward the ground,” Alaska State Troopers said.

A woman sitting behind the teen grabbed him around the neck, pulling him away from the controls, authorities said. The pilot stabilized the aircraft and returned to Napakiak.

The airline contacted the village public safety officer to detain the teen. He slipped away before the officer could take him into custody, but was arrested the next day in Bethel.

Authorities have not released the teen’s name as he is a minor. Interfering with a flight crew is a federal offense.

The aircraft model used in this flight does not have a mechanism to lock out passenger flight controls, said Keith Henthorn, the airline’s business manager.

The airline will continue to allow passengers to sit in the front seat, he said.

Specialists Destroy Live Mortar Shell Found at Alaska Museum

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Military explosive specialists destroyed a World War II-era mortar round found at an Alaska museum after determining the munition was live.

The device was destroyed by detonating it at a safe place, said Capt. Brandon Browning of the 716th Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

A staff member found the Japanese mortar round while sorting through the collections vault at the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center in Haines, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

When staff members could not confirm if the shell had been disarmed, the museum temporarily closed.

Explosives specialists from Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage later determined the device was still live.

The museum was considering using the shell in an upcoming exhibit featuring World War II battle art, but the item’s donation paperwork did not indicate if it had been deactivated, said Helen Alten, the museum’s director.

The 80mm shell did not have a detonator on top. Museum officials concluded the shell likely was disabled, but because they could not be sure, they notified police.

The shell has been in the museum’s possession for more than 20 years, Alten said. It was donated by a longtime Haines resident who was a World War II veteran.