Robbery suspect used infection threat

SHARON, Pa. (AP) — Police say a man tried to rob a western Pennsylvania gambling parlor by threatening to spread a staph infection.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for 41-year-old Fred Parker of Coolspring Township.

Police say he walked into Lucky’s Internet Cafe in Sharon last week and began touching the walls and gambling machines, claiming he had MRSA — a serious staph infection that resists antibiotics.

Sharon police Chief Mike Menster says Parker then threatened to infect the cashier if he didn’t give Parker money. The chief tells The Herald newspaper of Sharon, “It’s our first case of robbery by threat of an infectious disease.”

Police say Parker left when the cashier refused, but was arrested a short time later based on his description.

Curly the goat found safe in Minn.

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A goat that escaped a Minnesota Nativity scene is safe after 25 days on the loose.

Curly was found last week on a farm southwest of Fergus Falls.

Tony Loomer came out to feed the horses and goats on his farm and noticed the extra goat. KBRFAM reports Curly appeared hungry, wet and cold and had lost weight.

Curly’s owner, Jim Aakre, came to make sure the goat was his. Aakre thought about going home to get a horse trailer, but Curly was already cold, so he and his wife, Karen, gave Curly her first car ride.

The 3-year-old Angora goat was supposed to be part of a live Nativity scene but escaped while she was being unloaded for a Christmas Eve service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Urinating cat, not fire, caused smoke

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — One western Pennsylvania fire department learned recently that there’s not necessarily fire wherever there’s smoke.

New Castle’s assistant fire chief Jim Donston tells The Associated Press that firefighters were called when an electrical outlet on a floor was smoking, only to find that happened because the family’s cat urinated into the outlet.

The New Castle News first reported the incident last Friday and Donston supplied more details to the AP.

The assistant chief says a Columbia Gas worker was at the house checking for a possible leak when he noticed the smoking outlet and called the fire department.

Donston says firefighters “found the receptacle wet from cat urine” and shut off the electrical supply to that circuit.



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