Donors replace torched Birmingham Christmas tree
Donors have replaced the city of Birmingham’s Christmas tree after it was torched in a downtown park.
Scores of people gathered Thursday as a new cypress tree was decorated and dedicated in Linn Park. Mayor William Bell says the new tree symbolizes the city’s generosity.
The old tree was destroyed early Wednesday. Officials say thieves burned it while trying to steal copper wiring off the tree.
The city didn’t plan to replace it, but a group of radio stations donated a new tree. Donors and leaders from neighboring cities stepped up to provide decorations and trim it.
Police haven’t made any arrests in the destruction of the original tree, which cost $7,500.
Minn. man unsuspecting getaway driver in robbery
A 26-year-old man thought he was doing a good deed when he gave a 70-year-old woman a ride to a Minnesota bank.
But police say the woman robbed the bank, and the man was her unsuspecting getaway driver.
The man told The Free Press of Mankato that he thought the woman, who rents an apartment from his mother, was going to the bank to withdraw cash to pay her rent.
Instead, employees of the Elysian State Bank reported Wednesday that an “elderly woman” told the teller she had a gun, demanded money and left with an undisclosed amount.
Police stopped the car and took both into custody before determining the woman acted alone.
The Star Tribune reported the woman had a hammer but no gun. She’s in jail, pending charges.
Security camera snaps naked man in Miss. cemetery
A man caught naked in a south Mississippi church cemetery says he was trying to take photographs of spirits.
Robert Hurst tells The Picayune Item newspaper that he shed his clothes because he believes skin is the best canvas to show spirits’ orbs of energy.
The 47-year-old says he intended to remove only his shirt, but he took off all his clothes — a move he now calls “stupid.”
Authorities had set up a motion-activated camera to try to catch vandals. Shane Tucker, the chief deputy in Pearl River County, says Hurst is not accused of vandalism, but the camera caught an unexpected image of Hurst naked.
Hurst faces a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure. He posted $500 bond after turning himself in last Friday.