Elf lovers and environmental activists have joined forces to stop a highway expansion they say will have a negative impact on a major elf habitat. The two groups, united under the name Friends of Lava, are urging the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission to abandon a project that would create a direct route from the Alftanes peninsula to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. Friends of Lava cites both environmental and cultural impact on the “Huldufolk,” Icelandic for “hidden folk,” in their opposition to the project. “It will be a terrible loss and damaging both for the elf world and for us humans,” Ragnhildur Jonsdottir, a self-proclaimed “seer” who believes she can communicate with the creatures through telepathy, told the UK’s Guardian newspaper. A 2007 survey estimated that 62 percent of people in Iceland believe it is possible that elves exist. For now the highway project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on the case.
A judge has ruled that an annual New Year’s Eve “possum drop” can proceed as planned. Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour refused a request by the Wildlife Resources Commission and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to block the event organizer’s state permit. The possum drop has been held annually for the past 20 years at Clay’s Corner convenience store in the unincorporated community of Brasstown, N.C. For now organizers will be allowed to capture a possum and slowly lower it in a cage at midnight on Dec. 31. The possums are let go following the event. A PETA lawyer had argued that the noisy crowd at the celebration could be detrimental to a possum’s nerves and health.
A 29-year-old man has been charged with theft after he allegedly escaped from a police cruiser—taking the officer’s handcuffs with him. Troopers in western Pennsylvania say Douglas Lydic, of Commodore, was handcuffed and placed inside a state police cruiser while they searched his home for drugs on the night of Sunday, Dec. 22. Lydic had not yet been charged with anything. But the suspect climbed out the cruiser’s window and fled to his girlfriend’s house several miles away. Lydic was re-arrested the next morning. He was charged with escape from custody and theft of the handcuffs. Lydic’s girlfriend was also charged with hindering his apprehension by police.
Santa Claus apparently robbed a bank near Daytona Beach two days before Christmas. The Orlando Sentinel reports a man dressed in a Santa hat, white beard and sunglasses entered the SunTrust Bank in Port Orange around 3:15pm, set a gift-wrapped package on the counter and implied to the teller that the contents were dangerous. Police Lt. John Jakovenko told reporters Santa fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash and left the package behind. Santa’s package was examined by the Volusia County bomb squad. It was not revealed what was inside the box, but bomb squad members called it “harmless.”
Sheriff’s officers in Volusia County arrested 29-year-old Rachel Byrd on battery charges for allegedly flinging a spoonful of peanut butter at her brother during an argument over a dog urinating in the living room. WKMG-TV in Orlando reports officers responded to the home Byrd and her sibling share in the central Florida town of Deltona after police dispatchers received a hang-up call to 911 from the residence. When they arrived at the scene, deputies discovered 30-year-old Gabriel Byrd had peanut butter running down his face. The man did not want to press charges, but the deputy determined Byrd was the aggressor in the confrontation, and she was taken to the Volusia County Branch jail on battery charges.