Odds & Ends
A grandfather who spent five years and thousands of dollars renovating a yacht in his garden saw his dreams drown when the freshly finished boat sank five minutes after being launched into the North Sea. According to the U.K.’s Mirror, 75-year-old Richard Ogilvy spent up to eight hours a day, five days a week replacing rotting timbers and getting the engine running on his beloved Sea Wraithe, which was originally built in 1936. But the 40-foot boat didn’t make it out of the harbor after Ogilvy test-launched it from his home town of Forres, Moray. “Obviously, I would have liked to see the boat remain on the surface,” the former forester and sawmill owner told the Mirror. “A boat is much better when it floats. But it was a life-affirming experience, and when we finally get it sailing in a couple of months we’ll have a few beers, look back and laugh.” Asked how much he spent on the wooden yacht’s renovation, Ogilvy said, “I don’t like to think how much I’ve paid out. I certainly don’t want my wife to find out, so I don’t tell anybody.” The water-soluble Sea Wraithe is now propped up against the harbor wall in Forres, and its owner is sleeping in his nearby Land Rover so he can pump it out every time the tide comes in. “I see my wife for some proper food and a shower when the tide is low,” said Ogilvy.
Police in Avon Lake, near Cleveland, say they arrested a man for allegedly stealing more than 500 roadside signs posted on public land. The Avon Lake Police Department said it has received numerous complaints in recent months about signs being removed from city-owned right-of-ways alongside streets. Video footage recently emerged showing 62-year-old John Hoelzl taking one of the signs. Police searched Hoelzl’s home, where they recovered more than 500 signs, valued at an estimated $5,500. Most of the small signs advertised local events and businesses—from Easter church services to youth soccer leagues to garage sales. According to police most of the signs had been placed with proper permits from the city. Hoelzl told police he’s been removing the signs for about 10 years because he believes they are an eyesore and a distraction for drivers. “I never thought I’d get arrested for it. I wasn’t really arrested. They came and asked me and I said, ‘Yeah, I got ’em.’ ... I gave them all my signs. It was over 500 of them,” he told WJW-8 in Cleveland. “There was nothing on the sign saying this sign is allowed to be here. I probably shouldn’t have done it because, you know, I’m in trouble now,” said Hoelzl. Police have charged him with one count of receiving stolen property, a felony in the fifth degree. “I’m not taking them no more,” promised Hoelzl.
In a textbook freak accident, an 89-year-old motorist died from drowning—in a car crash. According to Florida State Highway Patrol, Robert Dreyer, veered off the road and into a fire hydrant on May 10 in the town of Viera, 40 miles southeast of Orlando. Dreyer appeared unhurt after the crash, but when he stepped out of the car to check the damage, eyewitness Pedro Rodriguez told WESH-2 News, “The water pressure was so strong that it sucked him in and pulled him into the hole.” Lt. Channing Taylor, commander of the Highway Patrol’s Brevard County office, told the NBC affiliate, “This is probably the first time I’ve heard of something like this happen, where someone hits a fire hydrant and drowns.” Another witness told WESH that he tried to rescue Dreyer, but that the water was “gushing too strongly.” The day in question was Dreyer’s birthday.
Three men were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of grand theft avocado. The trio—28-year-old Carlos Chavez, 30-year-old Rahim Leblanc and 38-year-old Joseph Valenzuela—were arrested after an investigation that began in late May, alleging that three men were receiving cash from unsuspecting customers in exchange for the stolen avocados. The three men had been working at Mission Produce in Oxnard, 61 miles outside of Los Angeles, and are believed to have taken more than $300,000 worth of avocados. The company’s president, Steve Barnard, said partial pallets and boxes of avocados were stolen and sold directly out the back door of the company’s distribution center. Typically a box of avocados sells for $50. In this case the men were selling them for $20 to $30 a box. The Haas Avocado Board reported that the average price for an avocado has soared from 89 cents in January to more than $1.25 in March. Surveillance footage at the distribution facility allegedly caught the men in the act. “I guess they got greedy and the got bulletproof,” Mr. Barnard told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.