Originally created 04/28/04

Odds and Ends



BISMARCK, N.D. -- A man who was arrested while leaving his wedding ceremony won't be enjoying his honeymoon quite yet. He first has to deal with a warrant for writing bad checks in Montana.

Cory Harmon and Daniella Kuntz, both 24, were married Friday at the Burleigh County Courthouse. Harmon was arrested a short time later when a police officer did a routine driver's license check because he thought a member of the wedding party was a suspect in an ongoing investigation.

It was a case of mistaken identity, but the license check turned up the warrant for Harmon, who said he does not know how many bad checks he wrote or the amounts because he had moved to Bismarck before the warrant was issued.

"I really wasn't happy," Harmon said in a telephone interview Monday from the Burleigh County Jail, where he spent the weekend. "Especially not on my wedding day."

His wife was not thrilled, either.

"I was pretty ticked off because the cops yanked him out of my hands," she said.

The couple returned to the courthouse Monday, where a judge set bond for Harmon at $1,000.

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WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts business leaders, faced with a looming shortage of summer workers, are hitting the beaches - of the Virgin Islands.

Rep. William Delahunt headed a delegation Monday to meet with local officials there to discuss ways to identify workers who could fill seasonal jobs on Cape Cod.

"With Memorial Day around the corner, this is now a matter of hour-by-hour urgency that cries out for creativity," Delahunt said. "We share two things with the Virgin Islands: a first-rate tourism industry and staggering offseason unemployment."

The growing labor concerns have been fueled by the federal government's decision in March to stop processing employer requests for special guest work visas because the annual quota had been reached.

Since the Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory, workers do not need a visa to travel and work in the United States. And, Cape Cod's tourism season peaks when the Virgin Island's season is tapering off.

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MISSOULA, Mont. -- Volunteers armed with Vienna sausages and a tape recording of Tom and Betty Kuffel's voice managed to coax the family's skittish dog back into safety.

Valkyrie, a German shepherd mix, had survived an April 17 small plane crash with the Kuffels, but was spooked when rescue crews arrived and ran off.

Valkyrie was spotted Monday, said family friend Barbara Palmer.

Rescuers didn't want to scare her, "so they got back in the car and played the tape recording of Tom and Betty's voice," Palmer said. "When she heard Betty and Tom's voice, 'Here Valkyrie, here baby, good girl!' she just ran and jumped in the car."

Volunteers took her to a vet, where she was given food and water.

"It's a miracle," Palmer said. "There were people that drove in from all around who said they came to help look for the dog. I mean dozens of people. We kept running into people who were flashing their cans of Vienna sausage. And they really smell."

The Kuffels' single engine, home-built plane crashed on the Montana-Idaho line after their carburetor iced up in a snowstorm.

Betty Kuffel, whose leg was broken in three places, has been released from the hospital. Tom Kuffel has had five operations on his crushed right foot and has nine pins in it.

Tom Kuffel said he's overwhelmed by the effort of those looking for his dog.

"You think people couldn't really be that nice. Then it happens to you, and you just can't believe it," he said.