Originally created 06/12/04

Odds and Ends



WAITE PARK, Minn. -- Joe Fautsch was mowing his lawn when he came around a corner and expected to see the Virgin Mary.

The Holy Mother wasn't there.

"I don't think she walked away by herself," Fautsch said. "Who would take her?"

He found out last week that his Virgin Mary statue was one of four that have been stolen in this central Minnesota town within the past few weeks, Investigator Ben Theisen said. They can be worth up to $400, he said.

Fautsch's statue had stood on his lawn for about five years. He estimated the cost at $125.

"I put it out just to show that I'm Catholic," he said. "It might wake some other people up. Guess it didn't wake up whoever stole it."

"I wouldn't want to die and be judged for stealing Mary," he said. "Mary would come along and wonder, 'How come you stole me?"'

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Calamity Jane has died.

Not the hard-drinking, cross-dressing woman of the West infamous for her rough and raucous life.

It's time to mourn the bold bloodhound that made a name for herself in two high-profile searches for missing women.

Denny Adams, of Conde, S.D., said his search dog Calamity Jane died Wednesday.

The dog was involved in the long winter search for slain University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin, whose remains were found this spring.

Calamity Jane also assisted in finding the remains of Erika Dalquist, a Brainerd woman who was missing for more than a year.

The hound became ill after she accompanied Adams to a memorial service for Dalquist last week, he said.

"Once she got home, she quit eating and she just wore out," Adams said Thursday.

Dalquist's body was discovered last month by searchers looking for Calamity Jane, who had bolted from Adams' hold and was later found lying near the body.

Adams said the extensive searches took a toll on the dog, who worked with volunteers looking for Sjodin throughout the harsh North Dakota winter.

"It was a long, cold winter up in Grand Forks," he said.

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WATERBURY, Conn. - A food fight that started with fruit cup turned into a mealtime melee, serving up a full plate of arrests and injuries.

Seven seventh-graders were arrested after a spat in a middle school cafeteria left two teachers and a detective with injuries Wednesday.

The incident began at West Side Middle School after a girl dumped a fruit cup over a boy's head, police said. The two started fighting, then other students joined in, some jumping on tables and throwing food, police said.

"What was described as a riot situation developed in the cafeteria," Sgt. Christopher Corbett said.

A detective and two teachers suffered minor injuries breaking up the melee.

Three girls and fours boys ranging in age from 12 to 14 were arrested on charges including breach of peace, assault and inciting a riot. All seven were released to their parents after promising to appear in juvenile court.

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Angela Holmes is on active duty with the Army Reserve in Iraq, and she's fighting an Illinois ambulance service over a $270 bill.

The Indiana State University student who's been stationed north of Baghdad for five months, called home to Marshall, Ill., on Monday and asked her mother, "What am I supposed to do?"

"This is ridiculous," said Carol Holmes, who called the Marshall Ambulance Service to find out why the bill was sent to her daughter in Iraq. "I said, 'Why would you send a bill to someone fighting for our country?"'

Angela and her twin sister, Amy, both serving in Iraq, were in an automobile accident four years ago. Two years ago, their lawyer wrote to the ambulance service and said the matter was still being negotiated between insurance companies and to not contact Angela, Carol Holmes said.

Jill Mueller, an Army spokeswoman with the Department of Defense, said it was up to service members to decide whether to have mail forwarded to them.

"I'm not allowed by law to discuss any medical or billing things," said Sonja Prevo, who does the billing for the ambulance service. "I'd love to defend myself, but I am prohibited by law to discuss anything like that."