Originally created 05/27/05

Odds and Ends

OSLO, Norway - An enterprising Norwegian found a way to turn a tidy profit on Oslo real estate by renting out a nice apartment in a popular part of town.

What the renters didn't know was that the 29-year-old man, whose name has not been released, had broken in to someone else's apartment and rented it out to 11 different people, national news media reported Tuesday.

Police said the man admitted to breaking into the apartment and posting photographs of it on an Internet real estate site. He then allegedly asked for a bargain 5,000 kroner, or $780, per month in rent.

Since such an apartment normally costs 35 percent more in Oslo, about 60 hopefuls flocked to the con man's showing.

Eleven people were so eager to rent the space they each paid a $2,340 deposit. A total $25,780 was transferred to the swindler's bank account.

Ingrid Christensen, of the Oslo police, told Norway's largest newspaper, Verdens Gang, that the money was found in the suspect's bank account and he would face fraud charges.

The real renter was traveling at the time of the showings and has now changed all the locks.


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The buyer of Brett Favre's house says he was sold by the size of the residence, not the fact that its owner is the Green Bay Packers' star quarterback.

Still, "It was icing on the cake and a little more exciting for the kids," said radiologist Scott Gage.

Gage and his wife, a pediatrician, will move into the 7,800-square-foot house this summer with six of their eight children.

The house is on a cul-de-sac and has five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and a racquetball court, among other amenities.

"Size was the key," Gage said. "After the Realtor determined that we were qualified to look at it, he told us that it was Favre's house."

The asking price was $895,000, down from the $1.3 million Favre and his wife, Deanna, asked when they put it up for sale two years ago. County property tax records put the fair market value in 2004 at $958,100.

Gage, who declined to disclose his purchase price, said he hasn't met the Favres and doesn't expect them to be at the closing, where the sale will be finalized.

"He's got better things to do," Gage said.


BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A University of Montana Grizzly flag flying above a tent at Camp Duke in Iraq was just too tempting for one graduate of rival Montana State University.

Sgt. Taralyn Fisher, who is serving with the Montana Army National Guard's 3669th Maintenance Company, decided she just couldn't let those Griz fans have the upper hand.

Fisher, 30, recruited a few fellow soldiers and together at midnight on May 10 they turned the UM flag upside down.

"My accomplices are not from Montana. They joined me for the fun of it," she wrote in an e-mail to family and friends. "It just had to be done."

Fisher graduated from MSU in 1996 and later returned to work for the MSU Extension Service.

Cindi Pipinich, a minister at the church where Fisher works in youth ministry, said the church is sending Fisher a Montana State University Bobcat flag "to continue her campaign."


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