Odds and Ends

Bad day: wreck, home fire, ticket


One moment, Justin Hill was turning into his driveway. Minutes later he was being flown to a hospital as his home went up in flames. Then he got a traffic ticket.

Hill, 42, got into a crash after turning into the path of an oncoming car Tuesday evening, said Tennessee Highway Patrol Officer Monte Terry. Hill's wife heard the crash and ran outside, leaving the kitchen stove, where she had been cooking unattended.

Within minutes, their Rock Island trailer was on fire, and firefighters who had responded to the accident found themselves fighting the blaze.

The rural central Tennessee home had extensive damage. Hill was treated at the hospital and released, but he was cited in the accident for failure to yield.

'Funeral Day Burglar' guilty


A burglar who authorities say used the obituary pages to select his targets was convicted of 10 counts Friday.

Prosecutors say Dane S. Johnson and a co-defendant who pleaded guilty burglarized more than 30 Kansas City-area homes, picking their victims by reading real estate listings and obituaries, hitting model homes, homes on real estate tours or homes where owners would be attending funerals.

In one of the five Platte County cases Johnson was convicted of, a man was at a funeral for his wife while Johnson burglarized his home.

"It's hard to imagine a more cruel and heartless burglary scheme than this one," Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said. "Picking out a home to break into because the owner is at a funeral reveals a complete lack of any conscience whatsoever. Dane Johnson deserves every year he will spend in prison."

Johnson, 35, of Kansas City, Mo., was found guilty of burglary and stealing and faces up to 78 years in prison. Co-defendant Landon N. Prothro received 28 years in prison in October 2006 after pleading guilty.

Wallet stolen in 1973 is recovered

ALTON, Ill. &

Sandy Baumberger says she never expected to see her wallet again when it was stolen 35 years ago.

But it has been found by a 30-year-old dental student who tracked her down and returned it.

Eric Wherley says he found the wallet in a bathroom stall at school after a water pipe broke and loosened some ceiling tiles. The thief who stole the wallet apparently had hidden it in the drop ceiling.

The dark-blue patent leather wallet contained Baumberger's driver's license, library cards and Social Security card. It also had her student ID, a grocery list, and cloth swatches from her bridesmaids' dresses.

Judge bans thieves from malls


Likening them to a "plague of locusts," a judge has banned four women from Pennsylvania malls after they pleaded guilty to stealing.

Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill sentenced the four Thursday to time served and placed them on probation in addition to the mall restriction.

The women are related and have extensive criminal records. They pleaded guilty to stealing from a Macy's store in a mall north of Philadelphia in September 2007.

"" The Associated Press

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