Pot, Human Tissue, Same Difference

A drug suspect got a nasty surprise when she opened the boxes she thought contained 119 pounds of marijuana.

Instead of pot, inside were a freshly harvested heart valve and a vein, report The Associated Press and local news outlets.

Tabatha Bracken, 27, of Toronto, allegedly went to the Delta Airlines ticket counter at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (search) around noon Monday to pick up her package, which came from California, reports WGRZ-TV.

By mistake, she got two packages shipped by Cryolife (search), an Atlanta medical agency.

One box contained a pulmonary valve meant for a hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. The other contained a vein intended for coronary bypass graft surgery at a Buffalo hospital, the Drug Enforcement Agency (search) said.


Bracken and Dalvan Robinson, 43, of Lockport, N.Y., were arrested 12 hours later when Bracken tried to return the tissue for the pot.

The DEA had already opened that box, only to find marijuana wrapped in plastic and newspapers and smeared in mustard, and were waiting for someone to claim it.

"This is a first where we've had a situation like this," Niagara Frontier Transit Police (search) spokesman Doug Hartmeyer told WKBW-TV. "Certainly you've got vital contents of these two boxes of human tissue that were hopefully going to save somebody's life, so there was certainly a sense of urgency."

Bracken and Robinson were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and are being held without bail. Each faces up to 20 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

The tissue got to where they were meant to be in time.

— Thanks to Out There readers Andrea M. and Steven M.

It's a Great Time to Be Silver

Graffiti isn't just a young man's game any more.

Portland, Ore., cops finally caught the "tagger" known as "Silver Circle" a couple of weeks ago, reports KXL radio. They were surprised to find he was 63 years old.

Ronald Engman's wife was similarly shocked.

"He has always fought against graffiti," JoAnn Engman told The Oregonian newspaper. "He even caught a guy once."

Even better, Engman sits on the city council of Johnson City, just south of Portland.

"He was on a crusade," Officer Jim McMurray, who caught Engman in the act, explained to the newspaper, adding that Engman had been a victim of graffiti in the past.

Engman's M.O. was apparently to deface other, younger taggers' graffiti with his small silver circles — at least 1,000 in total, according to police. He may be charged with one count of criminal mischief for each circle found.

"The type of paint he was using is actually harder to remove than the tags underneath," Officer Jami Resch of the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team told The Oregonian.

— Thanks to Out There reader Cherise A.

Drywall, Sinks, Paint and Vicious Predatory Birds

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (AP) — One visitor to Home Depot has been hunting for more than home improvement items.

A Cooper's hawk (search) has been flying above the stocked shelves at a suburban Cleveland store for more than a week while feeding on pigeons that live in the rafters.

The brown bird's three-foot wingspan casts a moving shadow across the concrete floor, causing customers and workers to duck and cock their heads toward the 25-foot ceiling.

The hawk entered the store through an open door while chasing a pigeon last Saturday. It caught its prey above the electrical aisle, worker Craig Warth said. Witnesses saw the hawk rip the pigeon apart and feed until nothing was left but feathers and claws.

"It wasn't a pretty sight," said Terry McGuire, assistant manager. "Some of the customers were upset. Some said it was the neatest thing they had ever seen."

Workers said about 15 pigeons were living in the store, but since the hawk arrived, few are left. Cooper's hawks are a protected species, so the bird can't be harmed or killed.

Local wildlife experts say the hawk will likely leave when the pigeons are gone.

Student Newspaper Gets a Bit Too Educational

PHOENIX (AP) — Top administrators at Northern Arizona University (search) will meet with the school's publication board next week to discuss a controversial sex column that appeared in the student newspaper.

Student writer Claire Fuller authored a Feb. 12 column for The Lumberjack that offered a graphic "how to" guide on performing a sex act.

"I was appalled by the content of that article," said NAU Provost Liz Grobsmith, who said she would attend the March 5 meeting of the publication board. "It wasn't considered that a lot of people who read the paper are young and minors, and this is very inappropriate content."

She said the university president's office received many calls from people "deeply offended" by the article.

Rob Breeding, faculty adviser for The Lumberjack, said he was aware of the column before it was published.

"I read it quickly on deadline and had mentioned that I was not completely comfortable with it," Breeding said. "But it didn't rise to the level of obscenity, whereby I would have taken a much more aggressive role."

Guidelines set up between NAU and the independent Lumberjack say student editors make the ultimate decisions about what stories to run.

Definitely the Hottest Place in Town

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The glare off the Walt Disney Concert Hall's shimmering stainless steel curves is so intense it's heating up nearby condos at least 15 degrees, neighbors complain.

Before concert hall officials recently ordered a temporary fix, reflections from Frank Gehry's $274 million architectural landmark, which opened in October, hit Jaqueline Lagrone just as she arrived home for lunch.

"You couldn't even see, and then the furniture would get really hot," said Lagrone, 42, whose unit faces the new hall. "You would have to literally close the drapes and you'd still feel warmth in the house. You would have the air conditioning on all the time."

The reflection off one corner of the building known as the Founders Room can drive up temperatures as much as 15 degrees, some condo owners claim.

That corner is clad in a glossy, mirror-like steel that reflects the sun more harshly than the duller brushed steel used elsewhere. Disney Hall officials have put up a temporary synthetic net while they work on a permanent solution — dulling the shine.

"We've chosen a sort of sandblasted finish," Gehry partner Terry Bell said.

Architects considered the impact of the shiny steel on neighboring buildings, Bell said. But during construction, the curving sheets of metal ended up facing a slightly different angle than plans called for, he said.

Compiled by Foxnews.com's Paul Wagenseil.

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