Published October 06, 2004
Darth Vader walks among us, and he's not in a happy mood.
That's according to Kissimmee, Fla., authorities, who reported over the weekend that a pizza deliveryman was nearly robbed by an imposing figure dressed as the "Star Wars" bad guy.
"This is a criminal mind trying to think of things to do to victimize people," Osceola County Deputy Sheriff Al Dearmas told WFTV-TV of Orlando.
The deliveryman brought a pizza to a Kissimmee address Sunday night, said Dearmas, only to find no one home.
He got back into his car to drive away, when Darth Vader, mask, black outfit and all, suddenly materialized.
In a presumably commanding voice, the evil Sith Lord (search) ordered the deliveryman to give up all his cash.
The pizza man hit the gas and sped off, but not before getting a good zap from what may have been a laser blaster, a light saber or perhaps just a stun gun.
"Thank God nothing happened to the victim," Dearmas told the TV station. "We are very fortunate for that."
"But things could have been much worse," he added, possibly considering the awesome power of the Dark Side.
The call ordering the pizza was made from a pay phone at a drugstore around the corner.
"We were able to obtain some fingerprints from the pay phone, and we have sent [them] out to ... see if we can have a match," said Dearmas.
Tipsters are urged to call the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, and maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi (search) as well.
European Union bureaucrats have finally managed to destroy an entire country.
The Eurostat Yearbook 2004 (search), a statistical compendium of all data available on the 25-nation European Union, was published Tuesday.
Its cover bears a lovely map of all Western Europe — except Wales.
Instead of the familiar bulge of the ancient Celtic region poking out westward from England, there is only the cold, forbidding water of the Irish Sea.
England, Scotland, Ireland, even the tiny Isle of Man (search) show up on the map — but the English-Welsh border appears to be shoreline.
"Obviously, we're embarrassed and we're sorry," Tim Allen, a press officer for Luxembourg-based Eurostat, told South Africa's Independent Online Web site.
Glenys Kinnock (search), a Welsh member of the European Parliament and the wife of former British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, was a bit miffed, calling it "quite a shocking omission."
"Maybe with computerized drawing this can happen," she told London's Daily Telegraph, "and someone who isn't aware of this glorious country may not have known it existed."
Allen said the mistake was made by the graphic-design firm that had been commissioned to design the book.
"I'm surprised they even managed to find a map of Europe that doesn't include Wales," he said.
In Cardiff, Wales' largest city, one passerby told a Telegraph reporter it must have been linked to the upcoming international soccer match against England, Wales' timeless enemy.
"Obviously the only way they think they can beat us is to make us disappear off the map," said David Evans, a stock trader.
Caroline Jones, 28, a sales assistant, told the Telegraph she saw a silver lining in the omission.
"Hopefully, if we're cut off from Europe we can sail off to the Caribbean and be part of that instead," she said. "I wouldn't mind swapping our rain for sunshine."
Allen said there was no chance of the books, which cost 50 euro each, or about $60, being recalled, as that would just be "a waste of public money."
"It's entirely possible that an apology slip will be inserted in the remaining copies to go out," he said.
ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — A woman who police say sold stones to rioters in a southwest Michigan city last year and used the money to pay her cable television bill has pleaded no contest to inciting a riot.
Yuolanda Taylor, 32, entered the plea Monday. A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
She is free on bail, but faces up to 10 years in prison at her sentencing Nov. 15.
The city of Benton Harbor (search) was devastated by two nights of rioting in June 2003 sparked by the death of a black motorcyclist during a high-speed police chase. Twenty-one houses, many vacant, were destroyed.
Police said Taylor toted rocks through a riot-wracked neighborhood, selling small ones for $1 each and bigger ones for $5. Prosecutors said the rocks were thrown at police.
Taylor told police she collected about $70 selling rocks, but quit when she got hit by one herself.
LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — You wouldn't expect to see a lot of misspelled words when you enter a public library.
Which is why the city of Livermore, California, is paying thousands of dollars to an artist so she'll correct the words she misspelled on a giant mural in the entryway of the new main library.
Eleven of the 175 words and names are misspelled, including the names of Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo and Einstein.
Artist Maria Alquilar was initially paid $40,000 for the mosaic. Now, the city will pay another $6,000 dollars, plus her travel expenses from Miami, for her to correct the work.
Alquilar blames city leaders for not catching what she calls "oversights."
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — There's no more marijuana on the menu at the Da Kine cafe.
The Da Kine Smoke and Beverage Shop (search) on Vancouver's hip Commercial Drive was shut down after police seized some 20 pounds of marijuana worth about $49,000, hashish and 300 cookies baked with hash or weed in a raid Thursday, Acting Deputy Chief Bob Rolls said.
During one 90-minute surveillance period, police saw 230 customers, and estimate the cafe was taking in about $22,500 a day, Rolls said.
Seven workers and one customer were taken into custody Thursday. There were 33 people in the cafe during the raid.
Many screamed at the officers to go home and smoked joints as police videotaped the crowd.
Although marijuana is illegal in Canada, the country's Liberal government has said it is committed toward decriminalizing the herb in minor amounts. City councilor Jim Green said there is a tolerance in Vancouver to these kinds of establishments.
Owner Carol Gwilt said she did not consider what she was doing illegal. She was jailed on charges of possessing marijuana for trafficking and possessing the proceeds of crime. She was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
Gwilt's lawyer, Jason Gratl, said she surrendered her business license "with great sadness and regret," adding that Da Kine "was a project she believed in."
SEYMOUR ARM, British Columbia (AP) — This lakeside hamlet is so remote it can be reached only by boat or logging road, and so small there is only one store.
But investigators say many of the 60 residents were involved in one business operation — growing marijuana.
One hundred Royal Canadian Mounted Police (search) officers executed search warrants on 14 homes and 14 vehicles Tuesday and found several factory-sized operations within a 2½-mile radius, said Police Superintendent Marianne Ryan.
At least 16 people were arrested in the rustic town about 240 miles northeast of Vancouver and more arrests are likely, she said.
"We've never seen anything like this before, not where a whole community is affected this way," Ryan said.
The raid followed a two-year investigation that started with complaints from other residents, and some officers were approached on the town's dirt street by people who thanked them for the raid, officers said.
"These people are really glad this is over," Sgt. John Ward said.
Ed Doll, who has spent summers in Seymour Arm for 20 years, said the village was an ideal spot for marijuana businesses.
"This is a remote area only accessible by boat and a single logging road. It's the last place anyone would look," Doll said.
Shane Roth said he didn't want the place to be known for drug activity.
"I don't want people to think 'Seymour Arm' and then think of that kind of culture," Roth said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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