Accused Panty Raider Pinched in New Mexico

There's something about northwestern New Mexico when it comes to underwear thieves.

Last January, as reported in Out There, a 13-year-old boy was caught in Kirtland after a trail of ladies' undergarments led from a broken-into store straight to his home.

Nearly a year later, police in nearby Farmington announced a big break in another case involving five months of panty raids.

"This isn't something like tools or articles of value," Detective Sgt. Steve Burch told the Farmington Daily Times. "This is something someone is putting in their closet or something like that."

Since Aug. 8, there have been at least 28 cases of women's underwear being burgled from area homes. Also taken were jewelry, electronics and cash.

On Jan. 8, a woman and her 15-year-old son came home to find a strange man in the woman's bedroom.

"Words were exchanged between the 15-year-old son and the suspect, who fled the residence on foot," Burch detailed.

The boy lost track of the suspect, but cops staked out a suspicious car and arrested Everett Hanova, 34, when he returned to it. The woman and her son identified Hanova as the man in their home.

Police say a search of Hanova's Farmington apartment turned up 217 pairs of women's underwear, as well as 24 bras, two pairs of shorts, a skirt and an evening gown.

Hanova said nothing to police, who booked him on unrelated charges while awaiting more evidence from the burglary cases.

Burch figured many more local underwear thefts had been unreported by residents too embarrassed to go into detail.

"I encourage people to go to police anytime something like this occurs," he said. "It's unusual ... I would be more alarmed by someone like that than a burglary for profit."

— Thanks to Out There reader Laurie O.

Good Moaning, Stockholm

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Noisy lovemaking is no cause for eviction — so long as it's done in the daytime, a Swedish landlord said Thursday.

The Tunabyggen housing company in Borlaenge (search), 137 miles northwest of Stockholm, made the decision after the neighbors of one amorous couple complained about their afternoon delights.

But the company, which runs the block of apartments, said lovemaking is part of normal family life and not grounds for eviction.

Indeed, it's the law. Under the Swedish Housing Act, neighbors are not to be disturbed by loud noises — be it music, television or lovemaking in the evening. But that law also guarantees the right of tenants to a normal family life, too.

Tunabyggen's marketing director Lena Lundberg said the complaint about the lovemaking was akin to that of a family with noisy children whose crying could disturb the neighbors.

The complaint, which was filed this week, was thrown out, she added, because the noise wasn't at night.

"It's comparable with babies having colic," she said, adding that a family with a crying baby couldn't be evicted.

— Thanks to Out There reader Nancy B.

Locals Fed Up With Fuming Pile of Poop

MILFORD, Neb. (AP) — A large pile of composting manure burning for almost two months has neighbors upset and state officials looking for a way to put it out.

Concerned about emissions, the state's Department of Environmental Quality will make its recommendation by the end of the week, said spokesman Rich Webster.

David Dickinson, who owns and operates Midwest Feeding Co. (search) near this town about 20 miles west of Lincoln, said he has tried to spread the pile out and douse it with water but the weather has slowed his efforts.

Webster said Dickinson will have to do something to put the fire out.

From a distance, the fire looks like steam rising from the large cattle feedlot.

But when the winds pick up, it's more than a vapor to neighbors, who can smell the stinky fumes from as far as 9 miles away.

At a restaurant one mile north of the pile, patrons comment on the stench, said manager Wilma Roth.

"There's a lot of people who complain about it when they come in," she said.

The fire began, Dickinson said, when grass clippings spontaneously combusted. He had accepted the clippings from the city to continue the pile's composting. Dickinson knows it is troublesome, and he wants to put it out within a month.

"The only way to put it out is to string it out, which takes an enormous amount of space," he said.

Lawmakers Urged to Be Men and Lead the Way

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A leading Australian fertility expert said Thursday he had asked state lawmakers to help turn around dwindling sperm bank reserves by publicly signing up as donors.

Prof. Gab Kovacs, medical director of Victoria state's largest in-vitro fertilization clinic, Monash IVF (search), sent letters to all male state lawmakers under age 45 to pose the question, "Have you ever thought of becoming a sperm donor?"

"We hope that if some of the leading role models within our community become donors, others may follow suit," the letter, mailed Wednesday, said.

Kovacs said his approach had been inspired by the success of a campaign involving high-profile celebrities in encouraging Australians to become organ donors.

Sperm stocks have dwindled since the state law changed in 1998. Donations are now only accepted from men who agree to have their identities revealed to a child at the age of 18.

Monash IVF has only 13 sperm donors, and just five new men signed up last year, Kovacs said.

Before the law changed, the clinic signed up to 20 new donors a year, Kovacs said.

A clinic spokeswoman said Thursday no lawmaker had yet responded to the letters.

Man Catches Free-Falling Fido

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — Gary Gallien is a house painter. But earlier this week, he became a dog catcher — literally.

Working with a crew at an apartment complex in Florence, Gallien caught a small dog as it fell from a fifth-floor balcony.

Gallien said he had stepped outside the building Tuesday when he heard a woman scream and saw a white, furry object falling toward him.

"Somebody hollered and I looked up and just stuck out my arms and caught it," he said. "I caught it like a football. I was fixing to run for a touchdown with it."

Gallien said he did not know where the dog came from, but he took it back to the fifth floor and turned it loose in the hall.

"That's like the 'Funniest Home Videos' on TV," Gallien said. "I wish we had been filming it, so I could have sent it in. It would have won first place."

Thong Wearers Face Crackdown

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Wearing skimpy swimwear on Melbourne's beach, in local parks or out on the street could cost you $500 and even land you in jail.

The Melbourne City Council has voted to ban thongs amid a series of new adult entertainment regulations. Brevard County has banned thongs since 1995.

Melbourne council members also slashed the city's adult entertainment zone from 937 acres to 40 acres along North Drive.

The American Association for Nude Recreation (search) in Kissimmee has unsuccessfully lobbied council members to delay any nudity decisions.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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