One Georgia thrift store was anything but thrifty. It made a 15-month-old toddler rich — at least by toddler standards.
Little Rhiannon Barnes was playing with a book bought for 25 cents at a thrift shop in McDonough, Ga., when she found $1,300 in cash stuck between two of the pages, The Associated Press reported.
The stash of $100, $50, $20 and $10 bills were stuffed in a brown paper bag that was wedged in the book, which baby sitter Sheila Laughridge said she'd bought only because the little girl insisted on having it.
Laughridge took the money, which dated as far back as the 1960s, to a local bank, where she received just $300 in exchange because most of the bills were torn in pieces.
The rest of the tattered money was sent to the U.S. treasury department.
Rhiannon's mother, Shirley Barnes, joked that she's considering using her daughter's new-found talent in other ways.
"What I want to do is put pieces of paper with number on them out on the table and have her pick them so that maybe we can win the lottery," she said.
Bang, Bang — Take That for Tailgating
HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman who told authorities she was fed up with tailgaters pulled out a gun and shot at the tires of a pickup that got too close, police said. Officials believe the bullet missed the pickup, and no one was hurt.
Bernadette Headd, 39, was in rush-hour traffic Wednesday in suburban Detroit when the pickup pulled behind her, police said.
Headd changed lanes and fired one round from a 9 mm handgun, police said. The driver followed her and flagged down a deputy, who stopped her and found the weapon.
"She said she was tired of people tailgating her," Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said.
Headd, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and use of a firearm during a felony.
She was ordered held on $50,000 bond.
Stealing Soda Lands Man in Jail for More Than a Year
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Officials are at a loss to explain how they allowed a homeless, mentally ill man accused of stealing a soda to languish in jail for 17 months.
Edward Perez's attorney, his court-appointed psychiatrist, the judge in his case and Lake County jail officials all apparently believed he had been released a year ago.
The mistake wasn't discovered until this month, after a new warden ordered a review of all inmates' files, Sheriff Roy Dominguez told the Post-Tribune of Merrillville for a story Friday.
"This is very unfortunate," Judge Sheila Moss said. "This is a guy who apparently needed services, and he should have been somewhere where he could get that, rather than sitting in our county jail, which is already overcrowded."
The jail released Perez and transferred him to a mental health clinic Feb. 7, Dominguez said.
Perez had stayed in the jail's medical wing since July 2, 2005, after allegedly stealing a bottle of Pepsi from a Wal-Mart in Schererville, Dominguez said.
A police report that referred to the man as "Edward Hammer-Perez" said that before stealing the soda, he said he had just gotten out of jail and wanted to go back. He listed the state psychiatric hospital in Logansport as his address.
In February 2006, the psychiatrist went to the jail to evaluate Perez only to be told he already had been released, Moss said. The judge said that after the psychiatrist informed her, she deferred to defense attorney Fred Flores, who agreed that his client was not behind bars.
Moss, noting that Perez appeared in some records as "Edward Hammer-Perez," speculated he might have been jailed under a different name than appeared on his court file.
Telephone messages left by The Associated Press seeking comment from Flores and the sheriff's department were not immediately returned Friday. An employee at the clinic where Perez was taken said officials authorized to comment were unavailable until Monday.
Declaration of Independence Copy Yields Quite the Profit
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A rare, 184-year-old copy of the Declaration of Independence found by a bargain hunter at a Nashville thrift shop is being valued by experts at about 100,000 times the $2.48 purchase price.
Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, is selling the document in an auction March 22nd at Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions in Burlington, North Carolina. The opening bid is $125,000 and appraisers have estimated it could sell for nearly twice that.
Sparks found his bargain last March while browsing at Music City Thrift Shop in Nashville. When he asked the price on a yellowed, shellacked, rolled-up document, the clerk marked it at $2.48.
It turned out to be an "official copy" of the Declaration of Independence — one of 200 commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820.
He didn't know he had such a valuable piece until doing some online research and then having appraisers at Raynors' offer an opinion.
Judge: I'll Give You Prison and a Wife
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — With help from a judge, David Kite got five years in prison and a life partner.
After sentencing Kite on Wednesday to prison for stealing a lawnmower from a home, St. Clair County Circuit Judge John Baricevic obliged the 23-year-old man's request and married him to girlfriend Victoria Smith in the same courtroom.
The groom sported an orange jumpsuit, shackles and handcuffs during the five-minute civil ceremony; the bride had on a T-shirt and sweat pants.
A day later, Baricevic described the short ceremony as polite, with no visible grudge toward him by the lovestruck man he'd just punished with prison.
"If there's any resentment, you'd have to ask the other guy," Baricevic said. "Judges in all states marry people. Obviously, the situation involved here was not a usual one. It's very unique."
And it developed fast.
Kite had just pleaded guilty to a felony theft count and was ordered imprisoned when Kite asked for a furlough to marry Smith, promising to surrender to begin serving his sentence afterward. A prosecutor objected, and Baricevic denied the request.
"Usually to grant a furlough, it has to be an emergency situation. I didn't think marriage was," the judge said.
Moments later, Kite and Smith said they wanted to get married immediately.
So with Kite in a holdover cell, Smith hustled to the county clerk's office and filled out a marriage license the clerk brought over for Kite to sign.
And the man facing a five-year hitch got hitched.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Catherine Donaldson-Evans.
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