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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quick Takes

(Photo illustration by Krieg Barrie (Harvey photo by Peter Harbour/Mirrorpix/Newscom; Park photos by Kreuzschnabel/Wikimedia Commons, License: Cc-by-sa-3.0)

Lost and found

After four days of searching, the family of Harry Harvey planned a press conference at a pub near Harvey’s last known location near a national park. On Sept. 6, Harvey, 80, became separated from his hiking partner during a hailstorm while walking in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in northern England. Emergency crews searched for Harvey for days to no avail. Finally, his family called for a Sept. 9 press conference at the Tan Hill Inn on the outskirts of the park. As the family prepared for the event, a nature photographer spotted Harvey walking in the park and called for help. The 80-year-old stunned his family and the assembled press when he walked in with a bandage on his head. Harvey said he lost his compass and temporarily lost his glasses in a fall. He quickly found his orange-framed glasses and was able to establish a campsite in the park with a tent he had carried. Said Harvey: “I had three really good wild camping nights where I was on my own and had all the kit I needed.”

A fine mess

Italian authorities say they have fined a French tourist who attempted to smuggle valuables out of Sardinia. The fine: $1,200. The valuables: about 4½ pounds of beach sand. A 2017 law prohibited stealing sand from Sardinia’s beaches. A regional authority passed the law after discovering the unique pink or white sand for sale on the internet. The Sept. 1 heist wasn’t the first. “The bottle was confiscated and is now in our operating room where we hold these confiscated items,” a spokesman for Sardinia’s Forest Rangers told CNN. “At the end of the year we usually have many bottles of sand accumulated.” Last year, authorities caught another French tourist trying to pilfer 88 pounds of sand. 

Getting her goat

A Georgia police officer has a good excuse for not finishing her paperwork. The unidentified Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy returned to her car after serving papers at a residence only to find a goat had jumped in the opened door and was eating paperwork that had been left in the passenger seat. The deputy struggled with the animal, alternating between trying to pull it out from the passenger side and pushing the goat out from the driver side of the cruiser. Finally, the deputy was able to force the goat out of the car. The goat managed to knock the officer down during the ruckus, but neither the goat nor the officer was hurt.

A lesson in overkill

A Frenchman in Parcoul-Chenaud was trying to kill a housefly when he destroyed a portion of his home. Local French media reported the unidentified octogenarian was disturbed by the fly as he sat down for dinner. He grabbed an electric fly swatter and began swinging at the fly. The swatter then ignited a leaking gas canister in the home, leading to an explosion that damaged his kitchen and the roof. The man escaped the explosion with a burn to his hand. The fly’s fate is unknown.

The sounds of silence

Officials in Bristol, U.K., have shut down a recurring silent dance party. The problem? It was causing too much noise. According to neighbors, revelers gathered in Owen Square Park on Sept. 5 in order to dance communally to music blasted through headphones. And though neighbors didn’t hear the music, they did hear the screaming—and the gas-powered generators. After complaints to local police, local authorities issued an order giving officers the ability to shut down gatherings if they get too loud.

Calling it off

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 1,171 times, shame on me. Police in Memphis, Tenn., have arrested a local man accused of placing 1,171 phone calls to 911 since July 15. On Sept. 1 alone, police say Huu Nguyen dialed emergency services 241 times. The next day, police say Nguyen called 911 an additional 32 times. During one of the Sept. 2 calls, Nguyen asked 911 dispatchers if they would like to purchase egg rolls. In Tennessee, an aggravated nonemergency 911 call is a Class A misdemeanor offense.

Sent through time

The United States Postal Service delivered a postcard to an address in Michigan just a few weeks shy of 100 years after its initial postmark. Brittany Keech of Belding, Mich., discovered the Halloween postcard in her mailbox on Sept. 8. After observing the wear and tear of the mailing, she noticed a George Washington 1-cent stamp and a postmark that read Oct. 29, 1920. The cursive writing on the back is from a child named Flossie Burgess and is addressed to her cousins. According to a USPS spokesman, letters and postcards sometimes get lost while at the post office. Whenever an old letter is found, the agency attempts to deliver it to the address listed or the addressee. As for Flossie’s postcard, Keech says she hopes to find and give it to a relative of Flossie’s who will remember her. If she can’t find a relative, then she’ll find out whether the museum in Belding would like to display it. 

Bottled bonanza

In order to buy his first house, an Englishman is hoping to liquidate his savings. Matthew Robson of Taunton, U.K., is seeking to sell 28 bottles of Macallan single malt Scotch whisky to finance a down payment on his first home. Each of the bottles of Scotch has been a gift from his father, a native of Milnathort, Scotland. Father Pete Robson purchased the first bottle of Scotch shortly after his son’s birth in 1992. Every year since, Robson bought another bottle for his son, leaving strict instructions not to open the bottles. Now 28 years later, the younger Robson says he thinks he can fetch more than $50,000 for the entire collection. Broker Mark Littler says buyers in New York and Asia have shown interest in purchasing the bottles.

Wave of the past?

For the first time since the 1980s, vinyl records outsold CDs in the United States. The Recording Industry Association of America reported $232 million in vinyl sales during the first half of 2020, which made up “62 percent of total physical revenues.” But this didn’t mean vinyl was all that popular: Even as vinyl bested CDs, it only made up 4 percent of total revenue for recorded music. Streaming music, on the other hand, made up 85 percent of revenue from recorded music. Digital downloads accounted for 6 percent of recorded music revenue.