TIME Family

Mother Reunited With Daughter 49 Years After Being Told She Died

Zella Jackson Price was told that her child died several hours after she gave birth

Several hours after Zella Jackson Price gave birth, the hospital told her her daughter had died. But 49 years later, her daughter is alive and well—and reunited with her mother.

Melanie Diane Gilmore was put up for adoption for unknown reasons shortly after she was born, but she recently decided to track down her mother, with a little help from her own children, a St. Louis Fox affiliate reports.

Price, now 76, is delighted to have her daughter back in her life—but intends to investigate how the St. Louis hospital wrongly told her of her daughter’s death five decades ago.

[Fox2Now]

TIME Bizarre

Man Struggled to Cancel Cable Despite His House Burning Down

Comcast eventually apologized for the inconvenience

A Minnesota man whose house burned down was unable to cancel his cable account—even though he lost his television in the fire.

Jimmy Ware, 66, lost all his possessions, including his cable account number in the fire. His daughter, Jessica Schmidt, tried to ease the burden by canceling his account with Comcast for him, according to TwinCities.com, but it was a challenge. Since Ware didn’t have the account number and was not the one to make the original call, representatives from Comcast initially said they didn’t have enough information to cancel the subscription. Schmidt says Ware did get on the line and read the last four digits of his social security number to no avail.

Nearly a week and four or five calls later, Comcast’s corporate office apologized and agreed to cancel the account, backdating the charges to the day of the fire and waiving the cost of the equipment that was destroyed.

“We understand that this is a difficult time for Mr. Ware,” a representative told TwinCities.com, “and apologize for the inconvenience.”

[TwinCities.com]

TIME Crime

8th Grader Faces Felony Charges for Changing Teacher’s Computer Background

Pranksters be warned

Eight-grader Domanik Green was arrested on felony charges in Holiday, Fla. Wednesday after breaking into his teacher’s computer to change the background picture to two men kissing.

Green, 14, who was released the day of his arrest, said that he broke into the computer of teacher he didn’t like after realizing that faculty members’ passwords were simply their last names, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Green, who previously faced a three-day suspension for a similar prank, said that many students got in trouble for breaking into teachers’ computers.

“Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done,” Sheriff Chris Nocco told the Tampa Bay Times Thursday.

One of the computers Green “hacked” contained encrypted 2014 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) questions, although the police say he didn’t view those files.

“If information comes back to us and we get evidence [that other kids have done it], they’re going to face the same consequences,” Nocca said.

[Tampa Bay Times]

TIME Bizarre

Couple Dies Within Minutes of Each Other After 73 Years of Marriage

"Like The Notebook," said one nurse

A Kentucky couple died within minutes of each other after being married for 73 years.

Bill Wilson, 93, and Lillian Karr Wilson, 89, both Alzheimer’s patients, had been living in separate nursing homes for years when their son Doug got back-to-back calls informing him that his parents had died, Kentucky.com reports. When Doug Wilson told one nurse about the coincidence, she reportedly said, “Oh my god, that’s like The Notebook,” the popular Nicholas Sparks book and film in which an elderly couple dies simultaneously.

Bill and Lillian were high school sweethearts who married in 1941. Doug Wilson says the family sees their concurrent deaths as “a blessing.”

[Kentucky.com]

TIME Bizarre

Scottish Police Are Using Lego To Fight Crime

Edinburgh cops are posting photos with tips for keeping your home safe

Police in Edinburgh are on a mission to deter break-ins, and they’re calling on some tiny yellow friends to help. Their new campaign involves posting photos of staged robbery scenes on social media with captions that advise on handy tips for keeping your home safe.

In addition to some charming spelling, many of the posts are rhyming couplets:

Don’t forget to lock the back door!

The department hopes heightened awareness will remind citizens to practice basic safety in protecting their property.

TIME Bizarre

Someone Stole a Family Cabin From Its Foundation

"We walked up and it was gone"

This really is a home away from home.

A Washington state family visited their vacation cabin in the woods on Tuesday — only to find their beloved getaway gone. In the last two weeks, someone managed to pry the 10-by-20-foot structure from its foundation, leaving behind only the cement blocks, the family said Wednesday.

“We walked up to the gate and it had been cut. Drove up to (the cabin) expecting it to maybe be broken windows, maybe a little vandalism, something stolen from the front of it,” Chris Hempel, the owner, told NBC affiliate KHQ in Spokane. “We walked…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME technology

Here’s Why Asparagus Is Yet Another Thing We Should Not Deliver by Drone

Spoiler alert: Explosions

In the not-so-distant future, your dinner will probably be delivered straight to the window of your fifth floor apartment via drone.

Amazon is fighting with the FAA for the ability to test drone grocery deliveries, but drones have also been used less formally to delivery everything from burritos to pizza to champagne to… asparagus.

According to Dutch News, restauranteur Ronald Peijnenburg decided to celebrate asparagus season by using a drone to deliver the vegetable from the countryside to his Michelin-starred Netherlands restaurant. (He had previously delivered asparagus via Formula 1 cars and hot air balloons). But a video chronicling his attempted delivery shows a con of drones: Sometimes they crash and burn.

Between this and that one time a promotional drone in a TGI Friday’s accidentally lost control and cut off the tip of someone’s nose, can we maybe agree drones and the restaurant industry might not be a great fit?

TIME Bizarre

Sculptor Behind ‘Scary’ Lucille Ball Statue Offers to Replace it for Free

Lucille Ball Hometown Statue
The Post-Journal/AP A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron, N.Y.

The artist said it's "not befitting of Lucy’s beauty or my ability as a sculptor"

The sculptor behind an unflattering statue of Lucille Ball that has upset residents of the actress’ New York hometown for years has offered to replace it free of charge.

“I take full responsibility for ‘Scary Lucy,’ though by no means was that my intent or did I wish to disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image,” Dave Poulin said in a letter to The Hollywood Reporter.

Some locals of Celoron, N.Y., where the statue of the I Love Lucy star was unveiled in 2009, even started a Facebook group dedicated to getting rid of it. Poulin said he’ll return “with the promise of creating a new beautiful and charming ‘Lucy’ in its place.” Celoron officials said Poulin wanted around $10,000 to re-do the sculpture, according to the Associated Press.

“From the day of its installation, I have shared my disappointment in the final outcome and have always believed it to be by far my most unsettling sculpture, not befitting of Lucy’s beauty or my ability as a sculptor,” Poulin wrote. “Yes, in retrospect, it should have never been cast in bronze and made public, and I take complete ownership of that poor decision.”

[THR]

TIME Accident

A Bee Swarm in Florida Has Left Three Men Hospitalized

Honey bees
Kerstin Klaassen—Getty Images

The men were trying to get honey from a hive that may have contained up to 30,000 insects

Three men were swarmed by enraged bees and stung repeatedly outside of Tampa on Sunday, while trying to get honey from a wild hive. They were subsequently hospitalized, WTSP reports.

“They were covered in bees, their beards, their hair, their clothes — bees were everywhere,” a neighbor told WTSP.

Pasco County fire rescue fended the swarm off with a hose, but a local woman was also stung while leaving her home and officials are cautioning residents of New Port Richey to remain vigilant in case the bees return.

There could have been as many as 30,000 bees in the hive.

[WTSP]

TIME faith

Easter’s Ever-Changing Date and the People Who Tried to Fix It

Easter Eggs
Hulton Archive/Getty Images Three women holding armfuls of large Easter eggs, circa 1925

A trade association advocated for the change — unsuccessfully

This year, Easter falls on April 5 — but, as those who celebrate the major Christian holiday will know, the day doesn’t stay in one place for long. Easter is one of the “moveable feasts,” a holiday that falls on a different calendar date each year. It’s calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.

Though the beginning of spring generally happens around the same time every year — the church uses March 21 as the date — the lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar don’t match up, which means the timing of the full moon can change quite a bit. (This year, that full moon came on April 4.) Easter thus has about a month’s worth of time in which to move around.

That system worked for hundreds of years, but as Easter became not only a religious holiday, but also an occasion for sales, shopping and parades, the mobility of the fête began to cause a problem.

Stocking Easter goodies and planning projected profits is difficult to do when the calendar moves around, and even more so if you use Easter to mark the start of the whole shopping season. So in 1926, a group of storekeepers came up with a solution: fix the date. Not fix as in “make better”; fix as in “fix in place.”

As TIME explained on Feb. 1 of that year:

This inconstancy of Eastertide has irritated money-grubbing merchants, who long have surreptitiously, indirectly exported the spirited, springtime surge of joy, light and purity felt by celebrants. People have stepped from decorating their altars to decking their bodies, until the Easter Sunday “parade” of fashionables and fops gets more notice in the lay press than does the sanctity of the holiday. This display of clothes and flowers and jewels and carriages, wily merchandisers have gloated over. None the less they have peered with squinted eye at the fluctuating date of the festival, even as they touted a robe as “hot from N’ York, lady,” or “new from Paris, madame.”

Last week the Manhattan Merchants’ Association stepped into the clear; advocated a constant Easter; stated in a bulletin that the second Sunday in April “will be” the date it believes will be adopted; said further: “A late Easter often proves disastrous to sellers of many lines of merchandise because it shortens the spring season, thereby reducing the volume of business, while the lengthened winter season is of little benefit. With the adoption of a fixed date, all such difficulties will disappear.

The church’s response to the proposal? “Clergymen,” TIME reported, “were vexed.” Nearly 90 years later we know that there was no need for such vexation: Though TIME didn’t follow up on the story, Easter is still moving around the same way it always has.

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