It was a real dog of a ceremony this week during a swearing-in at the state's attorney's office in Chicago.
Labrador sworn in at state's attorney's office in Chicago
CHICAGO (AP) — It was a real dog of a ceremony this week during a swearing-in at the state's attorney's office in Chicago.
The newly sworn-in worker is a Labrador retriever named Hatty. The 2-year-old will be on a 9-to-5 human schedule. But she's being asked to work like a dog, to just do what comes naturally to most dogs: show affection.
Her job is to ease the strain of criminal proceedings on young children and those with mental-health issues who have been victims of assault. She'll handle up to 200 cases annually.
Hatty is the office's first emotional-support dog and was trained partly by inmates.
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx presided over Tuesday's swearing-in. Hatty stood on her hind legs over a table and placed her paw across a law book as an oath was administered.
German restaurant accidentally serves hash cake at funeral
BERLIN (AP) — Police say a funeral in eastern Germany ended on an involuntary drug high when mourners were accidentally served hash cake.
Rostock police said Tuesday after the burial in Wiethagen, the funeral party went to a restaurant for coffee and cake, as is customary in Germany. But after eating the cake, 13 people experienced nausea and dizziness and needed medical treatment.
A police investigation revealed that the restaurant employee in charge of the cakes had asked her 18-year-old daughter to bake them. However, the mother accidentally took the wrong cake from the freezer to the funeral. She took a hash cake that the teenager had made for a different occasion.
Police said the 18-year-old is under investigation.
The incident happened in August but wasn't published earlier out of respect for the mourners.
TSA finds gun-shaped toilet paper roller in bag at airport
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Transportation Security Administration agents at New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport uncovered a more decorative than deadly item when they checked a passenger's carry-on.
Agents on Tuesday thought there was a gun in the bag when they put it through the X-ray machine. However, a closer inspection revealed a gun-shaped toilet paper roller. The realistic replica gun was designed to spin paper instead of bullets.
Travelers are not permitted to bring real or replica firearms through security checkpoints.
TSA says it gave the man the option to place it in a checked bag, hand it off to a companion or surrender it. He decided to give it to TSA.
Sheriff: Woman sold medical excuse notes to students
EVANS, La. (AP) — Authorities in Louisiana say a woman who worked at a medical clinic has been arrested for selling fake doctor's notes to high school students so they can get out of class.
News outlets report 52-year-old Belinda Gail Fondren was charged with filing or maintaining false public records.
Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft says Fondren was selling medical excuses for $20 each. He says two students at Evans High School in Evans, Louisiana received excuses on 14 occasions.
Deputies said a physician received a call from Vernon Parish School Board about the absence notes. He told deputies that he didn't treat the students nor did he authorize the excuses.
Craft says Fondren worked in a clerical position at the clinic.
It's unclear whether Fondren has an attorney.
Masterpiece found in French woman's kitchen sells for $26.6M
PARIS (AP) — An old painting found in the kitchen of an elderly French woman, who considered it an icon of little importance, has made her a multimillionaire.
The work, a masterpiece attributed to the 13th-century Italian painter Cimabue that was discovered earlier this year, sold for 24 million euros ($26.6 million) Sunday.
Dominique Le Coent of Acteon Auction House, who sold the masterpiece to an anonymous buyer near Chantilly, north of Paris, said the sale represented a "world record for a primitive, or a pre-1500 work."
"It's a painting that was unique, splendid and monumental. Cimabue was the father of the Renaissance. But this sale goes beyond all our dreams," Le Coent told The Associated Press.
An auctioneer spotted the painting in June while inspecting a woman's house in Compiegne in northern France and suggested she bring it to experts for an evaluation. It hung on a wall between the kitchen and dining room.
The woman will now receive "the majority" of the sale money, the auction house said.
The expected sale price had been 4 million to 6 million euros ($4.4 million to $6.6 million).
Le Coent said experts were off the mark because it was the first time a Cimabue had ever gone under the hammer. "There's never been a Cimabue painting on sale so there was no reference previously on how much it could make," he explained.
Titled "Christ Mocked," the painting measures about 10 inches by 8 inches (24 by 20 centimeters).
Art experts say it is likely part of a larger diptych that Cimabue painted around 1280, of which two other panels are displayed at the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery in London.
The painting's discovery has sent ripples of excitement through the art world.
Cimabue, who taught Italian master Giotto, is widely considered the forefather of the Italian Renaissance. He broke from the Byzantine style popular in the Middle Ages and began to incorporate elements of movement and perspective that came to characterize Western painting.
Specialists at the Turquin gallery in Paris initially examined the painting and concluded with "certitude" that it bore the hallmarks of Cimabue.
Stephane Pinta, an art specialist with the Turquin, pointed to likenesses in facial expressions and buildings, as well as the painter's techniques for conveying light and distance.
—By THOMAS ADAMSON, Associated Press
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