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POSTED October 3, 2012 9:06 p.m.

BOSTON ARBORIST STUMPED BY BURL BURGLARIES: BOSTON (AP) — Arborists in the Boston area are stumped by the theft of burls, those giant knots on the trunks of most tree species prized by woodworkers for their intricate grain.

Greg Mosman, the city of Boston's arborist, noticed burls cut from trees during routine inspections at Franklin Park last spring. He's since noticed them missing from trees in other city parks, and has heard they have been cut from trees in Brookline and Watertown.

In  most cases the burls are cut with chain saws. Cutting off a burl can shorten a tree's life.

Dave Eaton, president of Central New England Woodturners, says a burl could fetch anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on size and quality.

PA. TOWN CRAFTS COMPROMISE OVER PARADE CHAIRS: CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania borough council has crafted a compromise to a long-sitting problem.

Canonsburg borough's Fourth of July Committee wants to limit how soon residents can put chairs along the borough's Independence Day parade route because some folks have begun putting up chairs to save their seats nearly two weeks in advance.

Council says that's unsafe and, earlier this year, proposed to ban the chairs until 6 a.m. each July 4.

But now council plans to vote two weeks from now on a rule that will let residents put the chairs out two days earlier.

They're doing that because the chair-placing has become an event unto itself, with a local civic group giving out cash prizes for the most flamboyantly decorated seats.

Officials hope the compromise will reduce safety problems but not dampen the pre-parade tradition.

POLICE FIND HIGH-SPEED CHASE SUSPECT IN HOT TUB: ALMENA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say they captured a runaway suspect trying to hide in a backyard hot tub in southwestern Michigan following a more than 100 mph chase.

The Van Buren County sheriff's department says one of its deputies stopped a pickup truck early Wednesday for a defective plate, but the driver took off. The department says the driver lost control and the pickup overturned in Almena Township, west of Kalamazoo. The driver fled on foot.

The department says a Kalamazoo police dog tracked the man and he was found hiding in a hot tub with a cover over it. The 28-year-old man was arrested on charges including fleeing police, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license and operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs.

'BATMAN' CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTING MICHIGAN POLICE: PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — The search for a driver who fled an accident scene in northern Michigan over the weekend was apparently a job for a dog, not a bat.

State troopers arrested 33-year-old Mark Wayne Williams because they say he refused to leave them alone after he showed up Saturday night wearing a Batman outfit.

"He wouldn't clear the scene, and we had a canine out there and he kept screwing up the scent," State Police Sgt. Jeff Gorno said. "He said he wanted to help us look for the driver."

"We didn't want the dog to track Batman instead of the accident scene, and he was getting in the way of officers who had a job to do," the sergeant said.

Williams wasn't carrying any dangerous weapons, but his costume and gear were confiscated, Gorno said.

 

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