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September 2010
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October 2010

92-year-old robbed in Prospect Hill Cemetery gets wallet back

Marlet Spangler's wife, Norma, died seven years ago at 81.

Spangler, 92, misses her and just about every day, he drives to Prospect Hill Cemetery in Manchester Township to visit her grave. He usually spends a few minutes visiting her and then, he said, "he walks around looking at the graves, you know, monkeying around."

On Wednesday, just after noon, he was at his wife's grave when he heard a car pull up near his car. A moment later, a man in his late 20s or early 30s, had pulled a black revolver on him and was demanding his wallet.

"I guess I wasn't quick enough to hand it over, so he grabbed it, ripped my pants," Spangler said Friday in his Manchester Township home.   MORE

Used car donation gotcha

We as a nation are an incredibly generous people. Clark recently saw a report that detailed how much more charitable Americans are than the citizens of almost any other society on the Earth. Yet in midst of giving of ourselves, we open ourselves up to scams.

As we move closer to Christmas, you'll hear the appeals for donating an old car and taking a tax deduction. Beware of a special gotcha that applies here.

Historically, you would just get a deduction of the straight value of the car if you signed it over to a charity. So if it was worth $1,000, you got a $1,000 deduction. But now the IRS only allows you to take a tax deduction for the actual amount of money the charity receives for the car.

This can be tricky if the charity disposes of your car through a car broker. In that case, the charity may only get $25 or $50 for your $1,000 car. Your deduction then is limited to that $50. And to add insult to injury, the lion's share of your $1,000 car's value went to the broker -- not the charity.

So what can you do? Begin by asking the charity of your choice how they handle disposing of your old car. If they do it through a broker, find an alternative. Clark suggests selling the car yourself and then donating the proceeds.

Even if your car is basically dead, you can still take it to a junkyard that specializes in extracting valuable metals from vehicles. You may receive a few hundred dollars or so by doing this. Then you can take that money and donate it.

Doomsday warnings of US apocalypse gain ground


Economists peddling dire warnings that the world's number one economy is on the brink of collapse, amid high rates of unemployment and a spiraling public deficit, are flourishing here.

The guru of this doomsday line of thinking may be economist Nouriel Roubini, thrust into the forefront after predicting the chaos wrought by the subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of the housing bubble.

"The US has run out of bullets," Roubini told an economic forum in Italy earlier this month. "Any shock at this point can tip you back into recession."

But other economists, who have so far stayed out of the media limelight, are also proselytizing nightmarish visions of the future.

Western surge in obesity may have been caused by a virus

The obesity explosion that has swept the Western world over the past 30 years may have been caused by a virus, scientists have said.

Researchers have discovered new evidence for an illness they have called "infectobesity" – obesity that is transmitted from person to person, much like an infection. The agent thought to be responsible is a strain of adenovirus, versions of which cause the common cold. It has already been labelled the "fat bug".

There are more than 50 strains of adenovirus known to infect humans but only one, adenovirus 36, has been linked with human obesity.  Read More