Mad Minute

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee entrepreneur whose hot tub on wheels is one of downtown Nashville’s best-known party vehicles has been told to stop operating a public swimming pool without a permit, a lawsuit says.

Nashville’s metropolitan government asked a judge to temporarily shut down the mobile tub in a lawsuit filed last week, The Tennessean reported. A hearing is scheduled next Wednesday.

The health department informed Music City Party Tub of the violation in an Aug. 11 letter, according to the report. The party vehicle has been a regular presence in Nashville’s downtown entertainment district since April 2019, touted on a website as allowing at least six or seven revelers to soak at one time.

It was that month that owner Guy Williams stopped by the health department, the agency says, adding staff told him to submit design plans and apply for a pool permit. The party tub on a trailer was inspected and Williams was told what to fix to be approved, but the lawsuit says he never returned.

Health department workers spotted Williams running his vehicle in September 2020 and confronted him about not having a pool permit, according to the suit. It said he claimed he was exempt because the hot tub fell 50 gallons (190 liters) shy of the “minimum capacity” for a public pool.

The lawsuit said such an exemption doesn’t exist. What’s more, it said, the business isn’t registered with the state and does not have a county business license.

Williams could not be immediately reached for comment.


(CNN)The US Marshals Service is asking for the public's help in identifying a man investigators say strongly resembles one of its most wanted fugitives who has been on the run for 23 years.

John Ruffo was convicted in the late 1990s of a $350 million bank fraud scheme and sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison. He was given bond but never showed up to prison to serve his sentence.

About $13 million of the money was never recovered.

In September 2016, a tip came in to investigators that Ruffo, now 66, had been at a Boston Red Sox and LA Dodgers baseball game in Los Angeles a month earlier, on August 5, 2016, and that he was sitting about four rows up from home plate wearing a blue shirt, the Marshals Service said in a news release.

A video clip from the game confirmed a man fitting Ruffo's description was sitting several rows behind home plate. Before that possible 2016 sighting, Ruffo hadn't been seen since 1998 at an ATM in New York, the Marshals Service said.

Investigators were able to narrow the seat down to Section 1 Dugout Club, Row EE, Seat 10. But even though they found the seat and identified the person who bought the seats, they haven't been able to identify the man in the blue shirt.

Ruffo is now the subject of the ABC News podcast "Have You Seen This Man?"

After his conviction for his part in what the Marshals Service says is one of the largest bank fraud scams in US history, Ruffo was given a $10 million bond and ordered to report to a federal prison in New Jersey on November 9, 1998, to begin serving his 210-month sentence. But he never showed.

An arrest warrant was issued the next day. US marshals found that on November 9, Ruffo drove a rental car to the long-term parking lot at John F. Kennedy International Airport. It's believed he rented the car earlier that day in Manhattan and withdrew money from an ATM on the way to the New York airport, the Marshals Service said.

Investigators say if the man in the blue shirt is Ruffo, he will likely be using an alias.

Since Ruffo disappeared, the Marshals Service says it has chased hundreds of leads across the United States and worldwide. While there have been multiple reported sightings of Ruffo, the ATM photograph is the last confirmed sighting.

Ruffo was 5 feet 5 inches, 23 years ago and weighed approximately 170 pounds, the Marshals Service said.

"He is known to be computer savvy and enjoys fine wines, gambling, and nice hotels," the news release said. "He is reportedly lactose-intolerant. Ruffo was known to be a storyteller, someone who liked to stretch the truth, and had a desire to impress others. He has been called a master manipulator."

Because of his time as a businessman in New York, investigators say, Ruffo has a variety of international connections. He had traveled to Aruba and showed interest in Italy, where he was known to have traveled in the past.

Given those strong international ties and a likelihood that Ruffo could be living overseas, wanted posted have been translated into seven languages, the Marshals Service said.

A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for any information leading to Ruffo's arrest.

The Marshals Service says anyone with information should contact the nearest district office or submit a tip via 877-WANTED2 or the agency's app or website.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Danish police have confiscated a high-performance luxury car after its new owner was caught speeding as he drove it home from Germany to Norway, a northern Danish newspaper reported Friday.

The man, an Iraqi citizen resident in Norway who was not identified, was registered Thursday as driving at 236 kph (147 mph) in his Lamborghini Huracan on a stretch of highway where the top speed is 130 kph (81 mph).

Under a new Danish law, police can seize the vehicles of reckless drivers and auction them off, with the money going into Danish coffers.

The Nordjyske newspaper said the man had bought the car hours earlier in Germany for 2 million kroner ($310,000).

Jess Falberg, the on-duty officer with the northern Denmark police, told Nordjyske that the owner was "a little annoyed" when the car was seized.

The car owner will also be fined for speeding in due course.


( William Behre, president of Slippery Rock University, is issuing a call to arms — at least for himself — to encourage more students to get the covid-19 vaccine.

Behre vowed to receive a permanent Slippery Rock University-themed tattoo on his upper arm during an on-campus event if the student vaccination rate reaches a 75% threshold by Dec. 3.

The "Rock the Shot, Ink the President" campaign will include various prize drawings for students based on rising campus vaccination rates.

Verified student vaccination rate is about 52%, Behre said.

This semester, there have been about 110 symptomatic covid cases among the university's 8,000 students, he added, "so we're staying pretty low."

The tattoo design will be selected after a contest in which students, faculty and staff can submit designs. Behre will select finalists to be voted on by SRU students and alumni.

"It's going to (be) on my body forever, so I should at least have a say in the design, right?" he said. "Schools across the country are offering all kinds of incentive programs to get students vaccinated, but how many presidents are putting their arms on the line?"

If the rate reaches 65% by Nov. 1, the school will hold a drawing to award five students with assigned parking spots in a lot of the student's choosing for the spring semester.

Should the student vaccination rate reach 70% by Nov. 17, one student will win free tuition for the spring semester.

All undergraduate students who submit proof of the final recommended dose of a covid-19 vaccine to the university's Student Health Portal will be entered into the prize drawings. Those who have previously uploaded proof of vaccination are eligible already.

The university partners with a nearby Giant Eagle pharmacy for on-demand vaccines, Behre said. The pharmacy is within walking distance of campus and also is serviced by a shuttle bus.

Behre said he first had the tattoo idea while talking to the football team prior to the season.

"Their motto is 'Relentless,' and I thought if they all got vaccinated, I could get a tattoo of 'Relentless,' " he said. "Then I thought, we have so many teams, I'd end up with my whole arm covered in tattoos. So, I thought, why not make it a school-wide thing?"

He and staff members did a quiet survey among a small group of students to see if the idea would fly.

"I'm 56 years old, and something that sounds cool to a 56-year-old might sound stupid to a 20-year-old," he said.

"While I have to admit that getting a tattoo hasn't exactly been a lifelong desire of mine, it would be a memorable – and permanent – way of making clear just how important I think it is for our students at Slippery Rock University to get fully vaccinated," Behre said. "If getting a tattoo needle in my arm will inspire others to get the vaccine needle in theirs, then it would be well worth it.

"We've shared all the serious stuff and if that hasn't been convincing, then let's have some fun with it," he said. "I think it's just the eternal optimism of young people that they think nothing bad will ever happen to them.

"With Rock the Shot, Ink the President, I think we can have some fun and raise awareness while helping to protect those on our campus and in the surrounding communities by increasing our student vaccination rate," he said.


Idaho Falls, ID - On August 13, 2021, shortly after 11:00 p.m., Idaho Falls Police Officers responded to a report of a shooting that had occurred in downtown Idaho Falls, around the 500 block of Shoup Avenue.

According to witnesses on scene a group of people were involved in an argument during which one person produced a firearm and fired a shot at another person.

The victim was struck with a single round and was transported to an area hospital by private vehicle where they were met by law enforcement. The victim received treatment from medical staff, ultimately recovered and was released from the hospital.

Initial accounts from witnesses on scene led investigators to believe that Cristian Sanchez had shot the victim. These initial accounts included multiple witnesses who independently stated that they believed Sanchez was the shooter.

On August 18, 2021, Sanchez was located and interviewed by Idaho Falls Police Detectives. Sanchez denied involvement in the shooting. Sanchez was also asked about a video posted on social media by another person, Nikolaus Garcia, who claimed responsibility for the shooting. Sanchez confirmed that he and Garcia had been together that night but stated that Garcia had not shot anyone. Based on information known at the time, Sanchez was arrested for Felony Aggravated Battery by Use of a Deadly Weapon.

Through continued investigation, Idaho Falls Police Detectives located additional evidence that indicated that the second person on scene during the shooting, Nikolas Garcia, was actually the shooter. This evidence includes video that clearly shows Garcia and Sanchez arguing with the victim, and Garcia ultimately shooting the victim.

Idaho Falls Police Detectives requested an arrest warrant for Garcia and an alteration to Sanchez's charges, which were both granted.

Yesterday, October 7, 2021, the Idaho Falls Police Department received a call from Garcia who stated that he wanted to come to the station to pick up a firearm that had been seized as evidence in a previous incident. The Idaho Falls Police employee who spoke with Garcia invited him to come to the station.

Idaho Falls Police Detectives patrolled the path that they knew Garcia was likely to take and located Garcia near the intersection of Bannock and Elva where he was taken into custody without incident.

Nikolaus Garcia, a 24-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was arrested for Felony Aggravated Battery with Use of a Deadly Weapon and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail.

Cristian Sanchez, a 23-year-old male resident of Idaho Falls, remains in custody at the Bonneville County Jail on an amended charge of Felony Accessory to Aggravated Battery.


SRBAC, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — It's not exactly on par with India's Taj Mahal, but a family house in a small town in northern Bosnia is in its own way a monument to love.

The house in Srbac was designed and built by 72-year-old Vojin Kusic. With a green facade and red metal roof, it can rotate a full circle to satisfy his wife Ljubica's shifting desires as to what she would like to see when she looks out of its windows.

"After I reached an advanced age and after my children took over the family business, I finally had enough time to task myself with granting my wife her wish" to be able to change the position of rooms in her house whenever she wants, Kusic said.

Many years ago when they married, Kusic had built another, typical house for himself and his wife in which they raised their three children. At the time, his wife wanted their bedrooms to face the sun, so they did. But this meant their living room faced away from the road. After a while, he says his wife complained that "she could not see people entering our front yard" and Kusic had to remodel everything.

"I had to tear down the wall between our two bedrooms to turn them into a living room and move all (electrical) installations. It was a very demanding task, it took a lot from me, but I did what she wanted," he said.

Then six years ago, the only one of Kusic's three children not to fly the nest, a son, got married and his parents decided to let him live on the top floor of their family house while they moved to the ground floor.

"Once again, this time on the ground floor, I had to start tearing down some walls, at which point, to not wait for her to change her mind again, I decided to build a new, rotating house so that she can spin it as she pleases," Kusic said.

Kusic, who did not have a chance to go to college, designed and built his rotating house by himself, using electric motors and the wheels of an old military transport vehicle.

"Now, our front door also rotates, so if she spots unwanted guests heading our way, she can spin the house and make them turn away," he joked.

In Bosnian, his wife's name means "loved one." She declined to be interviewed.


The 44-year-old man who spent the better part of two days in a tree in Queens has finally come down after repeated attempts from NYPD hostage negotiators to talk him into climbing down.

Police responding to a 911 call Wednesday about a dispute inside a building on 145th Avenue in Brookville encountered Roody Thomas when they arrived. They say he was wanted in connection with a past assault but didn't specify the nature of it. News 4 has learned the dispute involved some kind of argument with his mother, but there was no indication that any physical violence was involved at the time of the call.

Thomas ran away from the officers and climbed onto the roof of the home. Emergency crews responded and tried to talk the man down -- but he moved into a nearby tree in an effort to avoid officers, police say, and refused to come down.

The NYPD's hostage negotiation unit had been on scene for much of the 48 hours attempting to keep a dialogue and convince the man to come down. Neighbors say he has also managed to get into his house a few times via a window near the same height as the tree.

Firefighters came by with a ladder truck and tried to get the man to come down but they say he swung a large stick at them.

It wasn't until late in the day Friday when the man finally scaled down the tree around 5 p.m. moments after police officers left the neighborhood. Community leaders initially said he wanted to change before they intended to take him to the hospital for evaluation.

A police spokesperson told the Associated Press Thomas made it to a hospital Friday and confirmed that the pending criminal matters against him would still need to be resolved.

A local community activist told News 4 that she had tried to talk to the man but it didn't work. "I was speaking with him, we were joking," Sabine French said.

"I was asking 'why are you in the tree? you're stressing people out, come down.' We were joking but then at one point, I believe the feeling was the communication was interfering with the communication of law enforcement," the community activist added.

Police say the man is also wanted on a prior warrant for allegedly assaulting an ex-girlfriend.


Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Police in Kansas said a wallet that was returned to its owner had been missing since the early 1970s.

The Great Bend Police Department said in a Facebook post that a wallet recently was turned in to the department by a member of the public, and officers found several items including a Social Security card and a driver's license inside -- although the license had expired in 1974.

The department said officers were able to get into contact with the wallet's owner, who now lives in Lawrence, Kan. The owner told police he had lost the wallet in the early 1970s.

"He was tickled and shared with us that he made the wallet himself," the post said.


Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin man turned a local nuisance into a profitable business by offering his services removing walnuts from yards -- and then selling them.

Jesse Peterson, a Middleton resident and owner of J's Black Walnuts, said he offers his services to residents in Sauk City, Beaver Dam, Verona, Middleton and Belleville to remove black walnuts from their yards free of charge.

Peterson said property owners often see the walnuts as a nuisance, as they can cause hazards for lawn mowers and turn into a mess if they rot on the ground.

He said the walnuts he collects end up in his garage, and once the winter arrives, he spends his time removing the meat to sell on his website for $22 per pound, $11.50 for 8 ounces and $6 for 4 ounces.

Peterson said he also sells the nuts at farmers markets in Promega and Fitchburg. He said other local vendors use his nuts as ingredients for cookies, bread and other foods.

"This is tree to yard to my garage to table," Peterson told the Wisconsin State Journal. "I'm about as big as I can get right now with one person."


Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A sheep has been on the loose in Illinois town for at least five days and has evaded capture, despite multiple sightings.

Bloomington residents have captured photos and videos of the sheep since it was first spotted Monday.

Some witnesses said they reported the sightings to animal control, but the sheep still was on the loose Thursday, when it was spotted near the Miller Park Zoo.

The sheep's origins are currently unknown, but some locals think it may be related to a Sept. 19 crash on Interstate 55 that temporarily released multiple sheep and goats into the roadway.