Man declared dead as he stood alive before judge

Published: Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 8:39 AM
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 8:39 AM

As an Ohio man stood before a judge trying to prove he was alive — yes, you heard that right — the judge simply said, “You’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned.” Wait, what?

“Donald Eugene Miller was trying to get back his Social Security number and his driver’s license. … Well, in Ohio, there’s a three-year limit for overturning a death. Why?” (Via HLN)

Why? Well as one commenter puts it: “The three year limitation is to have finality. ... This guy’s ex-wife shouldn’t have to live the rest of her days wondering if he’ll turn up and she’ll have to repay Social Security, heirs shouldn’t have to spend their entire lives wondering if Uncle Thurston will ever return from the cruise.” (Via The Straight Dope)

So back to Miller, who’s now 61. He was missing for way longer than three years — try nearly 20. He was officially declared dead in 1994, eight years after he disappeared from his home.

Miller said in court he left to avoid paying the $26,000 he owed in child support on his two kids. He lost his job and reportedly didn't know what to do. “My paycheck was being taken away from me and I had nothing left. It kind of went further than I ever expected it to. I just kind of took off, ended up in different places.” (Via The Courier)

He reportedly worked odd jobs until he finally returned home in 2005. That’s when he learned of his own death.

Right now it doesn’t look like Miller will be brought back from the dead — legally, anyway — but his ex-wife, Robin Miller, opposes his request anyway. Although she didn’t testify in court, she says she can’t afford to pay back the Social Security benefits. (Via RT)

Even the judge was taken aback when the “dead” man walked into his courtroom.  

He told CNN: “In over 40 years, I’ve never come across a case like this. In the end though, because of the statute, it was a pretty open-and-shut case.” (Via CNN)

Although it is possible Miller could take the ruling to federal court, his lawyer said Miller just doesn’t have the resources to do that. But he’s still hopeful he can reconnect with his family, even after all these years.

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Man crashes truck into Nevada brothel

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 2:34 AM

A semi-truck crashed through the front gates and the front door of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, the famed Nevada brothel featured in the

A man backed a tractor-trailer through the gate of Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch early Thursday, crashing it into the front door of the brothel featured in the “CatHouse” reality television show, CBS News reported. 

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Brian Brandt, 40, of Reno, was arrested and faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, property destruction and possession of stolen property, the Lyon County Sheriff's office said. He remains in jail, authorities said.

Brothel owner Dennis Hof said none of the five employees, 30 female prostitutes and 10 customers inside at the time were hurt when the crash happened just after 4 a.m.

“It sounded like a bomb went off,” Hof told CBS News. He estimated that the truck caused $400,000 in damages.

Hof said the suspect was wearing full body armor and a mask. He said he did not know Brandt and none of the people working at the brothel did. 

The truck had been stolen from a northern Nevada terminal of Michigan-based Central Transport hours before it crashed into the brothel, Mickey Blashfield, a company spokesman, told CBS News.

Blashfield said Brandt was a trucker for the company but was fired in recent months because of what he characterized as inappropriate behavior, CBS News reported.


Missouri bride’s 92-year-old uncle is her ‘something blue’

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 2:05 AM

Something blue.
Deb Perry/Getty Images

A Missouri bride wanted to include “something blue” for her wedding earlier this month. 

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She got it in a touching way, as her 92-year-old uncle participated in her service on May 13, in his Marine Corps dress blues.

Alison Ferrell of Cape Girardeau wanted to include Bill Lee Eblen in her ceremony. But Eblen, a sergeant in the Marines who served during World War II and saw action at Okinawa, was sick with pneumonia.

“When we first got engaged I knew that I wanted to include Uncle Bill in a special way," Ferrell told KFVS

“I come from a family where we were taught to have the utmost respect and admiration for the armed services and honoring him as the ‘something blue’ just seemed like the natural choice,” Ferrell told ABC News

"The nurses there at the hospital asked him what his goal was and that what they wrote on the board. He said 'I want to be something blue in your wedding,'" Ferrell told KFVS.

Eblen said he worked hard on his recovery, and on Ferrell’s wedding day he came down the aisle in a wheelchair, holding a sign that read “I’m her something blue.”

"I said I'm 92 years old this is a miracle happening to me," Eblen told KFVS.

Ferrell said she was grateful to have her uncle as part of her special day.
"Looking at him in his dress blues, it gave me a lot of joy to see how happy he was that day. And obviously a lot of pride for him and his service," she told ABC News. "I really wanted to highlight that day and give him some recognition because he definitely deserves it."

"What's your goal?" One of the nurses asked him. "To be her "Something Blue" on her wedding day," my uncle replied...

Posted by Love What Matters on Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Posted by Ali Ferrell on Monday, May 15, 2017

2 arrested for trying to force alligator to drink beer

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 10:20 PM

Violetastock/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Two men who admitted to blowing smoke into a young alligator’s mouth and pouring beer down its throat have been charged with harassing wildlife in Ridgeland, South Carolina.

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State Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Kyndel McConchie said Friday that 20-year-old Joseph Andrew Floyd Jr. and 21-year-old Zachary Lloyd Brown admitted to officers that they picked up the alligator after they saw it crossing the road.

McConchie said the two Ridgeland men also acknowledged posting photos of their actions on social media.

Authorities said Floyd told officers they released the alligator and watched it swim away in a nearby pond.

The misdemeanor charge of harassing wildlife carries a maximum fine of $300.

The day Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder watched the Seattle Kingdome implosion

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 12:01 AM

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder went to the roof of the Newmark Tower at 1415 2nd Avenue to watch the Kingdome implosion at 8:30 a.m. March 26, 2000. (Photo copyright 2017 by Lee LeFever)

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell was remembered Friday in a somber memorial service in Los Angeles. A mixture of celebrities and music elite remembered Cornell’s love for his family, and his musical achievements as one of rock’s leading voices.

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In Seattle, fan Lee LeFever recalled a day when Cornell and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder stood together on a Seattle rooftop as a couple of locals, watching the Kingdome implosion.

It was a Sunday, March 26, 2000. The Kingdome, which was the longtime home of the Seahawks, Mariners, boat shows, rock concerts and the occasional religious gathering, was packed with nearly 6,000 dynamite charges. Thousands crowded together on rooftops and overpasses to get a view of the early-morning implosion.

LeFever had a buddy with a construction job downtown, and he and three friends went there for the rooftop view. There were about 50 people milling around, passing time before the 8:30 a.m. implosion.

Then someone said, “Wait, isn’t that Eddie Vedder over there?”

It was, and he was there with Cornell.

Cornell was one of the first people Vedder met outside his Pearl Jam bandmates after moving here in 1990. For a time, the two were neighbors.

“I had no idea how it would affect my life and my views on music and my views on friendship and what a big impact he would have,” Vedder told a crowd before performing with Cornell in September 2011.

After LeFever's story about the Kingdome implosion day appeared in a Seattle Magazine story by Michael Rietmulder, he was told the two rock stars had the same entertainment lawyer, who had a penthouse in the building, which was the Newmark Tower at 1415 2nd Ave.

LeFever, 43, discovered Pearl Jam and Soundgarden as a college freshman in the fall of 1991. He remembers watching one of the band's videos in which Vedder falls into a crowd during a Moore Theatre concert, and thinking, “Wow, that’s what’s happening in Seattle.”

That was a part of what brought him here in 1998 after graduate school, moving to Capitol Hill from Charleston, South Carolina without a job but in love with the idea of living in the Northwest. He felt at the time there couldn’t be two places further apart in so many ways, “and I loved it,” LeFever said.

On the rooftop, Cornell and Vedder casually mingled, holding coffee mugs.

“They were definitely the only people there that were dressed like rock stars, especially Chris Cornell,” said LeFever, who wore a button-down fleece that morning. “He just had the spiked hair and the tight pants and the sort of look of a rock star. And I think Eddie Vedder at the time and even now has an unmistakable look.

“It was just sort of unbelievable to look up and see these people that you only see in TV and magazines and music videos. But they seemed totally normal and totally at ease.”

LeFever thought about approaching. He hatched a plan: Ask them to take a picture of him with the Space Needle in the background. That would be a pretty simple request, and wouldn’t make it weird.

But “I couldn’t work up the courage to say anything at the time,” he recalled.

And maybe that was best, LeFever said. If the same scene had happened today, 17 years later in the era of smartphones and social media, maybe it would have been a mob scene with everyone wanting selfies. It wouldn’t be the same.

“I’m glad," LeFever said, "that maybe at the time it was a place where they could be safe at home in Seattle among their Seattleites and know that people aren’t going to be too crazy.”

LeFever now writes a blog, Camping on Tuesdays, and co-founded Common Craft, an educational video company, with his wife, Sachi. They live in Seattle with their two dogs, Bosco and Maybe. (Yes, they have a dog named Maybe.)

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report. This story also was updated to correct the Pearl Jam video filmed at the Moore Theatre.