Wrought Iron Bench Stolen

Park Ridge Police Blotter: Wrought Iron Bench Stolen, Vandalism and More

By Brian Slupski

Someone removed a wrought iron bench from the front of a house in the 1600 block of N. Parkside Drive. The incident occurred sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. June 14.

A wallet containing cash and a credit card was removed from a backpack at Centennial Pool, 100 S. Western Avenue. The incident occurred June 14 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.


Through the wrought iron safety gate of Disney’s Cars Land

Make-A-Wish fulfills boy’s dream to see Disney’s Cars Land
Lucas, 9, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, is one of the first to experience the new Disney California Adventure attraction.


Lucas wheeled himself toward the wrought-iron safety gate separating him from the ride he was about to experience – Luigi’s Flying Tires, a personal hovercraft attraction in Cars Land.

As he watched the super-sized “flying tires” bumping and bouncing their way across an expansive arena, he inched his wheelchair closer and closer to the gate. It wasn’t long before his front wheels started drifting upward.

Lucas’ family is raising money to buy him a service dog, expected to cost $12,000 to $15,000. To make a donation to the Lucas Appleton Trust Fund, which is being maintained at Rabobank in Pismo Beach, call the bank at 805-773-5255 and ask to speak with the branch manager.

“Not that close, buddy!” a ride operator cheerfully reminded the 9-year-old boy.
“He’s so excited,” said his mother, Cassandra, shaking her head as she warned him (again) to not do wheelies in line.

Lucas, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Friedreich’s ataxia, was one of four kids with life-threatening illnesses who got to experience the new attractions at Disney California Adventure park Thursday through children’s dream-granting charity Make-A-Wish.

Lucas’ wish, to be one of the first children to experience Cars Land, was granted – and then some, as he excitedly reported.

“I wished I could come to this new land and they came over to my house and they saw how many cars I had,” Lucas explained Thursday, practically tripping over his own words as he recounted the day Make-A-Wish officials visited his home. “And I said I really liked ‘Cars,’ and they gave me my wish, and they gave me more than I wished for,” Lucas said. “No one has ever done anything like this for me.”

In all, Lucas, his parents Cassandra and Jeff and 13-year-old brother William received a five-day trip to the Disneyland Resort, including a personal Disney escort and VIP access to Cars Land’s opening ceremony.

Lucas, a big fan of the Disney-Pixar films “Cars” and “Cars 2,” first learned about Cars Land in January while watching Disney Channel, and he’s been talking about wanting to go ever since, his mother said.

“I’ve been shaking my head in disbelief at the amazing thing Make-A-Wish and Disney has done,” said Cassandra Appleton, of Grover Beach near San Luis Obispo. “We’ve all been smiling and laughing and having a great time and not stressing about anything. It’s just been so relaxing and so freeing – it’s been wonderful.”

to be continued


The modern footballer goes through the wrought iron gates of Auschwitz

This is Auschwitz… after Van Persie, Italy and Germany, here come England trying to do the right thing


This morning Joe Hart will stand in goal, this afternoon he will stand in a gas chamber. Such is the challenge to the modern footballer.
At approximately 2pm, after the completion of training, a delegation of England players, coaches and staff will travel 70 kilometres west from the team base in Krakow to the town of Oswiecim, and then on to the nearby village of Brzezinka.

The world knows these locations by other names. Infamous, dreaded German translations. Auschwitz. Birkenau. The players will be taken to the wrought iron gates with the bleakly ironic legend Arbeit Macht Frei (work makes you free) and the atrocity exhibition will begin.

Immediately beyond the barbed wire, a sign informs, the corpses of the executed and  tortured were displayed as a warning to new arrivals. Inside the camp, and at its sister site, more than one million died. Nobody knows the true numbers because, with slaughter on such scale, even the officious Nazis ceased keeping record.

Another sign: ‘The people were selected on the railway platform. Those to be gassed were assured they were going to take a bath. Dummy showers were fixed to the ceiling. Cudgelled and halloed with dogs, 2000 victims were crammed into the chamber 210 square metres approximately in area. The chamber door was locked and Zyklon B was poured.

‘After 15-20 minutes the chamber was opened. Corpses were stripped of gold teeth, hair,  ear-rings, rings and then transported to the crematory. Victims’ personal documents were destroyed.’

Day after day. Year after year. And it is all there. The men and women of the Holocaust Education Trust, two of whom spoke to England’s footballers about their experiences last week, go to extraordinary and noble lengths to leave a positive message of forgiveness and tolerance, but the sights of Auschwitz-Birkenau are unrelentingly sad and brutal.

The lasting memory is of the footings of makeshift wooden barracks stretching as far as the eye can see, a bald, single track train line running through the middle, the apparatus of death at journey’s end. This was the Nazis’ Final Solution and, having borne belated witness to it, as the sun fades, an air-conditioned coach will return its silent charges to the Football Association’s five-star boutique residence in the heart of Krakow’s lively centre.

The following morning the players will train again as usual, their duty done. Numbed silence is the standard response to an Auschwitz visit. When one particularly ignorant group of England Under 21 players tried to banter and mock their way around the austere brick outbuildings some years ago, their coach, an incandescent Peter Taylor, delivered a spectacular dressing down.

This time, the proper tone has been achieved following a talk given by Holocaust survivors Zigi Shipper and Ben Helfgott. When they had finished, the first hand raised to volunteer to make the visit was that of Wayne Rooney.

to be continued




Wrought iron stolen from Strymonas Bridge

Strymonas Bridge being picked apart by metal thieves

A bridge crossing the Strymonas River between the villages of Vyroneia and Gonimo in Serres, northern Greece, is gradually disappearing as scrap metal collectors are picking it clean.

According to local authorities, over half of the bridge, which was constructed in the 1960s by the army and has been out of use for several years, has been appropriated by scrappers, who sell stolen metal at a tidy profit.

“The situation is getting very bad in Serres,” said municipal councilor Efthymios Spanidis.

“[The scrappers] have torn off around 60 percent of the bridge; they steal wrought iron railings, manhole covers, electricity converters and anything else than contains iron or copper.”

Police investigating the rising volume of theft of public property believe scrapping to be an organized criminal activity that is rampant across the Balkan region.

“We have intercepted entire trucks filled with pilfered copper cabling, metal equipment and grills destined for Bulgaria,” Serres police chief Stefanos Mandylas added.


Simon Grant Jones and wrought iron screen

TV programme to feature Dorset blacksmith’s work

AN award-winning blacksmith will see his work on screen in a TV documentary tomorrow night.

Simon Grant-Jones is a contributor in the BBC4 programme ‘The Blacksmith’s Tale’ and a piece of ironwork that he made recently will feature in the film.

The Kingston Maurward College blacksmith and forgework tutor said: “When the BBC first called me, they just wanted information.

“They had no idea I was making this wrought iron screen.

“It was made for Kingston Maurward Gardens as a commission and is to reflect the period of Kingston Maurward House, around 1720.

“It just so happens that this fitted perfectly with the programme that the BBC was making on wrought iron.

“Traditional techniques are used throughout and everything is contemporary to the early 18th Century style of working.

“My inspiration for blacksmithing is a man named Robert Bakewell, who was working around 300 years ago.

“One day the producer called me again and said they would be reviewing a Bakewell piece in Derby, would I like to go?

“So we went to Derby and I reviewed the piece and hopefully that will be shown during the programme.

“The crew also came to another event at Finch Foundry, a water-powered forge in Devon, and that should be featured too.” The screen took around 450 hours of work during two years to complete.

Mr Grant-Jones was named Show Champion with the piece at the North Somerset Show last week.

He said: “This was the first of ten shows which will take place this year. At each show, the champion receives ten points and the reserve gets four. The points are added up over the whole series of shows and whoever has the most points will be named National Champion.

“I was National Champion in 2010 and I’ve been Reserve Champion twice. I’ve got off to a good start and it would be really nice to win again.”

The screen will be used as a show piece until September, when it will be permanently installed in the formal gardens at the college.

The programme is the third in the ‘Metalworks!’ series and will be shown tomorrow on BBC4 at 9pm.


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