MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) – Bob Markovich has his wedding ring back, just in time for his 20th anniversary.

Markovich lost the ring 11 years ago as he was getting ready to move. After scouring the yard and the garbage cans, he gave up the search.

But Grace Debrowa, the home’s second owner since the Markoviches moved out, found the gold band while raking the backyard recently. She was able to contact Markovich’s mother, who helped her son get his ring back.

Soon after, Bob Markovich’s wife, Karen, placed the ring on his finger. The couple celebrates 20 years of marriage this week.

For her detective work, Bob Markovich gave Debrowa $20 and a card.

“For her to go the extra mile like that, I thought that was really spectacular,” he said.



LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Angry he is.

Jason Scott wants his “Star Wars” collection back, including his 12-inch model of a beast called a tauntaun and his C3PO and Darth Vader carrying cases.

And especially the original and rare “blue snaggletooth” figure that showed up in the first film’s cantina scene.

Scott said Monday that he’s posted a $1,000 reward for his stuff, which was stolen last week from his padlocked storage unit inside his Lincoln apartment building.

“These figures are vintage,” he said. “Some were the hard-to-find 1985 figures” – like a Death Star play set, for example.

Scott said he’s posted reward notices around his apartment complex and remains hopeful, but the loss is uninsured.

He’d been collecting seriously since 1994, and he said his 92-piece collection of action figures is only five short of the 97 total. He estimated the 92 pieces together could fetch $3,500 or more in an Internet auction.

“It would be nice if the person just set the stuff back on my doorstep,” Scott said. “Fifty percent of it is I want the person to get busted, but I want the stuff back more,” he said.



SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) – Authorities are on the lookout for pistil-packing activists who apparently planted endangered wildflowers in order to block a housing development.

The state Department of Fish and Game has determined that Sebastopol meadowfoam discovered in the Laguna Vista subdivision in Sebastopol was deliberately transplanted from another location.

“This is a very unusual situation,” said department botanist Gene Cooley. “I’ve never known a rare plant to be introduced to a site to thwart development before.”

The 145-unit Laguna Vista site, which borders a Fish and Game preserve, has been hotly contested by environmentalists concerned about nearby wetlands.

State officials launched a criminal investigation last week to determine who planted the wildflower, listed by the state and federal governments as endangered, which can present major obstacles to development.

So far, there aren’t any suspects. And not everyone agrees with the state’s finding.

Phil Northen, a Sonoma State University conservation biologist who first identified the 22 plants spotted on the 21-acre site, said he didn’t believe they were transplants.


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