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California couple may have to return $10 million treasure trove

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A US couple who unearthed gold coins worth more than $10 million might have to return them as they may have been stolen, a report said.

The California couple uncovered eight cans filled with more than 1,400 coins on their property, in what is believed to be the most valuable treasure trove ever discovered in the United States.

They took them to a firm specializing in ancient coins, Kagin’s Inc, which valued them and announced last week that they will sell them, via online retail giant Amazon.

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But on Monday the San Francisco Chronicle linked the find — called the Saddle Ridge Treasure trove — to a robbery at the San Francisco Mint.

It published a newspaper report from January 1, 1900, referring to the recent theft which it said mostly involved mint, uncirculated coins, with an overall face value of up to $27,000 — similar to the Saddle Ridge trove.

Company boss Donald Kagin however told AFP he was “very confident” that the Saddle Ridge trove was not linked to the San Francisco Mint theft.

“There’s a number of reasons why they can’t possibly be” connected, he said.

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He cited records from the time of the San Francisco theft suggesting it involved five canvas sacks filled with $20 gold coins — whereas the Saddle Ridge horde also had $10 and other coins.

In addition the stolen coins “would have all been mint state, recently struck coins,” he said.

“But only some of the coins in the Saddle Ridge horde are. Many others are circulated coins, struck over a long period of time and clearly buried over a long period of time.

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“The only parallel here is the similar (face) value. But again, not even that’s that close because of the different denominations,” he said.

He also pointed to a statement from the US Mint in Washington, sent to him in an email, which said: “We do not have any information linking the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins to any thefts at any U.S. Mint facility.”

Kagin said plans to sell the Saddle Ridge hoard in about two months remain in place.

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Asked if he could guarantee to the couple, named only as John and Mary, that there would be no hitches in the sale, he said: “Nobody can guarantee anything.

“But we are absolutely on our timeline with Amazon.com and kagins.com, to be selling these coins sometime in May,” he added.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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House GOP loses yet another incumbent as California’s Paul Cook announces retirement

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Another day, another retirement for House Republicans.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Rep. Paul Cook R-CA) is heading for the exits and retiring at the end of his term in 2020.

Instead of serving in Congress for another term, Cook will run for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, the congressman's chief of staff tells the Los Angeles Times.

Even though Democrats made major gains in California during the 2018 midterm elections, Cook's district will be difficult for the party to pick up. Cook last year won reelection with 60 percent of the vote and his opponent wasn't even a Democrat, but fellow Republican Tim Donnelly.

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Michigan Republicans thank ‘Uncle Ted’ Nugent for testifying after he says their state ‘doesn’t qualify as America’

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Republican lawmakers in Michigan invited conservative rocker Ted Nugent to testify even though he has said the state "doesn't qualify as America."

In testimony on the Michigan state House floor on Tuesday, Nugent spoke in support of a bill that would reverse a ban on deer and elk baiting. The ban was put in place in 2018 due to suspicions that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was being spread through piles of bait.

For his part, Nugent argued that the ban was ineffective because deer are "swapping spit."

"If they think they can stop deer from swapping spit, they're idiots," Nugent testified, according to The Detroit News.

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NY judge kicked off the bench after suggesting nooses are needed to ‘make America great again’

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A judge in upstate New York has been forced off the bench after he posted an image of a noose on his personal Facebook account -- and suggested it was needed to help "make America great again."

The Washington Post reports that officials on Tuesday revealed that Kyle R. Canning, a part-time judge, was relieved of his duties after the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded that his Facebook post showed an unacceptable level of political and racial bias.

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