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I intend to strike it rich

Henry Mora is semiretired, so he has time to – ah – dig a bit more deeply into pursuits that interest him than would most other people. That's what brought TV news crews to his Montclair, Calif., home one day last week. Well, that and the fact that city officials not only ordered him to abandon his latest project but also sent workers to put a fence around it. Mora, if you haven't heard, decided he needed a new hobby. So he bought a metal detector advertised as being particularly good at locating gold. You can see where this is going, right? Uh-huh. On his own front lawn, the thing took to beeping. A few shovelfuls of earth reportedly did turn up some gold dust, but the device encouraged him to think there was more. It wasn't long before he realized he was in over his head and needed help. Soon, there was a hole 60 feet deep, and a growing pile of dirt beside it, being sent up in buckets by two hired laborers via a rope-and-pulley system. And all the while, the metal detector signaled that they hadn't come to the mother lode yet. That's when an alarmed neighbor turned them in, and the officials arrived with the "stop work" order. Mora won't be cited for violating any ordinances, but he'll have to reimburse the city for the fencing – and pay an engineer to replace and pack down all that dirt.

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