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Casanova Told but Didn’t Kiss, Old Letter Indicates

--Aldo Cella said he hated to taint the reputation of Giovanni Jacopo Casanova on his 261st birthday, but he claims he has proof that the legendary lover was only a bookworm. Cella said his family found a letter written by Casanova to Cella’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, Alfonso Cella, dated June 1, 1798, in which he acknowledged that he “was no Don Juan.” “I hate to do this on his birthday, but realities should be made clear and the record should be set straight,” Cella, a spokesman for an Italian winery, said in Atlanta. He said Casanova admits in the letter, which his family discovered chewed by a mouse and stuffed inside a Bible, that his legend was a lie. “It begins with an innocent kiss I gave to a signorina (an unmarried woman). And my confessions to you . . . is that with the kiss the legend (of) Casanova, it does end,” the letter states. Cella said Casanova was not a romantic lover but rather a shy librarian who wrote about his so-called philandering episodes in a spicy memoir that duped biographers.

--Connecticut canine officials hounding residents who fail to license their dogs have collared their first scofflaw, a 42-year-old man who ignored a ticket for failing to register his pet pooch. “Let these owners know the courts mean business,” said Frank Intino, the state’s top canine control officer, whose office has tightened the leash on violators. Police arrested Angel Ayla, 42, in his Hartford home after he failed to respond to a ticket from the state’s Canine Control Unit. He faces an April 15 court hearing. Ayla was one of about 200 dog owners ticketed since January as part of Operation Dog Tag, a statewide, door-to-door survey to find unlicensed dogs. Intino said state law requires owners to license their dogs annually. The law had gone mostly unchallenged, but in January the unit started a crackdown aimed at controlling the dog population. “Now an owner can be held accountable, and that puts teeth into the law,” Intino said.

--When the Michigan state treasury told Lisa DeVries that she owed $198,000 in 1985 taxes, the college senior and part-time telephone operator from Grand Rapids knew the state had the wrong number. “Something is really messed up,” said DeVries, 21, who had claimed a $198 refund on the tax form she filed eight weeks ago. Treasury officials contend in a letter sent to DeVries that she made more than $3.7 million in salary last year. She and her college roommates were chuckling, but state officials were red-faced. “We’re embarrassed,” said Treasury Department spokesman Robert Kolt. “It is unfortunate that it happened . . . but we will take care of it.”


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