Oz in the News 6.17.15

33cf014bc60b675d56d75690eee4f137Dives fail to raise ruby slippers from Tioga Mine Pit  Last week, Itasca County Sheriff’s Office volunteer divers looked for the ruby slippers that were worn by Grand Rapids native Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” and were infamously stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids almost a decade ago. The slippers didn’t turn up during the four public dives in the Tioga Mine Pit, said Rob Feeney, the museum’s volunteer in charge of acquisitions. But in a practice dive about a week earlier, one of the divers came up with what Feeney coyly described as “something that was of interest.” Actually, two somethings: a pair of containers, one a small duffel bag and the other a partially deteriorated tin can. It was apparent the can had been in the bag, Feeney said. “They had been down there a while.” The dives were staged at the mine pit, Feeney said, because of longstanding rumors that the slippers — stolen in August, 2005 — had been sealed in Tupperware with a weight inside and tossed in the pit. It might not be all that easy to find a pair of slippers in the Tioga Mine Pit. Although a mere blip among Itasca County’s numerous bodies of water, it still covers 51 acres and reaches a depth of 225 feet, according to Minnesota Lake Finder. The search for the iconic slippers isn’t over, Feeney said. “This is really just the beginning,” he said. “We’re never going to stop doing this until they’re found or we know what happened to them.”

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