Friday, November 27, 2015

Who is this imposter?

There's a fox at window

Dan Bull and his cats are fascinated.

YouTube link.

Elderly ladies’ weekly Mahjong game shut down by police over allegations of illicit gambling

Police in Florida busted a game of mahjong in Florida at a condominium clubhouse. The group accused of the crime were four women between the ages of 87 and 95. Police arrived at the Escondido Condominium clubhouse in the quiet little city of Altamonte Springs to shut down the friendly game played by Lee Delnick, Bernice Diamond, Helen Greenspan and Zelda King.

King says word spread about their weekly gathering and that a “troublemaker” in the community called the police citing a law that prohibits playing the game for money. Police closed the clubhouse. The women were sent a formal notice from condominium management stating that there would be no more mahjong, bingo, or poker played in the location until further notice. Police reportedly stopped by several times later that week to make sure the games weren’t being played.

“This is ridiculous,” King said. “We haven’t played in the clubhouse for weeks! We have to go to each other’s homes to play and not everyone lives in Escondido. It is an international game and we are being crucified!” The 87-year-old said the game is good for the elderly and that even her doctor has told her that it can delay dementia. The women suggested they could “just play for fun” without money, but the property manager said they should “lay low,” until things were resolved. After a bit of investigating, officials came to the conclusion that there is no ordinance prohibiting mahjong gambling of the nature.

Statute 849.085 states: “Certain penny-ante games are not crimes; ‘Penny-ante game’ means a game or series of games of poker, pinochle, bridge, rummy, canasta, hearts, dominoes, or mahjong in which the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game do not exceed $10 in value.” The women playing had a $4 limit. The women also had homeowner rights, were over the age of 18, and were not enforcing debt to be paid. It is unclear what ordinance the caller thought the group of ladies were violating and why police officials decided to break up the game. Altamonte Springs police were contacted for comment, but didn't respond.

There's a 20-minute interview with three of the ladies concerned here.

Woman ordered to pay compensation after downing neighbour's drone with well-aimed rock

It was the maiden voyage of a high-end drone, one that had a video camera mounted on it. But while it was in the air, a neighbour says she felt unsafe and took action to protect herself. “These things are like weed whackers coming at you; you don’t want to be anywhere near it,” says 65-year-old Martina Wlodsarski.

But, 46-year-old Mark Shock who owns the drone tells a different story. He and Wlodarski live next door on Main Street in Harwick, Pennsylvania. He says the two have been feuding for years, but what happened back in August was the final straw. “I was taking the drone out for a flight, flew for 17 minutes, started bringing it in, and the neighbour decided she didn’t like it and threw a rock at it and destroyed it,” said Shock.

Wlordarski says this. “I was out back reading a book and heard the noise. When it flew over me, I started down the walkway. When it turned and came at me, it scared me. I threw a rock,” she says. Shock says he was nowhere near Wlodarski and has the video to prove it. “She comes out of the back of the house, she stays in the yard until I am ready to land it, she comes from here, goes all the way down, hides behind the back of the van and throws the rock,” he says.

YouTube link.

Shock showed the video in court Tuesday and won his case. Wlodarski was ordered to pay $600 to get the $1,300 drone repaired. In exchange, the criminal mischief charges against her were dropped. Wlodarski says she has no regrets about knocking the three-and-a-half pound drone out of commission and has registered her house as a no fly zone, which anyone can do online. Wlodarski says if there is a next time, she will call the police.

Man found asleep behind the wheel of car on warehouse roof charged with DWI

Police in Saline County, Arkansas, say an intoxicated driver ended up on the roof of a shoe warehouse. 47-year-old William Dickerson is now facing a number of charges

"I got a phone call that said there was a car on top of Top Shoes," said owner Bryan Maertens. Just before 8:00am on Wednesday morning, Benton Police got a report of reckless driving. When they arrived at the scene, they found the car had veered off the road at a section where the roof is at ground level.

Tyre tracks show the path the driver took to the top where police found him asleep behind the wheel. "I thought Santa Clause had landed," said Tamara Maertens. The warehouse is rented by Tops Shoes and is fully stocked in preparation for holiday shopping. Somehow the roof held the weight of the car.

Crews used a crane to get it down without extensive damage. Some holes will have to be patched up. "Not your average Wednesday morning," said Tops Shoes employee Ken Coleman. Among other charges, Dickerson faces DWI, possession of meth, and driving with a suspended licence. Police say he is also on parole.

With news video.

Investigation launched after police shot runaway cow 24 times

An incident involving a runaway cow that was pursued and shot 24 times by the Abbotsford Police Department in British Columbia, Canada, is now being investigated. Police shot and killed the renegade cow shortly after 10am on Sunday, after it was spotted running across some roads in the city.

"You have a family in a vehicle that strikes this animal or swerves to miss it and goes off road, you have huge implications," said Const. Paul Walker. Police say it wandered around the city for about 30 minutes, and ended up near a busy intersection. "All attempts during that 30 minute window were unsuccessful to get somebody or some group to come and assist us," said Walker.

"Officers and our road supervisor made the decision in the interest of public safety to put down the animal." And now, following criticism from residents, the Abbotsford police force is ordering a full review of the incident. "I did see a police officer with an assault rifle and about a dozen cops behind the cow following it," said Abbotsford resident Josh van Koll.

Walker says the Abby Police Department reviews all incidents when shots are fired, but the examination of this case will be a little different. "We're trying to come up with a solution so that we can better deal with an animal, should we encounter that again in our community," Walker hopes another encounter never happens. He says no one wanted to see the events unfold the way they did.

Police responding to reports of a woman's hysterical screams found man battling a spider

When residents on Sydney's lower north shore in Australia heard a man yelling "I'm going to kill you, you're dead!" followed by a woman's hysterical screams, they feared the worst. Numerous police cars rushed to the Wollstonecraft apartment from which the cries were emanating. But not all was as it seemed. Police had received multiple calls about the "violent domestic" last Saturday.

A man was heard yelling "I'm going to kill you, you're dead, die die" and there were sounds of furniture being tossed around the apartment. Officers arrived at the home about 2am and began banging on the door. A man who was "out of breath and rather flushed" answered. Police asked where his wife or girlfriend was, only for the man to deny having either. Then he was told about the reports of a woman screaming.

The encounter went something like this: Male: "I don't know what you're talking about I live alone". Police: "Come on mate, people clearly heard you yelling you were going to kill her and furniture getting thrown around the unit." Police: "Come on mate, what have you done to her?" Male: "It was a spider." Police "Sorry??" Male: "It was a spider, a really big one!! Police: "What about the women screaming?"

Male: "Yeah sorry that was me, I really, really hate spiders." The amused officers soon discovered the man was solely responsible for making the racket as he chased a large spider around the unit while armed with a can of Mortein insect spray. "After a very long pause, some laughter and a quick look in the unit to make sure there was no injured party (apart from the spider) we left," Harbourside LAC said.

Demands for removal of ridiculously huge deceptive and vile rock from hospital car park

A grandmother was left stunned when she hit a “ridiculously huge” rock while driving through a hospital car park. Dee Hoare, of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, was looking for a parking space at Finchley Memorial Hospital for an ultrasound when she heard a scraping sound.

The 64-year-old did not see the boulder because she claims it is on a blind spot and impossible to see when turning the corner. Her two-year-old grey Audi was left with a wide two-metre scratch on her front passenger and back doors and her central locking system no longer works. She said: “I was quite distressed by this – going to hospital is a distressing experience in the first place and this made it worse. I was very upset.

“I simply couldn’t believe it. It’s a massive thing – it’s ridiculously huge. It’s pointless and doesn’t actually serve any purpose, I don’t know what it’s there for.” She is not the first person to have been caught out. Last week, Lionel Pereira caused £4,000 of damage to his Nissan Qashqai at the same place. Mr Pereira is calling on the hospital to remove what he calls a “deceptive and vile” stone which could put people at risk.

The boulder is on the side of the pavement in the car park where flower beds used to be, but were removed after too many drivers ran them over. Mrs Hoare said: “I have informed security. I bet other people have been caught out too and myself and Mr Pereira are not the only ones. “It shouldn’t be there – it’s completely ugly.” While Mr Pereira was offered £500 in compensation for the damage, Mrs Hoare has complained to the hospital and is awaiting a response.

Poodle in a onesie rescued from cliff after getting snagged on a branch

A large white poodle wearing a full length red onesie has been dramatically rescued by fire crews in Torquay, Devon. The dog had ran off while being walked by its female owner on Meadfoot Sea Road at 11am last Thursday when it got snagged on a branch on the cliff.

Fire crews from Torquay and the Specialist Rescue Team from Camelshead were sent to rescue the dog as the cliff was on a 45 degree angle that could not be stood on. A fire service spokesman said: "We were called at 11.06am to assist with the rescue of a large poodle that was stuck approximately 15ft up a cliff at Meadfoot.

"Once we stopped laughing, we went to assist and to help rescue the dog. It was a large white poodle and was wearing a full length red onesie. The dog had got itself caught on a branch on the cliff and it couldn't release itself. We used a triple extension ladder and a double extension ladder to rescue the dog and reunite it with its female owner.

"She had a second poodle in her arms that was wearing a red coat." Teignmouth and Torbay Coastguards teams were also paged to assist but the dog had been rescued by fire crews before they arrived. A coastguard spokesman said: "This was a good outcome in the end."

Cow rescued from roof terrace after falling down hill

It was one of the more unusual calls for firefighters when they had to stage a dramatic rescue after a cow fell down a hill and rolled onto a roof terrace.

Firefighters from Cleckheaton were called to a house in Salterlee, Shibden, West Yorkshire, on Saturday morning. When they arrived, they found the cow trapped on a raised sun terrace, which is built on top of a garage. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue technical rescue officer Lee Benson said: "It was a very effective rescue but it took quite a bit of organising.

“The cow had fallen onto a concrete terrace but miraculously it was unharmed. The owners thought they had been burgled, but then opened his curtains and found a cow on the roof. We had to get a vet who came and anaesthetised it and we used a special cow harness to lift it up and bring it down. It had dropped about 30ft and it was fine.”

A part of the fence surrounding the terrace had to be removed so the rescue could go ahead. Local farmers also helped rescue the cow, providing a telehandler to winch the cow from the roof before it was placed in a trailer and taken back to its field. The rescue operation took three and a half hours. Lee added: “It was one of the most bizarre animal rescues I have been to. You don’t see this sort of thing every day but it ended well."

There's a short video here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Monkeys cool off with a dip in the sea

At Khao Takiab beach in Thailand.

YouTube link.

Teeny tiny baby donkey runs around and around

And around and around. And around.

YouTube link.

Man thwarted by home's burglar alarm stole the motion detector

A Florida man tried to break into a house, deputies said, and when his attempt was thwarted by a burglar alarm, he stole the motion detector.

Carlos Abudeye Guerra, 27, was arrested on Thursday, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Deputies said they got a call from a man in West Boca just after 5am.

The man told deputies his home alarm had gone off and he saw a light coming from underneath the door. He barricaded himself in his room and called deputies, he said.

Shortly after, deputies arrived on scene and found Guerra in the backyard trying to throw the motion detector into a wall. He has been charged with burglary, criminal mischief and grand theft. He is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $23,000 bail.

Parents of teenager who died after 'twerking' on friend's Jeep don't want the driver prosecuted

The parents of a teenager killed after being run over are disputing reports that he was car surfing prior to his death. Police said 16-year-old Alex Desalis of Dallas, Georgia, fell off the hood of a Jeep his friend was driving on Saturday afternoon and was run over.

Troopers said Desalis had possibly been “car surfing” prior to falling off, and that charges are pending against the driver. Desalis was sent to Paulding WellStar Hospital and airlifted to Grady Hospital in Atlanta in critical condition. He died on Sunday evening. Desalis’ mother, Michelle Guthrie, denies her son was car surfing and doesn’t want to see the friend face charges.

"I don't want probation. I don't want her in jail,” Michelle Guthrie said. “It was an accident. We feel more bad for the family - for what they're going through as well." Desalis’ parents say the teen jokingly asked a friend for a ride a few yards down the road. "It wasn't a car surfing adventure,” said Kenneth Guthrie, Alex’s father.

YouTube link.

“It was him climbing up on his friend’s [vehicle] - the hood of her car, on all fours more than likely being funny, trying to get a laugh by twerking." That type of humour was pure Alex. “If he saw somebody who was having a bad day, Alex felt it was his job to make their day better - to make them laugh," his mother said. “Don’t think it can’t happen to you, because it can," his mother added.

Woman accused of burglary left behind her dentures and a note with her name on it

A woman has been charged in two burglary cases in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Police say 52-year-old Connie Frances Perris entered two apartments in Lykens Borough on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Authorities say the occupant of the first apartment was home when Perris entered and promptly called police. Police say Perris then entered a second apartment, which was not occupied at the time, and began to steal and eat candy.

Officials say Perris then urinated on the floor. They say she also took out her dentures and left them in the apartment, along with a handwritten note with her name on it. Police used the items and note to find Perris.

When troopers caught up with her, they say she was visibly intoxicated and did not recall the incidents. Perris, of Pittsburgh, was staying with a friend in Lykens. She has been charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Five-legged lamb may be for the chop

Jake the Peg, a little lamb with an extra leg, likes to run fast with the other lambs on Natalie Wright and Bill Noonan’s hobby farm near Meredith in Victoria, Australia. Natalie said the extra limb does not seem to bother month-old Jake. He has quickly been accepted by two slightly older lamb friends and the dogs on Natalie and Bill’s farm.

“He can run quite good,” Natalie says. “He’s quite happy to follow me around and he’s pretty affectionate. The dogs just love him, they love all the lambs like they’re part of the pack. Jake comes when he’s called, probably because he thinks he’s getting a bottle ... he has his little routine in the morning and has a great little personality."

Natalie is determined to ensure Jake has the best life possible. That means an consultation with Werribee Veterinary Hospital on Friday to determine his next step. Jake’s extra front limb has no movement and just hangs from his body. He has a couple of other little quirks like a floppy ear and slightly misshapen head and jaw.

Born on a sheep farm, Jake was adopted by Natalie and Bill when he was about five days old to be hand-reared, partly to make him easier to handle should he be operated on. Natalie plans to do whatever it takes should it help Jake grow up as a sheep. She thinks he might make a good addition to a children’s petting farm one day, because of his loving nature.

Zoo's spider monkey accidentally tranquillised with wayward dart intended for runaway gibbon

An unsuspecting spider monkey was hit by a wayward tranquilliser dart as a guilty gibbon made a getaway. On Tuesday morning gibbon Vilson escaped from his enclosure at Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. Zoo animal care general manager Mauritz Basson said staff got out the tranquilliser guns and aimed at Vilson, a well known escape artist.

But the 10 gram dart with a "fluffy tail" was caught in strong winds and sailed past Vilson and jabbed into three-year-old spider monkey Winnie, who was simply hanging out in her own enclosure. Winnie was promptly given veterinarian treatment and revived after five minutes and is now "100 percent", Basson said. The spider monkey and gibbon were roughly the same weight so the dart would not have caused her any issues, he said.

While Vilson was out of his enclosure, the public were kept away from the area and not at risk of being hit by a wayward dart. No individual staff member was to blame but the zoo would do more practice of shooting the darts in strong winds. Zoo primates and carnivores life science manager Paul Horton said the darts were not needed for Vilson as the gibbon was coaxed back to his habitat after finding his bearings.

A long branch overhanging the open-topped enclosure may have provided Wilson with a path to the greater confines of the zoo. He was probably stunned and disoriented after falling in to the moat surrounding Gibbon Island. "The first thing he saw was land ahead and he went for it but it was the wrong side of the moat." Gibbons cannot swim and dislike water. "He was never in mortal danger but he was keen not to linger."

Christmas elves punched and threatened with air gun by gang

A group of performing Christmas elves have been left "traumatised" after being attacked by a gang of teenagers. The StarKidz elves were "cornered" by the gang after a Christmas lights switch-on in Formby, Merseyside on Sunday.

The performers, including one as young as 13, were abused, with one punched and another threatened with an air gun, said the troupe's manager Jan Hayes. "We may not return to Formby next year," she said. "We've been going for five years and we have never had any trouble like this.

"It started off with these teenagers trying take their hats or telling the children they are not real elves. Later on, a gang of about 20 cornered our group and one member was punched in the stomach as they were abused." Ms Hayes said the one of the performers had an air gun held to his head.

"It was a very traumatic experience," she added. "The group member is extremely upset by this." The elves have since received dozens of messages of support. A Merseyside Police spokesman said it was investigating a report of anti-social behaviour by a group of youths at the event.

Cat judged to be one of the smartest in Britain following IQ test

Lincolnshire is home to one of Britain's smartest cats according to a new IQ test. Black-and-white moggie, Kuffa, is considered one the most intelligent cats in the country after getting top grades on a cat IQ test devised by E.M. Bard.

The book gives animal owners a variety of tasks to help test their pet's intelligence - and Kuffa passed the lot with flying colours. The 10-year-old cat, who is owned by Hayley Toyne, her husband Andy and two daughters from Lincoln, is fed on the porch because the family dog, Eddie, steals her food the moment her bowl is put down.

However, Kuffa has learned a clever trick to get back in the house when she has finished her meal. The "talkative" cat gets up on her back legs and knocks on the door using a metal hand guard. Family friends have been "flabbergasted" to learn the person knocking on the door was the family cat. Hayley said: "We have had her since she was a kitten. We used to have a big Tom cat that used to do similar things but he would never knock on the door - she has taken it to the next level.

"I gave my daughter the book and she tested Kuffa who ended up coming out in the top four per cent in the country. She is a very talkative cat and the boss around the house - she is very feisty. People couldn't believe it when they heard the knock on the door and it was her." Kuffa, who falls into the genius category according to the book can stand on her hind legs for more than five seconds, achieving maximum points in the IQ test, and is also aware of the passage of time.