Thursday, September 01, 2016

What have I done to deserve this?

Happy hyena has a splish-splashing time in bath

Harley the Hyena enjoys a bath on a hot day at Oakland Zoo in California.

YouTube link.

Gunman wearing just shoes and a bandana stole peanut butter cups from store

Police are hunting for an almost naked man who held up a South Carolina convenience store at gunpoint and escaped with only Reese’s peanut butter cups.

The man walked into a Scotchman store in Myrtle Beach just before midnight last Monday, Horry County Police Department say. An officer responding to a 911 call spoke to a 51-year-old worker who “states a unknown black male came into the store naked with a gun in his hand and stole candy.”

The victim said that the suspect pointed the gun at him “while he was running toward the candy.” The robber stole “Reeses peanut butter cups and left,” reported police, who estimated that the suspect was between 18 and 30 years old The suspect, the employee said, was naked except for a bandana over his face and a pair of black shoes.

The gunman, the witness added, did not say anything or approach him. The responding officer, who was unable to locate the robber, reported that the convenience store “does have video surveillance but it was unavailable at the time of this report.” Before releasing the incident report, officers redacted a description of the handgun as well as the dollar amount of the Reese’s stolen from the store.

Woman accused of eating frozen garlic bread stolen from resident's freezer

Authorities allege a woman entered a resident’s garage in Winchester, Indiana, and stole garlic bread and a beef heart from a freezer.

City police said when they arrived at the crime scene late on Sunday, they found Danielle L. Cox, 30, of Union City, Ohio, outside the back door of her alleged victim, having consumed a portion of the garlic bread she was accused of stealing.

“She had apparently been eating the garlic bread and was attempting to get into the house when the officer arrived,” according to an affidavit. “The officer observed a frozen beef heart on the ground beside Cox.” The homeowner identified the frozen food as having been in her freezer, and said she did not know Cox.

Cox, meanwhile, told an officer “she knew that she was in Winchester, but believed that she was outside a bar, only a block from the hotel” she said she was staying in. An officer said that Fox became “belligerent” when she realised she was being arrested, and “cried and yelled” while being driven to the Randolph County jail. Prosecutor David Daly’s office on Tuesday charged her with burglary and theft. An initial hearing is set for Thursday in Randolph Circuit Court.

Man allegedly attempted to burn down fuel station after bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos dispute

A man who was confronted by a gas station clerk for allegedly stealing a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos tried to burn down the business on Sunday, police say.

Joshua Lee Crook, 33, was charged on Monday with first-degree attempted arson, a felony, and three misdemeanors. His bail is $20,000, cash only. Just before 5pm, Crook went into the gas station in St. Louis, Missouri, and picked up a bag of the Cheetos.

The store manager, who alleges Crook had stolen from his store before, told Crook to put the bag down if he wasn't going to pay for it. Crook put the Cheetos back and left. About a minute later, he walked back into the store, grabbed the bag again and started walking out of the store.

The manager confronted him; Crook pushed the manager and punched him in the face. Outside, Crook grabbed a gas pump nozzle and threw it on the ground. Gasoline began pooling on the lot, and Crook threw a lit cigarette to the ground. He tried, but failed, to start a fire, authorities say. There was no damage. The misdemeanor charges are for third-degree assault, theft and trespassing.

Couple banned from climbing mountains in Nepal for 10 years after faking ascent of Everest

Nepal has imposed a 10-year mountaineering ban on two climbers who claimed to be the first Indian couple to have climbed Everest, officials say. A government investigation concluded on Monday that photographs purporting to show the pair at the top of the world's highest mountain were faked. Officials say the ban is intended to deter other climbers from making spurious and dishonest claims. The pair's claims to have reached the peak in May were queried by climbers.

They argued that photos showing Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod at the summit were obviously doctored. Nepal's tourism department initially certified their ascent but has now rescinded that decision after conducting an investigation. Tourism department chief Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal said that an analysis of photos submitted by Mr and Mrs Rathod revealed they had superimposed themselves and their flag on photos taken by another Indian climber who conquered Everest.

"Despite several attempts to get clarifications from them, they did not co-operate with us during the investigation. The two Sherpas that assisted them are also absconding," Mr Dhakal said. "The ban should serve as a warning for mountaineers to follow ethics." Mr and Mrs Rathod, who work as police constables in the western Indian city of Pune, in July denied the claims, as did the guides who climbed with them.

But a climber based in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, Satyarup Sidhantha, later said that the photographs presented by the Rathods as "proof" of their climb actually belonged to him. Suspicions were further aroused because of the time lag between the day the Rathods claimed to have reached the summit and their news conference announcing their achievement. It was alleged that the couple could not possibly have reached the summit so soon after they were seen to have arrived at the base camp, and that the photos appeared to show them in two different sets of clothes and boots while on the climb.

Burglar jailed after his food-themed underwear was used as evidence

A burglar has been jailed after his underwear was held up in court and used as evidence against him. Darren Machon, 39, of Maesteg, Wales, had denied burgling a house in Bridgend in February.

But a witness spotted his "distinctive" boxer shorts after she saw him bent over while rummaging through cupboards, a statement from South Wales Police said. He was jailed for 34 months on Tuesday after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court. Machon was arrested for the burglary while he was in police custody for a separate offence, the police statement said.

As he was getting changed in his cell, an officer noticed his underwear, which had pictures of hot dogs and doughnuts, matched those described by the witness of a burglary earlier that day. Det Con Darren Bowen said: "The witness in this case and also the officer who recognised the underpants also deserve credit.

"It was their vigilance and attention to detail which no doubt ensured that Darren Machon was linked to the burglary. He is a prolific criminal who will spend a number of years behind bars where he belongs - no doubt he'll spend a few of those years thinking about how he should have put his lucky pants on that day." Machon was also convicted of dangerous driving and disqualified from driving for 41 months.

Teacher struck off for having sex with pupil had been working in a missionary position

A female teacher struck off for having sex with a pupil on his prom night has been working in a missionary position - helping spread the word of God among soldiers. French teacher Isabelle Graham, 28, was struck off on Tuesday for having sex with the 17-year-old pupil at a Travelodge hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was declared as being unfit to teach and barred from the profession after a picture emerged showing her lying semi-naked in bed at the hotel while a boy stood at the door of the room.

Now it has emerged that she has been doing work for the Soldiers' and Airmen's Scripture Readers Association (SASRA) a charity based in Aldershot, Hampshire, which spreads the teaching of Jesus among soldiers. Devout Christian Ms Graham is known at SASRA, whose patron is The Queen, by the name Shona Wilkie. Shona is her middle name and Wilkie is her married surname. Her husband Andrew Wilkie, 28, who is standing by her, is training to be a clergyman. The pair were engaged to be married at the time she bedded the pupil in June 2014. The couple have subsequently tied the knot and Ms Graham last week gave birth to a baby son. Ms Graham resigned from her role at Whitburn Academy, West Lothian, after the Travelodge sex incident came to light.

She and Andrew, 28, are now living in Aldershot. She has done work in the "donor relations" department of the charity, while Andrew is listed as a support officer at the organisation.Ms Graham started working for SASRA in July 2015. As part of her duties, she compiled a book for the charity of the war diaries of a scripture-reading soldier at the Somme called William Ransley. The book was published in July. Publicity material for the book states: "Shona Wilkie, who compiled this book began working at SASRA in July 2015, coordinating Donor Relations and Book Publications. She and her husband live in Hampshire and are members of a local evangelical church, where they are both actively involved in church life."

The charity is a highly respected organisation which as well as having The Queen as its patron has former Army chief General Lord Dannatt as president. Its website says: "Our mission is one of personal evangelism. "Uniquely we are permitted, subject to Chaplain's permission and Commanding Officers' permission, to visit soldiers and airmen in their accommodation work and recreation areas. "This is done with a view to befriending them and introducing them to the Lord Jesus Christ." Ms Graham claimed that her drink was spiked on the night of the prom and said she could not remember what happened. But a General Teaching Council for Scotland disciplinary tribunal struck her off after finding that she "repeatedly engaged in sexual activity" with the boy after giving him alcohol and sharing a bed with him.

Traffic cone on head man criticises decision to prosecute him - Update

A man who ended up in court after wearing a traffic cone on his head during a drunken jape has said that the whole situation was "ridiculous". Daniel “Dod” O’Donnell, of Worcester, said he was trying to keep a straight face when he was brought before magistrates for being drunk and disorderly. The 20-year-old appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Thursday where he was handed a conditional discharge for six months and ordered to pay a £135 and a £20 victim surcharge following the incident on July 31.

He said: “It was meant to be a laugh. I find it all a bit silly really. I had it on my head. Police told me to take it off so I took it off. There were a lot of other people saying ‘can we get a picture of you with it on’ so I put it back on. Everyone wanted to take my picture. It was just a laugh. I was drunk and in good spirits and about to go home. I do like a bit of a joke when I’m out." Mr O’Donnell had been out drinking when he said two female officers took issue with him wearing the cone. He said: “I was running off and they chased me.

“I did lie down in the street because I was out of breath and they cuffed my hands behind my back. I can’t remember what they said to me.” Mr O’Donnell spent a night in the cells and was charged next morning with being drunk and disorderly. He admits he has been silly but does not believe the case should have come to court. He added: “It was a waste of taxpayers’ money, a waste of my time, a waste of their time. People keep making cone jokes. I walked into court with a straight face and came out smiling. I just find it ridiculous.”

His solicitor, Sarah Brady, also criticised the decision to bring the case to court as the 'most harmless' example of drunken disorderly behaviour she had ever seen. Sgt Adrian Bean of West Mercia Police said: "Officers patrolling in Worcester arrested Mr O'Donnell for being drunk and disorderly in a public place. Whilst, for a time, he did have a traffic cone on his head it was his overall disorderly conduct that led to his arrest. His public actions were reviewed and the decision was made that a charge was appropriate under section 91 of the Criminal Justice Act."

Man who saw the Beast Of Dartmoor didn't have a camera so he drew a picture instead

A man who says he spotted the mythical Beast Of Dartmoor lurking in a Devon field didn't have a camera, so he drew a picture of it. Steve Swatton, 60, was with his friend's son, Brad Bugdale when they came across what they claimed was a panther. The pair were walking through a field in Plymouth and were left shocked when they saw a "huge black" cat staring back at them.

Steve said "something black" and the "size of an Alsatian" caught his attention on Saturday afternoon, at about 4.30pm near Sparkwell Village. But Steve doesn't own a phone and couldn't capture the beast, so he's drawn it instead. Steve said: ''I memorised what it looked like and as soon as I got home I started drawing it. I used to be quite good at sketching and I just kept changing the drawing until I got it right.

"It was very sleek and about the size of an Alsatian. It was like looking at a shadow as it was jet black, as black as you can get. It was very powerful looking and its tail was very long too. What struck me about its tail was where it hung down its hindquarters it was very long and the same thickness all the way down. It was a perfect bow shape - if you put a piece of string across it, it would look like a strung bow." He added: "It was watching us and I think we spotted each other at the same time as we were about 50 - 60 yards away.

"Then all of a sudden it disappeared and hopped over a hedge into the scrub land which leads into the forest. I ran up there as I thought there might be a chance of seeing it, but it was gone. It was probably more scared of us than us of it. I wasn't that scared at the time but thinking about it now if I had been cornered it could have got a bit nasty, as it probably weighs about 60/70lbs - heavy enough to bring a deer down." There have been dozens of sightings of big cats over the years leading to the rise of the legend of the Beast of Dartmoor.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Are we nearly there yet?

Here's a hummingbird filmed in slow motion

YouTube link.

Man arrested for banging on window and making kissing noises to female rehab centre employee

50-year-old Timothy Baker of Yorkville, Illinois, has been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass to property.

Police responded to Hillside Rehabilitation and Care Center after a report of a male banging on a window and making kissing noises to a female employee.

When police arrived at around 8:22 on Thursday, Baker was identified by the employee and arrested for disorderly conduct.

Baker was also charged with criminal trespass to property after previously being banned from the property.

Man named High arrested for possession of marijuana

Police say a man arrested for marijuana possession inside public housing in Hoboken, New Jersey, was High.

Hakem High, 25, of Hoboken, was arrested early on Sunday on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession within 1,000 feet of a school and within 500 feet of public housing. "Ironic," Sgt. Edgardo Cruz, a Hoboken Police spokesman, said of the suspect's name.

High was also charged with aggravated assault, as well as trespassing on public housing property, Cruz said. Officers responded at 5am to a report of an assault inside a third-floor apartment in a building operated by the Hoboken Housing Authority, Cruz said.

Police found the victim with a black eye, and arrested High who was then found to be carrying 16 small zip-lock bags containing marijuana, Cruz said. He said the victim was treated at Hoboken University Medical Center. High was released pending a court appearance on Sept. 14.

Flaming mice probably a factor in Frog Hollow fire

Fire Chief Larry Hector’s best guess is that flaming mice on the run rekindled a fire at Frog Hollow in the Walla Walla Valley, Washington, that had began earlier on Saturday. “Mice come out of the fire, on fire, and run into the unburned stuff. And start the fire all over again,” Hector explained.

Hector heads Walla Walla County Fire District 6 out of Touchet and was incident commander for three separate fires that scorched about 300 acres of mostly alfalfa stubble in the Touchet area. The original fire was started by a combine, the second started under a power line and the third was caused when a hawk struck a different power line and brought it down, he said.

A fourth burn was a restart of the original Frog Hollow Road blaze, he said, and that came under control at about 5pm. The situation forced the evacuation of one family in Frog Hollow Road for a few hours, and other residents left nearby homes as a precaution, said Liz Jessee, director of Walla Walla County Emergency Management.

Fighting flames exacerbated by high winds was a collaborative effort that brought about two dozen firefighters from five fire stations, Hector said. The main fire began just before noon, closing several roads in the area. The fires were contained by 4pm, with the rekindled blaze coming under control by about 5pm, she noted. Residents of the community were allowed to return home at 3:30pm.

Police investigating the theft of 500 cows suspect they were stolen over a period of time

Police investigating reports that 500 cows have been stolen from a farm in Ashburton, New Zealand, say they probably happened in multiple thefts over a period of time. It is not known exactly when they began disappearing, as their absence was only noticed recently.

Police said it was "unlikely the theft of hundreds of animals could be completed at once, and is more likely that multiple thefts could be carried out over a period of time". The cows are reportedly worth at least NZ$750,000 (£415,000, $545,000) in total.

A friend said the farmer was "absolutely gobsmacked, and deeply embarrassed". "If you had three-quarters of a million dollars go missing, you wouldn't want to talk about it either," said Willy Leferink. Locals said they had never heard of cattle rustling on such a scale before.

The farm's original 1,300 cows are thought to have last been counted in July. Sr Sgt Scott Banfield of Ashburton Police urged farmers to check on their stock numbers once a week. "Farmers should also be keeping an eye out for unexpected signs of herding near their boundary lines too." New Zealand is home to around 10 million cows, more than twice the human population.

Hundreds of mysterious spots that appeared on grass explained

Residents of Aberdeen, Scotland, were left wondering if they had been visited by aliens after waking up on Monday to find hundreds of mysterious markings on nearby grass land.

The tenants of the tower blocks in the Seaton area were left scratching their heads at the circle imprints on the grass. Some speculated that the Granite City had been visited by beings from another planet.

However, the council later came forward to say it is behind the circles. An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “The marks are not alien crop circles. They are preparatory work for planting trees as part of the £500,000 Seaton Backies project

“This is rejuvenating a neglected green space for family use. We are planting dozens of trees as part of the project to create shelter, and the spots where the trees are to be planted need to be free of weeds before then – the trees will be planted from late autumn to April.”

Woman hopes for return of artificial grass mat that was stolen from outside her beach hut

A resident of Budleigh Salterton in Devon fears the town has ‘changed’ after an artificial grass mat was stolen from outside her beach hut. The mat was taken from outside the hut of counsellor and psychotherapist Sue Claire Morris, 55.

Sue said: “I just think Budleigh is changing. I am now more worried about vandalism in the town.” She noticed the mat was missing after leaving it the night before at 10pm.

Sue said the artificial grass had been nailed to the floor. The yoga enthusiast, who is training to become a teacher in the field, bought the mat for £15 and had it put down by a friend. “The mat was really soft to do my yoga on.

“It is just really irritating, having gone to the trouble of getting a friend to nail it down,” said Sue. “I didn’t expect some one to rip it up. I cannot believe someone did that.” Sue has called for the mat to be returned to her. She added: “To whoever took it, if you do not really need it, please bring it back.”

Double yellow lines painted across the middle of road

Double yellow lines have been painted across the middle of a road in Truro, Cornwall.

As Mark Mitchell left his family's interior design business Stylehome on Threemilestone Industrial Estate on Friday evening, he spotted "a line painting van" on the estate.

When he arrived the following morning he discovered yellow lines had been painted across the road. He posted photographs of the new markings on Facebook, saying: "No this isn't Photoshopped, it is what we found on arriving at work this morning …it is hard to make this up, frankly, simply beyond belief."

Mr Mitchell, 45, who also lives in Thremilestone, said: "Regardless of any excuse, it displays a total lack of common sense to put road markings in a position where they are obviously unsuitable. He believes the work was carried out by Cornwall Council. The Council have been approached for a comment.

Pub want return of ghost that was captured by Chinese artist

A pub's owner is requesting the return of a ghost, after its famous spectre was captured by a Chinese artist. Lu Pingyuan claims to have captured the ghost of James Stanley, the seventh Earl of Derby, who is said to haunt the Ye Olde Man and Scythe, in Churchgate, Bolton, Greater Manchester. A sealed metal cannister supposedly containing the spirit went on display this month at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, unbeknown to the pub’s owner, Richard Greenwood, after the artist became captivated by the story and travelled from Shanghai to Bolton to catch the ghost.

And after discovering that the town’s oldest pub is now missing its favourite phantom, Mr Greenwood is determined to have it returned to its rightful home. In a letter to Mr Lu, he said: “I would have liked to have been privy to your actions and indeed to the exhibition before the ghost of James Stanley was taken out of Bolton, his ties to the town and to Ye Olde Man and Scythe run very deeply. “I feel very strongly that James Stanley’s ghost should remain in Bolton and at Ye Olde Man and Scythe to preserve the natural order of things. That said I do believe that your exhibition should travel and be seen by many people around the world and I would like to contribute to this as long as at the end of your exhibition it returns home.”

Mr Greenwood has offered to donate the chair that the Earl sat at for his last meal to the exhibition, on the agreement that both it and the ghost are returned at the end of the tour. It is thought that the Royalist commander spent his last few hours at the pub before being executed outside the premises for his part in the Bolton massacre of 1644. Mr Lu came across his story after seeing CCTV footage that emerged in 2014, which appeared to show a ghoulish presence at one end of the bar. The artist, who claims he followed the ghost into the pub’s bathroom before performing an incantation to trap it, said: “I was totally captivated by the legend, that the ghost remained in the human world long after his decapitation.

“I wish him to exist and be treated as a real artwork and to present him around the globe, getting respect and tribute from people everywhere. I told his ghost about my proposal the second time I visited this place and James Stanley agreed that I can put him into a jar in order to exhibit him in galleries and museums alike. Therefore, in this way, he became a piece of art. I consider my exhibition at CFCCA to be the beginning of his worldwide trip. After this exhibition, I plan to prepare for the next one in 2017. My original thought is that after the world tour of exhibitions, I will discuss with him and ask him whether he would prefer to stay like this, as a piece of art, or go back to the Ye Olde Man and Scythe.”