Saturday, February 28, 2015

It's the weekend

Baby raccoon enthusiastically eats grapes

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Woman knocked unconscious in drive-by egging

A woman was knocked unconscious in Seattle early on Tuesday when an egg thrown from a passing truck hit her in the head.

According to police, several people were standing outside a Crown Hill bar when someone inside a pickup “let loose a volley of eggs.”

At least two people, including a bar employee, were struck by the eggs. A woman was hit just behind her ear and was knocked unconscious. Police said her friends caught her as she fell to the ground.

The victim’s friends drove her to the hospital where she was treated. Witnesses told police the vehicle was a small black or green pickup with a canopy and dark tinted windows. Police are seeking more information about the incident.

Commuter escaped injury when escalator ate his trousers

A 35-year-old man lost his trousers at the Davis MBTA station in Massachusetts during the morning commute on Thursday. T rider Greg Murphy, who witnessed the aftermath, said he was on his way to work when he and dozens of other commuters happened across the bare-legged man and a disabled escalator at about 8:30am.

“I saw two MBTA workers at the bottom of the stairs, a guy wearing some fashionable blue gym shorts, and some pants at the bottom of the stairs that looked like they had been sucked in,” Murphy said. “He looked fine. He was just standing there, he had his backpack up on the side there and they seemed to be taking some information from him for a report.”

Murphy added, “He seemed to be taking it all in stride. He was keeping it cooler than I do on my best day.” T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the unidentified commuter told T officials: “He was running down the escalator to catch a train when he slipped and fell. His pants got caught in the escalator. He was not injured and he did not request any medical attention.”

That escalator was examined by state inspectors, who found no defects and cleared it to reopen. “Customers are urged to please be mindful of loose clothing, keeping it clear of steps and sides and to stand clear of the sides of the escalator,” Pesaturo said. “It’s also important that escalator users face forward and keep a firm grip on the handrail.”

Man set fire to his house because his niece wouldn't take him to buy more booze

After his niece refused to drive him to the store to buy more liquor, a Florida man decided to set fire to his house, according to authorities. On Dec. 14, Jerome Clemons, 44, of Boynton Beach, who had already been drinking, asked his niece for a ride to the liquor store.

She told investigators she told him "No" and they got into an argument. To avoid further confrontation, the woman said she left the house. Not long afterwards, Clemons' brother arrived at the house. He told investigators Clemons was standing out on the porch mumbling to himself about being "tired of it all."

His brother started making dinner and went out to see if Clemons was okay. Then, he saw a huge flame burning at the northeast corner of the house. Clemons' brother was able to extinguish the fire with a hose. Officials said the structural damage was minimal, but a garbage container and an all-terrain vehicle were slightly damaged.

Boynton Beach fire officials later found Clemons walking down the street with a large burn on his forearm. Investigators determined Clemons poured gasoline against the wall outside and on the all-terrain vehicle and lit the fire while his brother was inside. Clemons had left the hospital before Boynton Beach police were able to detain him. He was arrested on Wednesday, where he was charged with arson, and is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bail.

Elephant unlikely to face charges after lifting up drunk man with its trunk and flinging him aside

Saying an endearing 'hello brother' to an elephant in Tamil Nadu, southern India, nearly cost a man his life. The pachyderm did not take kindly to his greeting and flung the man a few yards away. The man escaped with minor injuries to his leg. The elephant, belonging to the Kulasekharapatinam mosque, is also taken to participate in private functions in the region.

On Tuesday morning, the elephant, accompanied by its mahout, was on its way to participate in a function in nearby Udangudi when the man, Mandiram, 40, of Somanadhapuram in Tuticorin, accosted the pachyderm near a bazaar and tried to fool around with it. Eyewitnesses say that Mandiram suddenly appeared in front of the elephant in an inebriated state and saluted it. He had then shouted to passersby that lord Ganesha had come to see them.

The mahout told him to stop harassing the animal, but Mandiram, perhaps emboldened by the liquor he had consumed, clung to the elephant's trunk and said, `Hello brother, how are you?' The animal, apparently agitated, lifted him with its trunk and flung him at an autorickshaw standing nearby where he fell to the ground. The animal then ran after him and attempted to trample him and prevent him from getting up. The mahout swung into action and brought the animal under control.

Members of the public rushed to Mandiram's help and took him to the Tiruchendur government hospital, where he is being treated for his leg injuries. Public told the police that the mahout was not to be blamed as he had warned the man, who refused to pay heed. Police sources say that they have not filed a case yet. "If the case is filed it would involve taking the animal to court and that would be a cumbersome process. Moreover, the case would be against the animal and we are at a loss as to what to do," they said.

Friendly dogs to be painted blue in bid to curb killer canine attacks

Desperate district officials in Baheri, Bareilly, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which has been reeling under the attack of killer dogs who have devoured as many as five children in the last 40 days, have come up with an unusual way to tackle the menace. District authorities said on Thursday that starting on March 1, they will start painting dogs that people need not fear, blue. This, they added, would help differentiate 'normal' dogs from the killer ones.

"The teams which had been constituted to track the killer packs were unable to differentiate between normal dogs and the aggressive ones. Therefore, it was decided at a meeting convened by the district magistrate and attended by scientists of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute as well as forest and police officials, to paint the normal ones with blue colour. This will help us in distinguishing the dogs even from a distance," said Rameshwarnath Tiwari, Sub-Divisional Magistrate for Baheri. As to how they will go about colouring the dogs, the SDM said, "It will be difficult for us to catch them and paint them.

"Instead, we will get villagers to pour buckets of thick blue paint on the animals. The colour is expected to remain on the dogs for at least 10 days." But with Holi around the corner, wouldn't such arbitrary colouring add to the confusion? "We will also be marking the dogs that have been painted blue with a cross mark to prevent confusion," said the SDM, adding that a team comprising nearly 15 villagers along with officials of the forest department and Nagar Palika will start combing the affected villages from Sunday. "Our plan is to give drugs to the dogs to induce behavioural changes as well as sterilise them for controlling their population," he added.

The administration's plan, though, hasn't found much favour with animal activists. "Painting dogs is not a solution to this serious menace," said Dheeraj Pathak of the NGO, People for Animals. "There is a possibility that villagers may end up painting the wrong set of dogs. Also, if buckets full of colour are poured on dogs, there is a high possibility that the colour would enter their eyes and affect their eyesight." Some villagers were also not exactly convinced about the painting project. Bhupinder Singh, headman of Tanda Meernagar village, said that the problem cannot be solved like this. "The district authorities need to catch or kill the ferocious dogs. If there is further delay, more lives can be lost."

Smokers compete to create longest cigar ash

Hundreds of stogie aficionados gathered in Havana for a competition to create the longest unbroken ash at Cuba's annual cigar festival.

Contestants were seen exhaling clouds of smoke and gently holding on to their 7-inch Cuban cigars to keep the ash from falling as long as possible.

Havana's annual cigar festival has attracted aficionados from near and far for some 17 years.

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A thick cloud of smoke hung in the air as foreigners and Cubans competed for the coveted title.

Pygmy possum returned to original habitat after hitching ride in bottom of mailbag

A pygmy possum has hitched a ride around southern Yorke Peninsula in South Australia in the bottom of a mailbag. The mail sorter at Minlaton post office, Jack May, said he thought at first there was a mouse in the bag from Foul Bay, but then noticed large eyes and a curled tail. "It was hard to know who got the biggest surprise - me or the possum," he said.

Post office staff called on the team from Natural Resources Yorke and North to arrange a return of the tiny possum to its home, about 90 kilometres from Minlaton. Deborah Furbank from Natural Resources said many rural properties used empty drums as their mailboxes and these proved to be popular napping spots for native animals. "The possum was fine, it was very frisky and very curious when we looked in the bag," she said.

"We gave it flowers with nectar so it had food to eat." Ms Furbank said it was important to release the possum back to where it had travelled from. "They are territorial so it was really good that the post office kept the details of which bag it had arrived in so we knew where to let it go," she said. "It travelled over 200 kilometres by the time we got it back to its original destination. It must have got picked up in the morning and was replaced the following morning, so it must have been about 24 hours.

"It was a big day for a little possum." Another member of the Natural Resources team, Cath Cameron, was due to travel from Minlaton to Foul Bay so got the extra job of chauffeuring the pygmy possum home. "It was a classic case of return-to-sender," she said. "When I dropped it back near the mailbox it hopped off my hand and scampered into nearby bush without even a wave."

Man convicted of belly bounce assault on elderly neighbour

A man from Belfast in Northern Ireland has been convicted of assaulting an elderly neighbour by using his belly to “bounce” her away from his home. Morrison Wilson, 58, claimed he was simply trying to get the pensioner out of his garden path during a dispute.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard the woman suffered injuries when she fell during the incident in October 2013. Wilson denied a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Although he was acquitted of that offence a judge found him guilty of a lesser common assault.

Wilson claimed the victim had been aggressive and “sticking her nose in” as he spoke to a motorist outside his home. He told Belfast Magistrates’ Court: “With my big belly, because she was flailing her hands about, I just bounced her back.” According to his account she fell backwards, landing on her tail bone area. He also claimed fertiliser was flung at him after the fall.

Questioned by the prosecution about his claim to have bounced his neighbour, Wilson replied: “What am I going to do? Grab her with my belly?” He added: “She was very aggressive, she wasn’t getting her own way... and I knew what was coming next.” Following a contested hearing District Judge Ken Nixon dismissed the assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge. But he ruled: “On an admission in terms of the defendant’s own evidence there is a conviction of [common] assault.” Wilson will return to court to be sentenced next month.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kangaroo impersonator

Flok the Serbian Hound resists sleep

Must. Stay. Awake.

YouTube link.

Police search for missing house

A house is missing and deputies with the Klamath County sheriff's office in Oregon are looking for it.

Sheriff Frank Skrah made the announcement during a press conference. "We had a complete home stolen. This isn't a motor home, this isn't a mobile home and this is a 'home.'"

When asked if the home was already on wheels Skrah responded, "No, it was not, it was on the foundation you see it on now." The 1,200 square foot home from the Sprague River area was reported missing on Tuesday.

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Thankfully, the home was not occupied, and the absentee homeowner has been notified. Those with any information are asked to contact the Klamath County Sheriff's Office.

Update: The house has been found half a mile away, amid some confusion.

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Motorist who crashed into power pole says he was chasing an owl

A power pole was smashed early on Wednesday in Tukwila, Washington, by a motorist who told police he was chasing an owl.

The driver lost control while following the bird at about 2am. He was apparently travelling at 45 mph.

He said before he slammed through a home’s metal gate and hit a power pole, he was chasing the owl.

His vehicle became wedged between a tree and the pole, taking down lines with it. Police did not arrest the driver who they say was not impaired by drugs or alcohol.

With news video.

Baby squirrel apprehended after stowing away on flight

US Customs and Border Protection apprehended a stowaway baby squirrel on Wednesday after discovering the tiny critter on a flight from Costa Rica to Houston.

Airline employees spotted the squirrel after passengers departed the plane at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. “During the course of performing our mission, we may encounter unusual opportunities to aid in the capture of seemingly harmless animals that have hitchhiked into the country,” said Port Director Charles Perez.

“While there is a cute factor here, realistically, we understand that animals must be handled carefully.” An agency agriculture specialist boarded the plane and "caged the squirrel without incident" with assistance from an officer.

It remained unclear whether or not the squirrel had legal permission to enter the United States. Customs and Border Protection didn’t name the squirrel, which is apparently a minor and hasn’t been charged with any crime. Customs and Border Protection turned the squirrel over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Caravan incinerated after woman started fire underneath it in attempt to drive out snake

A flawed plan devised after a few "cold drinks" to drive a snake out of a caravan has not ended well at property in Australia's Northern Territory. A woman living in the caravan called snake catchers to the Berry Springs location on Wednesday afternoon to catch what she said was a large brown snake.

Police Duty Superintendent Del Jones said reptile wranglers were unable to corral the culprit. "The snake people attended and, unfortunately, they couldn't get the snake," Supt Jones said. The woman then took matters into her own hands, but not before some refreshment.

"She appears to have had a bit of a think about it and few cold drinks and decided that setting a fire under the caravan might be a way to get rid of this snake," Supt Jones said. "However, it just resulted in the caravan being incinerated." Fire crews and police from nearby Humpty Doo were called to the property around 8:30pm but by then the caravan, and the shed it was in, were well ablaze.

Supt Jones said there were no injuries from the fire. "The caravan was fairly well badly damaged and the caravan was actually in the shed, so there was damage to the wiring," she said. However, she could not confirm whether the woman's plan had been successful. "Well, we don't know what happened to the snake," Supt Jones said.

Irish police issue appeal for help following theft of potatoes through roof of shop

GardaĆ­ in Cavan, Ireland are appealing for help to catch burglars who stole bags of potatoes from a village shop.

The burglary happened sometime between last Thurday night and Friday morning in Drumcrow.

The thieves had broken in through the galvanised steel roof.

Other items taken included cash, cigarettes and 22 packets of Panadol.

Would-be robber knocked himself out with his own boomeranging brick

A man knocked himself out cold with a brick while trying to smash a car window. Gerry Brady, owner of the Pheasant pub in Drogheda, Co Louth, Ireland, discovered a man lying near his Mercedes E Coupe car after he finished work. “At first I didn’t know what had happened, this was about 1am and we were just finishing up and heading home I seen this guy lying flat on his back with blood pouring from him, so naturally enough my partner and I went over to help him.

“Initially I thought the poor bloke had been knocked down by a car, he was in such a bad way And then when I asked him what had happened he told me his mate had attacked him He tried to explain that he had been drinking with a friend and a row started and he was battered,” he said. Mr Brady became suspicious when the ‘accident victim’ was reluctant to have an ambulance or the gardaĆ­ involved. “I immediately told him I was ringing an ambulance and the guards as he needed to report it, but he didn’t seem to want the cops involved which made me suspicious.

“My partner then noticed the damage to her car, I had a look at the Merc and could see dents on it. We got the cops and they took him away after we showed them the CCTV.” Mr Brady said: “We have the whole thing on CCTV, and it’s quite hilarious. At first he throws a small stone at the windscreen without success; he tries again with the same stone and still nothing happens. At that stage he decides to have a go at my better half’s car which was parked close by and manages to break a window and gets inside before cleaning out the glove compartment.

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“But he is still determined to get into the Merc and walks down a lane at the side of the pub before returning with the concrete block. Now fair play to him he gives it a right go. He takes a run-up and really lashes it at the windscreen, but unfortunately for him it rebounds and smashes him in the face, lifting him up into the air and laying him flat out. I’ll give him this - he was determined, he had three separate goes at it. He got some smack when the brick rebounded back into his gob,” said Mr Brady. A Garda spokesman confirmed the incident is under investigation.

Police seek man who rode horse into railway station and threatened staff with riding crop

A CCTV image has been released in connection with an incident where a man rode a horse into Windsor and Eton Riverside Station in Berkshire and threatened station staff.

At about 3pm on Sunday, January 4, a man on horseback rode into the booking hall and headed towards the platforms. Detective Constable Rod Harbron, leading the investigation, said: “When challenged by a member of station staff, he racially abused them and threatened to assault them with a riding crop.”

The 32-year-old staff member called the police. British Transport Police has released the image in an attempt to identify a man they believe will be able to assist their investigation. DC Harbron added: “A busy railway station is no place for horses and rail operators have every right to refuse access to people with animals under the railway byelaws.

"The member of staff was just doing their job and racial abuse and threats will not be tolerated. Who is the man on the pony? If you recognise him, please get in touch.”

Motorist jailed for attacking man with saw after crashing into model of Eiffel Tower

An angry motorist who attacked an innocent man with a saw after his car crashed into a metal model of the Eiffel Tower in Yorkshire has been jailed for four years. Paul Collins’ frenzied attack on Ian Milner came just a month before the complainant was due to get married and left him with various injuries including cuts to his head and right forearm, a fractured elbow and a laceration to his one of his fingers which required surgery to repair a damaged tendon. Prosecutor Dale Brook said Mr Milner, who did get married as planned, had to have a metal plate inserted in his damaged elbow and his injuries had affected his abiltity to work as a refuse collector.

Bradford Crown Court heard on Thursday how Mr Milner had been walking home in the early hours after celebrating his stag do at the Ripponden Conservative Club when he was suddenly “hit from behind”. One witness to the attack last July described how Mr Milner was “yelping” in pain as Colljns attacked him with the saw. Collins, 37, of Rishworth, West Yorkshire, later told his mother about the attack and he voluntarily handed himself in to the police the next day. He told his mother how he had been driving through Ripponden when the Honda Civic he was driving crashed into the model Eiffel Tower which had been moved into the road. The impact caused significant damage to the car and Collins said he could see a group of lads laughing and shouting at him.

Collins said he was too scared to stop at that point but after turning the car round he came back and when he saw a man on his own he attacked him because he was mad. Mr Brook said at the time of the attack the area was “strewn” with bicycles and other items such as the mock metal Eiffel Tower because of the Tour de France Grand Depart. He said the model tower was presenting an obstruction in the road, but he said there was no evidence whatsoever that Mr Milner had anything to do with it being moved. Collins pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and today his barrister Stephen Wood said if his client had been killed in the collision those responsible for moving the model tower would have been guilty of manslaughter.

Mr Wood said Collins was “sorely provoked” that night and his behaviour had been utterly out of character. “In the heat of the moment the defendant genuinely believed the complainant was part of the group involved,” said Mr Wood. Mr Wood conceded that it had been a frenzied attack, but said it had happened very quickly. “What prompted him to offend in this way was this extraordinary unpredictable event,’’ suggested Mr Wood. Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described the people who had moved the tower as “very irresponsible young men” and branded them a disgrace. The judge said Collins had been very angry about the incident, but he had then attacked a completely innocent and decent man. Judge Durham Hall said the complainant had been terrified by the “ revenge” attack and suffered very serious injuries. “Not surprisingly that young man was deeply traumatised and will continue to be so, I suspect, for many years,” added the judge.