Friday, May 06, 2016

Cold wet nose

Bernese Mountain Dog does the doggie paddle

This dog has been learning how to swim for two years. He appears to be getting the hang of it now.

YouTube link.

Man led police on high-speed car chase before fleeing with a monkey on his back

A man was arrested in Burien, Washington, early on Wednesday after leading officers on a high-speed chase, crashing his car and then fleeing on foot with a monkey on his back, police said.

The unusual drama unfolded when a Washington State Patrol trooper spotted a reckless driver heading along Highway 509 at high speed. The trooper clocked the driver on radar at 112 mph.

The suspect then exited the highway lost control of the car, crashing into a large rock. Witnesses told police that the suspect jumped from his car and began to run away.

He then returned to his car to retrieve something, which turned out to be his pet monkey. The suspect then ran from the scene with the monkey on his back. Burien officers eventually found the suspect and his monkey nearby and both were taken into custody.

Man arrested for putting python in his pants

A man is facing theft charges after he tried to steal a snake from a pet store in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Monday. Pinellas County deputies said Travis Treder went into Animal House Pet Center and put a baby python into his left front pocket. Chaos erupted at the pet store as employees tried to stop him.

“He’s been in twice before over the past nine months and we didn’t realise he stole anything until after the fact,” store owner Steve Silk said. Surveillance video shows the suspect grab the snake from its enclosure and put it in his pants. Silk then confronts him. “We waited on him for probably 15 minutes and then we went into the office to see what he was going to do.

“And sure enough, he targeted our higher-end snakes again,” Silk said. Silk also said Treder has stolen snakes and lizards on two separate occasions in the last nine months. They’ve been on the lookout for him since. “This time we printed out pictures of him and put it behind our register,” Silk said. Employees blocked the front entrance.

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A customer, who just so happened to be a security guard, jumped in to help. The suspect is seen struggling, but they’re able to hold him down and zip tie him until authorities arrive. Silk said the suspect is one snake he hopes to never see again. “Very frustrating and unfortunately that kind of seems to be the MO with what we see. It’s usually the same person,” he said. Silk said he believes Treder may be selling the animals on Craigslist.

Woman devasted after her Chihuahua puppy was snatched from garden by swooping crow

A cancer patient has been left devastated after her tiny chihuahua puppy was taken by a swooping crow from her backyard in east Melbourne, Australia, on Wednesday. Heather Sinden had put her four-month-old pup Fudge in the garden of her Kilsyth home and heard the little dog scream as it was being carried away by the crow.

The inconsolable owner was too distraught to speak, but her daughter Melinda Pride spoke of the traumatising moment. “She’s not coping at all, to be honest,” she said. “She can’t get the sound of Fudge’s screams out of her mind. “She’s still crying now, I mean it happened at 11 o’clock this morning and she’s still going crazy about it,” she said.

Mrs Sinden received Fudge as a gift two months ago to be a companion for her as she battled lung cancer. Crows had been flocking around the yard before one bird grabbed the puppy by the neck. Fudge was small enough to sit in the palm of someone's hand. “She heard Fudge screaming about three times and she just panicked.”

Melinda said she wasn’t sure how her mother would cope without her little companion. “She even said last week ‘geez I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost this little puppy’, because it was her world, you know, it kept her going. “My mum is hoping for a miracle that she’s still alive.”

With news video.

India trials virtual speed humps in bid to reduce road deaths

They are speed breakers with a third dimension but not in physical form. Motorists experience the optical illusion of a speed barrier on the road, and tend to slow down, improving road safety at accident-prone spots.

That is the Indian government’s logic in opting for 3D paintings to be put up on roads, to act as virtual speed breakers. “We are trying out 3D paintings used as virtual speed breakers to avoid unnecessary requirements of speed breakers,” Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

“We will test the three-dimensional painting of speed bumps out in a couple of highways. If it doesn’t cause any problem of road safety, we can experiment with it further,” National Highways Authority of India Chairman Raghav Chandra said. Around 150,000 people are killed in road accidents every year in the country.

YouTube link.

The government aims to reduce fatalities by half by 2019. “Virtual speed breakers are likely to result in reduction in vehicle speed without causing injuries to passengers and damage to the vehicle,” said Patanjali Dev Nayar, regional adviser for disability prevention and rehabilitation at the World Health Organisation.

Pensioners used their zimmer frames to reclaim stolen ten metre maypole

A group of Austrian pensioners reclaimed their stolen ten metre maypole using only their zimmer frames.

The group of retirement home residents definitely take home the prize for most inventive way to steal a maypole, which is a tradition that takes places around May 1st in Austria and Germany where the decorated trees are erected in celebration of the arrival of Spring.

As tradition goes in the small community of Mehrnbach in Upper Austria, the OAPs’ decorated maypole had been stolen from the retirement home by a group of regulars at a nearby pub. “This year, however, the seniors decided: that’s enough, we will not accept it,” said the head of the home Christoph Koller. The 78 residents then concocted a plan on Sunday to take back the decorated tree.

Video has no sound.

YouTube link.

Using their zimmer frames and few helping hands they loaded up the ten metre tree and rolled it back the 300 metres to their home. Tradition states successful thieves must be treated with a hearty snack in reward for their theft - in this case, the pensioners invited the pub thieves to the home to celebrate. “Of course we will again put up a tree next year,” said Koller. “In future we will guard it better, however.”

Man attacked ex-partner's new boyfriend with bottle and knife then joined them for a cup of tea

A man attacked his ex-partner’s new boyfriend with a bottle and a knife then joined them for a cup of tea after the assault. Steven Shepherd, 39, of Dingwall, Scotland, appeared from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court on Tuesday when the “bizarre” tale was told by fiscal Roderick Urquhart.

Shepherd admitted assaulting Christopher Macleod by striking him on the head with a bottle to his injury and then throwing a knife at him at his home on February 15 this year. Also in the house was Shepherd’s former partner of 15 years, Donna Spence who had gone round to visit him with her new partner. Mr Urquhart said: “Sometime after midday, Christopher Macleod went out to buy a bottle of vodka which Shepherd paid for and on his return all three shared in it.

“Shepherd drank most and quickly became drunk then he got up off his chair holding the vodka bottle, walked over to where Christopher Macleod was sitting and proceeded to strike him a single blow with the bottle to the top of his head causing a gash.” Macleod and Shepherd returned to his seat, only to “have a go” at Macleod, Mr Urquhart went on. “As Macleod and Spence made to leave, the accused opened a kitchen drawer, removed a knife and followed them out of the house, brandishing it and shouting, “Come on then!”

“He then threw it at Macleod but it missed. Somewhat bizarrely they all went back into the house.” Mr Urquhart told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that Mr Macleod refused a suggestion by a neighbour to have hospital treatment to his head gash. Defending, Aileen Macinnes said all parties had known each other for some time and after the incident had returned to the house for a cup of tea. “And rather than go to accident and emergency, Mr Macleod chose to have a tin of beer instead.” Shepherd was jailed for 12 months backdated to February 17, when he was taken into custody.

Mystery surrounds spoof tourist brochure for Orkney island that doesn't exist

Mystery surrounds a spoof tourist brochure for a non-existent island which has appeared at a number of sites around Orkney, scotland.

The colour brochure is professionally produced and looks like a genuine guide to one of Orkney's North Isles. But it features attractions that aren't there, on an island called Mama Westray that doesn't even exist.

Attractions include fish-eating pigs, The Tropical Gardens of Nether Biggings and "the world-famous Tomb of the Haddock". Other "must-see" sites and attractions are said to be the Hall of McFlummery and an annual Ratsmack event.

It also says that actress Cate Blanchett is a regular visitor and keeps a pedal car in the garage airport. There is concern among some locals on the real island of Papa Westray that the brochure could cause some confusion with existing promotional material.

Hapless horse said to be in stable condition after somehow getting stuck on top of gate

A horse is said to be in a stable conditionafter having to be rescued after it somehow managed to get stuck on top of a gate.

Fire crews were called to Adlington Equestrian Centre near Macclesfield, Cheshire, on Monday afternoon to help the poor mare after she found herself in an awkward situation. Her front legs were on one side of the railings, and her rear legs on the other.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said two fire engines, one from Poynton and one from Bollington, were sent to the centre to support the Bollington Animal Rescue Unit. Around 10 crew members worked to free the horse by removing the gate. The animal, who is 16.2 hands, then walked unaided into the stable.

The CFRS said they arrived on scene at 2.42pm and left just before 4pm, adding: “A horse stuck on top of a gate needed rescuing by firefighters and the service’s animal rescue unit. A safe area of work and a cordon was set up to enable the crews to assess the situation. They were able to remove the gate to enable the horse to be released and walk, unaided, into the stable.”

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Just give me the eucalyptus

Boinging kitten pursues bouncing ping pong ball

YouTube link.

Residents concerned about rock-stacking man

Residents in Desert Hot Springs, California, say a man is stacking piles of rocks on medians and sidewalks along Palm Drive near Pierson Boulevard. "He stacks them pretty good," resident Jesse Rodriguez said.

"He does them every day and wherever he's at." Local businessman Brandon Trujillo said: "It's random. It's odd. I'm not sure why he's are doing it or what their benefit from it is." The problem is the rocks tip over and fall onto the road.

One woman has warned drivers to be careful. She couldn't see the rocks on the road, ran over some and had to pay $200 for a new tyre. "It could create some blow outs and could cause accidents from that.

"I know it's not the best place to be doing that," Trujillo added. Desert Hot Springs city leaders said they're aware of the rock piles and want it to stop. Police say it's not illegal, but the man could get in trouble if someone gets seriously hurt.

With news video.

Man named Avril Lavigne arrested on suspicion of not registering as a sex offender

A man from Portland, legally known as Avril Lavigne, is in trouble for not registering as a sex offender in Oregon. He claims it's all a big misunderstanding and told a Multnomah County judge that in court on Tuesday. "I'm already properly registered. I filled out the papers in January, in jail," Lavigne said in court. While Lavigne protested that there is confusion over his sex registry status, the prosecutor questioned the legality of his name. "I do have a question first, judge. He said that this is his correct full name, 'Avril Lavigne.' Is that his true name?" asked the prosecutor.

"That is the true name I was given," replied the public defender. Court records show a judge approved Lavigne's request to change his name from "Romany Yves Mesina" to "Avril Lavigne" in November of 2014. The records don't indicate why he chose that name, or wanted to change his own name. Portland police arrested Lavigne on Monday night. Investigators put out a warrant for Lavigne's arrest because they discovered he didn't properly register as a sex offender after they received a tip that he was following young women and teens on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, taking photos of them, and posting them online.

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said it's his understanding that Lavigne didn't include a correct address when he registered. Simpson said sex offenders, even non-violent offenders such as Lavigne, are required to register every two years and include a current address. Lavigne said in court he is registered. "I've already filled out the sex offender registration in January, in jail, and I got released. I got brought back because they thought I failed to register and then they found out I did register and they let me out again," he explained to the judge. In 2009, Lavigne, who then went by Mesina, was convicted of attempted rape and sex abuse. "We plead not guilty. We request new court dates. And we do wish to be heard on release," the public defender told the judge.

Court records also show police have arrested Lavigne more than a dozen times since that 2009 arrest. He was convicted of reckless burning and spent two weeks in jail in 2014. He also didn't complete an anger management class, according to court records. Still, Lavigne begged the judge to let him out of jail on Tuesday afternoon. "Will you let me out tonight?" Lavigne asked. "No!" said the judge. The judge did give Lavigne an exception to that no. He told Lavigne he could get released early if pre-trial release services reviews his case and approves his release. Lavigne said in court he's homeless. The prosecutor said he has a history of not showing up to court appearances, so it's possible he will stay in jail for now. He's due back in court on May 11.

With news video and a large gallery of Avril Lavigne's mugshots over the years.

Deer rescued from storm drain by police and firefighters

Firefighters and police officers rescued a deer stuck in a storm drain in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon.

A passer-by spotted the deer beneath a flyover, but was unable to rescue it from the drain. Only its head was visible.

At around 2:30pm, firefighters and police successfully rescued the animal from the drain and released the deer safely.

YouTube link.

"It may not look like it, but this deer was in the right place at the right time because the storm drain it fell into was relatively easy for us to access," Austin Fire Department wrote on their Facebook page. "Our crews were able to safely remove it and it's been released, uninjured."

Rescue of newborn kittens from fire captured on firefighter's helmet camera

Firefighters in Turlock, California, rescued four kittens while battling a fire early on Monday morning.

The kittens were found underneath a large pile of burning wood rounds that caught fire beside a home.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze before it spread to the home and then found the newborn kittens. It’s believed they were living underneath the wood rounds.

YouTube link. Facebook video.

Firefighters rinsed, dried and reunited the kittens with their mother, who returned to the scene while crews were cleaning up. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.

Mattress that flew from truck knocked motorcylist off bike before breaking his fall

A mattress that was improperly secured to a truck simultaneously caused a motorcycle accident and broke the rider's fall.

Dash cam footage from another motorist captured the incident, which occurred in Lopburi, Thailand, on April 25.

The motorcyclist was riding behind the pick-up when the mattress flew off and smashed right into him.

Full YouTube video. Alternative YouTube video

Fortunately, the rider fell right onto the mattress, cushioning his fall. The rider was uninjured, thanks to the comfy landing pad.

Angry man chased next-door neighbours with a chainsaw after they put up a garden fence

An angry man chased after his next-door neighbours with a chainsaw after falling out with them over a garden fence. 33-year-old Christian Hager flew into a rage after discovering Mark Walton and Sharon Lamb had put up a fence between their homes in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire. The self-employed gardener took the chainsaw from his van and cut down a fence post. He then threatened his neighbours, with the power tool just centimetres from Sharon's stomach. The victims have told how they are still struggling to come to terms with the incident. Sharon, 44, said: "We just wanted to put the fence up for privacy. "We didn't put it over his kitchen window or anything like that, and we spoke to him about it before but he just wasn't happy about it. "It has just been terrible. It is something we have struggled to deal with and get over." The couple are furious Hager was not jailed at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Instead he was handed a suspended jail sentence and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Paul Glenn told Hager: "In the cold light of day you almost faced a prison sentence because of a fence. Your behaviour was utterly disgraceful." Mark and Sharon have now installed CCTV after being left fearing for their safety. Following the case Mark, 44, said: "I've had to spend a lot of money putting up CCTV around the house because we didn't feel safe. I am disgusted with the sentence he has got. We are building a new house and were hoping he would be locked up for our last 12 months here, but obviously that hasn't happened." The incident was seen by Sharon's three children. Ms Lamb added: "He tried to jump over the wall and swing the chainsaw at Mark. He had to put the fence between himself and the chainsaw. I was talking to him calmly about it at first but he just wasn't going back in his house. He stood by the window and was just staring and shouting at me through the window. The children were hysterical, not knowing what was going on." The court heard that Hager flew into a rage after returning home to discover the new fence between the properties on December 23.

He claimed Mark had damaged his wall with one of the fence posts. He cut off one of the fence posts with the chainsaw. Prosecutor Geoff Whelan told the court: "The defendant said, 'I will get my chainsaw and cut it down'. "He started shouting for Mr Walton. Ms Lamb told him she would ring the police. He said, 'Call the police, I do not care'. "Ms Lamb locked her house. She saw the defendant looking through her windows. She called the police. Fifteen minutes later, Mr Walton heard the defendant say, 'I am going to cut this fence now'. He heard a chainsaw being revved. He left his house. The defendant said, 'Come on then' and ran at him with a chainsaw. Mr Walton shouted, 'Put the chainsaw down you psycho', but the defendant swung it a second time. Ms Lamb and her children came out of the front door. Ms Lamb approached the defendant and said, 'What are you doing? I have got kids here'. "The defendant leant forwards towards her. She leant backwards and felt the chainsaw a matter of centimetres away from her stomach. She said the defendant appeared to be in another world. She feared for her children's safety. She was very distressed."

Hager has no previous convictions and told police he got the chainsaw out to damage the fence. He pleaded guilty to affray on the basis that at no time did he try to strike anyone with the chainsaw. Paul Hiatt, mitigating, said the defendant felt 'betrayed' when he saw the new fence. Mr Hiatt said: "He felt the easiest way was to cut the fence down. He accepted he cut the wooden post. He apologises for his actions." Hager was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and 180 hours' unpaid work. He must also pay £600 costs. Judge Paul Glenn told Hager: "Your behaviour was utterly stupid and, frankly, quite disgraceful. Your neighbour had erected the fence despite your objections and secured it to a party wall. Any difficulty could have been dealt with through appropriate legal channels. But you decided to deal with it yourself. You took a chainsaw to cut down the fence. Your neighbours indicated they would call the police but you were not deterred. When Mr Walton appeared you threatened him while brandishing the chainsaw. An independent witness described you holding it close to his face. They genuinely feared seeing your state of mind that they would be attacked."

Resident recommends reward for owner of precision-pooing dog

A resident of Norton, Yorkshire, has suggested a "reward" for the owner of a dog that have been pooing on a bridge in the town. Anthony Knowles was speaking out about the persistent dog fouling on County Bridge and in the town in general. "Dog fouling is a massive issue around Malton and Norton," he said, "but this one on the bridge is relentless."

Mr Knowles suspects that the bridge mess may be the work of one individual dog, and as such suggested the owner might like to go to the council offices and confess to the offences in order to collect their "reward". "I would like to offer a reward to the owner of the dog that keeps fouling on the right hand side of the bridge going towards Norton," he said.

"This dog has the remarkable ability to foul on, or as near to the railings as is possible without the mess dropping into the river. At one point there was 35 poos on the bridge. That's nearly one for every metal post that is bolted into the bridge. It has to be the same dog doing it. The skill and precision is uncanny. I think the owner of this dog is deserving of some kind of recognition.

"Due to the recent weather some of these poos have washed away, but there are still about 15 to be admired, with new ones being added daily." Mr Knowles's irreverent offer is based on the current UK fine for dog fouling. "A quick look at the website says it is usually £50," he said, "therefore I propose a reward of £750 to the owner of this dog based on the current poos that are on the bridge."

Sad dog found on London bus reunited with his family - Update

A dog which was feared to have been abandoned on a bus in east London has been reunited with his family. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was found sitting in the pram and wheelchair area of a 158 bus which travelled through Leyton on Thursday evening. Bus driver Amos Paul Mak spotted the lonely pooch and when the service terminated at Stratford Bus Station. The dog spent the evening on the bus, which was taken out of service and sent to West Ham bus garage, before being handed over to Newham Council’s dog wardens on Friday.

On Wednesday, four-year-old Boston was reunited with his owner Paulina Rybak, who said her pet disappeared while being taken for a walk on Thursday She said: “We took him outside and after few seconds, we couldn’t see him. We started looking for him but couldn’t find him. On Friday, in the morning, I went to my vet and told them I lost my dog and they told me to call Newham Council. They said: “When we find the dog, we will let you know”. But we ended up finding him on the Evening Standard website.

“I was so happy I started crying. I thought we would never see him again.” Miss Rybak, who has had Boston since he was six-weeks-old, said she and her two young children, Filip, 8, and Zofia, 3, were devastated when their pet vanished. She said: “I felt very, very sad because he is part of our family. “My children were very sad. My boy was crying and my daughter was as well. Now they are very happy and are with him now.”

Miss Rybak added it was the first time Boston has run off and fears someone tried to steal him before abandoning him on the bus. Mr Mak, who has been a bus driver for four years, said he remembers Boston getting onto the bus with two men. He said: “I am genuinely pleased Boston is home and I will let all the staff at Stagecoach, who helped keep him comfortable and stress free, know. My colleague Benji stayed working for a few hours after his shift unpaid to try and find a place to take him, Leigh Anne on the counter kept phoning all night to try and get him taken in somewhere and Liezel constantly kept an eye on and gave Boston hugs throughout the night.”