Friday, April 24, 2015

Pillion passengers should always wear a helmet

Jockey had a cracking finish

Australian jockey Blake Shinn finished a race while coming second, riding Miss Royale at Canterbury Racecourse in Sydney, with great style yesterday. A horse named Modesty came third.

YouTube link.

Three people arrested for possession of meth, heroin, ginseng and a squirrel

Three people were arrested on Tuesday after the Lawrence County Drug Task Force served a search warrant at a home in Bedford, Indiana. According to Bedford Police Chief Dennis Parsley, officers from both the Bedford Police Department and Lawrence County Sheriff's Department SWAT Team executed the warrant.

"Working on information received about illegal drug activity at the home officer secured a search warrant," Parsley says. "When officers arrived there were three people in the home and all three were arrested after officers found various amounts of meth, heroin, firearms, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a large amount of cash.

"They also found ginseng and a squirrel." Officers arrested 51-year-old Sheila Aslinger Phillipe and 53-year-old Bradley Bundy, both of Bedford, on charges of dealing heroin over 5 grams with a firearm; dealing heroin; possession of heroin over 5 grams with a firearm; possession of meth with a firearm; possession of meth; possession of marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of ginseng out of season and possession of a wild animal without a permit.

27-year-old Nathan Fields of Bedford is facing charges of possession of heroin over 5 grams with a firearm; possession of heroin over 5 grams; possession of meth with a firearm; possession of meth; possession of marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia and visiting a common nuisance. The Department of Natural Resource was called to the scene after police found the ginseng and the squirrel, which was running around the house and eating out of a cat food bag. DNR added the charges of possession of ginseng out of season and possession of a wild animal without a licence. DNR Officers confiscated the ginseng and the squirrel.

Man foiled authorities by putting GPS monitor on cat

A man held on a drug charge may have fled Virginia, and possibly the US, after he put his court-ordered GPS tracking device on a cat and vanished. Federal court papers revealed Diego Martinez-Espinoza is a Mexican national and was in the United States illegally. After his arrest on a drug charge, Espinoza was ordered to wear a GPS device. Now investigators believe he took it off and placed it on his cat.

That cat probably spent a few days hearing the bracelet’s chirp, which would be followed by orders to make a phone call. When it appears the device has been tampered with, the GPS tells the suspect to call police. “We call them and physically make them come in so we can look at it,” Henrico Sgt. Rick Garrison said.

Espinoza was arrested in Chesterfield for trying to manufacture, sell, give or distribute more than 10 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride by concealing it in the drum of a dryer. He was ordered by the judge to follow the rules on the GPS device. He was supposed to go on trial on May 6. “The courts may order bond with GPS or GPS home incarceration,” Garrison said. In February, authorities monitoring Espinoza saw he was travelling south.

YouTube link.

Court documents revealed a “strap tamper” alert was sent out. After authorities called Espinoza about the tamper alert, he texted back an image of himself wearing the device. It happened several times according to DEA documents. The unit was eventually replaced, but then went silent. When a landlord entered Espinoza’s apartment in Highland Springs, Espinoza was gone. But a cat was there, and wearing the GPS bracelet. The US marshals are now involved in the search for Espinoza.

Lost sea lion pup waddled into back seat of police car for lift back to the sea

At approximately 1am on Sunday, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were on routine patrol on Highway 1, just south of the town of Fort Bragg, California. Sheriff’s Deputies observed a small animal moving slowly in the road and stopped to render aid.

Due to the darkness and the dense fog the animal was very difficult to see and would have certainly been struck by a vehicle if the deputies had not stopped. Deputies discovered the small animal was a California Sea Lion pup about thirty inches in length, weighing approximately 20 pounds and had walked about a quarter mile from the ocean.

The sea lion pup had an orange tag attached to its front flipper and was extremely friendly with the deputies, rubbing against their legs for attention. Sheriff’s Deputies contacted the Marine Mammal Center, which is based out of Sausalito, California. The Marine Mammal Center identified the sea lion pup from the flipper tag and stated that it had been released from their rehabilitation center, where it learned to interact with people.

Based on the information provided by the Sheriff’s Deputies, the Marine Mammal Center staff determined the sea lion pups health had remained stable since its release and it was not in any type of distress. At the direction of the Marine Mammal Center, the Sheriff's Deputies were asked to assist the sea lion pup back to the ocean. The sea lion pup was grateful to receive a ride from the Sheriff’s Deputies and climbed into the rear of the patrol vehicle. The sea lion pup was transported by the Sheriff’s Deputies and successfully released back to its natural habitat.

Englishman in Florida arrested after urinating in Hard Rock Hotel ice machine

A man from England has been charged after he was accused of urinating in an ice machine at Hard Rock Hotel, according to the Orlando Police Department. The incident happened at around 12am on Tuesday at the hotel on Universal Blvd. A security officer told police that he was approached by a guest in the lobby who informed him there was a very intoxicated guest in the hotel.

The security officer was taken by the guest to the intoxicated person, identified by police as Andrew Wood, 41. The security officer approached Wood and saw him urinating in an ice machine, the arrest report said. Police said the security officer attempted several times to get the guest to identify himself and tell him what room he was staying in.

The guest refused to identify himself and became very uncooperative and combative, and was becoming very loud and disturbing hotel guests, according to Orlando police. That is when the security officer called Orlando police. When police arrived, an officer noticed Wood was extremely intoxicated, with the odour of alcohol emanating from him, and was having random outbursts, authorities said.

The police officer told Wood to stay in his hotel room for the night because of his actions or he would be placed under arrest for disorderly conduct in a public establishment. Police said Wood refused to stay in his room and continued to be disruptive in the hallway. Wood was then arrested and taken to jail, where he continued to be disruptive in the jail and was booked by jail staff, police said. Wood later posted bond, which was set at $1,000.

Surprise as cow has started eating sheep

A family in Miti Mingi Village in Nakuru County, Kenya, is reeling in shock after its cow developed a liking for meat about a week ago. Mr Charles Mamboleo said he woke up on Wednesday to find the cow feeding on one of his sheep that it had gored to death.

The following day, it fed on another sheep, having given fresh fodder and water in its feeding trough a wide berth. “After the first incident, we thought the cow was starving, so we increased the supply of fodder and water, but it still continued chasing after sheep,” said Mr Mamboleo.

He expressed fears that his animal could have been bewitched since it had not calved since it was bought. His wife, Ms Consepta Kerubo, expressed fear that the animal could start feeding on her children. But area agricultural officer Albert Kabugi dismissed bewitchment claims.

Footage could be considered to be graphic.

YouTube link.

He said there was a possibility the cow lacked some nutrients and minerals found in green grass. Green grass has been scarce in the county due to drought.“The dry season, which has just ended, has seen most animals lack minerals found in green grass," he said. He expressed shock at the development, terming it the only such case ever reported in the region.

Estate agent admits sending poo to rival but says it wasn't his

A real-estate agent in New Zealand has admitted sending poo in the post to a business rival - but says it wasn't his. Grant Campbell Tucker, 58, originally denied the allegation and was due to appear in Auckland District Court on Wednesday on charges of posting a noxious substance (namely faeces) and using a telephone to offend. However, the court confirmed Tucker had pleaded guilty to the Postal Services Act charge and would be sentenced in June, while the other charge had been dismissed.

It is understood the incident came about over a long-running stoush between Tucker, a director of Netrealty, and John Charles Wills, who is a director of Custom Residential. Both companies sell properties in some of Auckland's most desirable suburbs but in an email sent to NZME when charges were laid, Tucker said the bad blood was "not about turf". "It's about ethics, integrity and honesty," he said. Tucker said he used to work at Custom Residential and there had been issues about commission he believed he was owed, among other points of disagreement.

On March 6, 2014, the fight got dirty. Wills' lawyer David Beard said his office received a package in a courier bag along with a letter bearing Tucker's company letterhead. "It was opened on the steps of the Auckland Central Police Station with myself and a constable and ... I was gagging over the side, with tears in my eyes," Mr Beard said. "I'd just been to the High Court that morning, so I was all dressed up in the black suit, the works, with haz-mat gloves." While Tucker admitted sending the package, his lawyer Ron Mansfield said the faeces did not belong to his client.

The package was originally sent to Tucker and he believed he was returning it to the sender, Mr Mansfield said. "So 'whose poo is it?' is a good question and why are they not charged?" he said. Posting a noxious substance attracts a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine but Mr Beard believed it was a more serious offence. "What's the difference between sending that and a package of smallpox? It's noxious, it hurts people, it's full of bacteria, it's harmful," the lawyer said. "In 16 years I've never seen anything like this in my career, and I have to deal with some interesting people." It is understood police did not have the contents of the package analysed because of health-and-safety concerns and it was subsequently destroyed.

Farmer could face charges over 'pornographic' hay bale sculpture

An Australian cattle farmer who has erected a hay bale sculpture depicting a bull serving a cow has been ordered to take it down and could face obscenity charges. Bruce Cook, owner of Kactus Point Charolais stud erected the sculpture on his farm on the Murray Valley Highway at Lake Charm near Kerang in northern Victoria as “a bit of fun.”

But after someone complained that the sculpture was offensive and obscene Mr Cook received a call from a police officer telling him he had to take it down and that he could be charged with 'publishing pornographic images'. “I couldn’t believe it. How could anyone be offended by something that happens out in the paddocks for real every day of the week? It’s just nature,” Mr Cook said. Since he built the sculpture on Good Friday, dozens of cars and trucks had stopped to admire it and have a bit of a chuckle, he said.

But a defiant Mr Cook said he refused to take it down and in fact plans to light up the sculpture at night so it can seen for longer by passers-by. And he was going to add some calves to the sculpture very soon. “I told the copper to piss off. They have picked on the wrong person. I don’t care what they threaten me with. The sculpture stays,” he said. Mr Crook said he was not angry just totally amused by the fact someone could find an arrangement of hay bales offensive.

“It’s just a stack of hay bales as far as I’m concerned,” he said. He said he found it hard to believe in this day and age there could be laws preventing such a harmless bit of fun. A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said police were notified of a complaint about the hay bale sculpture and had spoken to all parties concerned and were currently making enquiries.

There's a radio interview with Mr Cook on this page.

Irish Coast Guards rescued boy from boulder

A frantic mother flagged down a passing tour bus after her son became trapped on top of a boulder in the Burren in County Clare, Ireland, on Monday. The child had climbed on top of the 5m (16ft) high rock but was unable to climb down. The incident happened at around 4.30pm at Ballyreen on the coast road between Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan Co Clare.

The area is popular with abseilers and rock climbers while large stand-alone rocks, that are spread across the karst landscape, are used for a past-time called bouldering. The six-year-old boy had been visiting family in Kinvara from Manchester in England and was accompanied by his mother and a sibling.

The child climbed up the side of the boulder but couldn’t get down again while his mother was unable to reach him. After spending some time trying to get down, the child’s mother ran to the nearby road and flagged down a passing tour bus. The driver alerted the Irish Coast Guard and the Doolin unit of the volunteer service was requested to attend the incident.

They were accompanied by members from the Kilkee unit who had been on a station visit at the time. Two volunteers climbed up onto the boulder and secured the child in a harness before lowering him to safety. The child, who was unharmed, was then reunited with his family.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life's a beach

Puppy is extremely protective of her water bowl

Brynja the German Shepherd puppy doesn't like to share her water bowl.

YouTube link.

Intoxicated women arrested for driving car in which they failed to notice missing passenger

A woman suffered a serious head injury on a highway in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, in the early morning hours of Tuesday. Lincoln County Sheriff Charlie Dougherty says that three women, all just under 21, were severely intoxicated and ended up doing some pretty bizarre and dangerous things.

“The driver was hanging out of the driver's window,” Dougherty said. “The passenger was hanging out of the passenger window for whatever reason, and the person in the middle was driving the car. They were driving about 55 miles per hour when they realised the passenger was gone.” They went back to find her, but it apparently took a while.  

“We were looking at somewhere around 10 minutes,” Dougherty added. “Fifty five miles an hour, and you haven't seen her in about 10 minutes, maybe?” Dougherty said. “You've covered a lot of ground.” They eventually found her and called 911. That passenger was airlifted to OU Medical Center with head injuries.

The other two, Shelby Soderstrom and Holly Ingraham, were taken to jail. “We arrested both of them for DUI, because they both had control of the vehicle,” Dougherty said. “So, that's a first. I've never seen that happen.” Both have bonded out of jail, and the case has been turned over to the district attorney.

With news video.

Man arrested after allegedly assaulting wife with dangerous waffle

A man was arrested after allegedly assaulting his wife in Lowell, Massachusetts, on Monday. Patrick Manjong, 39, has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon - a waffle with syrup.

Police say they responded to an address at 5 pm for a report of a domestic assault in progress. The victim, Manjong's wife of eight years, told police that while she was making waffles for dinner, she and her husband began arguing about how waffles dripping with syrup are unhealthy to eat.

The victim told police that Manjong became so irate that he grabbed a waffle with syrup and slapped her across the face with it, according to court documents. Officers did notice pieces of waffle were stuck to the victim's face and hair.

Manjong appeared in Lowell District Court on Tuesday to plead not guilty to the assault charge. He was released without bail so he was able to make the couple's divorce hearing on Wednesday. His next court date is scheduled for June 11. Meanwhile, he was ordered not to abuse the victim.

Duck stuck in fireplace extricated by firefighters

Firefighters in Slidell, Louisiana, spent more than two hours on Sunday helping a duck that was trapped inside a chimney at a home.

They immediately spotted the stuck duck on their arrival at around 7:20pm - its head was sticking out of the bottom of the fireplace.

They dismantled part of the fireplace to reach the duck, and took extra care in extricating it from the chimney, spokesman Chad Duffaut said.

"It's not very often that we respond to these types of calls," Duffaut said. "However, we are always willing to help (if) we can - even animals in need."

Turkey bullied by geese died after flying through third-floor window

A wild turkey, intimidated by a pair of territorial nesting geese, met a tragic end on University of Waterloo campus in Ontario, Canada, on Monday morning when it took flight and smashed through a third-floor window in the English and philosophy building, say university staff. The turkey first appeared in the Hagey Hall courtyard last Thursday, bringing momentary delight and distraction to university staff during final exam season. "It's the end of year, everyone's tired, it's exams. You get a little punchy. I have to say a lot of the faculty ran outside to look at a turkey," said Jennifer Harris, an associate professor at the university.

"Turkey sightings are highly unusual. Anyone who goes to Waterloo knows geese are predominant. You spend a lot of your time navigating geese and everything they leave behind, but turkeys? I'd never sighted one before." Colin Wallace, who works in IT at the university, believes the turkey was repeatedly drawn to the courtyard by its own reflection in a glass door. Unfortunately for the turkey, the courtyard is also home to a couple of aggressive nesting geese. "[The turkey] was terrified of the two geese," said Wallace. "They were stalking her.

"They thought they were guarding their eggs. She would pace back and forth in a corner where they had [contained] her." The courtyard is walled on three sides, while a flight of stairs lead out of it. "The steps were where the geese set themselves up as sentries," said Harris. The turkey was trying to leave the courtyard, but was "thwarted by the geese," she said. "Apparently when it tried to get out, the geese were chasing it back." On Monday morning, the turkey decided to take an alternative route out of the courtyard and flew into glass windows.

Wallace called the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society to assist the turkey, but before they were able to help, it had smashed through a third-floor window into an empty meeting room. "It was right over top of us. It was just this huge smashing sound and glass dropping three storeys," said Wallace. Turkeys are capable of flying short distances and heights. With assistance from the humane society, the turkey was chased into a cage and taken away. It had suffered serious injuries to its throat and had to be euthanised. The turkey left a hole that was about a couple of feet wide and a great deal of broken glass in the room. The window has since been repaired.

Cafe apologises to woman who found sink plug in her Hog's Breath salad

The cafe has apologised to a customer in Brisbane, Australia, after she found a sink plug in her salad. Hog's Breath Cafe Australian general manager Ross Worth said the company had been in contact with the woman and apologised.

He said food hygiene was a top priority for the company and they had notified local health authorities about the incident which happened at the weekend. Mr Worth said the plug had come from a sanitised ice food bath that was designated for fresh produce such as lettuce and tomatoes to be washed in.

"On that day the staff members have pulled fresh produce out of the bath and accidently pulled the plug with it," he said. "The business owner has re-trained his staff on the right processes to make sure this doesn't ever happen again." Mr Worth said plugs would be chained to the ice baths to prevent them from being dislodged.

The customer also claimed kitchen staff "thought it was funny" when they were told of the errant plug. "I can't comment if they were laughing - I would guess not," Mr Worth said. "It's not a laughing matter, and I'd like to think they wouldn't laugh."

American tourists say New Zealand airport security ruined holiday by confiscating chutney

An American couple say the confiscation of chutney and jelly from their luggage at Queenstown Airport in New Zealand ruined their holiday. Jonathan and Tiffany Sturman and their two children were passing through security screening before a flight to Sydney earlier this month when the condiments were confiscated from their carry-on baggage because they were deemed a ''gel'' under aviation security rules. The Hong-Kong-based couple have expressed their disgust at the experience, which had left a ''very unfavourable mark'' on their holiday.

They say the rules are heavy-handed and security staff should have the discretion to pass items that do not pose a threat to safety. The Aviation Security Service (Avsec) says the rules have been in place for years and are clearly communicated to passengers. Mr Sturman said they were told the items, a jar of apple jelly and two jars of cherry chutney bought at a Cromwell store, should have been packed in their checked-in luggage. The rules needed to be more clearly explained to passengers. ''This type of behaviour is bully-like and does not help to promote tourism to your country, nor does it help to keep the skies safe. It is a sad day when cherry chutney is deemed a threat to air travel.''

Mrs Sturman said when she double-checked the rules afterwards, those relating to food were in the 'small print'. ''When you normally hear about the gels, the pictures are always in reference to toiletries. Who calls chutney a gel? Security staff should have the power to use discretion when passengers had products in sealed jars and were carrying receipts. Is there not a way, like with duty-free bags, that would give people the opportunity to keep their souvenirs?'' Avsec spokesman Mike Eng said the rules barring liquids, aerosols and gels in quantities of more than 100ml from carry-on luggage on international flights had been in place since 2007, and had always covered food products.

The restrictions were in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements and were in place in all ICAO member states, including the United States. Aviation security officials had no discretion in such cases, although they gave passengers the opportunity to go back and check the goods in, he said. Most travellers were aware of the rules, which were clearly indicated on signage at security screening points, but items were 'occasionally relinquished'. ''The vast majority of passengers do this with the understanding that it is in the interests of the safety and security of all travellers.''

Art dealer furious after being forced to cover up swear word on painting in shop window

An art dealer in Brentwood, Essex, says it is "bonkers" a police officer visited his gallery after a single complaint was made about a painting in his window that featured the word f*ck. John Brandler, who owns Brandler Galleries has had a Shakespearean Much Ado About Nothing parody by the Connor Brothers in his window for a month. The £7,500 picture, called A Load Of Fuss About F*ck All, had the F-word clearly displayed.

But that all changed when a police officer came to ask him to cover up the word after one person, who the officer said was a woman, lodged a complaint. Mr Brandler, 60, who has owned the gallery for more than 30 years, fumed: "There are 60,000 people in Brentwood and one person can object to something and by law it has to be removed. I think it is f*cking bonkers. Someone has gone by my window and complained because she found it offensive. One person can override 60,000.

"So we now have a piece of paper over f*ck and the police are happy with that but what a waste of police time. He had to photograph that we had covered it so he could show that he had done his job. Is that what we pay the police for? One woman, who has no sense of humour and probably does not understand that Shakespearean reference, overrides the sense of humour of 60,000 people. Why not just come in and say 'I found that offensive' or phone me? But the important point is, because of data protection, nobody is allowed to tell me who is she is.

"But I publicly can be attacked but she cannot be identified. It's still in my front window. I did not want to get arrested for non-compliance." But he admitted there was a silver lining as the piece of white paper is now positioned in such a way that it draws more intrigue as to what the word is. "She is actually helping me – if you make someone want to look at it and if they want to work it out, it makes them feel good," he said. An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "Police were called with reports of an offensive word written on some art displayed in a window. Officers attended and spoke to the shop owner who agreed to cover the offensive word."

Tailbacks on motorway caused by tractor-driving dog

Traffic tailbacks on a busy stretch of the M74 motorway at Abington, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, at about 8:15 on Wednesday morning were "due to a dog taking control of a tractor".

A sheepdog called Don, owned by farmer Tom Hamilton, had leaned on the controls of his utility vehicle, taking it on to the road. Police and Mr Hamilton later recovered Don, who was unhurt, and the vehicle, from the central reservation. Mr Hamilton said that he was out on his off road pick up checking lambs in a field above the M74 near Abington.

As always he was accompanied by his Collie sheepdog Don, who was sitting beside him in the passenger seat. While Mr Hamilton was examining a lamb he turned round to see the Gator utility vehicle crashing through the fence and heading down an embankment on to the northbound lane of the M74 with Don still sitting in it.

The vehicle stopped after hitting the central barrier, smashing the windscreen. Mr Hamilton said he feared that he had not pulled the handbrake properly and was extremely relieved that no drivers were hurt. The farmer was also relieved that Don escaped with little more than a fright.

There's a news video here.