Thursday, October 30, 2014

Anything good on TV?

Dog and sheep vie for human's attention

YouTube link.

Residents unhappy about mothball-lined driveway

Residents of a Florida neighbourhood say a woman with "400 or more" mothballs lining her driveway is causing a health hazard. Dana Nicol of the Mandarin neighbourhood in Jacksonville said a neighbour's driveway is lined with mothballs, some in bags and others loose.

"It started off with just a few and now it's got over 400 or more," Nicol said. "She drives back and forth and crushes them up with her car to make them stink even more." Neighbour Kim Bristol said she filed a complaint with the city, accusing the neighbour of causing a health hazard.

"I've talked to nearby neighbours and we're suffering symptoms from the mothballs," Bristol said. "Respiratory, coughing, headaches and it's not just adults. It's also affecting the children. My own children included." A woman at the offending home said the mothballs are intended to keep dogs from defecating in her yard.

The Pet Poison Helpline classifies mothballs as having a "generally moderate to severe, life-threatening" effect on dogs and cats. City officials said an inspector visited the property on Oct. 23 and the investigation is ongoing.

There's a news video here.

Naked man told police he felt a spiritual calling and had noticed strange things in the sky

A naked man spotted at an intersection in Port St. Lucie, Florida, told police he felt a “spiritual calling” to be outside in his birthday suit and that he saw “strange things in the sky.”

When police encountered Keith Berfield, 56, at about 10:48 pm on Oct. 17, the only thing he had on was “a large metal ring around his testicles,” according to recently released records. Asked why he was outside naked, Berfield said he felt a “spiritual calling.” He said he’d been “called” to his back porch and further “moved” or “called” outside where he noticed “strange things in the sky.”

“The defendant (Berfield) could not describe what he meant by strange things but stated that he has been seeing this for the past several days and that standing in the driveway naked with officers was deja vu,” the report states. He started rambling about a “spiritual initiation,” and investigators suspected he may be under the influence of drugs. He told police he had “meth and weed” in his home, which was nearby.

Police and Berfield went in his residence, and Berfield put on some underpants. Investigators found a variety of drugs, including suspected LSD, methamphetamine and marijuana. Berfield was taken to the hospital, and police asked him again why he was outside naked. He said he’d been on drugs and wasn’t really sure why. Berfield, of Port St. Lucie, was arrested on seven felony and two misdemeanour drug-related charges.

Kitten freed after getting head stuck in wheel

Two Sheriff's Animal Control officers from Martin County, Florida, helped rescue a 10-week-old kitten that got itself in a tight spot.

The officers, Heather Belknap and Michele Thonney, said they couldn't believe their eyes when they found the kitten’s head lodged in the hole of a car wheel.

At first the officers said they weren’t sure if they were able to set the animal free unharmed, but they worked slowly and managed to dislodge the kitten without causing injury.

The kitten is now being cared for at a local veterinary hospital, and is likely to be up for adoption soon, said a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

Stolen sheep found in woman's bedroom

A woman has been arrested after a flock of sheep which was reported missing was found in an outside room used as a bedroom on her property in Thabong, Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, said Free State police.

The room had a bed and a wardrobe in it, said police spokesperson Malebo Khosana. The woman was questioned about why the 12 sheep were there and she failed to give an explanation.

"She was arrested and the sheep were confiscated by the police," Khosana said. A farmer in Virginia had reported that 23 of his sheep were stolen. Police searched the area and five of them were found grazing in a nearby veld.

The sheep in the veld and the ones discovered in the women's bedroom were positively identified as the farmer's sheep through their markings. It was unclear what had happened to the five others which were still unaccounted for. The woman was expected to appear in court soon.

Vicar seeks ban on farting baby commercial

A vicar in Norway was outraged and has called for a ban on a cinema commercial trying to promote baptism using a farting, rapping baby. The offending advert was aired to encourage more people to baptise their children.

Helge Helgesen, a vicar from Stavanger, has demanded the advertisement be banned. The Tjensvoll church vicar said: “This is, to say it mildly, one of the worst ways of representing the baptism ritual of the church that I have ever seen.”

Norwegian religious organization “Aksjon dåp” (“Baptism aid”) of Stavanger are behind the 30-second video clip that is now shown in cinemas in Rogaland. The purpose, claim its producers, is to “show the richness and blessing of baptism”.

YouTube link. Vimeo link.

Helgesen demanded to have the ad removed immediately and said: “Someone has completely lost their mind. Because I feel it is only offensive to what we stand for as a church.” PR expert Jarle Aabø backed Helgesen and said the baby in the advert “sounds like a drunkard living under a bridge drinking methylated spirit.” Aabø added: “I think this is nothing to laugh about.”

Man brandished knife at party-goers after being accused of taking too much stuffing from buffet

A man from Llandderfel in Gwynedd, Wales, brandished a knife at terrified party-goers in a row over buffet food. Craig Peter Stewart of Hen Ysgol threatened a man who he claimed insulted him while he was helping himself to food from a buffet table laid out for a birthday party at Llandderfel Hall, near Bala in the early hours of Sunday, 24 August.

Stewart, 31, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing a knife when he appeared before Dolgellau magistrates last Thursday. The court heard that police were called to the hall at around 2.10am. Stewart said he had been “insulted” at the party by a man who made reference to the amount of stuffing he was taking from the buffet.

After leaving the party, the court heard, an intoxicated Stewart ret urned wearing different clothes with a hood, and carrying a large bread knife, a kitchen knife and a paring knife from his home, which was just 200 yards from the hall. When officers arrived on the scene they found Stewart being restrained by two fellow party-goers.

In defence, Stewart claimed he returned to the party with the knives as he “wanted more food” and there was “no cutlery on the buffet table”. And he said he had changed his clothes because he was feeling cold. But the prosecution labelled his version of events as “fantastical”. Stewart will be sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court on Thursday, 6 November, after Dolgellau magistrates declined jurisdiction. He was released on conditional bail until the hearing.

Police seek thieving couple who walked out of store carrying table

A couple were caught on CCTV walking into a store and moments later leaving with a £299 table.

West Midlands Police have released CCTV footage of the theft in a bid to trace the pair.

The footage shows the pair walk inside the Next store in Arena Park, Coventry, on the afternoon of October 9.

YouTube link. West Midlands Police original video.

The man, wearing a flat cap, takes a photograph frame off the table before less than a minute later the woman helps him to pick up the piece of furniture. They can then be seen to carry it through the front doors and out to the car park.

Garden ornaments banned after elderly residents row at sheltered housing complex

Garden ornaments have been banned at a sheltered housing complex in Wales after police had to be called to stop months of rows between elderly residents. Swansea council said the dispute concerning the communal garden at Waverley Close in Clydach had provoked threats and intimidation.

One 80-year-old man had to be taken to hospital after suffering an angina attack after an argument. South Wales Police confirmed residents had been "spoken to". Now Swansea council has said all ornaments must be removed from the shared garden.

A letter to residents from a Swansea Council housing team leader said: “Over a period of time officers have responded to issues raised by residents, which included threats, intimidation, accusations of theft, financial inconsistencies and damage to the communal areas. While this type of behaviour is inappropriate and unacceptable, officers have been working with those involved in order to reach a satisfactory outcome without success.”

It added: “Regrettably, however, after careful consideration as landlords of this complex, it has been decided that all structures, ornaments of any descriptions must be removed from the communal areas with immediate effect. I am sorry that the behaviour of a small minority of residents has resulted in this decision being made. However, there is no other option available to us as landlords to ensure the health and well-being of all residents.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Focused cat is focused

YouTube link.

Tortoise swallowed turtle pendant

Veterinarians see a little bit of everything in their day-to-day work, but Dr. Don Harris got a bit of a surprise when he X-rayed a tortoise on Monday.

Harris was examining Lola the tortoise after his owner brought the male tortoise into Avian & Exotic Animal Medical Center in Miami, Florida, because he was poorly over the weekend and wasn’t as hungry as usual. It turns out, Lola had been having stomach problems for about a month, so Harris sent the tortoise for an X-ray.

“When I saw the X-ray, I thought the staff was playing a joke on me,” Harris said. “What I saw in the tortoise’s intestines was a little metallic sea turtle. I thought they had slipped a pendant under the tortoise. But somewhere along the way, this guy ate a little metallic sea turtle.”

Harris said tortoises graze like cattle and eat the grass, plants, and other things; so it’s not uncommon for them to eat rocks and other objects. But, the vet said this was the first time he’s ever seen a tortoise eating a turtle pendant. The vet said Lola is in good health and that the small turtle pendant should be digested soon.

There's a news video here.

Woman charged with driving while intoxicated twice in three hours

Police in Gates, New York, say they arrested the same woman twice in less than three hours for driving drunk.

Police say 26-year-old Catherine Butler of Rochester was arrested at round 2am on Saturday for driving without headlights. Investigators believe she was coming from a Halloween party.

She was charged with DWI and a friend picked her up from the police department. Just before 5am the same day, police say they picked her up again. Officers say Butler was swerving in and out of her lane.

She was charged a second time with DWI. Investigators say Butler was arrested for DWI by Gates Police in 2006 and again in 2011 by Brighton Police. Butler is due back in court next month.

Inmate on the run recaptured after calling 911 to report he was being chased by coyotes

Police officers in Rock Island County got a little help from an unlikely source when they captured a man who was wanted in Muscatine, Iowa, for escaping. Daniel Rice, 21, was jailed and facing theft, burglary and criminal mischief in Muscatine County, when he was taken to a Muscatine hospital for heart-related issues.

It was during that hospital visit on Monday, October 20, 2014, that Rice allegedly escaped, despite being handcuffed to the bed and wearing only a hospital gown which reportedly came off as he ran away. Rock Island County deputies were sent to Loud Thunder Forest Preserve in Illinois City, Illinois, to investigate a report from someone saying they were being chased by wild coyotes just after midnight on Wednesday October 22.

Deputies said Rice was actually the person who made that call. Rice reportedly gave a false name to police as he told them he used a stick to fend off the animals. Rice said he thought about 30 coyotes were after him. In audio from the call to emergency dispatchers, the caller identifies himself as Zachary Turner and claims he and his sister were chased by about 20 or 30 coyotes at Loud Thunder.

The Rock Island County deputies found Rice, and recognized him as a reported escapee. The pacemaker scar on his chest served as further confirmation that they had a wanted man. Rice was arrested at Loud Thunder, and later transferred from the Rock Island County Jail to the Muscatine County Jail. Rice is in the Muscatine County Jail, held in lieu of $50,000 cash-only bond.

With audio of the 911 call halfway down the page.

Man accused of assaulting woman for failing to match her online persona

A Georgia man has been charged with assaulting a woman in Eastern Kentucky because he thought she didn't match the description she had given on the Internet, Laurel County Sheriff John Root said.

Cornelius Jefferson, 33, of Monroe, Ga., allegedly had moved to Laurel County to be with the woman, whom he had met online. The two allegedly got into an argument because he "didn't think she was like she was on the Internet."

Deputy Gilbert Acciardo Jr., spokesman for Root's office, said the documentation for the assault charge did not say how the woman supposedly differed from what Jefferson thought she should be. It also didn't say when Jefferson arrived from Georgia. Jefferson choked the woman, whom Root's office did not identify, threw food on her and then left with his suitcases, police said.

Deputy Tyler Morris found Jefferson nearby, about seven miles north of London, at about 4:20am on Tuesday and arrested him on a charge of fourth-degree assault. Acciardo said the case offers a lesson about dealing with people on the Internet, where they can say whatever they want about themselves. "There's a warning there to be careful," he said.

Man dressed as Laa-Laa the Teletubby entered friend's house uninvited and stole Chinese food

Police in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, say no charges were filed after a man dressed as Laa-Laa the yellow Teletubby broke into a friend's house and stole Chinese food leftovers.

Authorities said the costumed intruder damaged a door at his friend's home at about 2am on Sunday.

Police say the man went into the victim's refrigerator and put the Chinese food into his man purse before leaving.

Police say they caught up with the man, who was not named since he was not charged, and identified him as the alleged burglar. Authorities cleared the case without charges at the request of the victim.

Ban on having the right to drive a car proposed for welfare recipients

People receiving welfare in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, face losing the right to drive a car under proposed legislation that appears to have majority backing.

The parliamentary initiative from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and the Liberals has the backing of two other parties. The proposal would ban recipients of social assistance from using cars. The SVP has already announced a campaign to cut welfare services in Zurich, regarding them as too generous and too costly for the canton.

The party argues that the system is leading to welfare dependency, rather than serving as a bridge in an emergency situation. “To use a car can easily cost 500 francs (£325, $525) a month - that’s something welfare recipients can’t afford,” SVP MP Claudio Schmid said.

An exception would be made in cases where a welfare recipient depends on a vehicle because of illness, disability or for professional reasons. Opponents of the change said it was disproportionate given that not many welfare recipients owned cars. They also suggested it would likely face a legal challenge. A final vote on the proposal is expected next month.

Prison guard told she can no longer work at brothel

After a panel decision, a prison guard in Vienna, Austria, has lost her job working as a security guard for a brothel.

Prison officials became concerned when they learned that the correctional officer was supplementing her income by working part time in a nearby brothel. Rather than serving customers directly, however, the guard was responsible for the security of the brothel, as well as undertaking collection tasks - presumably if customers got into arrears.

An administrative tribunal reviewed the case as a disciplinary infraction, and made the decision that prison guards may not engage in any outside activity relating to prostitution, even though it is fully licensed and legal in Austria.

The woman had followed procedure by reporting that she had a source of secondary income in a local business, but wasn't specific as to the nature of the business. The administrative panel decided that the woman was required to cease her employment with the brothel, and pay a fine equal to three months' salary.

Thief distracted staff by squirting her breast milk

A woman in central Germany came up with an unusual tactic to allegedly steal from a pharmacy on Monday. The woman distracted staff at the pharmacy in Darmstadt, Hesse, by lifting up her top and squirting her breast milk at them.

The woman entered the store at 4.25pm and asked to buy a breast pump, police reported. But after handing over a €200-note to pay for her €20 purchase, she suddenly uncovered one breast and used her fingers to squirt milk from it at the pharmacist. She then rummaged through the counter display and went to a second cash register.

Ignoring the pleas of staff and customers to cover herself up, she again rooted through the counter displays and unleashed a fresh spray of milk. Apparently satisfied with her handiwork, she quickly left the pharmacy, leaving the breast pump behind. The pharmacists only noticed that €100 was missing from their cash register some time later when counting the day's takings.

Police believe the woman, who they described as having a “robust” figure, long dark hair tied into a ponytail and speaking an unknown language, stole the cash while customers and staff were distracted by her antics. Officers described the woman's antics as "almost unbelievable".