Saturday, November 28, 2015

Can we go home now?

How to train your dog to catch a live lobster

Just in case you've ever wondered.

YouTube link.

Squirrel causes bunny to boing

YouTube link.

Mother in trouble for allegedly hosting beer and weed party for group of 12 to 14-year-olds

A mother-of-three from Texas charged with hosting a marijuana and beer party for a group of middle school students told police that she “thought for minute that it was a bad idea” to provide alcohol and drugs to the minors, but “did it anyway,” according to court records. Mandy Wells, 32, is facing a felony and a misdemeanor charge in connection with a weekend house party she hosted earlier this month for about 10 students, aged 12 to 14.

As alleged in a probable cause affidavit, Wells provided the children with cans of Coors Light beer and pot, which she packed into a glass “Hello Kitty” pipe. The underage partygoers are friends with one of Wells’s children. Police learned of the party from a woman who allowed her 13-year-old daughter to spend the night at Wells’s residence in Springtown, a city about 25 miles northwest of Fort Worth. The teen told police that Wells first gave the juveniles beer and then asked “if they wanted to smoke marijuana.” Two other Springtown Middle School students told investigators that they drank beer and got high smoking pot provided by Wells.

During a subsequent search of Well’s home, police seized assorted drug paraphernalia. In an interview with officers, Wells reportedly confessed to providing the minors with pot and beer, but said that she “kept them under control.” Wells, officers noted, “advised that the children did get ‘high,’ but did not require any special attention.” While acknowledging that she “thought for a minute” that it was a “bad idea” to give her underage guests pot and beer, Wells said she “did it anyway.” Wells also admitted to allowing her 14-year-old daughter to smoke marijuana, saying that it helps with the girl’s depression.

YouTube link.

Wells, police reported, said that she is “self medicating” her child with pot because the medication her daughter has been prescribed “does not work.” When asked to name the person who sold her the pot, Wells clammed up, prompting police to conclude that she was “more concerned with protecting the identity of her marijuana supplier than the welfare of the children that had been left in her care.” According to a police spokesperson, Wells’s children were removed from her home as police searched the residence. The minors remain in the custody of the state’s child protective services division. Wells is being held in the Parker County jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.

Man accused of assaulting police officers with eggs, potatoes and some type of fruit

A Florida man faces felony charges after police officers said he threw raw eggs and potatoes at them as they were investigating a suspicious incident on Tuesday night. Four deputies were investigating a loud banging noise coming from outside someone's window in Palm Coast at around 10:30pm.

The deputies said they didn't find any signs of forced entry but met Anthony Fennick, 20, who asked why they were there. Investigators said they explained and Fennick thanked them and went into his home. They said a short time later a deputy noticed a potato cut in half landed in the road behind another deputy's cruiser. Deputies searched to see who may have thrown the potato at them.

As they were talking, an egg struck the front passenger side door of a deputy's cruiser, nearly striking him and another deputy. Investigators noticed three more broken eggs, along with a potato and some type of fruit. Two deputies spoke with Fennick and arrested him. Deputies said Fennick had an egg in his front pocket. Deputies took Fennick back to his home where they interviewed his mother and stepfather and asked whether they’d recently purchased eggs.

Five eggs were missing from a carton of eggs purchased earlier that day. Deputies also found two bags of potatoes on the kitchen counter, along with a serrated knife that had been recently used. Fennick’s mother said she had cleaned her kitchen before she went to bed and the knife wasn’t on the counter then. Fennick was charged with four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief and loitering/prowling. He is being held on $7,000 bail.

Jail for ex-Apple employee who stored urine and excrement in bottles, bags and boxes

A former Apple employee has been jailed for 12 months for causing €15,000 worth of damage to a luxury flat in Cork, Ireland, by storing his urine and excrement in bottles, bags and boxes around the property over a three-month period. The storage by Robert Kummer, 37, of hundreds of bags of his own faeces and bottles of urine resulted in a major public health scare. Gardai were so concerned by what they discovered in the flat in Cork city centre that they alerted the fire brigade.

The smell in the flat was so noxious that brigade officials had to use breathing apparatus to conduct a flat inspection. The excrement had seeped through the floor-boards and officials were worried it may have entered other parts of the complex. Gardai were first notified when a neighbour became very concerned about a foul smell. The scene inside Kummer's flat was so graphic, with excrement smeared on walls, floors and the ceiling, that gardai initially feared "something untoward had happened".

But an investigation revealed that Kummer, originally from Germany, who had lived in Ireland since 2009, had been storing his faeces in the flat for over three months. Kummer pleaded guilty to criminal damage on dates leading up to September 24, 2013. Judge Sean O'Donnabhain in Cork Circuit Criminal Court was told that the excrement had caused enormous damage. All the floor-boards had to be ripped up and replaced. The entire flat had to be cleaned and fully redecorated involving all ceilings, walls and floors.

Kummer had been remanded on bail following his plea to allow him raise compensation. However, the court was told that, despite lengthy adjournments, he had raised only €800 despite being in good employment. Psychiatrist Dr John Dennehy said that Kummer might have suffered from "depressive episodes". However, he was still "at a loss to explain his behaviour". Judge O'Donnabhain acknowledged it was a very strange case. "This is a most unusual case. It is bizarre. There was very extensive damage to the property. The accused had every opportunity to pay (significant) compensation. But he did not do so," he added. Judge O'Donnabhain jailed Kummer for 12 months.

Ban for man who allowed dog's fur to become so matted it was hard to tell one end from the other

A neglected shih tzu was discovered matted with so much fur that it was “difficult to tell one end of him from the other”. Four-year-old dog Lotso was found soaked in urine, with almost a kilo of excess matted fur making up 90 percent of his body.

His owner, Neil Tiernan, 40, from Belle Vale, Liverpool, was banned from keeping animals for three years after being prosecuted by the RSPCA. He pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to protect his pet from pain at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. RSPCA officers were called to help Lotso in January this year. When they found him his eyes were covered by tangled fur and he “smelled strongly of urine where it had soaked into his coat”.

Inspector Claire Fisher said: “At first glance it was difficult to tell one end of Lotso from the other because he was so matted. It was the worst matting I had seen in 12 years.” Lotso was sedated and almost a kilo of fur was clipped off. He was examined again and the vet ruled he was underweight either because he wasn’t getting enough food or because his matted coat restricted him from bending down to eat his food.

Tiernan was also given a six month community order, a six month supervision and a curfew for three weeks, as well as being asked to pay £500 court costs. Inspector Fisher added: “Poor Lotso’s case is a very graphic reminder that anyone thinking of getting a dog or a puppy with a long coat must take into consideration that it will need to be regularly groomed. They have to be committed to taking the time to groom their pet or pay someone to do it professionally, it’s not something that can be ignored or the dog can suffer terribly.”

Family heartbroken after RSPCA took their beloved pet fox away

A family who run an exotic animal rescue centre from their home are heartbroken after the RSPCA ordered them to hand over their pet fox. Animal lover Dave Robinson took in 18-month-old Scarlett three months ago after he answered a post from a woman on a Facebook page who needed to give her up. Scarlett was born in captivity and has never lived in the wild. Scarlett’s parents were also captive. Kind-hearted Dave took Scarlett into his home in Failsworth, Oldham, Greater Manchester, where she lived in a 12ft by 12ft enclosure which is 6ft in height. And Dave, his partner Paula and their son Harry all grew attached to Scarlett.

However that turned to anguish when the RSPCA turned up at the property and ordered the family to surrender Scarlett. Dave understands a neighbour is likely to have complained to the RSPCA and that Scarlett is now living at a sanctuary with other foxes. Dave said: “I volunteered to take Scarlett in because I knew we had the room and I really wanted to help. She is a hand-reared fox who has never lived in the wild so she needed to be in the right environment. Over the last few months we grew really fond of her, she became like a family pet more than an animal we have rescued. “She was so comfortable around me and even took food from my hand.”

The family have an arrray of animals living with them, including 28 giant African land snails, two red-eyed tree frogs, eight stick insects, two chipmunks, two barn owls, five tortoises, 11 turtles, eight lizards, three snakes, five tarantulas, five rats, hundreds of hissing cockroaches, two chickens, three dogs, four cats, a rabbit and a number of fish. Dave said: “I built a bond with Scarlett for her own good. She’s never been in the wild so I wanted her to get used to being around humans and now she really is. Upset would be an understatement, we’re absolutely heartbroken. It all feels very unjust, a vet never actually came out to look at Scarlett, the RSPCA just took her away.

“I love animals, they’re an enormous part of my life so this is very upsetting. Foxes are not pack animals, when you see a fox they’re on their own. I’m worried what impact suddenly being around so many other foxes will have on Scarlett.” An RSPCA spokesperson said: “The fox was voluntarily given over to the RSPCA and has now been placed at a specialist fox sanctuary, where she is being cared for by a team of experts. Discussions are ongoing with an individual who was previously responsible for the fox. Foxes are wild animals, they are not domestic pets, and where possible the RSPCA believes they should be where they belong, in the wild. Where that absolutely isn’t possible, because they have been orphaned and hand-reared for example, they must have their needs met including their need to exhibit normal behaviour.”

Dog recovering after unfortunate accident left him with a stick stuck in his urethra

An unusual accident while enjoying his walkies left a dog with a rather peculiar injury. Basil the elderly Jack Russell was enjoying a run along the river bank in Chapel Hill, Lincolnshire, on Wednesaday when the freak incident took place and he got a ridged plant stalk stuck up his urethra.

“He was walking like John Wayne when he ran back to us so I knew something was wrong,” said owner Jill Larcombe, who rescued Basil as a stray 10 years ago. “So I checked him and when I saw it I did a double take. I thought ‘oh my goodness, it can’t be’ - there was this stick-like shaft sticking three inches out of him. I tried to give it a little pull but he went ballistic.”

Jill then spoke to another couple walking their dog who recommended she take Basil to Pilgrim Vets in Boston. “We rushed him in and he was seen without an appointment,” Jill said, “They were absolutely fantastic.” The vets realised they would need to sedate poor Basil to get the offending object out - and the sensitive job was done quickly with a little lubrication. Vet Sharon Crockett who performed the task said: “I’m baffled as to how he managed to do it.

“It’s obviously not a particularly big hole, so to get something as precise as that is quite astonishing. It was a good two-and-a-half inches up there and fully wedged, but Basil took it all remarkably well. It’s certainly the most eye-watering case I’ve ever dealt with.” Feeling rather sorry for himself, the pooch was back home and tucked up in bed back that night to get over the ordeal. Jill added: “He was in pain that night but the next morning he was completely back to normal - running around the garden and cocking his leg as normal.”

Government spy agency could face fines for reverse graffiti job adverts on London streets

Hackney Council says GCHQ could be fined after it marked out job adverts on pavements in the London borough. The authority says it didn't give permission for the spy agency to create the words on streets around Shoreditch. The adverts said "GCH-WHO? Technical opportunities" and include a website address.

"If we get evidence that any of these adverts are definitely in Hackney we will take enforcement action," Hackney Council said in a statement. "[That] can include forcing the company to clean it up and fining them. This is something we have done in the past and will continue to do." Intelligence service GCHQ used reverse graffiti for the adverts, which means the words were created by cleaning the pavement using a stencil and pressure washer - not using spray paint.

Hackney Council's graffiti policy says organisations have to ask for permission first. "The council does not consent to any painting, writing, soiling, marking or other defacement on its property including footways without its prior express permission being obtained." They were also spotted in Manchester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Leeds. GCHQ says it was led to believe that it could put adverts on pavements in Hackney.

"GCHQ uses innovative methods to reach its target audience," a spokesperson said. "It employs a contractor to approach councils for permission to carry out recruitment methods such as clean graffiti. In this instance, Hackney Borough Council were approached for permission to use non-chemical clean graffiti in their area. GCHQ understands that Hackney Borough Council's reply contained limitations on using clean graffiti on street furniture, not pavements."

Friday, November 27, 2015

Who is this imposter?

There's a fox at window

Dan Bull and his cats are fascinated.

YouTube link.

Elderly ladies’ weekly Mahjong game shut down by police over allegations of illicit gambling

Police in Florida busted a game of mahjong in Florida at a condominium clubhouse. The group accused of the crime were four women between the ages of 87 and 95. Police arrived at the Escondido Condominium clubhouse in the quiet little city of Altamonte Springs to shut down the friendly game played by Lee Delnick, Bernice Diamond, Helen Greenspan and Zelda King.

King says word spread about their weekly gathering and that a “troublemaker” in the community called the police citing a law that prohibits playing the game for money. Police closed the clubhouse. The women were sent a formal notice from condominium management stating that there would be no more mahjong, bingo, or poker played in the location until further notice. Police reportedly stopped by several times later that week to make sure the games weren’t being played.

“This is ridiculous,” King said. “We haven’t played in the clubhouse for weeks! We have to go to each other’s homes to play and not everyone lives in Escondido. It is an international game and we are being crucified!” The 87-year-old said the game is good for the elderly and that even her doctor has told her that it can delay dementia. The women suggested they could “just play for fun” without money, but the property manager said they should “lay low,” until things were resolved. After a bit of investigating, officials came to the conclusion that there is no ordinance prohibiting mahjong gambling of the nature.

Statute 849.085 states: “Certain penny-ante games are not crimes; ‘Penny-ante game’ means a game or series of games of poker, pinochle, bridge, rummy, canasta, hearts, dominoes, or mahjong in which the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game do not exceed $10 in value.” The women playing had a $4 limit. The women also had homeowner rights, were over the age of 18, and were not enforcing debt to be paid. It is unclear what ordinance the caller thought the group of ladies were violating and why police officials decided to break up the game. Altamonte Springs police were contacted for comment, but didn't respond.

There's a 20-minute interview with three of the ladies concerned here.

Woman ordered to pay compensation after downing neighbour's drone with well-aimed rock

It was the maiden voyage of a high-end drone, one that had a video camera mounted on it. But while it was in the air, a neighbour says she felt unsafe and took action to protect herself. “These things are like weed whackers coming at you; you don’t want to be anywhere near it,” says 65-year-old Martina Wlodsarski.

But, 46-year-old Mark Shock who owns the drone tells a different story. He and Wlodarski live next door on Main Street in Harwick, Pennsylvania. He says the two have been feuding for years, but what happened back in August was the final straw. “I was taking the drone out for a flight, flew for 17 minutes, started bringing it in, and the neighbour decided she didn’t like it and threw a rock at it and destroyed it,” said Shock.

Wlordarski says this. “I was out back reading a book and heard the noise. When it flew over me, I started down the walkway. When it turned and came at me, it scared me. I threw a rock,” she says. Shock says he was nowhere near Wlodarski and has the video to prove it. “She comes out of the back of the house, she stays in the yard until I am ready to land it, she comes from here, goes all the way down, hides behind the back of the van and throws the rock,” he says.

YouTube link.

Shock showed the video in court Tuesday and won his case. Wlodarski was ordered to pay $600 to get the $1,300 drone repaired. In exchange, the criminal mischief charges against her were dropped. Wlodarski says she has no regrets about knocking the three-and-a-half pound drone out of commission and has registered her house as a no fly zone, which anyone can do online. Wlodarski says if there is a next time, she will call the police.

Man found asleep behind the wheel of car on warehouse roof charged with DWI

Police in Saline County, Arkansas, say an intoxicated driver ended up on the roof of a shoe warehouse. 47-year-old William Dickerson is now facing a number of charges

"I got a phone call that said there was a car on top of Top Shoes," said owner Bryan Maertens. Just before 8:00am on Wednesday morning, Benton Police got a report of reckless driving. When they arrived at the scene, they found the car had veered off the road at a section where the roof is at ground level.

Tyre tracks show the path the driver took to the top where police found him asleep behind the wheel. "I thought Santa Clause had landed," said Tamara Maertens. The warehouse is rented by Tops Shoes and is fully stocked in preparation for holiday shopping. Somehow the roof held the weight of the car.

Crews used a crane to get it down without extensive damage. Some holes will have to be patched up. "Not your average Wednesday morning," said Tops Shoes employee Ken Coleman. Among other charges, Dickerson faces DWI, possession of meth, and driving with a suspended licence. Police say he is also on parole.

With news video.

Investigation launched after police shot runaway cow 24 times

An incident involving a runaway cow that was pursued and shot 24 times by the Abbotsford Police Department in British Columbia, Canada, is now being investigated. Police shot and killed the renegade cow shortly after 10am on Sunday, after it was spotted running across some roads in the city.

"You have a family in a vehicle that strikes this animal or swerves to miss it and goes off road, you have huge implications," said Const. Paul Walker. Police say it wandered around the city for about 30 minutes, and ended up near a busy intersection. "All attempts during that 30 minute window were unsuccessful to get somebody or some group to come and assist us," said Walker.

"Officers and our road supervisor made the decision in the interest of public safety to put down the animal." And now, following criticism from residents, the Abbotsford police force is ordering a full review of the incident. "I did see a police officer with an assault rifle and about a dozen cops behind the cow following it," said Abbotsford resident Josh van Koll.

Walker says the Abby Police Department reviews all incidents when shots are fired, but the examination of this case will be a little different. "We're trying to come up with a solution so that we can better deal with an animal, should we encounter that again in our community," Walker hopes another encounter never happens. He says no one wanted to see the events unfold the way they did.

Police responding to reports of a woman's hysterical screams found man battling a spider

When residents on Sydney's lower north shore in Australia heard a man yelling "I'm going to kill you, you're dead!" followed by a woman's hysterical screams, they feared the worst. Numerous police cars rushed to the Wollstonecraft apartment from which the cries were emanating. But not all was as it seemed. Police had received multiple calls about the "violent domestic" last Saturday.

A man was heard yelling "I'm going to kill you, you're dead, die die" and there were sounds of furniture being tossed around the apartment. Officers arrived at the home about 2am and began banging on the door. A man who was "out of breath and rather flushed" answered. Police asked where his wife or girlfriend was, only for the man to deny having either. Then he was told about the reports of a woman screaming.

The encounter went something like this: Male: "I don't know what you're talking about I live alone". Police: "Come on mate, people clearly heard you yelling you were going to kill her and furniture getting thrown around the unit." Police: "Come on mate, what have you done to her?" Male: "It was a spider." Police "Sorry??" Male: "It was a spider, a really big one!! Police: "What about the women screaming?"

Male: "Yeah sorry that was me, I really, really hate spiders." The amused officers soon discovered the man was solely responsible for making the racket as he chased a large spider around the unit while armed with a can of Mortein insect spray. "After a very long pause, some laughter and a quick look in the unit to make sure there was no injured party (apart from the spider) we left," Harbourside LAC said.

Demands for removal of ridiculously huge deceptive and vile rock from hospital car park

A grandmother was left stunned when she hit a “ridiculously huge” rock while driving through a hospital car park. Dee Hoare, of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, was looking for a parking space at Finchley Memorial Hospital for an ultrasound when she heard a scraping sound.

The 64-year-old did not see the boulder because she claims it is on a blind spot and impossible to see when turning the corner. Her two-year-old grey Audi was left with a wide two-metre scratch on her front passenger and back doors and her central locking system no longer works. She said: “I was quite distressed by this – going to hospital is a distressing experience in the first place and this made it worse. I was very upset.

“I simply couldn’t believe it. It’s a massive thing – it’s ridiculously huge. It’s pointless and doesn’t actually serve any purpose, I don’t know what it’s there for.” She is not the first person to have been caught out. Last week, Lionel Pereira caused £4,000 of damage to his Nissan Qashqai at the same place. Mr Pereira is calling on the hospital to remove what he calls a “deceptive and vile” stone which could put people at risk.

The boulder is on the side of the pavement in the car park where flower beds used to be, but were removed after too many drivers ran them over. Mrs Hoare said: “I have informed security. I bet other people have been caught out too and myself and Mr Pereira are not the only ones. “It shouldn’t be there – it’s completely ugly.” While Mr Pereira was offered £500 in compensation for the damage, Mrs Hoare has complained to the hospital and is awaiting a response.

Poodle in a onesie rescued from cliff after getting snagged on a branch

A large white poodle wearing a full length red onesie has been dramatically rescued by fire crews in Torquay, Devon. The dog had ran off while being walked by its female owner on Meadfoot Sea Road at 11am last Thursday when it got snagged on a branch on the cliff.

Fire crews from Torquay and the Specialist Rescue Team from Camelshead were sent to rescue the dog as the cliff was on a 45 degree angle that could not be stood on. A fire service spokesman said: "We were called at 11.06am to assist with the rescue of a large poodle that was stuck approximately 15ft up a cliff at Meadfoot.

"Once we stopped laughing, we went to assist and to help rescue the dog. It was a large white poodle and was wearing a full length red onesie. The dog had got itself caught on a branch on the cliff and it couldn't release itself. We used a triple extension ladder and a double extension ladder to rescue the dog and reunite it with its female owner.

"She had a second poodle in her arms that was wearing a red coat." Teignmouth and Torbay Coastguards teams were also paged to assist but the dog had been rescued by fire crews before they arrived. A coastguard spokesman said: "This was a good outcome in the end."

Cow rescued from roof terrace after falling down hill

It was one of the more unusual calls for firefighters when they had to stage a dramatic rescue after a cow fell down a hill and rolled onto a roof terrace.

Firefighters from Cleckheaton were called to a house in Salterlee, Shibden, West Yorkshire, on Saturday morning. When they arrived, they found the cow trapped on a raised sun terrace, which is built on top of a garage. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue technical rescue officer Lee Benson said: "It was a very effective rescue but it took quite a bit of organising.

“The cow had fallen onto a concrete terrace but miraculously it was unharmed. The owners thought they had been burgled, but then opened his curtains and found a cow on the roof. We had to get a vet who came and anaesthetised it and we used a special cow harness to lift it up and bring it down. It had dropped about 30ft and it was fine.”

A part of the fence surrounding the terrace had to be removed so the rescue could go ahead. Local farmers also helped rescue the cow, providing a telehandler to winch the cow from the roof before it was placed in a trailer and taken back to its field. The rescue operation took three and a half hours. Lee added: “It was one of the most bizarre animal rescues I have been to. You don’t see this sort of thing every day but it ended well."

There's a short video here.