Saturday, September 24, 2016

Delighted to make your acquaintance

Brazilian man performs a duet with his parrot

YouTube link. Original Facebook video.

Man who drove girlfriend's car to liquor store returned with another one he'd allegedly stolen

A Florida man was arrested on grand theft charges after he drove his girlfriend's car to the liquor store but apparently decided he liked another car better and returned home driving that one.

According to an arrest affidavit, Jessie Lee Butler told police he went into Discount Liquor in Eustis and left his silver Chrysler 300 running outside. When he returned, the vehicle was gone. Police found the vehicle in a parking lot behind an apartment complex with a pack of Natural Ice beer inside and one can missing.

After knocking on several doors, they learned a man had just walked from the car to an apartment. When Butler stepped outside to talk with officers, he had a Natural Ice beer in his hand. The affidavit adds that Butler admitted he had just driven the Chrysler from the liquor store, but it was his girlfriend’s vehicle and he had permission to have it.

Police then contacted his girlfriend, who admitted Butler had used her car, but it was a silver Dodge Stratus he took and after he failed to come back with it, she went to the liquor store and picked up her car. Butler was charged with grand theft auto and was released from the Lake County Jail after he posted a $2,000 bail.

Dog accidentally stabbing owner with knife led to police investigation

A woman from Hudson, Colorado, was rushed to hospital after accidentally being stabbed with a knife by her dog on Wednesday morning, leading to a police investigation. Celinda Haynes, the owner of a one-and-a-half-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever dog named "Mia," said that Mia reached over her and stabbed her left forearm with a paring knife.

"[Mia] likes to grab whatever she can to get people to play with her," explained Haynes' daughter, Chanda Stroup. As it turns out, Mia is able to climb onto the kitchen counter, where she found her new sharp toy. Trying to get Mia to let go of the knife, Haynes put treats on the ground. In her excitement, Mia reached over her arm and stabbed Haynes when she went for the treats.

"I need to go to the hospital," Haynes told her daughter. "Mia just cut my arm with a knife!" The wound, a gash approximately 4-to-5-inches long and a quarter-of-an-inch-wide, surprised medical staff at Platte Valley Medical Center, who did not believe the story at first. But they were not the only ones. "I had to make sure I heard that right," said Brent Flot, the town Marshal.

YouTube link.

Deputies were dispatched to the hospital as well as Haynes' home to investigate a case of possible domestic violence. At the hospital, officials did not believe the story. Back at the family's home, Flot found blood everywhere, which prompted suspicion. Deputies contacted Haynes' husband to flesh out any suspicions of domestic violence, but he had been at the DMV renewing his licence when the stabbing unfolded. By the end of the day, Haynes had several stitches in her arm and the family were laughing about the situation.

Councillor says that muck bombers targeting houses and cars could cause an accident

A councillor says there’s a real danger that youths firing so-called muck bombs in the Hazelbank district of Derry, Northen Ireland, are going to cause an accident. A house and a number of cars have been targeted in recent days.

It is believed youths fill a drain pipe with mud before launching it like a catapult at homes and vehicles. Sinn Féin councillor Eric McGinley has called on those involved to stop immediately. "Apart from the mess which has been created, there is a very real danger that an accident will occur if passing cars are struck by this debris," said Mr McGinley,

"When motorists are targeted it can cause damage to the car and could scare a driver into crashing, so there are very serious implications. Drivers have been in touch telling us that these incidents were taking place over the weekend." Mr McGinley made a further appeal to parents in the area to be aware of where and what their children are up to.

"These muck bombs are going to detract from the general appearance of the area," said Mr McGinley. "So, parents need to impress upon their children the dangers of their actions. I've been in contact with the housing executive about this and they have given me assurances that the mess will be cleaned up as quickly as possible," he added.

Dog saved by vets after swallowing six-inch cow rib bone

A dog has come through emergency surgery after managing to swallow a six-inch cow rib bone. One-year-old Mastiff, Chico, was given the bone as a treat by his owner, Craig Anderson, from Newlands, Glasgow, Scotland.

But the 41-year-old said he was forced to act after Chico "literally swallowed it in one mouthful". Vets at the PDSA's Glasgow Shamrock Street Pet Hospital X-rayed Chico and removed the bone before it could cause any internal damage.

Susie Hermit, senior vet at the PDSA's Glasgow hospital, said: "I've never seen an X-ray like it before. The position of the bone really did look like Chico had an extra rib. Amazingly he'd managed to swallow the bone whole but didn't seem to be in any pain.

"However, we knew we had to carry out emergency surgery to remove it because it could have caused a life-threatening tear to his stomach or intestines." Mr Anderson said Chico had gone on to make a full recovery but bones were now off the menu. "I was so worried while he was in the operating theatre," he said. "It's a miracle the bone didn't cause any damage. It goes without saying but I don't give bones to him anymore after this."

Smallholder loses battle with planners to create shrine to forest god

A man is at loggerheads with planning officials after they refused permission for a sacred shrine to a 14th century antler-headed forest god. Andrew Cleghorn has been told his extravagant tribute to Herne the Hunter might upset neighbours, including a nearby church. Mr Cleghorn, from Kirkburn in the Scottish Borders, wanted an altar, “sacred well” and statue plinth to be built on his eight acre smallholding. The statue was to be of Herne the Hunter, a horned forest spirit and protector of the land who, legend has it, saved the life of Richard II. Mr Cleghorn also wanted a cattle flotation pool for swimming therapy on his land. This too was rejected, with one councillor observing that cows are “not that keen” on swimming.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) rejected the scheme because of its proximity to the protected landscape of Tweed Valley. On Monday, the 52 year-old took his application to a review meeting in a last-ditch attempt to gain permission. In a submission to the meeting, Mr Cleghorn told the panel he “is guided by the pagan earth gods and wishes to create a special place for private worship”. He added: “The low-impact sacred well and altar/statue stance will be sited at the source of a spring on the hill, with a view over the valley…where private meditation and worship can be carried out without impact to others.” Mr Cleghorn suggested he was being “persecuted to the point of not being allowed to follow his own religious leanings within his home and small-holding”. But planning officer Craig Miller warned that the proposed development could compromise the character of the local landscape.

He also said Mr Cleghorn had failed to give an economic justification for the development or show that it would not have an adverse effect on nearby roads or neighbours – one of which is a church. The LRB denied Mr Cleghorn’s appeal, also confirming the refusal of another application made by him for a cattle flotation pool “for the therapy and tonal improvement of the stock.” Councillor Iain Gillespie, a former vet, reportedly told the meeting: “In my experience, cows are not that keen on swimming.” Mr Cleghorn declined to comment after the meeting. Full plans of the shrine have been published by SBC. They show a roughly six metre wide raised stone semi-circle made from Caithness flagstone, flanked by two pillars. Within it there is a three metre wide semi-circular sacred well set behind a two metre wide stone statue plinth, captioned “for statue of Herne the Hunter – earth spirit.”

Is not clear how large the proposed statue of Herne the Hunter was – as it is not included in the plans – which say the statue is “to be designed by others”. The legend of Herne the Hunter dates back to the 14th century. It is said that Herne, a loyal huntsman to Richard II, saved the king’s life when a white hart deer attacked him during a hunt. The deer mortally wounded Herne, but legend has is that a wizard healed him by attaching the slain deer’s horns to his head, where they were fixed for the rest of his life. The story goes that Herne was eventually hanged for a crime he did not commit – and that his ghost still haunts the Windsor forest he worked in. Shakespeare immortalised the story in The Merry Wives of Windsor – describing a “keeper” in Windsor Forest “with great ragg’d horns.” Although the Herne legend dates back only as far as the 14th century, he is closely associated to Cernunnos, a horned god from Celtic polytheism dating back to the first century. Cernunnos was the god of fertility, animals and vegetation.

Hermit evicted from woodland mud hut forced to go home to live with his mother

A hermit who lived in a woodland mud hut for four years says his eviction has forced him to go home to live with his mother. Daniel Pike, 28, spent two years building the hut near Watford, Hertfordshire, but was removed from it earlier this month. He said his hut at Merry Hill Wood has now been flattened by the Woodland Trust, which owns the land.

The trust said it is required to safeguard the area and had offered Mr Pike advice about moving on. Mr Pike built the hut from clay he found at the site, kitted it out with solar panels, and constructed an outdoor shelter with a seating area and cooking facilities. He previously said being there had given him freedom and meant he could live "without being coerced".

However, bailiffs arrived on 7 September, accompanied by police, and he was arrested at the scene for obstructing a court official in the execution of his duty. He said: "It was all done very ruthlessly with no care or consideration for what I was saying." Mr Pike, who spent a night in a police cell and received a fine, said the hut had since been destroyed. "I'm now staying at my mum's," he said. "I had to ask her because I had nowhere else to go."

Mr Pike in happier times.

YouTube link.

Now he says he has been "forced back into society" and hopes to return to his previous job at a supermarket. Steve Marsh from the Woodland Trust said the organisation had sympathy for Mr Pike's situation and the eviction was "not personal". He said: "We have over 1,000 sites across the UK and we have a blanket rule: No occupation, because we have to protect all our that we can protect and safeguard our woods for wildlife and nature but also other people that visit them."

Woman calls for an end to smells from nearby farm

A woman from Bishop's Hull, Somerset, is calling out for the end of smelly surroundings after a hot summer with closed windows. Sue Watts has grown fed up of the smells wafting over from a nearby farm and says she has been unable to enjoy her garden or entertain house guests without feeling embarrassed over the pong.

She said: “The residents of Bishop's Hull are being subjected, yet again, to days of foul smells as local farmers spread rotted muck on their fields. It always seems to happen when the weather is really hot and you want to have your windows open or sit in the garden, and you just can’t go out. It’s really embarrassing if you have visitors – you have to apologise for the awful smell, and then sit indoors with all the windows closed.”

Mrs Watts says that the village experiences the same problem every summer, but understands she lives in an agricultural area. She added: “I have every sympathy for the farmers, I appreciate that they have to do their jobs and fertilise their fields, but it feels like they don’t care about the village at all. We have regular car boot sale weekends and the people that visit must hate the smell. This muck is spread on public footpaths too, this makes it so difficult for walkers in the area to enjoy the land.” Mrs Watts thinks the frequent spreading of muck on hot days is avoidable, as weather predictions are more accurate than ever.

She says that the farmers should plan to do this sort of work on a colder day when residents won’t be so bothered about missing a day in their gardens or having their windows shut. She said: “The smell can last for days. The summer is the worst, having to sleep through a hot and humid night with the window shut because we don’t want to let the smell in. I would just like to see a little more consideration, it is unbearable and it is not nice. If a regular person made such a smell then Environmental Health would be all over us, but because they are farmers, they seem to get away with it.”

Getaway driver used mobility scooter to speedily flee scene of burglary

Detectives from Barking and Dagenham borough in east London investigating burglaries at two pharmacies have issued CCTV footage of four men they wish to identify and speak to in connection with the incident. On Wednesday 10 August, police were called at around 3:00pm to a report of a burglary at Paks Cosmetic Centre in Heathway, Dagenham.

The burglary was reported to have occurred at some point between 1:37am and 1:48am on 9 August. The security shutters were damaged and cash was taken. A similar incident with three suspects was reported on 25 May at Kry BA Chemists in Heathway, Dagenham. CCTV from Kry BA Chemists caught the moment that two men walked over to the front of the shop.

YouTube link.

Using a metal bar, they were able to dent the shutters and gain entry to the premises. A cash till was taken out of the store and given to a man on a mobility scooter who was then able to travel quickly away from the store. Four suspects were captured on the CCTV. 'Suspect 1' is described as a white man of medium build with a dark beard wearing a black cap, blue top with writing, black tracksuit bottoms, black trainers and light coloured gloves.

'Suspect 2' is described as a white man with a bald head, wearing dark clothing and driving a dark coloured mobility scooter. 'Suspect 3' is described as a white man wearing a dark blue hooded top and white trainers. 'Suspect 4' is described as a white man wearing a dark grey hooded top, blue jeans and white trainers. Police are keen to hear from anyone who may recognise the four men shown on CCTV or who may have witnessed either of the two burglaries.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Giddy up

Civets enjoy their bowl of milk

YouTube link.

Woman crashed car after spider dropped from her rear view mirror

Police officers in Oregon say a spider is to blame for a rollover crash on Wednesday morning in Northwest Portland’s Bonny Slope area.

The driver suffered a minor scratch on her hand, officials said. She said she was near an intersection when a spider dropped down from her rear view mirror.

She then lost control and went off the road, rolling the car in a ditch. Sheriff's deputies said the car was totalled.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office closed the road to one lane to handle the aftermath. There was no sign of the spider after the crash.

Man arrested after allegedly measuring his penis with cardboard ruler in college library bathroom

An man was arrested on Tuesday night for allegedly measuring his penis with a cardboard ruler while at a urinal inside an Iowa college library bathroom. Police arresteded Thomas Morgan, 42, on a misdemeanor indecent exposure charge in connection with the incident at the University of Iowa’s Main Library in Iowa City.

Morgan, police say, was inside a restroom when he “partially turned his body towards the victim/witness who was using a urinal in the bathroom.” Morgan then “measured his penis against a cardboard ruler,” according to a criminal complaint. The victim told an officer that Morgan subsequently “made a comment regarding his size.”

The man added that on top two of the urinals there were cardboard rulers with “dark sharpie markings regarding penis size.” It is unclear from the complaint whether the rulers were homemade. The victim told police that he “felt weird and uncomfortable” seeing the defendant’s “semi erect penis.” During questioning, Morgan reportedly admitted to measuring himself with the ruler.

While he denied “being aroused,” Morgan told police “he’s guilty of being ‘curious,’” according to the complaint. Morgan was booked into the Johnson County jail and released shortly before midnight after posting $1,000 bond. The Iowa City resident, who is scheduled for a September 23 District Court preliminary hearing, has been ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Woman arrested for suspected DWI told police vehicle she was driving was 'not my drinking car'

A woman from City of Tonawanda, New York, was driving on Wednesday night when she hit a parked car.

Sharon K. Bidell, 55, told officers that the 1965 Chevy Nova she was driving at the time was “not my drinking car,” police said.

Bidell admitted she had been “drinking earlier,” according to police. She was then taken to police headquarters.

There she registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.21 percent, almost three times the legal limit. She was charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and making an unsafe lane change.

11-year-old girl arrested for taking a knife to school said it was needed to fend off clowns

An 11-year-old girl from Athens, Georgia, who was arrested for taking a knife to school said it was needed to fend off clowns.

The arrest occurred on Friday at Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School, amid recent news reports about unsubstantiated claims that clowns have been terrorising children in Georgia and other states. The girl was taken by the principal to the front office where she was questioned by a police officer.

“She said that the reason she had the knife was for protection for her and her family because she had heard the stories about clowns jumping out of the woods and attacking children,” the officer wrote in an Athens-Clarke County police report. According to the report, police contacted an official with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice who instructed them to release the girl to her mother on a charge of possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, spokeswoman for the Clarke County School District said that school administrators have not addressed clowns with the student body as a whole. “Our elementary comprehensive health curriculum addresses personal safety with students,” she said. “We have not specifically addressed clowns, except in individual cases where students expressed concerns directly to teachers.”

Houdini dog that can't be contained has incurred almost $4,000 in council fines

A dog owner is asking his local council to show some flexibility in the way nuisance dogs are dealt with, after clocking up nearly $4,000 in fines. Justin Brow, of Bellingen in New South Wales, Australia, has spent years trying to dog-proof his backyard, but his unusually resourceful kelpie Honey keeps finding new ways to escape. "She's the canine equivalent of Houdini. And my yard is like Fort Knox," he said. Mr Brow has attached extra wire barriers to his regular timber fence, reinforced parts of it with corrugated iron, and poured cement along the fence-line to prevent Honey digging holes underneath. He said no matter what, the dog always managed to get out and roam free.

"I've had dogs since I was four years old, but this dog is different. She'll sit and look, and you can see that she's reasoning, trying to find a weak spot. There's a feeling I get sometimes, that she turns into smoke and re-forms on the other side of the fence," he said. "There are times when she's been contained in the enclosed verandah and she's dug up the floorboards." Mr Brow said Honey's escapes had not gone unnoticed by local authorities, and he was now on a payment plan to help him deal with dozens of fines issued by the local ranger. "It's become this ongoing war between me trying to contain the dog and the local ranger," he said. Mr Brow said the way the system was set up meant he was always fined before he had a chance to get Honey off the street.

"[The ranger] doesn't do anything about getting her off the streets. He just takes a photo from his car and I get a printout attached to a fine," he said. "I understand he's got his responsibility, but this is simply revenue-raising. He could quite easily give me a buzz and I'd happily come and get her. That would be entirely reasonable. There's a different way he could be doing his job, that reflects Bellingen's sense of community." Mr Brow said the main reason behind Honey's repeated escapes was a desire to socialise, and plans were in the works to make her an official therapy dog at Bellingen's aged care facility, Bellorana. "She has a really sweet energy and I think as a therapy dog that's perfect," he said. "She doesn't jump up, she doesn't lick, she'll just sit by someone's side." He said Honey had already spent a few days at the facility, and the feedback had been positive.

"The doctor told me there had been one guy who had a stroke and couldn't use his hands, and when Honey turned up he started patting her totally normally," he said. "There's talk of [Bellorana] actually adopting her full-stop, though my family will still hang out with her. It's going to be a really good outcome." Bellingen Shire Council general manager Liz Jeremy said in a statement there was a process in place to discuss strategies with dog owners to prevent their pets roaming. "Most dog owners will voluntarily comply with the legislation and are not usually the subject of any future incidents or complaints," she said. Where dogs had been declared a nuisance dog, as Honey had, Ms Jeremy said there was a requirement that they be managed more responsibly. "Generally these dogs have been repeatedly observed to be roaming in a public place," she said. The council declined to comment on Mr Brow's particular circumstances.

Police investigate theft of big green bus shelter

Police are asking for the public's help in locating a bus shelter which was stolen from Granity, New Zealand.

It is unclear when the shelter was stolen but it has occurred between June and August while building work was being completed in the area.

It is highly likely someone knows where the shelter is due to it being a unique item to take.

If anyone has any information in relation to where the shelter has ended up, they can contact their local police station.

Motorists urged to slow down for drunk students

Motorists driving through the student-heavy areas of Leeds, Yorkshire, have been warned to lower their speeds to avoid knocking down potentially drunk and vulnerable young people during “freshers’ week” in the city.

The warning was issued by Gary Roper, road policing support sergeant for West Yorkshire Police, who said: “We have had the influx of students in Headingley, where the roads have a 30mph speed limit.

“But while there are students about who might be intoxicated, 30mph might not be appropriate. The best way I would put it is that people should be aware of merry revellers associated with freshers’ week.

“They can be drunk and can be vulnerable as they walk across the road.” Thousands of students have been arriving in Leeds in the past few days to take part in freshers’ week activities before they start their studies at the city’s three universities.

Shoplifter who raided sweet shop with wife and children returned to pay after online shaming

A shoplifter returned to a sweet shop to pay for what was taken after CCTV footage of the theft was shared online. The video, posted on Facebook by Linzi Marie Cake Supplies and Confectionary in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, shows a family of four stealing about £25 worth of goods. Ms Marie said a man returned, "gave a lot of excuses" about why it happened and then paid for the goods.

The shopkeeper said the family, including two young children, stole "an array of goods" from her High Street shop on 12 September in less than two minutes while she was busy serving other customers but she did not realise until later in the day. "They even took a whole jar of lollies," she said. "It wasn't until later on when somebody came in and asked for the lollies that we realised the whole jar had gone.

"We looked back on the CCTV and realised it had happened that morning. It was unbelievable to watch the family and the children just brazenly take what they wanted." She reported the theft to police and put video of the footage on Facebook the next day. It shows the man putting chocolate bars in his pocket and the woman placing goods down her top.

YouTube link. Original Facebook video.

"The perpetrator obviously must have seen it and a few days later he came back in," she said. "I wouldn't say he apologised, he didn't stop talking. He gave us a lot of excuses about why it had happened and offered to pay for the goods that had been taken. I was a bit put on the spot and a bit nervous to be honest because I didn't expect it, but he did pay and it was a happy ending in the end." Bedfordshire Police said the theft was reported and was being investigated.