Friday, March 18, 2016

Are we nearly there yet?

Archer the Arctic fox likes to get in on the joke

Four-year-old Archer the Arctic fox, who belongs to Kristina Shafer from Battle Creek, Michigan, laughs along with her boyfriend, Kyle Infante.

YouTube link. Kristina Shafers original Facebook video.

Man arrested for allegedly egging elderly former neighbour's house more than 100 times

A man from Euclid, Ohio, faces charges that accuse him of egging an elderly former neighbour's house more than 100 times in a single year. Jason E. Kozan, 30, is charged with vandalism in the incidents that happened between May 20, 2014 to June 26, 2015, according to court records. Kozan egged former neighbour Albert Clemens, Sr.'s house more than 100 times.

The attacks damaged Mr Clemens, Sr.'s house and kept his family on edge, he said last year. Mr Clemens, Sr., 85, told how his home had been pelted several times a week in the past, sometimes more than once a day. The eggings usually happened after dark and lasted around 10 minutes. He also said he felt the eggs were somehow being launched at the house. Mr Clemens, Sr. and his wife bought the two-storey house 60 years ago.

Although she has since passed away, he still lives there with his 49-year-old daughter and 51-year-old son. Detectives began investigating last year and obtained a warrant to search Kozan's former house. Authorities visited local restaurants and businesses to find the suspect’s supply. They traced the eggs used in the attack to an Amish farm, but weren’t able to link them to anyone. They even tried getting fingerprints, but once the eggs crack, protein dissolves any possible prints.

They eventually found evidence they presented to a prosecutor who ultimately decided to file charges, Euclid Lt. Mike Knack said on Wednesday. Detectives have not identified a motive for the eggings, which largely ceased after Kozan moved out of the neighbourhood, Knack said. Judge Deborah LeBarron set bond at $2,000 during Kozan's initial appearance on Tuesday in Euclid Municipal Court. The case will be reviewed by a Cuyahoga County grand jury, police said.

Woman accused of assaulting husband with an onion

A Florida woman was arrested after being accused of throwing an onion at her husband.

The husband of Terri Bramlett, 59, told a Martin County Sheriff’s investigator that Bramlett threw an onion at him during an argument at their home in Palm City.

Bramlett told investigators that “she felt threatened by her husband who was across their living room and threw an onion at him, striking his face.”

The onion injured her husband’s lip. “Bramlett had no signs of injury and only expressed annoyance of our investigation,” an affidavit states. Bramlett was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

Puppy was all smiles after being rescued from burning home

A puppy was all smiles after being rescued from his burning home last Friday.

The Baltimore County Fire Department in Maryland responded to a fire that started in an apartment building in Parkville.

Firefighter and EMT Walter Sanders carried the dog out of the home to safety. He was then given some water.

Captain Geoffrey Donahue captured a few photos of the moment and posted the pictures to the Providence Volunteer Fire Department's Facebook page.

Father with albinism and son escorted off bus by police investigating suspected abduction

Jason Thompson took his four-year-old son Xavier to see Zootopia in Toronto, Canada, on Tuesday, but when they missed the show their day went from bad to worse. The father and son were at Victoria Park subway station, singing Row, Row, Row, Your Boat while waiting for the number 12 bus. As they boarded, Toronto police said another member of the public reported Thompson to police because he has albinism and does not look like his son. “Someone potentially believed the child had been abducted,” said Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu.

That’s when Thompson said the bus suddenly stopped en route and the driver refused to let anyone off. “It’s sickening to me that someone would actually take that step,” said Thompson. “Just as I’m sitting there looking at my phone two police officers are standing outside.” Thompson said one of the officers came onto the bus and asked him if Xavier was his son, to which he responded that he was, and the officer then asked him to get off the bus. He said he then asked why he was being singled out and the police officer allegedly told him, “You don’t want to do this here, let’s just get off the bus.”

Thompson said the officer quickly realised he and Xavier were, in fact, related despite having different skin tones. “I was so dumbfounded, I probably just stood there with my mouth open,” he said. “The officer knew I was offended and said, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay.’ They kept on reassuring me and were very sympathetic and understanding.” Police attempted to follow up with the original caller to get more information, but they did not answer their phone. “To that person I would say think again. A white guy with a brown kid doesn’t mean that anything is going on. This is Toronto,” said Thompson “We’re a multi-cultural city, let’s embrace it and relax everyone.”

Thompson said he had to then explain the humiliating situation to his four-year-old. “I said, ‘Somebody called and said I’m not your daddy and they were worried.’ And he looked at me and said, ‘You are my daddy.’” Police say they take every call related to children very seriously, and anyone who witnesses anything suspicious should give them a call. Thankfully a day that began horribly ended a bit better for Thompson and his son. “My son starts crying and the officer was like, ‘Don’t worry we’ll give you a ride home,'” he said. “So we get back in the patrol car, we’re heading down the street and my son’s like, ‘This is where the bad guys sit’ and the officer’s like, ‘No, the good guys sit there too.’ “We’re good guys right now.”

With news video.

Elderly blind sheep finds his way around thanks to a canine halo vest and a friend with a bell

An elderly sheep named 64, who has been blind most of his life, and is in the care of an animal refuge, now finds his way around thanks to a plastic halo worn around his head and a friend with a bell. "We named him after the (Beatles) song, because when he came to us here, he was 12 in human years, so 64 for a sheep," Pam Ahern, co-founder of Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary in Lancefield north of Melbourne, Australia, said. With few options for vision-impaired animals and with no longer a herd to guide him, Ms Ahern began searching the internet for impairment aids for animals, eventually stumbling across the 'halo vest'. The vest, invented in the United States, is designed to fit dogs, with a plastic halo preventing blind canines from walking into objects.

After getting in touch with the manufacturers, a vest was custom-made especially to fit 64's ruminant measurements. Inventor of the HaloVest and president and CEO of Halos for Paws, Dorie Stratton, said she came up with the idea of the vest after rescuing a blind Scottish terrier. "I found him abandoned in a Walmart parking lot, and I took him home to care for him," Ms Stratton said. "Not being familiar with blind dogs, I went online to learn how to care for handicapped dogs. I found several sites that showed me how to make a blind dog collar." After conceiving the idea, Ms Stratton and her friend Ellen Burgess, who had previously owned a blind dog that had since passed away, decided to make the idea a reality.

"We initially didn't have any plans to start a business, until we showed the vest to our vet ophthalmologist," Ms Stratton said. "She went crazy for the vest and said these vests were highly in demand for blind dogs and I should start a business selling [them]. I thought about it, and the rest is history." Life for blind animals is tough and according to Ms Ahern, without his herd, 64 would not have had much chance of surviving to his old age. "He had obviously been living as part of a herd that protected him, because he wouldn't have survived long alone being blind," Ms Ahern said. "He wasn't socialised with humans; he was absolutely terrified of humans."

Vimeo link.

With few options for vision-impaired animals, the staff at Edgar's Mission took an inventive approach to guiding 64 around the 153-acre Victorian property. They fitted a sheep named Annabelle with a bell - one that 64 has been trained to listen for and follow. However, according to Ms Ahern, the transition was harder than expected. "It took a lot of training to get [Annabelle] wearing the bell and [to get] 64 following the sound," she said. "Sheep are preyed-upon animals so naturally, they don't like making noise wherever they go." After adjusting to the jingling collar, Annabelle and 64 are now an inseparable pair and play follow-the-leader around the property. "Annabelle was actually named Annabelle before we paired her up with 64 [so] it worked out quite well," Ms Ahern laughed.

Non-smoking woman forced to pay £650 fine for dropping cigarette in town she’d never been to

A woman from Monmouthshire in Wales was forced to pay a £650 fine for dropping a cigarette butt in Wigan, England, despite not smoking and never visiting the town. Emma Caresimo, 40, from Magor, was "horrified" after a bailiff arrived at her home and threatened to tow her car. She said the "upsetting" ordeal was for an offence committed by someone with her maiden name from Liverpool.

Wigan council said the court instructed the bailiff while HM Courts & Tribunals Service blamed "human error". Mrs Caresimo said she was at home with her three-year-old son when the bailiff clamped her Volkswagen Golf, which he told her was worth £3,700. "I said 'I have never been to Wigan and I don't smoke' but he wasn't having any of it. He didn't believe me and said he'd heard it all before," she explained.

"He said he would take the clamp off only if I paid the outstanding fines of £650. I had no other choice; it was awful." Mrs Caresimo called the police who, on arrival, said the bailiff was working within the law. "They should not be able to get the wrong person like this, it's very distressing," she said. Paul Barton, assistant director of operational services at Wigan council, said: "Following an unpaid fixed penalty notice last year we issued court proceedings to an Emma Smith with a Liverpool address.

"We prosecuted under this Liverpool address and have never issued any proceedings to a Welsh address or instructed any court or bailiff to visit a Welsh property." An HM Courts & Tribunals Service spokeswoman said: "As a result of human error HMCTS wrongly took enforcement action against an individual with the same name and date of birth as an offender. We are deeply sorry for any distress caused by this regrettable incident and have arranged for the money to be refunded. We have taken steps to avoid this happening in future."

Pothole so large and deep that ducks have taken to swimming in it

A pothole has become so large and deep that ducks have taken to swimming in it. Clare Skelton, who spotted a mallard paddling around the pothole in Horsham, West Sussex, said: "It's almost deep enough for the dog to swim in."

Ms Skelton said of the ducks: "I think they're flying in, looking for somewhere to nest, and they thought that looked as good a pond as any". She added: "So many of us are having damage to our cars.

"Even the locals get caught - the people who know where the potholes are under the water. You see this water flooding down the road and you don't know which bit is a really deep, dangerous pothole and some of them are 12 inches deep."

In a statement, West Sussex County Council said: "This pothole will be filled in before the end of the month. On average we fill in 70 potholes every single working day of the year."

Pub quiz team aggrieved after being banned because they kept winning

Three men who claim they were banned from a pub quiz because they kept winning said they feel "aggrieved". Graham Deaves, 65, said The Horn in St Albans, Hertfordshire, told him he and Norman Hughan, 82, and Nick Mepham, 49, could no longer take part. He said pub staff claimed some people were not doing the quiz any more because "the old guys kept winning". A pub spokesman said it had "asked them to take a break".

The trio, known by their team name Storming Norman, started going to the Monday night quiz last May when the pub they normally went to was being refurbished. Since then, they said, they have missed only one quiz and have won 11 times. Mr Deaves, from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, said when he and his friends, who both live in Luton, Bedfordshire, arrived for one of the quizzes the licensee spoke to them. "He said he had met with people who no longer came to the quiz who told him it was because the old guys keep winning," he said.

"He said 'you're banned from the quiz, my mind's made up and there's no discussion'. We feel aggrieved as we've been banned from the quiz when there could have been a number of other ways of dealing with our success." The owner of The Horn said the team had been winning on a regular basis, attendance had halved and some people were becoming "disgruntled". Adrian Bell said a handicap system had been introduced but the team were still winning. "We told them politely it might be good if they could take a break to let the quiz get up and running again," he said.

"They said this had happened to them before and they were fine about it." At The Horn, winners are rewarded with a first prize of a £40 bar tab, those who come second get a bottle of wine, while those in third place can claim a packet of crisps. However, there is also an extra rollover prize each week made up from the £2 entry fee - the first person to the bar with the written answers to three tricky question wins. Mr Deaves said since the ban in February the team now went to a quiz at the King Harry pub in St Albans, where they had been "made to feel very welcome". "But all we've managed so far is three third places and a second," he said.