Sunday, March 29, 2015

Are you my dad?

Spinning bird feeder gives squirrel a dizzy tizzy

It was fine until it let go.

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Woman offered ride in police car arrested after asking if it was okay to bring her weed along

A woman from West Volusia, Florida, is facing drug charges after trying to take marijuana into the patrol car of a sergeant who offered her a ride, according to a sheriff’s report.

The sergeant responded at about 10:40pm on Wednesday to a home near Orange City for a possible domestic dispute and met with Michelle Sanford “who was extremely intoxicated,” the report states. The sergeant determined Sanford had not been struck by her boyfriend, but asked if Sanford had somewhere else she could stay and offered to take her there.

Sanford, 36, brought clothes and an open beer, which the sergeant advised she could not bring. “Why don’t you take your weed with you,” Sanford’s boyfriend, Thomas Laudenslager, 46, said. Sanford said she would and asked the sergeant if she could take her weed and smoke a joint at her father’s house.

Laudenslager then asked Sanford why she would actually say something that could get her sent to jail. “It’s just weed and he might be cool with it,” Sanford said. Sanford, after showing the marijuana to the sergeant, was arrested and charged with possession of paraphernalia and a misdemeanor drug offence.

Stop pooping on bike path signs aimed at people not pets

Two new signs have been added along a bike path in Hampton, Illinois, saying, “Stop pooping on bike path.” The message isn't for dogs, but for humans.

“It’s just pretty nasty to talk about,” said Scott McKay, Hampton’s Public Works supervisor. McKay says it’s been a problem for two years and he knows it’s human poop being left on the bike path.

“Well animals don’t carry toilet paper and then stuff it on the top,” said McKay. McKay says the person leaves toilet paper on top of the poop every single time.

It’s a mystery to many as to why someone would do it, especially when there are public restrooms nearby. “It’s gross and other people shouldn’t have to use our path like that,” said McKay. McKay hopes the new signs will get their message across.

With news video.

No one hurt when plane with nobody onboard crashed

A plane with nobody onboard crashed in a field near Nipawin, Saskatoon, Canada, and no one was hurt.

It happened shortly before 6pm on Thursday at the Nipawin Airport, the RCMP said. An initial investigation revealed the pilot tried to “prop start” the plane by standing in front and spinning the propeller by hand.

The engine turned over, but before he could get inside the Aeronca Chief two-seater, it began moving forward on the taxiway, gaining enough speed after 10 metres to become airborne.

Police said the pilot was left behind, embarrassed but uninjured. A little later, the plane crashed. The Transportation Safety Board was notified but an official said that aside from noting the incident, it would not be pursuing the investigation any further.

Man made citizen’s arrest of large python that ate his prized rooster

A man in Queensland, Australia, performed a citizen’s arrest after wrestling a 4m-long python intruder which broke into his backyard and ate his prized rooster. Halifax man Ellis Huddy came face-to-face with the monster snake early on Thursday morning and discovered the slithery criminal had made his prized chicken breakfast.

“I have had Big Red for about two years and he was my favourite rooster so it’s a real bugger,” he said. “He wakes me up at five o’clock every morning to tell me all the hens are okay. But that morning, Big Red didn’t crow.” Mr Huddy said he grabbed a torch and went to investigate his self-made backyard chicken coup and found “disaster”.

“I saw the snake with a belly full and the other chickens were running around like they had their heads cut off,” he said. “The snake was very strong and I had to wrestle with it a bit before I dragged it out by the tail and put it in the potato sack.” Mr Huddy then took the python to the Halifax police station.

“When the sergeant saw the snake, he just said ‘wow’,” he said. Halifax station officer-in-charge Sergeant John Tantalo said the reptile was measured and photographed for evidence. “Mr Huddy … had been having some of his animals disappear and he has previously brought in another offender to us that was relocated,” Sgt Tantalo said. “(The latest snake) was released without charge a long way from the ­offence location.”

RSPCA express concern after seeing video of cat on a lead being taken for a walk by woman

The RSPCA has expressed concern after a five-second video of a cat apparently being dragged on a lead by a woman in Hertfordshire was posted online. The RSPCA said it was concerned as the incident "appears to be causing the cat distress".

Lilly Dance filmed the cat in Welwyn Garden City. She said she suggested the woman pick it up as it "didn't look overly happy about being walked". Miss Dance said at first she thought it was "quite amusing" seeing a cat being walked, until she realised it was "being dragged". The woman ignored her protest and carried on pulling the animal for "a good five minutes".

Alice Potter, a companion animal scientist from the RSPCA, said: "We have concerns about the handling of the cat in this footage as it appears to be causing it distress. The cat does look like it's kind of being dragged and looks distressed, putting its front paws out like it wants to stop.

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"Without seeing more it's hard to know how comfortable the cat is walking on a lead but it gives the impression that the cat was not particularly comfortable or relaxed." Putting cats on leads took away the animals' "sense of control", Ms Potter said. If harnesses are used they should be introduced gradually from a young age and stopped immediately if a cat shows any sign of stress, she added.

Elderly lady died after being hit by unoccupied parked car

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 74-year-old woman died after being hit by a parked car that "lurched forward" outside a supermarket in Pontefract, Yorkshire.

Sergeant Ann Drury from West Yorkshire Police's Major Collision Investigation Unit, said: ‘‘The incident took place at around midday on Wednesday when the car, a burgundy coloured Kia Venga, which was thought to be unoccupied, has moved forward colliding with two women who were stood towards the front of the vehicle.

‘‘Both women who were struck by the car are believed to have known each other. The woman, who died at the scene, is thought to have been an earlier occupant of the vehicle alongside a female driver. As a result of injuries sustained in the collision, the 74-year-old woman, named as Molly Wood, from Knottingley, died at the scene.

‘‘The other woman, who was 70 years of age, was not seriously injured in the incident but has been left badly shaken by what took place. This was a very tragic incident and I would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision and is yet to speak to police.’’ Anyone with information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police.

Convicted fraudster escaped from prison with faked bail email

A convicted fraudster used an "ingenious" escape plot to trick prison wardens into letting him go free, a court has heard. Wandsworth inmate Neil Moore was on remand when he used an illicit mobile phone to create a fake email account. He posed as a senior court clerk and sent bail instructions to prison staff, who released him on 10 March 2014. His deception was uncovered when solicitors went to interview him three days later, only to find him gone.

Moore, 28, from Ilford, east London, handed himself in three days later. Southwark Crown Court heard he had set up a fake web domain which closely resembled that of the court service's official address. He then emailed the prison's custody inbox with instructions for his release. The court heard Moore registered the bogus website in the name of investigating officer Det Insp Chris Soole, giving the address and contact details for the Royal Courts of Justice.

Prosecutor Ian Paton said: "A lot of criminal ingenuity harbours in the mind of Mr Moore. The case is one of extraordinary criminal inventiveness, deviousness and creativity, all apparently the developed expertise of this defendant". The judge, Recorder David Hunt QC, described the behaviour as "ingenious" criminality. Moore had previously used four different aliases to commit fraud worth £1,819,000 in total.

Posing as staff from Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank, and Santander he managed to persuade large organisations to give him vast sums of money. Sometimes he answered calls from victims using a man's voice and then pretended to transfer the call to a colleague before resuming the conversation in a woman's voice, the court heard earlier. He was so convincing police initially co-charged his partner Kristen Moore with the deception. All charges against her have now been dropped. Moore, who has pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and one count of escape from lawful custody, will be sentenced on 20 April.

Thieves smashed through wall of school to steal iPads

Thieves have smashed through a brick wall at a Cheshire primary school to steal tablet computers.

The raid happened some time on Thursday night at Culcheth Community Primary School. The school's head teacher Amanda Dodd said 48 iPad minis were taken.

Three large charging cases for the tablets were also taken in the break-in. Cheshire Constabulary have asked anyone with information about what happened to get in touch.

Ms Dodd said she did not know what had been used to smash through the bricks, but that it was an external double-skinned wall so it "must have taken some force".

Saturday, March 28, 2015

It's the weekend

Little fella bonds with bear

Gabriel appears to have found a friend in Cheyenne the bear.

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Taxi driver presses charges after drunk would-be bank robber failed to settle fare

Stanley Geddie arrived by taxi and was drunk during an attempted heist of a bank in Tallahassee, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon, police say. The 46-year-old was arrested on charges of robbery, petty theft and resisting an officer after demanding $100,000 from a bank manager at the Capital City Bank on Capital Circle Northwest. Geddie told the manager he had a .357 handgun, was carrying C4 plastic explosives and “would blow this place up,” court records show.

Police arrived at the bank to find the cab driver, who advised them Geddie was drunk and had not paid his $25.50 fare. The driver told police Geddie said, “I will take care of you when I come out.” When police made contact with Geddie sitting in the manager’s office, he appeared “very intoxicated and spaced out,” according to court records.

Geddie did not follow officers’ commands and was tasered during the incident. Court records say that when police told him he would be shot if he made any sudden movements, he said “well then kill me.” He was arrested without further incident. A search revealed Geddie did not have a firearm or explosives. In an interview with police, the bank manager said Geddie indicated he also had the bank surrounded while continuing to demand the money.

Tellers alerted police to the robbery after the manager closed his office door with Geddie inside and they became concerned. While being treated for Taser wounds at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Geddie indicated he had on two pairs of pants so he could remove one after the robbery to appear not to be the suspect. The cab driver told police he wanted to press charges for the unpaid fare, which resulted in the petty theft charge.

Dog which had plastic container stuck on his head for three weeks rescued by residents

A wayward black labrador is alive, thanks in no small part to three southern Minnesota residents who captured the scared animal and pulled a plastic container off his head. Katherine Nelson of Madison Lake says that she, her husband Don and their friend Sue Leach of St. Peter had been trying to capture the lab, who they nicknamed Jughead, for three days after hearing he had been spotted running around a North Mankato park with the container on his head, unable to eat and drink.

Police said he had been stuck in the plastic container for three weeks, and the Nelsons and Leach feared that he would not last much longer. Nelson says they set a live trap with food in it, but that strategy didn't work. Finally, on Wednesday morning they went to check the trap and saw dog tracks in the newly fallen snow. They followed the tracks to a brush-filled swampy area, and saw that the dog was sleeping.

Don Nelson crept up on him so the dog wouldn't wake, then scooped him up. The lab struggled to get away for a short time, but didn't have the strength to resist. They loaded him up in their van and took the tired dog to Minnesota Valley Pet Hospital. "He didn't have much time left," Katherine Nelson said of the emaciated pooch. "Someone would have walked up and found him dead." The dog finally managed to wiggle free of the container while the Nelsons were unloading him at the vet.

Katherine describes his condition as dire, but says the folks at Minnesota Valley Pet Hospital are doing a great job, and are donating their services to nurse the starving lab back to health. She says he has soulful brown eyes, and is handsome if shockingly skinny. When he is ready for discharge the dog will live at the Nelson's farm near Madison Lake so he can be socialised with their dogs and allowed to completely recover. At that time they will help find a great home for him, one with a fenced in yard as police reports suggest that the dog may have been on his own for a year or more.

Indian tourist destination bans kissing in public

An Indian village in the popular coastal state of Goa has imposed a ban on couples kissing in public, claiming the sight of such “obscene” behaviour is unwanted by local residents. The village parliament of Salvador-de-Mundo, eight miles north of Goa’s capital Panaji, unanimously passed a resolution this week warning holidaymakers against engaging in public displays of affection.

“We have adopted this resolution following complaints from villagers about couples kissing in public. This was the only way to put an end to it,” deputy village chief Reena Fernandes said on Thursday. She said they had complained to local authorities but a lack of response had forced the council to take matters into its own hands and pass a resolution which also “banned public drinking and playing loud music.”

However, she declined to comment on whether punitive action will be taken against potential violators of the bylaws. “We have serene beaches which attract tourists in a big way. Several times we saw couples acting indecently which irked us,” villager Savio Rebeiro sid. The fishing hub on the Arabian sea coastline has now displayed banners reading: "Commit no nuisance, visitors keep our village clean, drinking alcohol, smoking, loud music, kissing in public, nuisances in public are strictly prohibited here," in public places to spread awareness of the prohibitions.

Goa’s long sandy beaches have long been a haven for millions of tourists drawn mostly from the West, but a string of controversial statements by local politicians has dented its tourist-friendly image. Last year a top Goa minister demanded a ban on wearing bikinis on beaches, drawing criticism from the public and tourism industry.

Life-sized elephant sculpture made from crashed cars aims to help save lives in Western Australia

A life-sized elephant made from the parts of crashed cars has been erected as part of a campaign to get people talking about high road fatality rates in Western Australia's country areas. The brightly coloured sculpture, named The Elephant in the Wheatbelt, is currently in a wheat field on the outskirts of the Wheatbelt town of Northam and is being moved around different towns in the region by the RAC WA.

The motorists' association said the elephant was a symbol of the "silence" around road safety issues in the area. According to WA's Office of Road Safety, there were 105 deaths in the state's regional areas in 2014 and 79 in Perth. In the Wheatbelt, there were 2,155 people killed or seriously injured in the 10 years between 2004 and 2013. The RAC said it hoped to dispel myths about road safety such as most crashes happening at night time and only involving people visiting the area.

"What we want is for the community to start that conversation wherever they may be, in the sporting clubs, in the halls, in the pubs, in their lounge rooms, we want people talking about road trauma in the Wheatbelt," RAC general manager for corporate affairs Will Golsby said. "Attitudes, deliberate driver choices such as speed and drink driving, inattention and fatigue are major factors," Mr Golsby added. He said last year more than one person died on WA roads every two days.

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Mr Goldsby said people needed to start taking responsibility for their safety, and check the star safety rating on cars they buy. "We know that you're twice as likely to be seriously injured or killed in a one-star car over a five-star car," he said. He said statistics from last year show one in three Wheatbelt road victims was not wearing a seatbelt, and more than 70 per cent of fatalities were single vehicle run-offs. The elephant has already turned heads in Merredin, Narrogin and is currently in Northam and will continue to make its way around the Wheatbelt.

French baker ordered to remove 'racist' cakes

A court in the French Riviera has ordered a cake maker to remove cakes from his bakery after he was accused of inciting racial hatred and the cakes branded "obscene". On Thursday a court in Grasse, in the Alpes-Maritimes department of south-eastern France, ordered the town to force the baker to remove the offensive pastries from his boulangerie, deeming them an “attack on human dignity”. The sweet pastries in question, named “Gods” and “Goddesses” are in the form of obese people, covered in dark chocolate with over-sized sexual parts.

While the baker who sells the little men and women filled with shortbread and chocolate mousse saw the cakes as inoffensive, for one anti-racism group in France, they were anything but. “It’s pure and simple racism,” Louis-George Tin from France’s Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN) said prior to the court ruling. CRAN denounced the “obscene slave trade caricatures that tap into the tradition of colonial racism” and threatened to lodge a complaint for inciting racial hatred.

“We are in a country where the word equality is part of the constitution, which means it doesn’t allow for racism. Does he think these treats adhere to the values of the French Republic?” said Tin. “We must fight this kind of racism. I cannot imagine what would be said (rightly) if an African baker decided to represent Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary in a similar way,” Tin said. However, baker Tannick Tavolaro is defiant.

He said he finds the complaint absurd and firmly denies he is racist. “At first I thought it was a joke. It’s absurd and hurtful. These pastries have absolutely no racial connotation at all," he said. They are made of chocolate mousse, which is why they're black. The characters are little human beings, a man and woman but not a black man and a woman. These people who attack me don’t know my story or my career or who I am. It’s just intellectual terrorism. I am not racist. I do not belong to any political party. I just argue for freedom of speech.”

Man stole tortoise to fund his heroin habit

A man stole a £300 tortoise from a pet shop before selling it on to fund his heroin habit. The 37-year-old Lee Pemberton was caught on CCTV cameras at Glovers Tropical Fish & Water Garden Centre in Stoke-on-Trent taking the reptile from a vivarium. North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard a customer warned the shop assistant there was a man in the store who smelt of alcohol. Steve Knowles, prosecuting, said: "The assistant went to where the defendant had been seen and was asked if he was okay. Pemberton told him 'Yes don't worry'.

"But when the assistant went to investigate he found the locking bar to the vivarium was not on and the animal was missing." The court heard the CCTV footage was reviewed which showed Pemberton taking the tortoise. Mr Knowles said that when the defendant was interviewed he told police he could not recall the incident but admitted he must have sold the animal to fund his drug habit. Pemberton, of Stoke, pleaded guilty to stealing the tortoise. He also admitted possession of heroin and two offences of possessing class B drugs.

Lee Yates, mitigating, said his client had pleaded guilty to the offences at the first time of asking. He added: "Mr Pemberton has been hospitalised due to health problems concerning his drug addiction. He is receiving help for his addiction." Magistrates jailed Pemberton for 18 weeks but suspended the sentence for 12 months because drug treatment had started. He was also ordered to pay £300 compensation, £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge. But Elizabeth Johnson, who works at Glovers, said the defendant should have been sent to prison.

She added that the staff will still concerned for the tortoise's welfare. She said: "It's all been very strange, and we still don't know where the tortoise has gone. The police said we can claim for the money, but it's not about the money, it's the animal's welfare. We've no idea if they were keeping it well, but it's expensive to keep a tortoise in the right condition, so we're very worried. To steal an animal you know you can't look after just for money is absolutely disgusting. He could have killed him. The sentence is way too low, he should have been sent to prison."

Semi-naked customers fled into the street after masked gang raided swingers club

Police are hunting a masked gang who raided a Birmingham swingers club, attacking a man and a woman and sending semi-naked customers fleeing into the street. Three men targeted Tudor Lounge, based at the 400-year-old Stratford House in Highgate, just after 9.30pm last Wednesday. One man, aged 53, was punched to the ground, while a woman was pushed during the raid at the timber-framed, Grade II listed property – built in 1601 in the reign of Elizabeth I.

The gang fled empty-handed but the raid added to local concerns about the business, which has temporary planning permission as a private members’ club from Birmingham City Council. One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Masked men ran into the club and we then saw lots of customers, half-naked or wrapped in towels and mostly men, pouring out into the street. Residents feel the club is potentially attracting a criminal element to the area. It’s not what people had in mind when they settled here.

“We feel the planning application for a private members’ club was a very clever one in that those who even knew about it did not realise it would be a swingers’ club. It seems to be busy most nights and Saturday night particularly so. Residents are now having problems parking their own cars , there have been some incidents of parking rows with visitors to the club. There’s been some lewd behaviour in the area around the club, people coming out kissing and all over one another. A lot of young girls live close by and parents are worried their children could be propositioned. There’s also concern about property values going down.”

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: “Police are investigating after masked raiders gained entry to a private function at the Tudor Lounge Club in Stratford Place, Highgate, at 9.35pm on March 18. Three men wearing ski masks were seen in the corridor. “One man, aged 53, was punched in the head, resulting in him falling to the floor. He was treated for a cut to his nose and bump to his head. Another woman was pushed, but not injured. No weapons were seen. The men then left the building. Nothing was reported stolen. Police enquiries are on-going into the incident. No arrests have been made at this stage.”

Man seen towing boat with mobility scooter says he was taking girlfriend out for a day’s fishing

A man spotted towing a boat with a mobility scooter through Hartlepool in County Durham on Thursday says he was taking his girlfriend out for a day’s fishing. 22-year-old butcher Luke Cartridge suffered a bad break to his left leg during a night out in Newcastle last November and bought the second hand scooter for £120 to help him get around.

He and girlfriend Natasha Day, 19, decided to go in a fishing trip in Luke’s rowing boat but with no car available, their transport options were limited. Luke said: “There’s a handle on the back of the scooter that I was able to chain the boat to. We set out with Natasha walking alongside me and knew it would take a while because it’s pretty slow anyway even when it’s not towing a rowing boat.

“The traffic started building up behind me and I suddenly realised the were traffic jams stretching way back. Most of the drivers were okay about it, most of them were laughing and quite a few got out to take pictures. On the way back the police pulled me over and asked for a word.

“They said I wasn’t doing anything wrong but that I was causing traffic hold ups. They asked me to park my boat somewhere nearby as it was getting dark so I left it at my mum’s. Me and Natasha only wanted a day fishing we didn’t think it would cause so much fuss. I wouldn’t care but we never caught a thing!”