Thursday, May 26, 2016

Giddy up

Tina the dog barks Happy Birthday

YouTube link.

Unhappy loser smashed gaming machine with sledgehammer

Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, are trying to identify the man who smashed a glass quarters game with a sledgehammer after losing several times.

The man was inside Teresa’s Food Mart on Sunday afternoon when he became frustrated when he played the game several times and didn’t win.

Police say he walked out to his vehicle, before returning to play one more time. When he lost again, he pulled out a sledgehammer and smashed the machine.

YouTube link.

The incident was captured on surveillance video and police are looking to identify him.

Town in state of emergency after invasion of 100,000 bats

An Australian town is in a 'state of emergency' because it has been overtaken by a swarming mass of 100,000 bats. The grey-headed flying foxes are overrunning Batemans Bay in New South Wales and the problem is so bad they are on almost every surface and in every tree.

Danielle Smith, who lives in the plagued town, said: "I can't open the windows, I can't use the clothes lines, it's just, I can't study because the noise just goes constantly. I can't concentrate. It's not fun." She added: "The bats came and they are just out of control. We just can't do anything because of them."

Russell Schneider, of the Flying Fox Task Force, said: "This is the biggest, this is unprecedented. They've never been seen in these numbers." A statement from the task force said many of the townspeople felt 'isolated, powerless, and many had become prisoners in their own homes'. Officially, the grey-headed flying foxes are listed as a vulnerable species so authorities cannot kill them.

YouTube link.

Instead, they are considering deterring them using smoke and noise. One approach under consideration is clearing all the local vegetation and officials have already started chopping down trees. Animal rights groups are insisting that patience is the only thing that will work, saying the bats will move on of their own accord when ready. But people who live in the town are desperate for a solution.

Campers woke up to find lions licking water off their tent

Campers on safari woke to discover a group of thirsty lionesses licking accumulated drops of water from the outside of their tent.

A video by Francie Francisca Lubba captured the close encounter at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which straddles the Botswana-South Africa border.

YouTube link. Francie Francisca Lubbe's original Facebook video.

It shows the lionesses licking raindrops from the outside of a couple’s shelter as the humans huddled inside, trying their best to stay quiet as the wildcats went about their business. “What a privilege,” Lubba said on Facebook.

“It rained during the night and three lioness [were] licking the water from the tent.” Ms Lubba also posted photos revealing how the large animals also prowled around the campsite during the close encounter.

Row of parked cars swallowed by enormous sinkhole

A huge sinkhole measuring 200 by seven metres opened up in Florence, Italy, on Wednesday morning, engulfing 20 parked cars.

The incident occurred at around 6:15am, right in the centre of the Tuscan city, between Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Le Grazie.

Emergency services arrived to secure the area and the city's mayor, Dario Nardella, described it as "very serious", but there were no injuries.

YouTube link.

Initial investigations by the fire service suggest that the sinkhole was caused by a large aqueduct pipe breaking, and the water eroding part of the road. The area remained cordoned off to traffic throughout Wednesday morning while emergency services worked to prevent further damage to the road.

Councillor warns that sheep high on cannabis could cause havoc in village

The remains of a cannabis factory fly-tipped on a road in south Wales were hastily removed after warnings that the plants may have been eaten by out-of-control sheep. County councillor Ioan Richard raised the alarm saying the animals were already causing a nuisance in Craig Cefn Parc, Swansea Valley.

The Mawr ward councillor, who has been waging a crusade against frequent fly-tipping in the countryside in his area, said that the cannabis factory remains had been spotted by cross roads above Salem Chapel near Rhydypandy. He said: "There is already a flock of sheep roaming the village causing a nuisance. They are getting in people's gardens and one even entered a bungalow and left a mess in the bedroom.

"I dread to think what will happen if they eat what could well be cannabis plants – we could have an outbreak out of psychotic sheep rampaging through the village." Mr Richard said that there had already been instance of sheep being killed in the village after straying into the road. He said: "I told the council officers to make sure it was reported to the police before removing any evidence of what looks like the dumped remains of a cannabis growing establishment."

A spokesman for Swansea Council said the matter had been taken care of on Tuesday morning. He added: "We made the police aware of this incident as soon as it was reported and arranged a site visit together. The fly-tipped waste has now been removed, but we'd urge anyone with information about who may be responsible to contact either ourselves or South Wales Police."

Jail for man who filmed up skirts of hundreds of women with a camera stuck to his shoe

A man has been jailed after he installed a camera at work to watch female colleagues using the toilet, following years of secretly filming up the skirts of hundreds of women in public for his own sexual gratification. Roger William Marsh, 65, of Park Lane Bottom in Cowling, north Yorkshire, was described as "manipulative" and "predatory" by a judge on Tuesday. Marsh’s unusual activities came to light after he was caught using a camera strapped with Velcro to his shoe in the Ikea shop at Birstall, near Bradford, on November 29 last year. Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court a man shopping with his wife noticed Marsh acting oddly because of the strange position he was standing near to her, and when he saw something flash on his shoe, he bent down and spotted the camera.

He grabbed hold of it and challenged Marsh, saying: “What the hell is this?” Marsh denied any wrongdoing saying: “It’s not what you think”. But he was found to have been filming up her skirt. She was distressed when she realised what he had been doing and the police were called. Marsh’s details were taken and, later that day, his home, then in Halifax, was searched and computers and hard-drives were seized. He also had two screens in his bedroom showing footage of a woman using the toilet. Marsh was interviewed and not only admitted filming up the shopper’s skirt in Ikea but doing the same to other women. Mr Nassiri said: “He said he had been doing this act for ten years.” Marsh admitted going to public places where he could film women, either using a camera in a shopping bag or attached to his shoe.

He also admitted for the previous 18 months he had been secretly filming some female staff at work in Brighouse at a firm where he had been employed for 35 years. He said he would set up the camera to record 35 to 40 minutes prior to staff leaving the workplace for the day because that was the busiest time for using the toilets. The footage was then downloaded later at home for his own enjoyment. Mr Nassiri said police found 709,376 images and videos, of which only a sample was reviewed. He said 1,653 live files of a voyeuristic nature were recovered, including some footage of a neighbour in a state of undress, taken through a window. They also recovered 9,547 indecent images of children graded at the lowest level C and one video at level B, which had been downloaded between December 2011 and February 2012.

Marsh told officers he had not looked at them since out of guilt. James Gelsthorpe, representing Marsh, said it was “a deeply troubling case”. He had lived a very isolated existence with few close relationships, his last one ending ten years ago. Mr Gelsthorpe added: “His only real interaction was with colleagues at work, whom he regarded as friends, and he accepts he has grossly abused their trust.” He had now left that work, moved home and had “closed himself off even more from social interaction”. Marsh admitted three charges of voyeurism, two of making indecent photographs and one of outraging public decency. He was jailed for a total of 18 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years. Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “It was a gross invasion of their privacy. "They were unaware of it at the time. They are aware of it now and it must be absolutely devastating for them to know you have abused your position in that way, essentially to defile them and invade their privacy. It was manipulative and predatory.”

Warning issued about conwoman wearing pink fluffy dressing gown

Residents of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, are being scammed out of cash by a young woman wearing a dressing gown who claims to be locked out of her house. The conwoman, thought to be in her early 20s, has knocked on doors around the Walnut Tree area early in the morning. “I was totally taken in by her,” said one victim who ‘loaned’ her £45 cash to order a taxi and collect a spare key.

“She knocked on my door at about 8am wearing a pink fluffy dressing gown and Nike trainers. She was crying and seemed genuinely distressed, saying she’d just moved into the area and had accidentally locked herself out of her house while putting the rubbish out.” The sympathetic single mother allowed the woman to use her phone to call her parents, whom she claimed had a spare key.

There followed an elaborate scam during which the victim even spoke to the woman’s alleged father over the phone – and agreed to lend his daughter the money for a taxi to Toddington. “She said her mum worked at Toddington and had a key. The man claiming to be her dad said he was called Dave. He took my details and promised faithfully to transfer the money back to me that lunchtime,” said the victim. The conwoman went off in a taxi but minutes later the victim saw the taxi parked, minus its passenger, at the side of the road nearby.

The money failed to appear in her bank account as promised and and phone calls to ‘Dave’ went unanswered. When the number was called a male answered saying he knew nothing about the mystery girl. The victim reported the incident to police but said they could not help. “They told me it was not a crime because I’d handed the money over willingly,” she said. Three more people in the Walnut Tree area have come forward to say the same thing happened to them. The victims are now hoping police will investigate. “That £45 was my grocery money for the entire week. I’m furious,” said one. They are warning other people to be on the alert and call police if suspicious.

Taxi firm ordered to remove 'offensive' signs

A village taxi service whose initials form an expletive has been ordered to remove the signs from its car. The Port Isaac Shuttle Service has been told by Cornwall Council that the lettering "offends good taste".

Louise Houston, who runs the service in the village, said she may appeal. "I thought we could have a bit of fun with the name but the council doesn't agree," she said. The taxi service has been using the name for the last three years, but Ms Houston said she would now have to change it to Port Isaac Shuttle.

A council spokesman said the authority had not asked the service to change its name - only the signs which emphasise the company's bold initials. He said: "Following a complaint, our licensing team has asked the company to remove the advertising on the side of the vehicle that emphasises an offensive acronym."

But Ms Houston said: "I don't think it's offensive. We used to call it the shuttle bus but the council objected about calling it a bus. When we called it the shuttle service they've objected again. It's part of Port Isaac humour. There's another shop called May Contain Nuts, but they haven't objected to that."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Are we nearly there yet?

Elephant falls asleep after being sung a lullaby

Despite being all grown up now, Faamai the elephant still falls asleep every time she hears a lullaby sung by Lek at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand.

YouTube link.

Shots fired during alleged wheelbarrow heist

A man from Piercy, California, is being held in the Mendocino County jail for allegedly firing a shotgun outside a neighbour’s home during a wheelbarrow heist.

Bradley Nystrom, 46, was booked into the Mendocino County jail on Sunday on suspicion of robbery, carrying a loaded firearm in public and discharging a shotgun within 500 yards of an occupied dwelling, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

A woman and her 14-year-old daughter were inside their home in northern Mendocino County when the incident occurred. The woman told deputies she was preparing a meal at about 11:40am when she heard a gunshot. She said she looked outside and saw Nystrom standing in front of her house with a shotgun.

He took a wheelbarrow, fired another round and walked to his residence, the woman told deputies. Sheriff’s deputies, with assistance from the CHP, contacted Nystrom in front of his residence and arrested him without incident, officials said. He is being held on $155,000 bail.

Man faces up to 10 years in jail for allegedly changing road sign to say 'Drive Crazy Yall'

A man from Leander, Texas, is accused of changing an electronic highway message sign in Williamson County to say “Drive Crazy Yall.”

The incident happened on Sunday in the 5500 block of 183A-tollway’s southbound frontage road. Geoffrey Eltgroth, 26, was charged with criminal mischief (tampering with transportation communication equipment), a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

A resident flagged down an off-duty Williamson County sheriff’s deputy and told him that a man walking a dog had altered a warning about road construction on the electronic message board. It said the man “had typed ‘Drive Crazy Yall’” to display on the board.

The deputy found Eltgroth walking nearby and confronted him about changing the sign. Eltgroth allegedly “admitted to typing in a user name and password (which he guessed) for the sign and to deleting the message to warn traffic of upcoming construction and typing the different message because he believed it was humorous.” Eltgroth is being held in the Williamson County Jail with no bail set.

Five baby squirrels recovering after getting their tails tangled

It was a "yapping" noise that first caught the attention of Wayne Komoski and his wife. At first, the couple from the Charleswood suburb of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, thought they had stumbled upon a nest of baby squirrels, but when they looked closer, they realised what all the commotion was about. "They were trying to get apart, and they couldn't," Komoski said.

All five baby grey squirrels were tangled by their tails at the base of a tree, and a piece of black garbage bag was tightly wrapped around their tails. Komoski said he tried everything he could to safely separate the rodents without getting bitten. "They were sort of like, wanting to nip you," he said. Komoski first tried cutting the black plastic to free the rodents. "You had to be careful where you put the scissors, that's how tight it was," said Komoski.

"Then my wife got some cooking oil and tried to spray it on their tails so they would slide out, but it didn't work." Komoski then decided to take the animals to an expert. Using a towel, he managed to trap the five squirrels in a box. He then delivered the animals to the Pembina Veterinary Hospital, where they were separated. All five are now in the care of the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre where they are being fed and monitored, said the organisation's president Lisa Tretiak.

The squirrels likely got tangled while they were growing up in the nest, she said. The five squirrels will remain at rehabilitation centre for the next couple of weeks to ensure their tails are not permanently damaged. "We have to see how the blood flow is going to go through the tail," said Tretiak. Grey squirrels cannot survive without their tails as the rodents use them for balance and for warmth in the winter, said Tretiak. If they are healthy, all the animals will be released back into the wild.

Butcher says he meant no offence with 'bacon suicide bomber' sign

Butcher Jeff Rapley from Narooma in New South Wales, Australia, says he meant no offence with a sign meant to boost bacon sales.

Earlier this month Mr Rapley put up a sign in his shop window stating: “Eating two strips of Rapley’s award-winning bacon for breakfast reduces your chance of being a suicide bomber by 100%”.

A local resident who noticed the sign complained to the butcher and he removed it later that day and has not displayed it since. Mr Rapley said he did mean to cause any offence and no particular religion was mentioned.

He also noted that he does have a Muslim assistant working for him. “I’m definitely not a racist and didn’t mean for it to cause offence,” he said. On the plus side, his bacon sales have increased and he is almost out of stock.

Woman fined for carrying bag saying All Cats Are Beautiful

A woman has been fined by police for walking through Madrid in Spain while carrying a bag that declared "All Cats Are Beautiful". As Spanish graphic designer Belén Lobeto walked home on Sunday night she was pulled to one side by policemen and given an on the spot fine for the fashion article.

Despite the fact that the bag carried an image of a cat and the phrase "All Cats Are Beautiful" beneath the letters ACAB, the police insisted it was an acronym for the phrase "All Cops Are Bastards". She was therefore fined under the controversial Citizens Security Law, or Gag Law as it has been dubbed by its critics, for disrespecting the police.

The €100 fine was issued in a street near the Calderón stadium where there was a heavy police presence due to the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla. "I was going quietly to my house when suddenly two officers ran up to me and asked for my ID and said they would issue a fine because I was carrying this bag," Lobeto explained.

"I asked why and expressed doubt that my bag was attracting any attention much less causing a crime and told them they should take me in front of a judge to explain," she continued. Ms Lobeto said she tried to make the police see reason but "changing their mind was impossible and if I didn’t shut my mouth I would have been taken away".

Harsh but fair

Edward Hamilton-Russell from Bulmer in Suffolk recently wrote to The Telegraph, recounting an incident that happened while he was in the army in the late 1980's.

Naked woman casually strolled through town centre after leaving tanning salon

A woman emerged naked from a tanning salon in Newquay, Cornwall, and strolled through the town centre. The mystery woman was completely starkers as she waked along the street before getting into a car and driving off. Witnesses said the middle-aged blonde woman appeared completely calm as she walked through town just before midday on Sunday.

It is unclear why she decided to embark on her two minute nude walk after emerging from a tanning salon with just a towel under her arm. But Amy Martin, 36, of Newquay, who spotted her outside Burger King and took pictures, said she seemed oblivious to all the fuss she was creating. She said: "It was about 12 noon on Sunday and I was outside work when I saw this woman walk down the street.

"At first I thought she was wearing a flesh coloured wet suit but then I saw her bum. I could not believe it. She was just casually walking down the street with a towel under her arm, crossed the road, got into a yellow car and then drove off." Amy says she later spoke to the owner of a nearby tanning salon who revealed the woman had just been in there.

She added: "She was in her mid 40s I reckon and was walking down the road, like she had just done her shopping in Aldi. I could understand if it was a stag do or a man as you see that all the time in Newquay. But you don't usually see a middle-aged woman naked as a jaybird. I just could not believe it. The whole street stopped in shock. Everyone stopped still and were all looking. She just carried on and it was like she was oblivious to it all."

Hero paramedic saved farmer by hitting raging bull on the nose with a welly

A heroic paramedic armed with only a wellington boot managed to pacify a raging bull attempting to trample an injured farmer to death. Emergency medical technician Keith Harrison's brave actions have been praised by his colleagues who believe he saved them and the patient, who had a fractured neck and broken leg, from further injuries and potentially death at McCartneys livestock auctions in Worcester. Fellow paramedic Simon Edwards, who also attended the incident, said it was one of the most frightening ordeals of his 25-year career.

Despite all the praise, Mr Harrison, from Northwick, Worcester, who has been a paramedic for 34 years, is modest about his actions and said the main priority was getting the patient out safely. "Myself and my colleague Martin Sharpe got a call saying someone had fallen at the cattle market but when we got there we found the gentleman hadn't had a fall but a bull had gorged him and crushed him against a pen. It had injured him quite badly but he managed to roll away from the bull who was still in the pen. We carried on treating him, putting him on a spinal board and setting up drips but all the time we were aware this bull was becoming angrier and angrier and attempting to climb over the small, flimsy metal gate.

"Simon said we needed to do something and I think I had been watching the Discover Channel show which said in a shark attack you should hit the shark in the nose to get it off and I wondered if it would work on a bull. The only thing around was the welly we had taken off the farmer so I grabbed it and hit the bull on the nose. It seemed to have the desired effect and he backed down enough to get the man out to safety." While Mr Harrison said he was no hero and has been subjected to a bit of friendly "mickey-taking". But his colleague Mr Edwards believes his actions saved the farmer and them from death or injury. He said: "The bull was really kicking off, he wasn't happy and began charging and jumped on top of a flimsy gate. His head and chest were over and he was trying to get the farmer who was about a metre and a half away from him. It was a sheep pen and a bull's weight is all at the front of his body so the metal began to buckle.

"We knew if he got out, which looked likely, he would trample the farmer to death. I was shaking the gate trying to scare him back, the farmer's wife was shouting at the bull - nothing was working - then Keith took hold of the welly. He began waving the welly in front of the bull and whacked him on the nose, I honestly thought it would enrage the bull more. After a few whacks with the welly, the bull jumped off the wall and just retreated backwards. I've been a paramedic for 25 years and it was probably one of the scariest scenarios I have ever been in. The bull was so big and strong it would have killed the farmer and probably us if it wasn't for Keith's actions." The farmer is believed to have recovered from the injuries. Mr Harrison said it could have been disastrous if the bull had managed to clamber over the flimsy gate. "I didn't realise how large a bull was - it could have done some real damage. It wasn't funny at the time, particularly for the patient, and ultimately if he had got out we would have probably had to try and drag him away as far as we could."