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Update February 2019


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Odds & Ends  The Associated Press
 

Friday February 22, 2019 - February 28, 2019

Indiana town marshal rescues horse that got stuck in tree

 

(Courtesy of Daniel Ball via AP)

Winfield, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana town marshal wielding a chain saw rescued a horse that became wedged between two branches of a tree trunk amid subzero cold. Winfield Town Marshal Dan Ball says the horse somehow became stuck in the multi-trunked tree Wednesday morning in the town about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Gary. He told The (Northwest Indiana) Times that he feared the horse might die because it collapsed at one point and was growing weak with the temperature hovering near minus 20 degrees (minus 28 Celsius). But when a neighbor brought a chain saw to the scene, Ball braved the frigid conditions for 45 minutes to cut away branches until the horse was able to pull free. The horse then managed to walk back to its barn and eat breakfast.

 

House call turns into horse call for police in Minnesota

Inver Grove Heights, Minn. (AP) - Authorities say a suburban Minneapolis resident reported a strange intruder in her basement. It was a horse. Inver Grove Heights police arrived at the woman's home late Friday night to find a pale-colored horse walking through various rooms as officers watched through windows from the outside. Police Sgt. Adam Wiederhoeft says the investigation is ongoing and it isn't clear how the horse got into the house, but that the animal's owner came by to remove it. A message on the police department's Facebook page read: "No horses or officers were hurt in this incident and the horse was safely returned to the corral!"

 

Where’s the beef? NY woman resorts to baseball bat after patty not available

 

(New York City Police Department via AP)

New York (AP) - A woman who couldn't get a beef patty at a favorite New York eatery used a baseball bat in protest. On Saturday, police released surveillance video of the woman in action in the Bronx - smashing a restaurant's windows after learning the eatery had run out of her favorite food. Police say the woman at the Back Home restaurant in the Morrisania neighborhood came in on the afternoon of Jan. 15 and ordered a patty. She was told they'd run out, and she got upset. Authorities say she left and came back to the Jamaican restaurant with the bat. The video shows a woman bashing in two windows. She fled and police were still searching for her on Saturday. The video shows a woman dressed in a black and white jacket and matching sneakers, swinging a multi-colored aluminum bat as bystanders tried to stop her before she walked away. No one was injured during the incident. The Back Home restaurant in the Morrisania neighborhood is a simple, affordable spot that offers Jamaican specialties like curry goat and oxtail, drawing people from around the city.

 

Voters reject plan to name streets in German municipality

Berlin (AP) - Voters in a municipality in northwestern Germany have delivered a clear message: no street names, thanks. Official results from a referendum held on Sunday showed 60 percent of voters in Hilgermissen rejected the local council's plan to name the streets, while 40 percent supported the proposal. The proposed change was intended to make it easier for people - including police, emergency and delivery services - to find their way around the municipality of some 2,200 residents. Hilgermissen was formed in the 1970s out of several villages. Addresses currently consist of a house number and the name of a former village, a system that has become more unwieldy as new buildings are added. Three locals organized the referendum to oppose street names. Sunday's result is binding for two years.


February 15, 2019 - February 21, 2019

Swiss museum laments Facebook ban of images of naked statues

Geneva (AP) - A Geneva art museum says Facebook has banned using images of a nearly-naked Venus statue and a nude, kneeling man that it had hoped to post on the social media platform to promote an upcoming exhibit. The Museum of Art and History used Twitter to say it had wanted to promote the 3-1/2 month run of “Caesar and the Rhone” that opens Friday using the two images, but Facebook “prevented us from it, because of their nudity.” The museum put the images on Twitter on Friday with the French word for “censored” over their private parts, adding: “Maybe it’s time that this platform changes its policy for museums and cultural institutions?” Facebook didn’t immediately respond to an email from the Associated Press seeking comment.

‘It’s too cold!’ Mr. Hot Dog says no school in South Dakota

(Courtesy of Parker School District Superintendent Donavan DeBoer via AP)

Parker, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota school district is using a talking hot dog to announce closures due to the extreme cold. In a video posted to the Parker School District’s Facebook page, Mr. Hot Dog says: “I’m a hot dog! I need some heat! I’m not a cold dog! ... You cannot have school! It’s too cold outside.” Mr. Hot Dog - complete with eyes, teeth, a bun and mustard - says he spoke with Superintendent Donavan DeBoer and that school will be closed Wednesday. Mr. Hot Dog suggested students can instead watch Netflix or bake a cake, but “No Fortnite!” DeBoer told the Argus Leader that he created the video using Snapchat.

Taking tune from “The Office,” man helps save woman’s life

Tucson, Ariz. (AP) - A classic scene from a decade-old episode of “The Office” helped an Arizona mechanic save an unconscious woman’s life. The Arizona Daily Star reports that 21-year-old Cross Scott found a woman locked in her car this month and broke in, finding she wasn’t breathing. He doesn’t have any emergency training but thought of the show where Steve Carell’s character does CPR to the tune of the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive.” The song has the correct tempo for chest compressions. Within a minute, the woman was breathing, and she was taken to a hospital and later released. Scott, who shares the last name of Carell’s character Michael Scott, had help from two women who also stopped when they saw the car and called 911.

Who’s your daddy? Surprise in Swiss orangutan paternity test

(Zoo Basel via AP)

Berlin (AP) - A paternity test on a baby orangutan has come back with a surprising result. Basel Zoo in northwestern Switzerland said Thursday the test showed 5-month-old Padma wasn’t fathered by the male in her enclosure. Keepers routinely take DNA samples from newborn orangutans because the endangered great apes are part of a breeding program. Researchers at Basel University’s forensic laboratory compared Padma’s DNA to that of Budi, a 14-year-old male living in the same enclosure as the baby’s mother, Maja. They found it didn’t match Budi’s DNA. Instead, it matched 18-year-old orangutan Vendel, who lives in the next enclosure. It appears that for Maja and Vendel, the dominant male at Basel Zoo, the dividing fence was no obstacle to some monkey business.

Governors make unusual Super Bowl
bet on hometown teams

Boston (AP) - The governors of Massachusetts and California placed a friendly wager on the outcome of Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom say they and their staffs will volunteer time at a local charity if their home team loses. Baker says he’s looking forward to a California charity “reaping the benefits of yet another championship for New England.” Newsom responded that he’s confident the Rams will have Massachusetts residents “crying in their chowder.” Update: The Patriots won Super Bowl LIII.


February 8, 2019 - February 14, 2019

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Ice disk freezes out an attempt to hack peace sign into it

Westbrook, Maine (AP) – A giant disk of river ice has proved too much for a New Jersey attention-seeker who tried to carve a peace sign on it. Christopher Angelo, of Lavallette, New Jersey, went onto the ice Thursday with a hatchet, saying he wanted to transform the natural phenomenon into a spinning work of art. But he was unable to get the disk spinning – and his peace sign came up short, too. The massive disk appeared last month in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine, mesmerizing onlookers as its spun slowly before coming to a stop Tuesday. Stories, photos and videos have been shared widely. Police declined to intervene Thursday, saying it wasn’t a crime to hack at river ice. The Portland Press Herald reports Angelo has a history of staging public stunts.

 

Officials: Vandals hit New Mexico school with vegetable oil

Eunice, N.M. (AP) – A New Mexico high school was forced to delay classes after authorities say vandals slipped onto campus and poured vegetable oil throughout the hallways. The Hobbs News-Sun reports the slick attack at Eunice High School in Eunice, New Mexico, reportedly occurred late Sunday and forced custodial staff to race Monday morning to clean up the mess. Principal Tracy Davis says surveillance cameras captured six people wearing black clothing with hoodies and gloves pouring the vegetable oil on floors. Davis says the greasy attackers gained entrance through an unlocked classroom window. Officials alerted parents and students via social media that classes were delayed until staff removed the oil. No arrests have been made. Eunice is about 327 miles (526 kilometers) southeast of Albuquerque.

 

German man survives ride between 2 train cars at 125 mph

Berlin (AP) – Police say an intoxicated German man who ducked out of a train for a cigarette during a short stop got into trouble when he tried to jump back on board between two cars after the train departed without him. Police said Thursday the 33-year-old clung on to the coupling during frigid temperatures, screaming as the train headed toward Hamburg late Wednesday at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour (125 mph). Passengers heard the man’s cries and were able to trigger an emergency stop, allowing him to be brought inside. Authorities say he was handed over to them at the main station in Essen and was “unmistakably informed by the federal police about the mortal danger he had been in.” He’s under investigation for dangerous interference with rail traffic.

 

Idaho looks into loud cannon fire at governor’s inauguration

Boise, Idaho (AP) – Idaho National Guard’s commanding officer says he will look into 19 startlingly loud ceremonial canon blasts that were part of Gov. Brad Little’s inauguration. The canon fire on Jan. 4 set off car alarms in downtown Boise and scattered Canada geese into the air as smoke billowed around soldiers. Some of the several thousand people attending flinched in surprise. Republican Sen. Chuck Winder of Boise asked Friday during a committee meeting of state lawmakers why the cannon blasts seemed louder than normal. Idaho Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael J. Garshak says he’ll look into why the blasts were so loud. Garshak is responsible for maintaining the Idaho National Guard’s combat readiness as combat reserve for the Army and Airforce.

 

Police: Reporter who helped foil robbery finds missing woman

Shelby Township, Mich. (AP) – A reporter who helped police catch a robbery suspect last week followed up with another good deed by finding an 89-year-old suburban Detroit woman with dementia who had wandered away from home in sub-freezing temperatures. WWJ reporter Mike Campbell was covering Barbara Kasler’s disappearance when he spotted her Wednesday morning in her pajamas and slippers along a street in Shelby Township. Campbell took Kasler into his vehicle and cranked up the heat until police arrived. She was taken to a hospital for observation. Campbell says he was just “in the right place at the right time,” but police tweeted that “We owe you lunch!” Last week, Campbell helped police apprehend a man suspected of looting a fire-damaged shopping center in the Detroit suburb of Warren.


Friday February 1, 2019 - February 7, 2019

 Idaho woman has 50-pound tumor removed

Boise, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho woman who thought she was gaining weight because of menopause discovered she actually had a 50-pound tumor that had been growing inside her for decades. Boise television station KTVB reports Brenda Cridland of Meridian chalked up her weight gain to aging, but when her health started to quickly decline about eight months ago she decided to see a doctor. That’s when a CAT scan revealed she had an enormous tumor that had displaced her organs and was cutting off the blood supply to her brain. Cridland said she underwent two-and-a-half hours of surgery to remove the mass, which luckily was benign. Cridland says she lost 65 pounds in the process, and learned the tumor was caused by undiagnosed endometriosis. She says she ignored red flags about her health, and hopes her story will remind other women that they shouldn’t avoid seeing a doctor.

Commuter’s ‘delay scarf’ bought by German train company

(Sara Weber via AP)

Berlin (AP) - Germany’s biggest rail company, under fire for its unpunctual service, is trying to mollify one disgruntled commuter by buying her “delay scarf.” Deutsche Bahn, which on Thursday announced plans to hire 22,000 more staff, bought the hand-made scarf in an online auction for 7,550 euros ($8,600). The money is being donated to a charity for the homeless. According to her daughter, Sara Weber, the Munich commuter had knitted the grey, pink and red scarf last year, with each color reflecting the amount of time her journey had been delayed. Weber’s social media post about the scarf drew widespread attention this month, reflecting Deutsche Bahn customers’ frustration at the company’s persistent delays. Less than three quarters of Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance trains arrived on time last year, debunking cultural assumptions about German punctuality.

Restaurant sign approved
after concerns it was offensive

Keene, N.H. (AP) - Officials in a New Hampshire city have approved a restaurant sign that initially was removed over concerns that it sounded like profanity. The name of the Vietnamese restaurant in a public building next to City Hall in Keene is a play on words. It calls itself by the name of a soup, which is spelled P-H-O, but is pronounced “fuh,” followed by the words “Keene Great.” It’s scheduled to open March 1. City Manager Elizabeth Dragon said in an email the sign was approved Friday and is in compliance. She said no one had submitted written permission to put up any sign until Jan. 4. Dragon said officials decided to let the community “decide what they think of the sign and how they interpret it.”

Pastor predicted score
in Patriots’ AFC championship win

Skowhegan, Maine (AP) - A Maine pastor who publicly predicted the final score of Sunday night’s AFC championship game isn’t claiming divine intervention. But he’s confident the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl as well. The Rev. Mark Tanner asked his secretary Friday to post a message on the sign outside the Skowhegan Federated Church: “God doesn’t have a favorite team but the pastor does!! Patriots 37. Chiefs 31.” On Sunday, that was the exact outcome when the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs to win another spot in the Super Bowl. Tanner told the Morning Sentinel Monday he is predicting a Patriots’ Super Bowl win Feb. 3, but he’s not revealing the score. Yet.

Silicon Valley landlord rents
$1,500 studio to 2 cats

San Jose, Calif. (AP) - Two cats are living large at a $1,500-a-month studio apartment their owner rents for them in Silicon Valley, where a housing shortage has sent rents skyrocketing. The Mercury News reports the 20-pound (9-kilogram) cats named Tina and Louise moved to the studio in San Jose after their owner moved away to college. The student’s father, Troy Good, was unable to keep them and asked friend David Callisch to rent him the kitchen-less studio so he could keep his daughter’s beloved cats. The newspaper reports Good and his cats got a decent deal because an average studio apartment in San Jose rents for $1,951 a month, according to RentCafe. Callisch says he feels bad wasting valuable living space on animals during a housing shortage, but he wanted to help a friend.
 


UPDATE

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Friday February 22, 2019 - February 28, 2019

February 15, 2019 - February 21, 2019

February 8, 2019 - February 14, 2019

Friday February 1, 2019 - February 7, 2019