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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Update April 2018


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Odds & Ends  The Associated Press
 

April 21, 2018 - April 27, 2018

Canadian teen wins $1K a week
for life on 1st lottery ticket

Quebec City (AP) - A Canadian teenager who purchased her first lottery ticket to celebrate her 18th birthday hit the jackpot and will receive $1,000 Canadian a week for the rest of her life. Charlie Lagarde was celebrating with a bottle of champagne and a $4 scratch-off ticket earlier this month when she hit the grand prize in the Gagnant a Vie lottery. The prize would be worth just over $775 per week in American dollars. She was joined by family and friends when she collected the first payment on Monday. She told lottery officials that she hopes to study photography.

Carnival Cruise trades cruise
for teen’s Snapchat handle

Prospect, Va. (AP) - Carnival Cruise rolled into a small Virginia town this week on the hunt for a local teen and his coveted Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise. The company surprised 15-year-old Darian Lipscomb at his Prospect, Virginia, home Tuesday night after peppering the town with signs asking “Hey Prospect, does anyone know Darian?” The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the company offered to trade Lipscomb a free trip for his family aboard its newest ship, Carnival Horizon, in exchange for his Snapchat handle. The net worth of the trip is about $5,000. Organizers say Lipscomb will receive customized surprises throughout the trip, which will be documented on the cruise’s social channels. The Dispatch reports the company said the trade was a fun way to claim the handle and reward a ‘superfan.’

Test reveals why female lion in Oklahoma zoo sprouted a mane

(Amanda Sorenson/Oklahoma City Zoo via AP)

Oklahoma City (AP) - Lab results have revealed the answer to a mystery at an Oklahoma zoo: Just what caused a female lion to sprout a mane. The Oklahoma City Zoo says in its March newsletter that testing at the University of Tennessee found the African lioness named Bridget has an elevated level of androstenedione, a hormone that can contribute to developing male features. Veterinarians compared Bridget’s blood to samples from her sister, who has no mane. Bridget’s blood also contained a higher level of cortisol, which regulates metabolism and the immune system. The zoo says the results likely mean the 18-year-old lioness has a benign tumor that’s producing the hormones, but that her health is excellent. The zoo says female lions with manes are not unheard of, but they are rare.

House ransacked after being
mistaken for site of estate sale

Longmont, Colo. (AP) - A Colorado woman says her house was ransacked by people who mistakenly thought it was the site of an estate sale. The Daily Camera reports Mary Andrews says she left her Longmont home unlocked and came back Friday morning to find people taking items from her house. Longmont police told Andrews it was a “very, very bad misunderstanding.” Andrews says a house just a few doors down was having an estate sale, and somehow someone got into her house and began spreading the rumor that an estate sale was going on there and that everything was free. Despite the mix-up, Andrews says people should have found something odd about an estate sale where everything was being given away at no cost. Police say they have closed the case because they do not have any suspect leads. Longmont is about an hour north of Denver.

Cat-and-mouse game: Mountain
lion roams California backyards

Azusa, Calif. (AP) - A mountain lion roamed through backyards in a neighborhood outside Los Angeles before wildlife officers tranquilized it. The lion was spotted Monday morning in the eastern Los Angeles County community of Azusa, near the San Gabriel Mountains wilderness. TV news helicopters showed it pawing at the door of a home and jumping onto the roof of a shed, then leaping over a fence. Azusa police contained the big cat until wildlife officers arrived and used social media to warn residents to stay indoors. After being tranquilized, the sleeping lion was loaded onto a pickup truck to be moved out of the neighborhood.

(KABC-7 via AP)


April 14, 2018 - April 20, 2018

(Julien’s Auctions via AP)

Naked Donald Trump statue going
up for auction

Jersey City, N.J. (AP) - A statue of a naked Donald Trump is going on the auction block. Julien’s Auction says the sculpture is the last statue remaining that was not vandalized or destroyed when it was displayed along with others in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Cleveland in the weeks before the Republican was elected president. The auction house estimates the statue, which was created by the West Coast anarchist collective INDECLINE, will sell for $20,000 to $30,000. The auction will take place on May 2 at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Police: Woman made lewd
comments to Easter Bunny

Mansfield, Ohio (AP) - Police say an Ohio woman has been arrested for making lewd comments to an Easter Bunny. Authorities say they were called to Richland Carrousel Park in Mansfield on Saturday after the woman made the comments while taking a picture with the Easter Bunny. Police report she began to ride the carousel after making the comments. Arriving officers reported the 54-year-old appeared to be intoxicated, with slurred speech and unsteadiness on her feet. The woman was arrested for drunkenness and transported to the county jail in Mansfield, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Columbus. Authorities say she was issued a summons to appear in court and has since been released from jail.

Help wanted: Nudist campground
searching for a lifeguard

Foster, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island nudist campground is looking for a lifeguard, and the uniform is cheap: nothing. The Providence Journal reports Dyer Woods Nudist Campgrounds’ help wanted notice for a lifeguard this summer says qualified candidates must have “excellent communication skills” and the ability to “work as part of a team.” Campground president Jim Johnson says the lifeguard can wear a swimsuit but it’s not necessary. The campground offers swimming, hiking, volleyball and a sauna for people who aren’t afraid to bare it all. Johnson says there’s “really no difference” between the Dyer Woods camp in Foster and a regular campground. He says “it’s a family campground and people just show up to relax.” Johnson says once people try going au naturel in nature they’ll “fall in love with it.”

Jersey man joins internet gambling,
wins $194K on 1st spin

Atlantic City, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man who signed up for internet gambling has won nearly $194,000 on his very first spin of an online slots game. Anibal Lopes, of Woodbridge, said he was bored after work Monday night, so he created an account on the playsugarhouse.com website on his smartphone. Choosing a slots game called Divine Fortune, the 33-year-old won its Mega Jackpot on his very first spin. “I thought, ‘This is not happening’,” he said. “I couldn’t believe I won that much money. I told my wife: ‘I don’t feel well. My legs are shaking.’ She said, ‘We need to get you to the emergency room.’ I told her, ‘No, I’m not sick; I just won close to $194,000!’” The progressive jackpot had been building since it was last hit in September. The website, run by Rush Street Interactive, is affiliated with Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino. Lopes said he played other gambling sites in New Jersey sporadically since online wagering became legal in 2013, but stopped for a number of years. The construction company superintendent plans to use the money to pay bills, repair his house, and set up a savings account for his 6-year-old son. He usually visits Atlantic City about six times a year, but now says he prefers the convenience of gambling from his phone without having to make the four-hour round trip from his home.


Update April 7, 2018 - April 13, 2018

(Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience via AP)

Gone extinct: Animatronic
T-Rex bursts into flames

Canon City, Colo. (AP) - The co-owner of a dinosaur-themed park in southern Colorado thinks an electrical malfunction caused a life-size animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex to burst into flames. Zach Reynolds says the T-Rex at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience smoldered for about 10 minutes before it caught fire Thursday morning. Visitors watched as the inferno spread through the dinosaur, which appeared at times to be breathing flames. Reynolds joked, “We knew he had a temper, but today he blew his top.” The 24-foot-tall (7-meter-tall) T-Rex, which moved and made sounds, was one of 16 dinosaurs that line the park’s Wild Walk exhibit. Reynolds says it was a total loss but at least “it made for some spectacular imagery along the way.” He hopes to have a replacement T-Rex installed by the summer.

Romanian court says dead man
can get driving license back

Bucharest, Romania (AP) - Days after one Romanian court told a man he was officially dead despite evidence to the contrary, another court has declared that a man who was truly dead could get his driving license back. A court in the northern city of Iasi on Thursday confirmed that Valerian Vasiliu should have his license returned and be reimbursed a fine he paid for speeding. Vasiliu was fined and temporarily lost his license in March 2017, but appealed the punishment in court and won an interim ruling. He died in October, before the ruling was final. Police still appealed, but this month lost their appeal. Local lawyer Gianina Porosnicu, a traffic law specialist, told the Mediafax agency that “cases like this may seem odd or even sinister,” and blamed “a legal void.” In an almost opposite situation last week, a Romanian man who had been officially declared dead lost his bid to have his death certificate canceled. Constantin Reliu, a 63-year-old cook, returned from Turkey in January and found out that his wife had declared him dead. Reliu tried to get his death certificate overturned in court, but his appeal was rejected because his request was filed “too late.”

Lottery changes ‘Luck Yeah!’
campaign over profanity concern

Concord, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has replaced its “Luck Yeah!” ad campaign with “Win Time” over concerns that the original phrase sounded like profanity. WMUR-TV reports at least one state official, Republican Executive Councilor Russell Prescott, criticized the phrase last month after it started showing up online and in television commercials. But Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre defended the ads. He had said that the word “luck” is an inherent part of the business. He apologized if it was insensitive. But he added, “certainly it is effective.” McIntyre had said Prescott’s complaint was the first he had heard, but noted that the ad was designed to make viewers pay attention. Information from: WMUR-TV, http://wmur.com

Sheriff’s officer accuses
Punxsutawney Phil of deception

Stroudsburg, Pa. (AP) - Punxsutawney Phil is a wanted ... groundhog. A Pennsylvania sheriff’s officer has put up a wanted poster for Phil. The handlers of the groundhog last month said the furry rodent called for six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says that expired last week, yet a spring storm brought more snow to the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. Cpl. Scott Martin tells WBRE-TV he created the poster and placed it on the “wanted wall” because he is sick of snow in the spring. The poster claims Phil is wanted for deception. Phil is described as having “brown and grey hair, brown eyes, sharp teeth.” Records dating to 1887 show Phil has predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times.


March 31, 2018 - April 6, 2018

Gold spills on Russian runway after plane door glitch

Moscow (AP) - Russian news reports say the hatch of a cargo plane carrying precious metals accidentally flew open upon takeoff - scattering at least 3 tons of gold on the runway. An investigation is underway after the incident Thursday at the airport in the far east city of Yakutsk, according to the Tass news agency. An An-12 plane operated by the airline Nimbus took off for Krasnoyarsk carrying 9.3 tons of gold and other precious metals, according to a statement from the state Investigative Committee quoted by Tass. Damage to a door handle caused it to fly open and spill some of the metal. Authorities recovered 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tons, Tass quoted Interior Ministry officials as saying. No one was hurt in the incident. Images circulating on social media showed gold bars scattered across a runway.

Maine resident Jesus Christ sends
letter to Oprah Winfrey

Waterboro, Maine (AP) - A letter from Jesus Christ might be the affirmation Oprah Winfrey needs to run for the presidency. WGME-TV reports an 83-year-old Maine woman who changed her name to Jesus Christ says she began a letter writing campaign 50 years ago to spread a message of faith and peace. Christ says she sent the letter to Winfrey because she likes her but had no idea it would get so much attention. Gayle King, one of the hosts of “CBS This Morning,” posted about the letter to Winfrey on Instagram on Wednesday, asking if it was the sign her best friend was looking for. Winfrey said on “60 Minutes” that if God wanted her to run for president “wouldn’t God kinda tell me?” Christ says she didn’t know there was speculation about Winfrey, but she’d vote for her.

Sheriff legally used inmate food
funds for beach house

Gadsden, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama sheriff legally used more than $750,000 of funds meant to feed inmates to purchase a beach house. Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin told The Birmingham News he follows a state law passed before World War II that allows sheriffs to keep “excess” inmate-feeding funds for themselves. Entrekin reported on state ethics forms that he made “more than $250,000” each of the past three years through the funds. The sheriff’s annual salary is more than $93,000. He and his wife purchased a four-bedroom house with an in-ground pool and canal access in September for $740,000. Entrekin got a $592,000 mortgage. The home is one of several properties with a total assessed value of more than $1.7 million that the couple own together or separately.

Rhode Island lawmaker withdraws
proposed outhouse ban bill

Providence, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island lawmaker who introduced a bill that would ban outhouses in the state says he is withdrawing the legislation. Republican Rep. Justin Price said Wednesday he is pulling the measure ahead of a scheduled State house hearing. Price says the issue should be addressed by local municipalities, not the state. The bill would have required any outhouse existing as of Jan. 1, 2019, to be “abandoned, filled up and destroyed” within one year. Price previously said the bill was inspired by a dispute between Warwick residents and their former neighbor who lived within sniffing distance of the family’s outhouse. Those who refused to comply could have faced up to a $1,000 fine.

Gorilla at Philadelphia Zoo takes
stand against dirty hands

Philadelphia (AP) - A male gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo is taking a stand against dirty hands by opting to walk on two legs. Apparently, 18-year-old Louis is a clean freak. When Louis has his hands full of tomatoes or other snacks, he walks upright like a human to keep food and hands clean, rather than the typical gorilla stance of leaning forward on his knuckles. Michael Stern, curator of primates and small mammals, says workers had to install a fire hose over a mud puddle in the yard. The nearly 500-pound, 6-foot-tall primate crosses it like a tight rope to avoid getting dirty. Stern says it’s “pretty unusual” for gorillas to walk around upright. In the wild, Western lowland gorillas like Louis might do it for a few seconds to reach food or wade into swamps.
 


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April 21, 2018 - April 27, 2018

April 14, 2018 - April 20, 2018

April 7, 2018 - April 13, 2018

March 31, 2018 - April 6, 2018


 



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