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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Odds & Ends  The Associated Press
 

October 27, 2018 - November 2, 2018

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Inflatable sea monster takes over a rusting warehouse

Philadelphia (AP) - A giant sea monster has taken over a building at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, but only temporarily. The inflatable sculpture titled “Sea Monsters HERE” is at a rusting warehouse called Building 611. It features huge purple tentacles bursting out of windows and reaching from the rooftop. The 40-foot-long creations sway in the breeze, creating the sense of a huge living creature. It was created by U.K.-based artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas. They were invited to install the work as part of a collaborative project between Group X, a collection of local artists and organizers, and the Navy Yard. It’s on view until Nov. 16. Once the nation’s first shipyard, the Navy Yard is now a waterfront business campus home to 165 companies.

Proposal on Colorado peak leads to
couple’s altitude issues

Boulder, Colo. (AP) - A Texas man found a scenic location in the Colorado Mountains to propose to his girlfriend, but the couple ran into trouble on the way down. The Boulder County sheriff’s office says 27-year-old Joshua Mason of Denton, Texas, took 28-year-old Katie Davis on a hike Saturday to Jasper Peak at an elevation of nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). They got lost as darkness fell. The couple were showing signs of altitude sickness and dehydration when a hiker found them. He led them to his camp and gave them food, water and a place to warm up. Another camper called for help. Rescuers reached the camp early Sunday and walked the couple to their car. They didn’t require medical treatment. Sgt. Clay Leak says deputies learned the engagement was still on.

Sexual history survey sent to
fifth-graders draws complaints

Windsor, Vt. (AP) - A survey that asked fifth-grade students in Vermont about their sexual history, preference and gender identity has drawn complaints from parents. The survey sent to Windsor Elementary School students was conducted by WISE, a nonprofit domestic violence prevention and advocacy group, WPTZ-TV reported. A notice was sent to parents allowing them to opt their children out of the survey, but parent Vanessa Beach said she never received it. While she doesn’t oppose topics on gender identity and sexuality being discussed, Beach said she feels the survey questions were inappropriate for her daughter’s age group. “My daughter is 10. So are all the other kids who took this,” Beach said. “A sexual partner at 10 years old would be called sexual abuse.” A WISE representative said the survey questions were created with University of New Hampshire researchers with whom the group is sharing the collected data. Beach said she told the school and WISE about her concerns. School administrators and WISE officials said they are working to address parents’ complaints. Students are told that they are not required to take the test and can choose not to, a WISE official said. Beach said she appreciates other work WISE does to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Walk on the wild side:
Dutch jogger runs into lion cub

The Hague, Netherlands (AP) - A jogger’s run through the Dutch countryside turned into a walk on the wild side when he discovered a lion cub in a field. Police say the young cub was found Sunday in a cage dumped in a field near Tienhoven between the central cities of Utrecht and Hilversum. Police have taken to Twitter to appeal for help in tracing the animal’s owner, while the young cub, a male believed to be about five months old, is being cared for by a foundation that looks after big cats. The foundation said on its Facebook page that the cub “is very tired from the hectic events” and is in quarantine. It adds that the cub is drinking water and already feeling at ease in its new surroundings.


October 13, 2018 - October 19, 2018

(Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Man arrested for chasing after plane at Dublin Airport

London (AP) - An Irish man who missed his flight at Dublin Airport was arrested for running after the plane on the tarmac in a bid to flag it down. Witnesses said a man in his 20s broke through an airport door and ran toward the Ryanair plane, which was about to take off for Amsterdam, at around 7 a.m. Declan Harvey, who was at the airport, said he could hear a man shouting “Wait!” at the plane before he was tackled to the ground by airport workers. The airport said that a man became “agitated” after he and a woman arrived at the gate too late for their flight. It said the man “broke through a door and made his way onto the apron, trying to flag the aircraft down.” He was briefly restrained by Ryanair staff until airport police arrived. He was handed over to Irish police and taken to a Dublin police station. Patrick Kehoe, 23, later appeared in a Dublin court charged with criminal damage to a door lock. He was granted bail until a court appearance in November. As he left court, Kehoe shouted abuse and insults at journalists and swung at them with his suitcase, before lowering his trousers and mooning bystanders.

Boo! A Halloween display so scary that neighbor calls 911

West Fargo, N.D. (AP) - A Halloween decoration hanging in the window of a North Dakota home is so scary that it prompted calls from concerned neighbors and at least one plea for police assistance. The sign reading “Help Me,” which appears to be written in blood, is part of Becky Muhs’ display for her favorite holiday at her West Fargo home. WDAY-TV reports that Muhs and her husband began getting messages from neighbors over the weekend asking if they were OK, and one neighbor even dialed 911, leading to a visit from a police officer. Muhs says the incident ended in a laugh and that the officer didn’t ask her to take the sign down.

Mountain lion visits Colorado motel
but doesn’t stay long

Boulder, Colo. (AP) - A mountain lion has been caught on surveillance camera dashing to the doorstep of a Colorado motel office, venturing toward the open doorway and then wandering away. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Jason Clay says nobody was hurt in the Sept. 9 encounter. The Boulder Daily Camera reported Tuesday the lion approached the Foot of the Mountain Motel on Boulder’s west side. Just after entering the camera’s view, the lion pauses, as if startled. Clay says that was when the lion spotted motel guests with a dog on a leash. Clay says the guests and their dog returned to their room and there was no trouble. In August, a mountain lion entered a Boulder home and killed a house cat, and another was tranquilized and relocated from under a porch.

Suspicious item turns out to be
science experiment

Platte City, Mo. (AP) - Police officers spent two hours investigating a suspicious plastic container found behind a Missouri sandwich shop before determining it was a high school science experiment. KMBC-TV reports that police were summoned Tuesday to a Jimmy John’s in Platte City on the northern edge of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The plastic container they encountered was filled with blue fluid attached to other items. Officers eventually determined it was an experiment meant to demonstrate how hydrogen can be used as power. The student who built the project demonstrated it to friends inside the Jimmy John’s then left it behind the store so other friends could see it. But a worker at a nearby convenience store spotted the gadget and called 911. No charges are expected.


October 6, 2018 - October 12, 2018

$18M worth of cocaine found
in bananas given to Texas prison

Houston (AP) - Authorities say bananas donated to a Texas prison turned out to have nearly $18 million worth of cocaine hidden inside the boxes. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says in a Facebook post that the drugs were found in two pallets of bananas that were donated because they were already ripe. The donation arrived Friday. The department says sergeants who picked up the boxes found a bundle of a white powdery substance under the bananas. U.S. customs officials were called to the scene, and authorities say 540 packages of cocaine were found in 45 boxes of bananas. The department says federal officials and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are investigating.

Dense swarm of bats causes
flap at Vienna airport

Berlin (AP) - Birds are a well-known hazard for airport operators, but Vienna airport officials have had to deal with different winged intruders: a swarm of bats. Airport spokesman Peter Kleemann told the Austria Press Agency on Monday that the dense swarm of bats descended on one runway for about 45 minutes Wednesday evening. As a safety precaution, another runway was used for takeoffs and landings, affecting four flights and causing a few slight delays. Airport firefighters saw off the mammals by spraying a fine mist of water over the runway. Kleemann said Vienna airport hasn’t previously experienced a similar incident, and officials are looking into causes. He said that there was no risk to passengers. He was confirming a report in the Heute newspaper on the incident.

Walk into my parlor: Greek spiders spin giant web over shore

Athens, Greece (AP) - It’s not quite the World Wide Web - but the spiders of Aitoliko in Greece have made a good start. Spurred into overdrive by an explosion in the populations of insects they eat, thousands of little spiders in the western Greek town have shrouded coastal trees, bushes and low vegetation in thick webs. The sticky white lines extend for a few hundred meters along the shoreline of Aitoliko, built on an artificial island in a salt lagoon near Missolonghi, 250 kilometers west of Athens. Experts told local media that the numbers of lake flies, a non-biting midge, have rocketed amid humid late summer conditions. Spiders, which fancy the flies, reproduced fast to take full advantage of the feast. Residents say the extensive spider webs have another benefit: keeping down mosquitoes.

(Giannis Giannakopoulos via AP)

Flyers introduce odd-looking mascot,
soak in the comments

Philadelphia (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers have introduced an odd-looking new team mascot - a 7-foot fuzzy creature named Gritty with a wild, orange beard. The character’s debut triggered an outpouring of comments online, including “Good luck sleeping tonight, Flyers fans” and comparisons to ZZ Top and the Muppets. Twitter users created memes with Gritty taking the place of horror-movie villains and splicing his head onto other disturbing images. The cross-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins tweeted, “lol ok” - to which Gritty responded, “Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird.” The reaction seemed to be exactly what the Flyers were going for. Gritty’s final tweet of the day included the message, “Goodnight, internet,” and a photo of the crazed-looking mascot squeezing what looked to be Champagne out of a squirt bottle.

 

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

 


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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

October 27, 2018 - November 2, 2018

October 13, 2018 - October 19, 2018

October 6, 2018 - October 12, 2018