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Update November 2017

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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
Odds & Ends  The Associated Press

Update Saturday, Nov. 25 - Dec. 1, 2017

New Jersey diner adding gratuities to kids’ bills

Wayne, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey diner is adding an 18 percent gratuity to the bills of children who go there without their parents. Melissa Desch tells WCBS-TV she and her family have been eating at the Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant for years and she was surprised when her 11-year-old daughter sent her a photo showing a 90-cent tip was unknowingly added to her milkshake bill. Desch doesn’t think it’s fair to treat minors different than adults. The diner’s lawyer says kids have been showing up in groups of 20 or 30, staying for an hour or two and most don’t leave a tip. He says it’s not fair to the waiters and waitresses. He also says the menu clearly states “management reserves the right to add 18 percent gratuity.”

Prankster tosses yellow dye into Lincoln Center’s fountain

New York (AP) - A prankster has thrown yellow dye into the fountain at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Photos posted on social media Saturday show lemon-yellow water gushing from the fountain, which sits in front of the Metropolitan Opera and is a popular tourist attraction that has been featured in movies including “Moonstruck” and “Ghostbusters.” The Daily News reports the fountain was turned off after suddenly changing color Saturday afternoon. A Lincoln Center spokeswoman says security notified the police, who are looking for the prankster. She says the fountain is being cleaned.

‘Real-life Iron Man,’ Harlem Globetrotter set Guinness marks

(Tim Ireland/PA via AP)

New York (AP) - A British inventor billed as a real-life version of the superhero Iron Man has hit the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit at 32 mph (51 kph), a Guinness world record. The record keeper announced the feat as part of its annual Guinness World Records day. Other marks announced included a Swedish baker’s record for the world’s largest vegan cake, which weighed in at more than 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms). Harlem Globetrotter Thunder Law successfully made a basket Sunday on a 50-foot high hoop for a new mark. It’s the 17th mark accomplished by the Globetrotters, and Law’s fourth individual record. Guinness says more than 600,000 people attempted to set records as part of the event.

Official: Town leader tried to bury his defunct auto garage

Sheridan, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a western New York town official has been cited for trying to bury his defunct auto repair garage in a hole. WIVB-TV reports that Louis Delmonte’s business in the Chautauqua (shuh-TAW’-kwuh) County town of Sheridan had been in rundown condition for years. So he borrowed a friend’s excavator and dug a large hole next to the building. The state Department of Environmental Conservation says Delmonte tore down half of the building and dumped debris in the hole before the agency received a complaint about the work. Delmonte was told he was illegally disposing of the building because the asbestos abatement required for all commercial demolitions wasn’t completed. Delmonte, who serves as the town supervisor, says he had received a permit to demolish and bury the building on site from a code enforcement officer.

Man drops cocaine in his hat while
in court on a drug charge

Eagle, Colo. (AP) - Authorities say a man who was in a Colorado court for violating his bond on a drug charge is in even more trouble after a wad of cocaine fell from his hat while he was in front of the judge. The Vail Daily reported Wednesday that 43-year-old Juan Jose Vidrio Bibriesca was standing next to two other defendants at an Eagle County District Court podium when he took his hat off and a square of folded paper fell out. A police officer watched the paper filled with cocaine fall to the floor, and after reviewing surveillance footage, authorities determined it fell from Bibriesca’s hat. Bibriesca was then walked to the county jail. He was charged with narcotics possession and another bond violation. Booking documents don’t indicate if he has hired an attorney.

Update Saturday, Nov. 18 - Nov. 24, 2017

Lawsuit: Couple’s $2M condo had urine, food in the walls

Weehawken, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey couple is suing a construction company after they say they found bottles of urine, rodents and rotten food inside the walls of their newly purchased $2 million luxury condominium. reports the couple’s holding company, Shiloh Holding, filed the suit last week after they said they discovered the urine and food during renovations at the luxury unit in Weehawken. They are also alleging the property’s windows were fraudulently advertised as hurricane-proof. A company representative says the firm doesn’t comment on pending litigation. The couple’s attorney says they are seeking up to $6 million in damages.

Fishy story: Headless 400-pound tuna found in woods

Gloucester, Mass. (AP) - Spotting a 400-pound tuna in the Massachusetts seaport of Gloucester, known as America’s oldest seaport, is not unusual. But finding a headless tuna in the woods is a bit odd. State Environmental Police and federal fisheries regulators are trying to figure out who dumped the headless fish, which had to be hauled out of the trees by a tow truck. Authorities won’t say exactly when the tuna was found or who tipped them off. But Ally Rogers, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement, tells the Gloucester Daily Times that the fish was illegally harvested. The tuna season runs from early June to November. Maj. Patrick Moran of the Environmental Police says he’s never before had to investigate a tuna in the woods.

Men seeking medical pot bombard gynecologist’s office

Altoona, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania gynecologist says she has been inundated with calls from men trying to set up appointments after hearing she was permitted to prescribe medical marijuana. Dr. Liang Bartkowiak tells the Altoona Mirror she was mentioned in the media as being eligible to certify medical marijuana users, and then her office phone started ringing off the hook. It was primarily men on the line. Bartkowiak tells the newspaper she was shocked, since she’s an OB-GYN who treats women exclusively. A 2016 state law gives people under a doctor’s care access to medical marijuana if they suffer from an illness on a list of 17 qualifying conditions. The law permits pills, oils, vapor or liquid marijuana, but not marijuana in plant form. Doctors must certify the illness and patients must obtain an identification card from the Health Department.

DC bar offers $5 ‘Moscow Mueller’ drinks for indictments

Washington (AP) - A Washington restaurant is offering a special $5 “Moscow Mueller” drink every time special counsel Robert Mueller indicts an associate of President Donald Trump. The Bird DC promoted the offer on Twitter Wednesday and added the hashtag “#muellertime.” The drink’s name is a play on the popular Moscow Mule, a beverage made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. Mueller is investigating potential links between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign. In August, The Bird DC announced all happy hour drinks would be $4 any time Trump fires a White House official.

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Addled in the saddle? Woman charged with DUI on horseback

Lakeland, Fla. (AP) - A 53-year-old woman riding a horse down a busy Florida highway has been arrested and charged with driving drunk. Polk County Sheriff’s officials said in a news release that someone called 911 about a woman who appeared confused and possibly in danger. When deputies arrived they found Donna Byrne riding her horse in the road. Officers did a sobriety test and said she gave breath samples that registered blood-alcohol level of .161 - twice Florida’s legal limit of .08. Byrne is charged with DUI and animal neglect for endangering and failing to provide proper protection for the horse. Deputies took the horse to the Polk County Sheriff’s Animal Control livestock facility. She was booked into the Polk County Jail. Jail records did not list an attorney for her.

Update Saturday, Nov. 11 - Nov. 17, 2017

(Jan Somma-Hammel /Staten Island Advance via AP)

NYC water main breaks, sending geyser blasting onto house

New York (AP) - Public works crews have repaired a broken water main that caused a geyser to erupt from the ground in front of a New York City home. The owner of the home in Staten Island’s Todt Hill section told the Staten Island Advance that a powerful stream of water began pounding the front of the house Wednesday morning, breaking several windows. The front lawn caved in and water from the broken pipe shot 15 to 20 feet into the air directly toward the house. The geyser eventually subsided but water continued to pour out of the hole as emergency crews arrived on the scene. About two dozen homes in the neighborhood were without water. The office of borough President James Oddo said the repairs were completed by early Thursday morning.

2 cows, 2 cars, 2 crashes minutes
apart in Maine

Auburn, Maine (AP) - A pair of cows is responsible for a pair of car crashes last week in Maine. Police say one driver who crashed into a black Angus cow was on the phone with 911 at the same time there was a second car crash with a second black Angus cow about 200 yards (183 meters) away. The Sun Journal reports that it happened early Wednesday in Auburn. According to police reports, the cows apparently wandered away from a farm. Neither driver was seriously injured, but both cows were euthanized. The driver involved in the first crash says there would have been enough meat to fill his freezer. But neither driver was allowed to keep the meat.

Facebook bug puts Pittsburgh users
in Philadelphia for a day

Pittsburgh (AP) - Facebook users in Pittsburgh and other western and central Pennsylvania locations have found themselves transplanted to Philadelphia for a day. A glitch on the social media site caused Pittsburghers and others to receive Facebook notifications welcoming them to the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday. Facebook says a “bug” with the site’s location services application caused the problem and was fixed later Wednesday.

Student’s yearbook photo rejected
because he’s holding gun

Standish, Maine (AP) - A Maine high school has rejected a student’s submitted yearbook photo because it shows him holding a shotgun. Bonny Eagle High School senior Wade Gelinas says he wanted his picture to feature hunting because it is a family tradition. Principal Lori Napolitano tells WCSH-TV the school in Standish does not allow weapons in yearbook photos because administrators don’t want to be forced to decide which images are promoting violence and which aren’t. The photographer says she thought there was “no way” Gelinas would be allowed to use it. Gelinas says he will submit a different photo but hopes the school will change its policy.

KFC Twitter follows 11 Herbs
and Spices, intrigues internet

Louisville, Ky. (AP) - A Twitter user has earned kudos online for discovering a subtle message on KFC’s account. The KFC account follows just 11 users; five of them are former members of the Spice Girls and the other six are men named Herb, including Green Bay Packers cornerback Herb Waters and music legend Herb Alpert. It adds up to 11 herbs and spices, part of the famous secret recipe KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders touted for his fried chicken. The connection was noticed on Twitter by a user who goes by “Edge.” His tweet about it has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on the platform. KFC tells The Associated Press it has been following the 11 Herbs and Spices for about a month.

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Update Saturday, Nov. 4 - Nov. 10, 2017

Honolulu store owners say thieves are targeting cans of Spam

(AP Photo/Lucy Pemoni, File)

Honolulu (AP) - Cans of Spam have become a common item that’s being stolen from Honolulu stores and then sold on the streets for quick cash, according to authorities. Ra Long, who owns a convenience store in the city, said shoplifters have typically targeted alcohol in the past, but recently more cans of Spam have gone missing, Hawaii News Now reported. “I mean you try to keep an eye on it, but if they run, you just can’t leave the counter and chase them,” Long said. “So you just got to take the hit.” Honolulu police said they took a report of a man lifting a case of the canned meat from a store earlier this month. Kimo Carvalho, a spokesman for the Institute for Human Services, said people are stealing Spam because it’s easy to sell. “It’s quick cash for quick drug money,” Carvalho said. Hawaiians eat millions of cans of Spam a year, the nation’s highest per-capita consumption of the processed meat, which is cobbled together from a mixture of pork shoulder, ham, sugar and salt. The state’s love affair with Spam began during World War II, when rationing created just the right conditions for the rise of a meat that needs no refrigeration and has a remarkably long shelf life (indefinitely, the company says). Ann Kondo Corum, who grew up in Hawaii in the 1950s and has written several Spam-inspired cookbooks, has attributed Spam’s popularity partly to Hawaii’s large Asian population. “Asians eat a lot of rice. Spam is salty, and it goes well with rice,” she told The Associated Press in 2009.

Robbers with hunting knives demand $1 from store, then flee

Brockton, Mass. (AP) - Two young men made an unusually small request as they robbed a store in Massachusetts by demanding a single dollar in their robbery. Police say two men entered the Brockton Market and Deli around lunchtime Tuesday while brandishing large hunting-style knives and demanded a single dollar. The men then fled. The Enterprise reports the two young men were described as Hispanic and possibly between the ages of 15 and 18. One was wearing a red sweatshirt with a white shirt on top of it. The other was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt. No arrests have been made.

Police: Newborn’s dad sold heroin
in hospital maternity ward

Greensburg, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he sold heroin in the hospital maternity ward room where people were visiting his newborn daughter. Twenty-five-year-old Cody Hulse was arraigned Friday on charges including heroin delivery and endangering the welfare of children. The Tribune-Review reports he declined to comment afterward. Authorities say Hulse got busted after Greensburg police stopped a vehicle Thursday and found heroin and paraphernalia. The occupants told police they had just bought the drugs from Hulse at Excela Health Westmoreland hospital. Police say they went to the maternity room and confronted Hulse, who acknowledged selling the drugs and who had heroin in his pocket. Police say Hulse’s girlfriend, the baby’s mother, told them she didn’t know about the drug deals. Online court records don’t list a defense attorney.

Police video shows large bear
peering into shop windows

Kings Beach, Calif. (AP) - A very large bear-about-town was spotted peering into shop windows in a California tourist community on Lake Tahoe. The Placer (PLAH’-ser) County Sheriff’s Office posted video on its Facebook page <> of the four-pawed prowler early Wednesday. In it, Deputy Don Nevins shines his car’s spotlight on the animal and shouts, “Hey, big boy!” before warning the bear against breaking into any of the shops it’s sniffing around. Shortly after, the bear darts in front of his patrol car and off into a park. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin says deputies respond to bear calls every day because they break into cars, homes and businesses. She said right now they are preparing for hibernation, so they’re upping their calorie intake.



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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update Saturday, Nov. 25 - Dec. 1, 2017

Update Saturday, Nov. 18 - Nov. 24, 2017

Update Saturday, Nov. 11 - Nov. 17, 2017

Update Saturday, Nov. 4 - Nov. 10, 2017


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