Friday, August 26, 2016

Giddy up

Dog wallows in pool filled with tennis balls

Chris the dog appears to be enjoying his stay at The Barkhaus in Miami, Florida.

YouTube link. Facebook video link.

Woman allegedly stabbed husband for drinking her beer

A woman from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, is facing charges after state police say she stabbed her husband for drinking her beer. Tracey Giffin, 45, is accused of stabbing her husband, Joseph Giffin, inside their home in North Union Township on Sunday night.

When state police arrived, they said Joseph Giffin had blood on his chest and stomach that was coming from cuts to his neck, chest and head. "(Joseph Giffin) related that he was drinking with the defendant and she had gone to bed.

"She had gotten up and was upset that he had drank one of her beers," state police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause. "He related (that) an argument took place, and she then grabbed a pair of scissors. He related (that) she then put cut marks on his chest, neck and head. He related (that) she then bit him on the arms and thumb."

YouTube link.

Tracey Giffin was taken to the Fayette County Jail in lieu of posting bail. Tracey Giffin was also arrested in 2013 after state police said she fought with her then-boyfriend, William Balas, over barbecue sauce. Investigators in that case said Balas apparently forgot to pick up the condiment from the store on Christmas Eve and that when he returned home, a physical fight occurred. Balas and Giffin were charged after police said Balas hit Giffin and she bit him.

Man unhappy about sap from neighbour's tree cut it down causing it to fall onto his own home

A man in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, cut down his neighbour's tree over the weekend because he thought it was ruining his car. The tree ended up hitting his own apartment house. Police said Raymond Mazzarella grabbed a chainsaw and cut down the tree in his neighbour's yard on Saturday afternoon. The tree sat in his neighbour's yard, but it had branches above his parking space. Those branches would drip sap onto his car.

When he cut through the 36-inch wide trunk, the tree fell onto part of his own apartment building. “He decided it was the best thing to do, to get rid of the tree, where he thought it was going to go, I don't know,” said Terry Best, a Pittston Township code enforcement officer. Authorities condemned the building in Pittston Township, and five people have to find new places to stay. Rick Woods also lived in the apartment house until it was condemned.

When the tree fell, Woods was in his apartment, sitting on his couch, watching TV. All of a sudden, he heard a big crash. “I thought a tractor trailer lost his brakes and ran into something, not realising it was the house,” he said. Police said Mazzarella was then checked out at a hospital. Upon his release on Monday afternoon, a neighbour saw Mazzarella trespassing near the apartment house and called police. When the neighbour confronted him, Mazzarella punched him. The neighbour pulled out a stun gun to protect himself.

YouTube link.

Mazzarella then started hitting him with a baseball bat. Mazzarella is charged with assault and harassment and is locked up in the Luzerne County jail on $10,000 bail. The Red Cross is helping the others who lived in the apartment building with temporary places to stay. That's all Woods is hoping for. “I find a place to live. That's about it,” he said. Officials aren't sure when or if people will be allowed back in the building because the foundation has shifted. “It's going to be a long time before somebody gets back in here,” Best said.

Pantless woman accused of DUI called friend for a lift who was also pantless and arrested for DUI

Police in Troy, Michigan, stopped a black Impala driven by 23-year-old Samantha Alfaro of Lansing for suspected DUI earlier this month. The female officer who made the stop was surprised to find that Alfaro was naked from the waist down. Police dash cam video filmed what happened. "Where's your clothes? Where's your pants?" the officer asked.

Asked how much she had to drink, Alfaro responded, "Too much. Just take me to jail already!" The officer was more than willing to grant Alfaro's request, but there is a dress code. "Try and put your pants on. You're going to be getting out of the car," the officer said. The dash cam shows the officer probing the car and questioning a 19-year-old passenger.

Alfaro remained half-naked and unafraid during much of the encounter. But with the pending arrival of another male officer, a "cover-up" ensued. "Just put your pants on okay cause there's a male officer coming and I don't want you to be exposed, you know?," the female officer said to Alfaro. Alfaro complied and was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, first offence.

YouTube link.

When Alfaro called a friend for a lift home the story took another strange twist. Jocelyn Reardon, 20, was stopped for DUI 200 yards from the Troy police station when she arrived to pick up Alfaro. Reardon was wearing a T-shirt and little else. "Are you wearing any clothes other than the shirt?," an officer asked. Reardon wasn't wearing any pants either. She was also charged with DUI.

Maritime museum has recruited security dog to deter pooing seagulls

Bailey, a rescue working dog is the Australian National Maritime Museum's newest recruit. The border collie was hired three months ago to help the museum scare away seagulls which have been causing a mess on the wharf in Pyrmont, Sydney, as well as the vessels docked there.

"Normally when there are seagulls down here, [Bailey] will spot them and I'll let him off the lead and I'll say, 'Bailey go'," Adrian Snelling, dog handler and head of security, said. "He just automatically chases the birds." Mr Snelling said the museum had tried, unsuccessfully, other methods to deter the seagulls such as using water sprays and fake birds.

They decided to get Bailey after researching that dogs were routinely used in airports to scare away birds. He was formerly a working dog and was living in foster care. While the wharf has definitely seen an improvement in droppings, Mr Snelling said the sneaky seagulls had relocated their roosting sites to the top decks of the vessels where Bailey is unable to reach.

And staff were forced to issue Bailey with a mandatory uniform after he started taking his job too seriously. "He wears a dog flotation device, the same as what any human would wear on a boat," Mr Snelling said. "He has ended up in the harbour four or five times now from being overeager." When he isn't on shift, Bailey sleeps in the security control room and has been a "great morale booster" for the other staff, Mr Snelling added.

Cattle given glow-in-the dark horns in bid to prevent accidents

Police in India have started pasting radium stickers on the horns of cows hoping that the glow will help drivers avoid hitting stray cattle and evade an accident.

Balaghat police in Madhya Pradesh have stuck the stickers, that glow in the dark, on about 100 cattle-heads over the last five days.

“A lot of accidents were taking place at night involving cattle that were either stationary or had strayed,” said Balaghat additional SP Akash Bhuria.

In-charge of Balaghat traffic police station Kailash Chouhan added: “It’s not easy to attach the stickers because some cows chase the policemen.”

Man to carry 12-foot cross up Mount Snowdon after calling from God

A man from Llandysul in Ceredigion, Wales, says he is planning to carry a huge wooden cross from St Davids in Pembrokeshire to the top of Mount Snowdon after being set the gruelling challenge by God.

Standing 12ft tall, measuring 6ft wide and made from 4x4 cedar timber, the cross weighs 25kg, meaning that Emyr Mathias’ month-long hike from 13 September will not be an easy walk of faith.

Emyr, 48, a Christian for the past 31 years, says he is taking on this physical and emotional challenge in response to a calling he received from God. “I had a vision that the Lord wanted me to carry a St Davids flag from St Davids to Snowdon,” he said.

“I thought that was ridiculous at first, but then the Lord said about the cross.” Despite rating his fitness as “average”, Emyr has now embarked on a rigorous fitness regime in preparation for the march. “I walked 15 miles with the cross the other day and felt good afterwards,” he said. “I started at 8am and finished at around 3pm."

Police to increase patrols after man reportedly urinated in river

Police officers are to carry out more patrols after a man was reported to have urinated into the River Cale at Wincanton, Somerset.

PCSO Janet Sparkes said reports had been received of adults drinking in the skate park, and one of them relieving himself into the river that runs nearby.

Ms Sparkes spoke at a meeting on Wincanton Town Council on Monday. She said: "Members of public have made us aware of adult drinkers in the skate park.

"Also a male was seen urinating in the river. Regular patrols are being carried out by officers in order to establish the identity of the offenders."

Police issue CCTV appeal after sausage theft

Police have released CCTV images taken of a man they would like to speak to following the theft of sausages from a Marks and Spencers store.

Detectives have issued two pictures captured on the CCTV system at the store in the centre of Ormskirk, Lancashire.

The theft of the food goods was committed at the store some time on Tuesday afternoon. Police say they would now like to speak to the man in the pictures.

A spokesman for Ormskirk and Burscough Neighbourhood Police said: “We are looking to speak to this male in connection with a theft of sausages from Marks and Spencers at Ormskirk on the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd August 2016. Do you know this male? Please contact us.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016


This cat performs somersaults

Seemingly, just because it can.

Video has no sound.

YouTube link.

Elderly tortoise found 6 miles from home having apparent romantic liaison with drain cover

A tortoise thought to be 100 years old wandered more than six and a half miles from home before it was found.

Nancy Knauss said her tortoise, Touche, wandered out of her yard in Fresno, California, when a gardener left the gate open and the pet went on a slow-speed excursion across town.

Touche was found climbing onto a domed mount that covered a drain pipe. Nancy thinks the Touche may have developed an attraction to the cover, which resembles a tortoise shell.

YouTube link.

Nancy was overjoyed to be reunited with her longtime pet. She and Touche have been together for almost 55 years.

Man acting like a gorilla and inappropriately touching himself arrested

Police arrested a man who was “acting like gorilla” and touching himself inappropriately at Giant Eagle Plaza in Warren, Ohio. Officers were called to the scene on Friday morning following reports of two white males who were running around the lot and taking off their clothes.

Timothy Cook, 32, of Leavittsburg entered the nearby License Bureau, waved his arms around, exited the business and began masturbating on the sidewalk, according to the police report. The License Bureau then locked its doors due to safety concerns.

By the time officers arrived, they said they found Cook sweating profusely in the parking lot, acting like a “gorilla” by squatting on all fours, punching the ground, jumping up and down, screaming non-coherently and growling. Another officer arrived to help detain Cook, who did not resist arrest.

They called for an ambulance due to his erratic behaviour and paramedics administered Narcan to Cook for an apparent overdose. He was then taken to Trumbull Memorial Hospital. Officers found that Cook has an outstanding warrant for drug possession, but due to manpower shortages the warrant is still active. An officer detained the other man, Osmond LeMasters, 24, of Warren, who was found walking nearby. Both men were charged with disorderly conduct while intoxicated.

Firefighter read to skunk with head stuck in dumpster hole to keep it calm during rescue

The Cimarron Hills Fire Department in Colorado Springs, Colorado, took part in an unusual rescue mission at the Village East Apartments on Tuesday.

Fire crews spent approximately 45 minutes trying to free a skunk’s head from a drain hole at the bottom of a dumpster. Resident Tasha Lopez said: “I figured it couldn't hurt to call the Fire Department and just see if they would help.

“They sent a crew out to free the poor skunk,” said Lopez. The Fire Department eventually had to call the owner of the dumpster to get permission to cut the hole bigger.

One firefighter kept the little animal calm by reading to it while other firefighters worked to ultimately cut it free. Once the skunk was free it waddled away.

Town's health board rule that man's 'decorative' chemical toilets can stay

A man who placed two portable toilets along a retired physician's driveway in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, as "decorations" may keep them there, the Board of Health unanimously ruled on Monday after health agent Valerie Bird asserted that a "porta-potty" is not a "privy" under state law, and therefore exempt from town regulation. It's the latest chapter in a history of conflict between Chris Duval of Hyde Hill Road and local residents, including Dr. Henrietta Wallace, his closest neighbour.

Several months ago, Duval placed the toilets along Wallace's driveway, which crosses his property via an easement. "This is not a privy," Bird said at Monday afternoon's meeting. "It is a sani-can or chemical toilet ... you see them at construction sites ... we have no bylaw, and nobody regulates chemical toilets." A privy is the same thing as an outhouse, said Bird. Resident Jennifer Dohrman noted that Bird was using a different legal analysis than she had before. Bird had previously said the structures are exempt from oversight because they are "decorations" and not functioning toilets.

Resident Keith Harmon Snow, who has long been at odds with Duval over various issues, told the board they were being inconsistent. "You had no problem regulating chemical toilets when they were on my property," he said. Robert Parker, a resident and employee of Duval's, said that Snow's prior outdoor toilet was an outhouse, and not a chemical toilet. "It was a permanent structure with a pit in the ground," Parker said. Parker noted that Snow has long had a parked dead farm vehicle painted as a "decoration," which has not been regulated as an abandoned car.

According to Department of Environmental Protection regulations, a "privy" is defined as "a structure used for the disposal of human wastes without water transport consisting of a shelter built over an unlined pit or vault in the ground into which waste is deposited." The state law further says "no privy or chemical toilet shall be constructed or continued in use; provided that the board of health may approve in writing the construction or continued use of any privy or chemical toilet which it determines will not (a) endanger the health of any person; or (b) cause objectionable odours or other undue annoyance." Duval's neighbours have expressed disappointment at the decision.

Council say that 60 metre flight of steps in the middle of cycle path is not an ideal solution

A new £350,000 cycle route has opened in Torquay, Devon, complete with a flight of steps.

The new cycle route avoids a busy section of road. But there is a steep 60 metre section of steps in the middle of the path which runs out of the town.

Torbay Council says it is 'considering options to improve this element' but only if they can get additional funding. The cycle route was funded by the Heart of the Southwest Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its approved programme of improvements known as the 'Torquay Gateway'.

A council spokesman said: "As part of this phase of the scheme, a 60m section is served by steps with a provision to place a cycle in a channel to be pushed by hand. This overcomes a technical difficulty with the difference in level at this location. Whilst this is not an ideal solution, it does provide a safe and useable facility for a very short section of the route."

Body in churchyard was just man having a snooze

Passers-by were surprised when they walked past a 'body' lying amongst the gravestones in the churchyard of St Mary's Parish Church in Ashford, Kent.

Shrouded from head to toe in a brown blanket, the unusual sight turned the heads of people strolling through the churchyard in the town centre at about 3.30pm on Saturday.

Steve Salter said: "It seems it was a rough sleeper taking refuge and having a kip in the churchyard but you should have seen the looks the sight was getting from passers by. He was lying parallel with another gravestone and just keep covering himself over. There were lots of people walking past at that time of day.

"Several people went over to see if he was alright but he just waved his arms at them to go away. At one point some bellringers even came out of the church and walked past him. He was there for about an hour but then it started raining so he collected his stuff up and went."

Mystery surrounds flowers left at site of small grass fire

A mystery bunch of flowers left at the scene of a small grass fire has caused confusion.

When Clive Power went for a walk around Wanstead Flats in east London on Sunday evening he found a section of grass taped off by the fire brigade and a bunch of flowers next to it. But the 42-year-old was confused when he saw no signs of a car crash at the scene and no note with the flowers.

He said: “Someone left a bouquet as if to suggest someone had died, but it was very confusing as there were no tyre marks or signs of impact from a crash.” The mystery surrounding the flowers continued when a spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said the only incident they were called to that day was a small grass fire.

They said: “We were called to a small grass fire at 3.30pm on August 21, but it must have been very minor as we left the scene 45 minutes later.” The Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service both had no reports of any calls to the scene that day, with no injuries or fatalities.

Council to use forensic liquid to tackle theft of paving slabs

Paving slabs are to be invisibly marked by a council to deter thieves from stealing York stone. Leeds City Council said in 2015 it had had to replace £50,000 worth of the stone in a year.

It has started to spray traceable liquid over the slabs so paving stones if found can be checked to see if they are stolen. Councillor Richard Lewis said the council was "losing a huge number of slabs". York stone is a textured stone quarried in Yorkshire and features in much of the paving in the older parts of the city.

It is common in Armley, Beeston, Burley, Chapel Allerton, Gledhow, Harehills, Headingley, Pudsey and Roundhay. Mr Lewis said: "Whatever you have in the public domain - if it has a value to it - you have people trying to steal it." The council had about 520 reports of missing or stolen paving in 2015-16.

The forensic traceable liquid called SmartWater is almost invisible to the naked eye and each solution has its own code identifying its origin. The first year of a rolling programme to spray the city's paving will cost about £10,000, the council said. Mr Lewis added that the council "had to do something" and hoped criminals would realise Leeds was a "no-go area" for paving theft.