Odd News Roundup
May 13, 2014 02:50 PM | 1924 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fire pit on Spokane natural gas line explodes

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Fire officials say a fire pit in a Spokane back yard exploded because it was built over a natural gas line.

Heat melted the plastic pipe and the line exploded Saturday night with a 15-foot flame.

KREM reports a man who was having a birthday party suffered minor injuries when he was blown into a fence.

Avista utility crews found the fire pit was built on top of the gas line. The man who lives at the house says the pit was there when he moved in.

People are advised to call 811 before they dig anywhere for a free service to locate gas and other utility lines.

Information from: KREM-TV, http://www.krem.com/ 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Maine woman, 80, goes skydiving on Mother's Day

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — An 80-year-old mother of seven from Waterville has fulfilled a nearly two-decade old dream by skydiving.

Marjorie Bell leaped out of an airplane and with the help of a tandem skydiver floated 10,000 feet to the ground on Mother's Day, one day after her birthday.

Bell tells the Morning Sentinel that she "never felt so free."

She was accompanied on the jump by several family members, including a daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Bell, a grandmother and great-grandmother, had wanted to jump out of a plane since she was mesmerized by skydivers on a trip to Florida 18 years ago.

Bell already has plans for her 81st birthday: She wants to zip line across Grand Falls on the Maine-New Brunswick border.

Information from: Morning Sentinel, http://www.onlinesentinel.com/ 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Students stuck in Philly elevator after prom

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police say about a dozen students got stuck in a downtown Philadelphia elevator for more than an hour after their prom.

WPVI-TV reports the students from Bryn Mawr's Shipley School held their prom on the 52nd floor of one of the city's tallest building Saturday night. They were at the Pyramid Club in the building known as 9 Penn Center in Center City.

The students were on their way down and out of the building when the elevator got stuck between the 31st and 32nd floors.

Police say a crew was called in to fix the elevator and free the students. They got stuck just before midnight Saturday.

Nobody was hurt.

Information from: WPVI-TV, http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

New Mexico librarian finds letters from 1967

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico librarian discovered a blast from the past, specifically 1967.

Lola Delaney tells The Daily Times that she was recently cleaning the library of Hermosa Middle School in Farmington when she went through a cardboard box.

Delaney says inside were 31 letters all dated April 1967.

According to the letters, they were written by students and meant to be given to the class of 1987.

In the letters, the students touch on numerous topics including the Vietnam War, the space race and miniskirts.

Delaney says the students who wrote the letters have been invited to an annual celebration May 19 at the school, where the letters will be available to read.

She says she doesn't know if students in 1987 ever received them.

Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Battle Ground 'intruder' had been invited to home

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (AP) — Clark County sheriff's deputies arrested a Battle Ground man who fired a shotgun inside his home to scare off someone he saw going out an upper story window.

It turns out the "intruder" early Sunday was one of several teens invited into the home by the man's 15-year-old granddaughter who lives there. The teens fled when they heard him approach.

The Oregonian reports deputies found shotgun pellets above the window. None of the fleeing teens were hurt.

The grandfather was booked into the Clark County jail for investigation of assault.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Photo of former Flint mayor absent from display

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A photo of an ex-Flint mayor who resigned in 2009 while facing a recall election is absent from a City Hall display.

The Flint Journal reports the display includes photos of the city's first mayor, its current mayor and most of those in between. Among the missing is one of Don Williamson, along with three mayors who served before 1908.

City Clerk Inez Brown, who attempts to maintain the wall of framed, 8-by-10-inch photos, says the lack of recognition isn't meant as a snub — even though Williamson sued Brown when he served as mayor. She says officials are trying to update the wall.

Williamson, a businessman, says he isn't losing sleep over the situation. He says his "time came and went" and "people know I was down there."

Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

School on Washington coast building up for tsunami

OCOSTA, Wash. (AP) — The Ocosta School District will release plans Thursday for what it calls the nation's first vertical-evacuation structure.

A new elementary school will be designed and built with upper-level space where children could flee in the event a tsunami hits the Washington coast.

Chuck Wallace with the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency told KBKW it will be the first such structure in the country.

Ocosta is on Grays Harbor near Westport, about 100 miles southwest of Seattle.

Information from: KBKW-AM, http://kbkw.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Police: Man drives drunk to station to file report

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Police say a 31-year-old man has been arrested after he drove to a Louisiana state police headquarters while drunk to file an accident report.

Online booking records indicate Patrick Ruffner of Gonzales was in the East Baton Rouge Parish jail Monday with bond set at $1,000.

Trooper Jared Sandifer says Ruffner called state police Saturday, saying his vehicle was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. He was told to come to Troop A's offices to fill out a crash report.

Sandifer says that when Ruffner got out of his SUV, a trooper smelled alcohol and gave him field sobriety and breath tests.

Sandifer says Ruffner was booked with driving on a suspended license and with first-offense driving while intoxicated.

It was not immediately clear whether Ruffner had an attorney.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Fowl rush-hour: Police herd baby geese off New York road

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (AP) — Some Long Island Expressway drivers may be grousing about geese when they discuss their morning rush-hour delays.

Newsday says an HOV lane in Plainview was closed for about 15 minutes Monday as police herded several baby geese to safety.

They got the goslings into a large cardboard box next to the center barrier. The hissing mother flew above it.

The new whereabouts of the relocated fowl was not immediately known.

Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Danes scrap controversial promotional video

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sex. Violence. Elections.


Officials in Denmark have retracted a controversial animated cartoon that was intended to inspire young people to vote in upcoming elections for the European Parliament.

The 90-second video featured a mustachioed, muscular man aggressively interrupting a couple having sex and punching people into a polling station. It was posted late Monday on the Danish Parliament's social media sites.

Parliament Speaker Mogens Lykketoft said Tuesday that the 179-seat Folketing should in future "be more careful with what we put our name to." Lawmakers were cited by Danish media as saying it was done without their knowledge.

Voting for the 751-seat European Parliament takes place in each of the European Union's 28 member states, stretching over four days beginning May 22.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Texas woman finds 12-foot python in bathroom

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — A 12-foot python has been returned to its owner after a slithery stop at a Central Texas home where a woman earlier bathed her pet guinea pigs.

The Eagle newspaper reported Tuesday that Veronica Rodriguez was shocked in early May when the big snake turned up in her bathroom.

Police believe the African python slipped into the house when Rodriguez left the back door open after bathing her three household guinea pigs and putting the critters in outdoor pens.

Rodriguez says she heard strange noises, returned to the bathroom and discovered the snake crawling into the tub. She called 911.

College Station police and animal control officers removed the snake, using a city trash can as a temporary receptacle for the reptile.

No guinea pigs were harmed.

Information from: The Eagle, http://www.theeagle.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Bizarre burglar made Utah man help find lost keys

SANDY, Utah (AP) — A Utah man has been charged with kidnapping and robbery in a bizarre burglary at a home where the thief made his victim help him find his lost car keys, then expressed some remorse and returned some loot before hijacking a woman's car.

Police say a man was checking on his parents' unoccupied home in Sandy in December when he found the burglar, 34-year-old Timothy Chadd Ellis of Kaysville.

Investigators say Ellis held the man at gunpoint for more than an hour until they found Ellis' lost keys. He then admitted he "felt bad" and gave back some property, but kept some cash and then hijacked a woman's car.

The Deseret News reports police tracked him down with a DNA sample on a beer can at the home.

Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Cops: Man rustled 10-foot rooster statue at store

CHARLEROI, Pa. (AP) — Police have charged a southwestern Pennsylvania man with rustling a rooster — a 10-foot fiberglass statue of one, anyway — and were still looking for another man who allegedly helped him.

Thirty-year-old Brody Nichols, of Fallowfield Township, didn't immediately return a call Tuesday on charges including theft and fleeing police filed after the incident early Saturday in Charleroi.

Police believe Nichols and another man removed the statue from a yard next to Tim's Secret Treasures, an antique store.

Police gave chase when they saw Nichols and another man had stopped to adjust the bird, which was strapped into the back of a pickup about 3:25 a.m.

Nichols lost police when he turned onto a dirt road, but they recognized who he was by that time. The bird toppled out of the truck and was returned to its owner.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Record Mother's Day climb on Mount St. Helens

By Andre Stepankowsky, The Daily News

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Sunday was the mother of all climbing days at Mount St. Helens.

A record number of permits — 971 — were sold to climb the Southwest Washington volcano that day. In honor of Mother's Day, many of the climbers wore skirts or dresses.

"The big draw with Mother's Day is that everyone wears dresses, both men and women. It's a fun thing," said Luke Wakefield, media education coordinator for the Amboy-based Mount St. Helens Institute.

In addition to the nearly 1,000 permits sold for Sunday, another 468 were sold for Saturday climbing, making for a potential two-day total of nearly 1,500 climbers. He said no one knows how many permit-holders actually showed up or reached the summit of the 8,363-foot peak. But reports from the field indicated a crowded climb, and parking near the climbing trailhead and Marble Mountain Snowpark "was crazy," Wakefield said.

No injuries were reported, he said.

Wakefield said one woman reported on Facebook that she spread her mother's ashes on the mountain on Sunday. Some men climbed with their daughters.

Mother's Day is usually the last weekend of the spring without restrictions on the number of climbers. After May 15, the number of climbers is capped at 100 day until late summer.

Climbing the volcano is a lot easier than it used to be. Before the eruption on May 18, 1980, decapitated it, the mountain rose to 9,677 feet. This year's climbers were aided by the abatement of what had been a severe avalanche hazard in April and almost ideal weekend weather.

Mount St. Helens is one of the most climbed peaks in the world.

Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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