Animals, hermits among odd 2013 New England news
BOSTON (AP) — A mysteriously pregnant anteater, a farmer who feeds beer to his turkeys and a man charged with disorderly conduct for whistling loudly as he strolled around town were among the more unusual stories that made headlines in New England in 2013. Here’s a look at some of the odd things that happened in the past year:
— As always, there were plenty of tales of animals — and their owners — doing strange things. At the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn., an anteater named Armani gave birth even though her male counterpart had been removed from her pen long before her six-month gestation period would have begun. Also in Connecticut, a debate over whether horses should be classified as a naturally vicious species went all the way to the state Supreme Court after a horse named Scuppy bit a boy in the face.
A Henniker, N.H., farmer named Joe Morette said the secret to the flavorful turkeys he raises is feeding them beer — specifically, lager. And in Providence, a cat fight broke out over missing feline health certificates at the Rhode Island Pet Show when state environmental police showed up and asked some members of The International Cat Association to provide health and rabies certifications.
— Lawmakers made plenty of unusual headlines as well. In Rhode Island, a bid to make calamari the official state appetizer failed. In Massachusetts, a bill is still pending to make the Fluffernutter (peanut butter combined with marshmallow Fluff, which was invented there) the state sandwich. Also in Massachusetts, the fight continues over whether the state song should be “Dream On” by Aerosmith or “Roadrunner” by the Modern Lovers. And a candidate for state Senate in Maine found himself on the defensive for appearing in Brazilian-style swim trunks in an online video advertising coconut water.
— Police across the region had their share of odd run-ins. A doctor’s license was suspended when police say they found marijuana in his car after he wandered into a stranger’s house in Westerly, R.I., and claimed he was attempting to check on a friend who wasn’t feeling well. A man twice cited for disorderly conduct for whistling loudly in downtown Portland, Maine, reached a deal with the city that allows him to keep whistling as long as he doesn’t linger in one spot while he does it.
In Manchester, N.H., a man who denied swallowing a diamond ring worth $3,200 at a jewelry store was busted when X-rays showed it inside him. A 10-year-old Brockton, Mass., boy called 911 to report his mother because he did not want to go to bed. And robbers made off with a frozen beverage machine from a Bridgeport, Conn., convenience store after an employee told them he didn’t have the $2,700 they had demanded. The store owner later told police he’d borrowed money from one of the suspects.
Four men were charged in connection with the theft of more than $200,000 in gold coins from the Alburgh, Vt., property of an eccentric loner known only as Radkin. In other hermit news, police finally caught up with the man dubbed the North Pond hermit, who had lived for nearly three decades in the Maine woods and may have been responsible for as many as 1,000 burglaries of food, clothing and camping and cooking gear.
— There were also some stories that defied categorization. In Rhode Island, the couple that lives in the Burrillville house made famous in the movie “The Conjuring” say they’re being troubled by people curious about the 1730s-era home showing up in the yard in the middle of the night. A pile of goat manure spontaneously caught fire in Windsor, Vt., spreading stench and wrinkling noses through the town. In New Haven, Conn., a man named Noel was arrested after police said he climbed a tree decorated with Christmas lights on the city green. A woman paid $560,000 for two parking spots near her home in Boston. And on a sweltering September day in Massachusetts, the Amherst Regional School District closed six schools because the floors were too slippery. The floors had been waxed during the summer and the high temperatures melted the wax.