This week in odd news: Hitchhiking raccoon; Teen has 2 aces
DENVER (AP) — A Colorado Springs police officer heading to an accident scene in a van got a big surprise when a raccoon jumped onto the front windshield of the vehicle and stayed there until the officer pulled over.
The Denver Post reports (http://dpo.st/2hojjpi ) that officer Chris Frabbiele was responding to an accident scene in a large van used by police to investigate crashes when the raccoon landed on its windshield late Wednesday night.
Police spokesman Lt. Howard Black says the raccoon hopped off the van after Frabbiele pulled over and stopped it.
Images of the raccoon encounter from a van dash camera showed the animal appearing to cling to the windshield after it landed and crouching by the van’s windshield wipers.
VENTNOR, N.J. (AP) — A tractor-trailer apparently made a wrong turn and got trapped on a boardwalk at the New Jersey shore.
Workers in Ventnor spent Wednesday morning removing benches and railings to help the truck get off of the boardwalk.
Police said the truck first drove onto the boardwalk in Atlantic City early Wednesday. It then traveled about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) south, near the end of the boardwalk in Ventnor.
The truck wasn’t able to make a turn onto a ramp to get off. The cab was later detached and driven off; a tow truck removed the trailer.
Ventnor police Chief Doug Biagi says the driver was not intoxicated but was issued a couple of summonses.
Engineers were checking to see if the truck caused any structural damage.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania high school golfer has defied huge odds by recording two holes-in-one in the same round.
Parkland High School golfer Ben Tetzlaff tells The (Allentown) Morning Call (http://bit.ly/2wCyfXn ) he still can’t believe the feat, which came during a nine-hole practice round Monday at Iron Lakes Country Club.
The National Hold-In-One Registry calculated the odds of the feat at 67 million-to-1.
Parkland coach Scott Levan says he missed the first ace, but saw the second when Tetzlaff hit a 9-iron on the 140-yard sixth hole. Tetzlaff had already sunk a gap wedge on the 104-yard second hole.
Tetzlaff’s career-low round is a 76 he shot at Allentown Municipal Golf Course. He hopes to play golf in college.
Tetzlaff says, “I still can’t believe it and I’m the one who did it.”
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee sheriff’s office is asking people not to call the agency about a “body” trapped under a closed, blood-stained garage door.
That’s because the scene at a home in Greene County isn’t real; it’s an early Halloween display.
The Green County Sheriff’s Department says it has been inundated with so many calls about the lifelike display that it posted a message Wednesday on the agency’s Facebook page to let people know it’s not real.
“Do NOT call 911 reporting a dead body,” says the post, which includes a photo. “Instead, congratulate the homeowner on a great display.”
Homeowner Joseph Lovergive told WJHL-TV that his family loves Halloween and always decorates early. He said deputies who responded to the first call took the boot off the stuffed clothing to make sure it wasn’t real.
SAN ANTONIO, Fla. (AP) — In an early Halloween highway horror, a truckload of burning pumpkins has been blocking traffic on a Florida interstate.
Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said in a news release that a tractor-trailer hauling pumpkins struck a guard rail on southbound Interstate 75 near Tampa early Friday, sparking a fire. The truck then exploded, spilling the burning pumpkins onto the highway.
The 44-year-old woman who was driving the truck wasn’t injured in the crash.
Gaskins says traffic on the interstate’s southbound lanes are still backed up for several miles. He says the roadway will have to be repaved to repair the damage.
Troopers are urging motorists to seek alternate routes to avoid delays.
COCOA, Fla. (AP) — Police say a Florida gas station owner chased a man and fired a warning shot, forcing him to return some stolen beer.
Orlando television station WESH reports it was the fourth time store owner Sowann Suy used his gun in defense of his store in the Atlantic coast community of Cocoa. Suy, who’s dubbed “Clint Eastwood” by friends, told the station he fired the shot Wednesday after the man took the beers and threatened to beat him up.
Records show Suy shot a suspect in the stomach at the store in 2009 and chased off another suspected robber the following year. In 2016, Suy wounded one man and two others were arrested during a botched robbery.
Cocoa police spokeswoman Barbara Matthews says Suy has “a perfect right to defend himself.”
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Police in Colorado are looking for a jogger they say is repeatedly interrupting her runs to defecate in public in one neighborhood.
Cathy Budde says she was first alerted to the woman she’s dubbed “The Mad Pooper” by her children, who caught the jogger in the act weeks ago. Budde tells KKTV-TV (http://bit.ly/2xO8JPl ) the woman apologized after she questioned her. But she says the jogger has left something behind on her runs at least once a week for the past seven weeks.
Police have asked Budde to take pictures of the woman so they can try to identify her. Budde has put up a sign asking the woman to stop. She says there are public restrooms in the area.
Police Sgt. Johnathan Sharketti calls the case “uncharted territory.”
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis City Council member has given one of her opponents something to chew over — a piece of chewed gum.
Twenty-year incumbent Lisa Goodman took the gum out of her mouth and handed it to challenger Teqen Zea-Aida before the start of a candidate forum Tuesday.
Goodman asked Zea-Aida: “Would you take my gum, please?”
Goodman tells the Star Tribune she couldn’t find any paper to get rid of her gum and was just making a lighthearted comment. Zea-Aida wondered if Goodman was hinting he had bad breath and thought she was offering him gum.
Goodman says the challenger “looked at me like I was crazy,” and she took the gum back out of his hand. The council member says it was “a simple attempt at humor” and apologized.
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Officials with an animal welfare organization say they’re removed hundreds of reptiles, birds, rats and mice from a western New York home.
The Niagara Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/2yfGGEE ) that the SPCA of Niagara says investigators checking out a house in the town of Lockport found hundreds of creatures inside, including 31 snakes, 30 quail, 13 rabbits, 10 cats, five ferrets, two parakeets and about 250 rats and mice.
The animals have been signed over to the local SPCA shelter. SPCA officials say the animals will be put up for adoption.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man is facing charges after police say he randomly slapped a customer and then stole the man’s green chile cheeseburger before dashing away.
Santa Fe police arrested 25-year-old Anthony Frazier on Sunday near the Shake Foundation where authorities say the bizarre attack occurred.
According to a criminal complaint, the victim says Frazier walked up to him to dance then slapped him across his face. The victim says Frazier then stole his green chile cheeseburger and ran from the scene.
Witnesses say Frazier also had a belt around his neck.
Police later caught up with Frazier and arrested him for robbery after the victim identified him as the alleged burger thief.
It was not known if he had an attorney.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A bat infestation prompted a Salt Lake City high school to cancel its after-school programs so school workers could root out the flying mammals.
Janitors at the city’s West High School rounded up more than 300 bats from Monday through Wednesday, prompting the school to close its doors Wednesday afternoon.
Some flying bats were caught in midflight by janitors using butterfly nets. Others were found sleeping in classroom corners.
Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen says the high school lies in a migratory bat path. But the number of bats this year was above average.
Students who may have come into contact with the bats were encouraged to speak with Salt Lake County Health Department personnel who were at the school on Wednesday.
The captured bats were relocated.
BOSTON (AP) — A man dressed as a clown is running for a city council seat in Boston.
The Boston Herald reports that Roxbury resident Pat Payaso will be on the November ballot along with seven other candidates for an at-large city council seat. The candidate’s last name means clown in Spanish.
Payaso donned a rainbow wig, red nose and clown makeup in recent campaign photos and videos on social media.
The newspaper reports he registered his campaign with the state in April and has $45 in his campaign account.
City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George says that Payaso is making a “mockery” of the election. Payaso didn’t immediately comment.
The four candidates receiving the most votes in the race earn a seat on the 13-member council.
LAKE FOREST, Calif. (AP) — Some television viewers in southern California were startled when an apocalyptic emergency alert flashed on their screens.
The Orange County Register reports (http://bit.ly/2wE42az ) a Lake Forest woman says she was watching HGTV on her Cox Communications cable service on Thursday when the alert flashed across the screen. Video shows the message included the voice of a man warning that “in the last days extremely violent time will come.” The newspaper says Spectrum cable customers also got the message.
A Cox spokesman tells the newspaper that viewers should have seen a typical emergency-broadcast test but a technical malfunction caused it to go on longer than it should have. He says the broadcast picked up an audio feed that bled into the alert.
The cable companies say they’re investigating.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) — It took nearly 80 years, but a book borrowed during the Great Depression has been returned to a Massachusetts public library.
The Attleboro Public Library posted on its Facebook page Thursday pictures of a copy of “The Young Lady at Home,” by T.S. Arthur. The book was returned this week. The due date stamped at the back of the book? Nov. 21, 1938.
Library deputy director Amy Rhilinger tells WPRI-TV a man had been cleaning out his friend’s basement when he came across the book. She says the library staff thought it was “awesome” the book was returned even though it’s in terrible condition and can’t go back into circulation.
Rhilinger says the library isn’t trying to collect late fees, either. She says they’d amount to almost $2,800.
CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) — A tractor trailer full of vodka has overturned on a North Carolina highway and it may take until happy hour to clean up the mess.
Clayton police said on Twitter that the truck tipped on its side around 5:45 a.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 70, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Raleigh. A witness helped the driver get out of the cab safely.
Police said the truck was carrying about 40,000 pounds of vodka.
Authorities say the load was so heavy, that when a tow truck tried to turn the truck right side up, the truck’s metal exterior bent. So instead, workers are taking the boxes of vodka off one at a time.
Clayton officials say the mess might not be cleaned up and the road reopened until 5 p.m. Thursday.
DILLSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Police say a Pennsylvania man was taken for an unpleasant ride when a man test-driving his vehicle kept on driving and never brought it back.
Police in Carroll Township, York County, say the bizarre theft occurred about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Investigators say the car’s owner advertised it online and met a man interested in buying his red 1995 Acura Integra.
The owner drove the prospective buyer around for a while then stopped so the buyer could get into the driver’s seat. That’s when police say the buyer drove the car away before the owner could get back into the car.
Police say the car has a charcoal grey hood and Pennsylvania license plate JFS-9628.
The car was last seen in Dillsburg on Route 15, possibly headed toward Philadelphia.
NEW YORK (AP) — If you want to see L.L. Bean’s new ad, you’re going to have to step outdoors.
The company took its mission to get people outside to a new level Friday by publishing an ad in The New York Times in ink that can only be seen when the newspaper is taken outside and exposed to sunlight.
The advertising insert features L.L. Bean’s new “manifesto” that reiterates its commitment to the outdoors and underscores the Freeport, Maine-based company’s willingness to try new things to get shoppers’ attention.
L.L. Bean is positioning itself as an outdoor brand focused less on individual pursuits and more on family and friends enjoying the outdoors, whether it’s a remote lake or local park. The ad tells shoppers, “Just step outside your front door and you’ve arrived.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Would you be OK with letting a stranger into your house for the sake of convenience?
Walmart is testing the idea with a new service that lets a delivery person walk into your home when you’re not there to drop off packages or put groceries in the fridge.
“This may not be for everyone,” wrote Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s head of e-commerce strategy, in a blog post Friday; “but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future.”
The retailer said it is trying out the service with a small group of tech-savvy Walmart.com shoppers in California’s Silicon Valley who have internet-connected locks. The delivery person is given a one-time code to open the door and customers get an alert on their smartphones when someone enters. If they have cameras set up in the home, customers can watch as their orders are dropped off.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other brick-and-mortar retailers have been working to make online orders easier for shoppers as they face increasing competition with online retail giant Amazon. Walmart, for example, recently teamed up with Google to offer voice-activated shopping on the tech company’s devices.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart said the in-home delivery service is aimed at busy families that don’t have time to stop at a store or unpack their groceries.
BRIGANTINE, N.J. (AP) — A harbor seal whose rear flipper had to be amputated after being struck by a boat has recovered and is headed to an upstate New York aquarium.
New Jersey’s Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine has been caring for the seal since it was found wounded on a beach in Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island earlier this year.
The young male seal had cuts on its back and its rear flipper was nearly severed, requiring it to be amputated.
The injuries make it nearly impossible for the seal to survive in the wild, so center staff arranged to send the animal to the Aquarium of Niagara in Niagara Falls on Friday.
There it will join six other seals.