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Weird National Briefs (01/24/2018)

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Dino-soiree

PORTLAND - His name means “king of the tyrant lizards,” but sometimes Tyrannosaurus rex just wants to party.

Make that many T. rexes. Hundreds of curious people descended on Portland’s Monument Square on Saturday to observe a gathering of dinosaur lovers dressed as the science museum staple.

There were dozens of T. rexes, and they danced, growled and milled around. One who struggled to navigate his costume walked around with his head protruding awkwardly from the dinosaur’s gaping mouth.

Valerie Sanborn and Alison Cyr set up the Cretaceous Period party through Facebook. A non-participant was summoned to snap a group photo because of T. rex’s “little arm probz.”

There didn’t appear to be any participants who arrived dressed as Marc Bolan, late singer of English rock band T. Rex.

TME – This is going to be one hell of a confusing “how Mom and Dad met” story.

Meteorite madness

DETROIT - Meteorite hunters who flocked to Detroit from across the U.S. after a meteor exploded are finding the fragments.

The 6-foot-wide meteor broke apart Tuesday about 20 miles over Earth, NASA scientists said. Most of the fragments landed in Hamburg Township.

The first fragments were located Thursday by professional hunters Larry Atkins and Robert Ward of Arizona, according to the American Meteor Society. Atkins owns Cosmic Connection Meteorites, while Ward operates Robert Ward Meteorites.

“It’s a really spectacular specimen,” Ward said while holding one of the meteorites. “Two days ago, this was hundreds of thousands of miles past the moon, and now I’m standing here holding it in my hand. It’s been a real good day.”

Ward said he used seismic data, Doppler radar and witness information to narrow down where to search. Meteorite hunters seek permission from landowners before searching on their property, Ward said.

Ward estimates he’s collected about 600 meteorites from around the world over the years.

Longway Planetarium astronomers have also located three meteorites that’ll be displayed Friday.

TME – Definitely the opening scene of an alien invasion movie.

Bolivian marching pineapples

LISBON, Portugal - Spanish and Portuguese police say a joint operation resulted in the seizure of 745 kilograms (1,642 pounds) of cocaine, much of it allegedly concealed inside pineapples shipped from Latin America.

The Iberian police forces announced the big drug bust on Wednesday. They said it unfolded over several months, led to nine arrests and broke up an international smuggling ring led by Colombians.

In November, Spanish police discovered almost 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of cocaine in Madrid and Barcelona. They say that led to an import company shipping fruit from Panama to Portugal and to a search of ships at the port of Lisbon.

The searches uncovered wax-covered cylinders hidden inside pineapples and containing more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of cocaine in all. Also seized was 400,000 euros ($489,000) in cash.

TME – Spongebob Squarepants is currently being sought for questioning.

A plot uncovered

WEBSTER, Mass. - Massachusetts police say they have arrested a man who stole seven manhole covers and put traffic cones in their place.

The Telegram & Gazette reports the 46-year-old Webster man was arrested Friday and charged with larceny.

Police say they first received a call around 2:45 p.m. last Wednesday from a witness who saw the suspect taking a manhole cover in Webster. Authorities received several other calls about missing manhole covers, and they say they stopped a vehicle matching the witness’ description later that day.

Police say the suspect acknowledged taking the manhole covers and pointed officers to where he had sold them. Authorities recovered the covers Wednesday from a Millbury salvage yard.

Webster sewer superintendent William Burke says they replaced to stolen covers with spares.

TME – 1) Collect manhole covers. 2) ???? 3) Profit.

Scaly surprise

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Russian police had an unexpected encounter while searching a house in St. Petersburg - a crocodile in the basement.

The Fontanka.ru news portal said the incident happened Thursday while detectives were looking for undeclared weapons in the house of a man involved in staging reconstructions of historic military battles with period uniforms and antique weaponry.

When they went down, they saw a crocodile resting in a small pool of water dug in concrete basement. The owner of the house explained that he got the crocodile years ago.

City prosecutors said Friday they were checking whether the man was complying with local laws.

TME – It’ll all be OK. After a while.

Piping hot justice

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Police in the Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital say two would-be carjackers fled from their intended victims when a splash of hot cocoa and a dash of resourcefulness entered the mix.

Police in Prince William County, Virginia, said in a statement that a 50-year-old woman exited a 7-Eleven convenience store on Saturday night with some purchased items when two men, one with a handgun, approached and demanded her vehicle.

Police say the woman struck one man with her bag before her 22-year-old daughter threw her hot chocolate toward both men, who then fled on foot.

No one was hurt and no property was taken.

TME – To be fair, warm marshmallows can really sting your eyes.

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