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Weird National Briefs (12/21/2016)

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Extreme couponing

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island police officer accused of stealing bundles of coupons and inserts that go in the Sunday newspaper has pleaded not guilty.

The Providence Journal reports that Jesse Ferrell appeared in Superior Court Friday on four counts each of felony breaking and entering and misdemeanor larceny.

Ferrell was arrested and suspended without pay in April. He had been on the force for 19 years.

Police say Ferrell was arrested after officers saw him trying to break into a company that distributes The Providence Journal.

The company alerted police that bundles of fliers were disappearing.

Police say they began investigating Ferrell after the internal affairs bureau received a complaint.

Ferrell’s attorney said Friday he could not yet comment on the case.

Ferrell remains free on personal recognizance.

TME – A man will do crazy things to get two for one fabric softener.

VW drugs

CINCINNATI - A Kentucky man bothered by a rattle in a car he’d recently bought at an Ohio auto auction has found 2 pounds of heroin in a secret compartment inside the vehicle.

WCPO-TV reports the man drove the Volkswagen Jetta for several weeks before discovering the heroin beneath the front passenger seat.

Investigators found more than 6 1/2 pounds of heroin in the car eight months ago after the Ohio State Highway Patrol arrested a former Mexican law enforcement officer who said a drug cartel forced him to drive the drugs across the country.

A Highway Patrol spokesman says the car was thoroughly searched before it was released to the auction.

The auction company has agreed to take the car back.

TME – Turns out Jettas are sensible cars for all kinds of reasons.

Pipe down!

LAKELAND, Fla. - Two Florida men are spending the holidays in jail, thanks to observant neighbors who spotted them taking Christmas gifts from a nearby home and another homeowner who chased them with a metal pipe.

The Polk County Sheriff’s department announced that a Lakeland resident heard a loud noise Wednesday morning and called another neighbor, who looked outside and saw the men taking gifts from a nearby home. The neighbor yelled and they fled in a car.

Lakeland police and sheriff’s deputies tracked them down. They bailed from the car and ran into a home, but the homeowner chased them out with a metal pipe.

Authorities arrested 18-year-old James Davis and 21-year-old Antonio Thomas. Both face multiple charges and remained in the Polk County Jail Friday. Records don’t list attorneys for them.

TME – And so ends the tale of “The Pipe-Wielding Neighbor Who Saved Christmas.”

Hendrix horticulture

SAN DIEGO - California researchers have named a newly discovered rare plant after Jimi Hendrix.

The plant, found in Baja California, Mexico, has been christened Dudleya hendrixii, or “Hendrix’s liveforever.”

Liveforevers are a kind of succulent with enormous lifespans.

This one is a stalky plant less than a foot tall with pinkish-white flowers that dies in summer and re-sprouts in fall.

San Diego State University says a former graduate student, Mark Dodero, discovered the plant _ supposedly while listening to Hendrix’s song “Voodoo Child.”

The university says Dodero and Stephen McCabe of the University of California, Santa Cruz, decided to name it for the late rock guitarist.

However, unlike Hendrix’s music, the plant is in peril. San Diego State says its two-acre habitat is threatened by farming, off-road vehicles and development.

TME – Purple Haze was already taken.

Power trout-age

SEATTLE - Utility officials say a falling fish knocked out power to nearly 200 customers in Seattle.

Seattle City Light says a witness reported seeing a bird drop the fish. It was presumably one of the eagles or ospreys that hunt in the nearby Duwamish River.

A crew investigating the outage walked the power lines and found what workers described as an electrocuted salmon.

Power was out for about two and a half hours.

City Light says birds often cause power outages - 162 of them in the city last year, including two by bald eagles. Raccoons are another common culprit. But spokeswoman Connie McDougall says this is the first time she’s heard of a fish knocking out power.

TME – Sounds pretty fishy to us.

Backhoe blotto

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A New Jersey man who police say was driving drunk while behind the wheel of a backhoe is facing charges.

Fifty-six-year-old William Campbell was charged Tuesday with driving while intoxicated, careless driving and failing to maintain a lane among other offenses.

Police say a South Brunswick officer stopped Campbell Monday after observing him “drinking beer and swerving all over the road.”

The officer reportedly smelled alcohol on Campbell’s breath and found bottles of Jack Daniels and vodka in the backhoe.

Police say Campbell failed a field sobriety test and admitted to the officer that he didn’t have a valid license.

Campbell has seven prior DWI convictions. It’s unclear if he has an attorney who can comment on the charges.

TME – They tell you not to operate heavy machinery for a reason.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 March 2017 22:23


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