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Weird National Briefs (02/24/2021)

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Mobile home

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After 139 years at 807 Franklin St. in San Francisco, a two-story Victorian house has a new address.

The green home with large windows and a brown front door was loaded onto giant dollies and moved Sunday to a location six blocks away.

Onlookers lined the sidewalks to snap photos as the structure rolled — at a top speed of 1 mph — to 635 Fulton St.

The house’s journey has been in the planning stages for years, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Veteran house mover Phil Joy told the newspaper he had to secure permits from more than 15 city agencies.

Joy said this move is tricky in part because the first part of the journey involves going downhill.

“That’s always difficult for a house,” he said.

Along the route, parking meters were ripped up, tree limbs were trimmed and traffic signs were relocated.

The owner of the six-bedroom house, San Francisco broker Tim Brown, will pay about $400,000 in fees and moving costs, the Chronicle said.

TME – Moving is different in San Francisco.

Bare butt to bear butt

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska woman had the scare of a lifetime when using an outhouse in the backcountry and she was attacked by a bear, from below.

“I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I sat down,” Shannon Stevens told The Associated Press on Thursday. “I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.”

Stevens, her brother Erik and his girlfriend had taken snowmobiles into the wilderness Feb. 13 to stay at his yurt, located about 20 miles northwest of Haines, in southeast Alaska.

Her brother heard the screaming and went out to the outhouse, about 150 feet (45.72 meters) away from the yurt. There, he found Shannon tending to her wound. They at first thought she had been bitten by a squirrel or a mink, or something small.

Erik had brought his headlamp with him to see what it was.

“I opened the toilet seat and there’s just a bear face just right there at the level of the toilet seat, just looking right back up through the hole, right at me,” he said.

“I just shut the lid as fast as I could. I said, ‘There’s a bear down there, we got to get out of here now,’” he said. “And we ran back to the yurt as fast as we could.”

Once safely inside, they treated Shannon with a first aid kit. They determined it wasn’t that serious, but they would head to Haines if it worsened.

“It was bleeding, but it wasn’t super bad,” Shannon said.

The next morning, they found bear tracks all over the property, but the bear had left the area. “You could see them across the snow, coming up to the side of the outhouse,” she said.

They figure the bear got inside the outhouse through an opening at the bottom of the back door.

“I expect it’s probably not that bad of a little den in the winter,” Shannon said.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Management Biologist Carl Koch suspects it was a black bear based upon photos of the tracks he saw and the fact that a neighbor living about a half-mile away sent him a photo of a black bear on her property two days later.

That homeowner yelled at the bear but it didn’t react. It also didn’t approach her but lumbered about its business, like it was in a walking hibernation mode.

“As far as getting swatted on the butt when you’re sitting down in winter, she could be the only person on Earth that this has ever happened to, for all I know,” Koch said.

No matter the season, Erik says he’ll carry bear spray with him all the time when going into the backcountry, and Shannon plans to change one behavior as well.

“I’m just going to be better about looking inside the toilet before sitting down, for sure,” she said.

TME – Apparently, a bear DOESN’T s—t in the woods – he does it in an outhouse.

Party cereal

CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) — Customs authorities in Ohio say they intercepted a shipment of cereal earlier this month with a special frosting — cocaine.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati reported finding 44 pounds (20 kilograms) of cocaine-coated cornflakes that had been shipped from South America to a Hong Kong home.

Officials said a narcotics detection dog named Bico was checking out incoming freight from Peru on Feb. 13 when he alerted officers to the package. Officers found that the cereal contained white powder and the flakes were coated with a grayish substance. Both tested positive for cocaine.

Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie said smugglers will try to hide narcotics in anything imaginable but vowed that inspectors will “use their training, intuition, and strategic skills” to stop such shipments.

TME – The mascot is a twitchy, paranoid ferret.

Suspicious package (of cuteness)

NEW MIAMI, Ohio (AP) — A police bomb squad responding to a suspicious package call at an Ohio church made an unexpected discovery: six newborn kittens and their mother inside a duffel bag.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office says its bomb squad was called to a church in New Miami on Thursday. When the responding officers heard purring instead of ticking coming from the black bag, they used their X-ray equipment to view what was inside.

The day-old kittens and their mother were found along with a note stating they had been born on Wednesday.

“Mom’s name is Sprinkles,” the note also read. “She began giving birth at 2 p.m.”

A post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page said mother and kittens “are doing well and are warm, cozy and fed.” They were being cared for at a local humane society.

TME – Most adorable bomb threat ever.

Camel crime

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Emirati police have arrested a man for allegedly stealing a highly valuable newborn camel to give to his girlfriend for her birthday, the United Arab Emirates’ state-linked newspaper reported Wednesday.

The owners of the baby camel reported the theft from their farm earlier this month, according to the local National newspaper, prompting Dubai police to fruitlessly search the area. Several days later, an Emirati man called authorities to say a stray camel had wandered onto his farm some 3 kilometers (almost 2 miles) away.

When interrogated, the man’s story fell apart, according to police in Dubai. He soon admitted to trespassing on his neighbor’s farm to steal a rare breed of camel for his girlfriend, the report said, settling for the newborn after failing to wrangle an adult. The man reported the stray beast when he grew worried about being caught, the paper said.

The police returned the camel to its owners and arrested the suspect and his girlfriend on charges of theft and making a false statement, the National said.

The days are long gone when camels were an essential part of life in Dubai, now a futuristic skyscraper-studded city on the Persian Gulf. But some continue to raise camels for food and milk. Camel racing remains a cherished pastime in the federation of seven desert sheikhdoms and the occasional camel beauty pageant even draws traders willing to pay millions of dollars for the most prized breeds.

TME – Love is a difficult journey, but he’ll get over the hump eventually.

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 February 2021 12:53

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