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Weird National Briefs (12/11/2019)

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Chimney creep

TUCSON - An Arizona man is facing charges after authorities say he tried to climb down the chimney with a bound in a vacant house - and got stuck.

KGUN-TV reports firefighters in Tucson, Arizona, rescued the man Friday after finding his legs dangling from inside the chimney.

Authorities say rescue workers were called to the scene following reports from neighbors who said they heard a man calling for help from inside the home.

Firefighters say they used a rescue ring and a rope on a crane to pull the man out of the chimney. Officials say the man is in his mid-30s and wasn’t injured.

Tucson Police say the home was vacant and the man was charged with trespassing and possession of a dangerous drug. His name was not released.

TME – Guess you could say he flue the coop.

Daredevil dentistry

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska dentist accused of fraud and unnecessarily sedating patients also performed a procedure while riding a wheeled, motorized vehicle known as a hoverboard, authorities said.

Prosecutors charged 34-year-old Seth Lookhart with felony Medicaid fraud and reckless endangerment.

A former patient testified Wednesday at his trial that she was angered when an investigator showed her an unauthorized 2016 video of Lookhart extracting one of her teeth while she was sedated and he was riding the hoverboard

Veronica Wilhelm was “pretty livid” about the dentist’s actions, she testified.

“When did Dr. Lookhart get your approval to take out your tooth on a hoverboard,” prosecutor Joan Wilson asked in court.

“He never did. I obviously wouldn’t have approved that. That’s dangerous,” Wilhelm said.

Wilhelm also was angered that Lookhart sedated her son for a teeth cleaning, she said

Lookhart denied the felony fraud allegations but acknowledged some other accusations, including the hoverboard procedure, defense attorney Paul Stockler said.

Stockler described the dentist’s actions as “absolutely stupid.”

“But I’ve seen much more dangerous things where no doctor has been charged,” the lawyer said.

The Anchorage dentist unnecessarily sedated patients so he could inflate his Medicaid billing, authorities said.

Lookhart fraudulently billed Medicaid about $1.8 million dollars and stole $250,000 from his partners, authorities said.

TME – YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TOOTH!!!

Birthday bust

KEARNEY, Neb. - A pair from Minnesota face felony drugs charges after a traffic stop in Nebraska turned up more than two pounds of marijuana, several packages of THC concentrate wax, vape pen cartridges and concentrated marijuana edibles.

The Nebraska State Patrol says a woman in the car told them all the drugs were bought in Colorado as a 21st birthday present to her.

The drugs were found Sunday when the couple’s vehicle was stopped for speeding Sunday on Interstate 80 just west of Kearney, the Kearney Hub reported. The vehicle was searched after the trooper who stopped it said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from it.

A 32-year-old man and the 21-year-old woman, both of Mankato, Minnesota, were arrested on suspicion of distribution and possession of more than a pound of marijuana, possession of concentrated cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The woman told the arresting trooper that all the drugs were a gift to her for her 21st birthday. Court records show her birthday was in October.

TME – Can’t wait to see what they get her for Christmas.

Treasure trouble

SANTA FE, N.M. - A Colorado treasure hunter claiming he was duped has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against a New Mexico man who said he hid a chest filled with valuables somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Tuesday that David Hanson of Colorado Springs sued Forrest Fenn, 89, after suspecting he was given “fraudulent statements” about the treasure’s location.

Hanson said in a complaint filed Monday that he followed the clues and arrived at the location but Fenn gave additional clues that led Hanson to move away from his search area.

Hanson says Fenn issued “additional clues” that benefited someone else, who, the lawsuit claims, “found the items in question.” There has been no report that the treasure has been found.

Hanson declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday.

Fenn said in an email Tuesday he was not aware of the lawsuit.

Fenn says he published clues in his autobiography The Thrill of the Chase and online after hiding the treasure in 2010 in an effort to get people outdoors.

Authorities say hunters have quit their jobs and some have died in the search.

TME – Wait until he finds out that the real treasure is the friends he made along the way.

Festive eel

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium may be shocked to learn that an electric eel named Miguel Wattson is lighting up a Christmas tree.

A special system connected to Miguel’s tank enables his shocks to power strands of lights on a nearby tree, according to a news release.

Miguel releases low-voltage blips of electricity when he is trying to find food, aquarist Kimberly Hurt said. That translates to a rapid, dim blinking of the Christmas lights. When he is eating or excited he emits higher voltage shocks which cause bigger flashes.

Wattson has his own Twitter account where he shares tweets generated by his sparky self, courtesy of coding by Tennessee Tech University’s iCube center.

“They combined electrical engineering and emerging business communication to give the eel a voice,” center director Kevin Liska previously said in a aquarium statement.

In between Miguel’s tweets boasting statements like “SHAZAM!!!!” and “ka-BLAMEROO!!!!!,” a video posted to the account shows Miguel shaking in his tank as lights on the nearby tree sputter on and off.

The aquarium hopes the Christmas tree will spark love and appreciation for the unusual freshwater fish.

TME – The future of renewable energy.

Gold standard

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A former FedEx worker has been charged with stealing thin gold bars from a package at the shipping giant’s hub in Memphis, Tennessee.

Shelby County prosecutors said Tuesday that 50-year-old Darrel Parker has been indicted on a state charge of theft over $10,000. He has been fired from FedEx and is free on bond.

Investigators say Parker was working in the FedEx sorting facility near Memphis International Airport in 2017 when he took eight thin gold bullion bars from a package.

Authorities say security officers found the bars in his wallet. The bars weighed about 1.3 ounces (37.5 grams) each and had a total value of more than $12,000.

FedEx said it cooperated with investigators.

An attorney listed in court records as previously representing Parker didn’t respond to a message.

TME – Lamest. Heist. Ever.

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 December 2019 12:11

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