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Weird National Briefs - Sept 18, 2013

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This week in criminal masterminds

LIVINGSTON, Mont. - Police trying to figure out who egged and toilet-papered a house in a south-central Montana town cracked the case after finding a grocery bag and a receipt in the backyard.

Livingston Police Chief Darren Raney said Tuesday that a resident reported his house had been targeted by vandals on Aug. 29.

Investigating officers tracked the bag and receipt to a Livingston store, where video from a surveillance camera showed a group of teenage boys purchasing eggs and toilet paper.

Raney tells the Livingston Enterprise the boys, ages 15 and 16, were referred to the juvenile probation officer.

TME Ladies and gentlemen the future of America!

Air Handbasket?

HELSINKI - Would you board flight 666 to HEL on Friday the 13th?

For superstitious travelers, that might be tempting fate. But Finnair passengers on AY666 to Helsinki - which has the 3 letter designation HEL - don't seem too bothered. Friday's flight is almost full.

'It has been quite a joke among the pilots' said veteran Finnair pilot Juha-Pekka Keidasto, who will fly the Airbus A320 from Copenhagen to Helsinki. 'I'm not a superstitious man. It's only a coincidence for me.'

The daily flight AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki falls on Friday the 13th twice in 2013. Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in many countries and the number 666 also has strong negative biblical associations.

Some airlines, like Scandinavian Airlines, take these fears seriously and don't have a row 13 on board. However, the negative connotations are a relatively new phenomenon for northern Europeans, and Finnair and other regional carriers like Norwegian and Estonian Air keep row 13.

'Less than 100 years ago, the number 13 did not have this sinister meaning; it's quite recent in the north,' said Ulo Valk, professor of comparative folklore at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

'There are 12 hours, 12 months and in Christianity 12 apostles and this is a divine number. Add one more and it brings in a certain element of chaos,' he said.

But passengers on flight 666 to HEL should have a calm flight over the Baltic at this time of year.

'It's hopefully smooth skies' says Keidasto. 'And if there's some passenger who is anxious about this 666 our cabin crew is always happy to help them.'

TME Isn't this an M. Night Shyamalan movie?

Madcap mishap

YORK, Pa. - Good thing they weren't crammed in a clown car.

Pennsylvania police said a minivan with two clowns inside crashed outside the York Fair around 6 p.m. Wednesday when the driver missed the entrance and collided with an SUV while making a U-turn.

The minivan was also pulling a trailer with a clown car.

Police said the driver, 83-year-old James Billingsley of York, also known as 'Dimples the Clown,' suffered a minor bump on the head. His passenger clown, 77-year-old Norman Clouser of York, was unhurt.

Police said 'Dimples' was wearing clown shoes but the oversized footwear apparently didn't play a role in the crash.

West York Borough police Sgt. Brad Thomas said both vehicles had to be towed. He didn't know if the clowns ever made it to the fair.

TME That wasn't a clown nose - he was just incredibly drunk.

Training day

ERIE, Pa. - An Ohio man has been cited for public drunkenness and criminal trespass for a not-so-great effort to commandeer a freight train in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Police say 28-year-old Robert Nerone Jr., of Jefferson, Ohio, somehow hopped aboard the eastbound CSX train in Ashtabula, Ohio early Wednesday and moved car to car as the train slowed to a stop in Millcreek Township. That's in Pennsylvania, just outside of Erie, about 120 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Millcreek police Capt. Randy Faipler tells the Erie Times-News that Nerone reached the train's main engine and banged on the windows, telling the engineer and conductor he was commandeering the train about 3:30 a.m.

Nobody was hurt and nothing was taken from the train.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Nerone, who doesn't have a listed phone.

TME Casey Jones you better watch your speed.

One brine day

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee has literally been down this road before.

What could the city's Department of Public Works mix with rock salt to deice its streets in the winter? Rock salt is plentiful and inexpensive, but concerns have been raised about its long term effects on roads and the environment.

This winter, public works crews will try mixing cheese brine with the rock salt. The brine is a liquid waste product left over from cheese making. The downside is its distinctive odor.

The city has experimented with anti-icing alternatives before. The Journal Sentinel says beet juice used in 2009 turned into something resembling oatmeal when mixed with salt in the city's trucks. Milwaukee has also used a molasses-type product as a deicer in the past. But, residents complained they were tracking the sticky stuff into their homes.

TME Packers fans will just have to find something else to drink with breakfast.

Urban cowboy

BOULDER, Colo. - University of Colorado police have arrested a 45-year-old man suspected of going on a drunken horseback ride through the city of Boulder.

Police spokesman Ryan Huff tells The Daily Camera that witnesses saw the man hit his horse and then occasionally wander into traffic near the school Monday afternoon. Patrick Neal Schumacher of Colorado Springs faces several charges, including animal cruelty and riding under the influence of alcohol.

Police say he had a small pug named Bufford in his backpack, as well as beer cans and a black-powder pistol in his saddlebag. Officers say he told them he was traveling from Larkspur, Colo., to his brother's wedding in Bryce, Utah, and that he had to make the 600-mile journey by horse because he lost his driver's license.

TME Beer, pistol, pug at least the guy was prepared for any contingency.

Clash of the cleaners

TOWER, Minn. - Iron Range's top maids will get a chance to 'fold for the gold' when they compete in the upcoming Housekeeping Olympics.

Teams from hotels and motels across the Iron Range will compete Monday at the Fortune Bay Resort Casino in Tower. Events include folding linen, stacking laundry and making beds.

The most popular event is the grand finale. Competitors have to navigate an obstacle course with their maid carts. They zigzag through a maze of cones, stop to scrub toilets and shower stalls, make beds and then race to the finish line.

The Olympics are held as part of International Housekeepers Week. Organizers say the games are a fun way to show appreciation for a job that often goes unrecognized.

TME We're pretty sure all of these competitors have lost their amateur status.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 19:05

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