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Weird National Briefs (03/20/2019)

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Practice makes perfect

PORTAGE, Wis. - Authorities in southern Wisconsin say a 56-year-old Cambria man arrested on suspicion of his 8th OWI offense tried to drink in front of a deputy.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, a vehicle was reported in a ditch in the Town of Fountain Prairie Saturday night. The caller reported the driver wasn’t hurt, but “something wasn’t right with the driver.” The caller gave the man a ride home.

When a deputy arrived, the man had returned in another car. When the man was told he would be arrested, authorities say he tried to grab an open liquor bottle from the vehicle and drink from it.

The man was arrested on suspicion of OWI 8th offense, bail jumping, operating with open intoxicants and failure to maintain control of his vehicle.

TME – Go big or go home.

Yabba dabba boo

HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. - A San Francisco Bay Area town is suing the owner of the quirky Flintstone House, alleging she violated local codes when she put dinosaur sculptures in the backyard and made other landscaping changes that caused local officials to declare it a public nuisance.

The town of Hillsborough filed a complaint this week against Florence Fang, a media mogul who purchased the orange-and-purple, bulbous-shaped house in 2017.

She began installing the large metal sculptures, a sign in the driveway that reads “Yabba Dabba Doo,” figurines of characters from “The Flintstones” animated sitcom, a staircase, a parking strip, a deck and other additions to the front and backyard.

In October, a code enforcement panel found the changes created “a highly visible eyesore and are out of keeping with community standards.”

The complaint was filed after she failed to comply with the panel’s order to remove the features.

Fang is a former publisher of The San Francisco Examiner. Her grandson said in a statement that his grandmother “will fight to save the Flintstone House.”

“I think the dinosaurs are beautiful. They make everyone smile and should stay,” Sean Fang said.

TME – No word on what happens to the animals acting as household appliances.

No freedom to launch

SAYRE, Okla. - An Oklahoma woman was arrested after authorities say she used a T-shirt gun to launch drugs, cellphones and other contraband over a prison fence.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says the incident prompted a lockdown at the North Fork Correctional Unit in Sayre, about 120 miles west of Oklahoma City.

The agency says authorities arrested Kerri Jo Hickman after discovering the T-shirt gun and another package in her vehicle.

Tulsa television station KOTV reports that the container that was launched Sunday contained cellphones, ear buds, phone chargers, methamphetamine, digital scales, marijuana and tobacco.

Hickman remained jailed Friday in Beckham County on complaints of introducing contraband into a penal institution, conspiracy and drug trafficking. Jail records don’t list an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

TME – At least spring for the hot dog cannon.

Gesture judgement

TAYLOR, Mich. - When it comes to the middle finger, police might need a thicker skin.

A federal appeals court says a Michigan woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was handed a speeding ticket after giving the finger to a suburban Detroit officer in 2017. The decision means a lawsuit by Debra Cruise-Gulyas can proceed.

In a 3-0 decision Wednesday, the court said Taylor Officer Matthew Minard “should have known better,” even if the driver was rude.

Minard stopped Cruise-Gulyas and wrote her a ticket for a lesser violation. But when that stop was over, Cruise-Gulyas raised her middle finger.

Minard pulled her over again and changed the ticket to a more serious speeding offense.

Cruise-Gulyas sued, saying her free-speech rights and her rights against unreasonable seizure were violated.

TME – Should’ve just gone with a “read between the lines.”

Haunted home furnishings

SALISBURY, N.C. - A North Carolina thrift store has earned $1,000 off a hand-carved bedroom suite that may just be haunted.

News outlets reports Habitat for Humanity Rowan County’s ReStore warned would-be customers that the previous owner reported he and his wife had “continuous nightmares” while the furniture was in their bedroom. Their dogs were also suspicious of the 1950s highboy chest of drawers and canopy bed, as they “would not stop barking at it.”

The store’s director of operations, Elizabeth Brady, says two regular customers were intrigued and paid full price, but didn’t believe the furniture was actually haunted.

As a Christian housing ministry, officials wanted to make a full disclosure to buyers that the furniture was said to be haunted.

TME – The “Paranormal Activity” movie practically writes itself.

Totes my goats

FRESNO, Calif. - A rash of goat thefts is plaguing California’s San Joaquin Valley.

The Fresno County sheriff’s agricultural task force says there have been seven reports of goats being stolen between Jan. 9 and March 7.

In all, 61 goats worth $27,000 have been taken from private properties south.

Investigators say one of the most notable cases occurred last Thursday when members of the Kingsburg 4-H club had 11 goats stolen from a pasture on Fruit Avenue in Fresno.

During the weekend, owners recovered four of the goats found roaming a roadway in Selma.

TME – We’re really scraping the bottom of the Batman villain barrel.

Feathered fracas

DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is working to determine what charges might be appropriate to bring against a Maryland man who was videotaped tackling a federally protected pelican.

The Baltimore Sun reports Hunter Hardesty, of Davidsonville, posted the video of the apparent attack online on Thursday. Commission officer and spokesman Bobby Dube says Hardesty enticed the pelican and then jumped on it. He says authorities are considering possible animal cruelty charges.

The video shows Hardesty leaning over the water near the edge of a harbor that’s geotagged to the Florida Keys. It shows him then jumping off the harbor and landing on top of the pelican, launching a scuffle punctuated by the laughter of onlookers.

The bird then slapped Hardesty across the face with its beak and fled.

TME – Dude got beak-slapped.

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