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Weird National Briefs (03/31/2021)

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Beef on the lam

JOHNSTON, R.I. (AP) — A steer that has been on the lam for nearly two months after escaping while on the way to a Rhode Island slaughterhouse was finally corralled Friday morning, police said.

The beefy, 1500-pound (680-kilogram) fugitive was captured unharmed in Johnston by its owner and returned to a Connecticut farm, Johnston Chief Joseph Razza told WLNE-TV.

The steer took off Feb. 4 when a wholesaler lost control of it outside Rhode Island Beef & Veal in Johnston, according to authorities.

Since then, it has been spotted a number of times, including by a startled Uber driver who reported seeing it during an early morning run to pick up a passenger as he was waiting for a traffic light to change.

Razza previously said he just wanted to make sure the animal kept to wooded areas where it could not endanger drivers, and said Friday he’s relieved it has been captured without anyone getting hurt.

TME – Turns out it’s two months ‘til the cows come home.

Tree trouble

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Police who were stumped by the theft of a rare pine tree in November from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum said Friday that they have cracked the case.

UW-Madison police said three 19-year-old university students stole the tree as part of a “pledge” activity for the former Chi Phi fraternity, which hasn’t been recognized as an official student organization since 2015.

Police said they acted on a tip, and that the three admitted to purchasing a chainsaw, renting a U-Haul and stealing the 25-foot Algonquin Pillar Swiss Mountain pine. The stolen tree was about 30 yards (30 meters) from a street that runs through the arboretum, which is a popular spot for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and nature lovers.

The tree was planted in 1988 and its theft drew widespread attention.

After learning how rare the tree was, and that police were investigating, the students destroyed it and disposed of it outside of the city, university police said.

Each of the students was cited for removing the tree, which is punishable by a $200 fine.

University spokeswoman Meredith McGlone declined to comment on the students involved, citing federal privacy laws related to student discipline. She said in general students can face campus disciplinary action in addition to criminal sanctions.

TME – More like Chi Pine, am I right?

Not Haunted!

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts woman noticed something strange about the “For Sale” sign outside a home in her neighborhood.

On top of the sign with the name of the broker and their contact information was a sign with the words “Not Haunted” in big red letters.

“This just went up around the corner and I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS,” Margot Bloomstein wrote in a tweet this week that included an image of the sign, The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

The house is west of Boston but Bloomstein didn’t want to say exactly where to respect the homeowner’s privacy, she said. But she reached out to the real estate agency to learn more about the sign.

They knew nothing about it either.

The consensus is that the sign is a prank — maybe played by a ghost with a sense of humor.

TME – Most of the questions about the sign are answered by the sign.

Petty penny

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia man said his former employer owed him a pretty penny, $915 to be exact, after leaving his job in November.

But Andreas Flaten said he was shocked to see his final payment: 90,000 oil or grease covered pennies, at the end of his driveway earlier this month, news outlets reported. Atop the pile was an envelope with Flaten’s final paystub and an explicit parting message.

“This is a childish thing to do,” Flaten said.

Flaten said he left his job at Peachtree City’s A OK Walker Autoworks in November. He said he was owed the final check and had difficulty getting it, even turning to the Georgia Department of Labor to receive help.

In mid-March, Flaten said as he left his house with his girlfriend he noticed the pile at the end of his driveway. He said the pennies were covered with some sort of oily substance.

Now his nightly routine consists of cleaning the pennies so he can cash them in. He said it took him about an hour and a half to clean off several hundred.

“I think that’s going to be a lot of work for money I’ve already worked for,” he said. “It’s definitely not fair at all.”

The owner of the shop, Miles Walker, spoke with WGCL-TV briefly, stating he didn’t know if he did or didn’t drop the pennies off at Flaten’s house.

“I don’t really remember,” Walker told the TV station. “It doesn’t matter he got paid, that’s all that matters.”

Walker went on to call Flaten a “weenie.”

Flaten’s girlfriend, Olivia Oxley, said she hopes her boyfriend’s story sheds light on how people “are treated so poorly by their employers.”

She said the pair have stopped being angry and are looking at the petty act in a positive light.

“With that many pennies, we’re bound to find a few treasures. I’ve already found one from 1937,” Oxley said. “After the first shovel full, all we could do was laugh because this poor miserable man took so much time to be vindictive and cruel. We absolutely refused to let him ruin a single moment of ours.”

TME – He just wanted to put his two cents in – 45,000 times.

Lakewatch

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A Minneapolis man who was surfing the choppy waters of Lake Superior helped save a man who was struggling in the water while trying to rescue a dog.

Darby Voeks, 26, was about to jump off the pier at Park Point in Duluth on Wednesday to catch one last wave when a woman in a wheelchair rolled up and said she needed help because her 29-year-old aide had gone into the water to rescue her dog. Voeks, who was in a wetsuit, dropped his surfboard and jumped in.

Voeks said the waves were extreme and the man was exhausted. He pulled the man close to the pier ladder, but the man couldn’t pull himself up, so Voeks grabbed a life ring on the side of the pier to pull him in.

Then Voeks went after the dog, the Star Tribune reported.

“The dog’s instinct must have totally kicked in. It sat on my legs as I tried to pull myself up and as we got up the cement wall there was Coast Guard and fire department running around,” he said. “It’s completely surreal, it still feels surreal.”

The rescued man was treated at the scene for possible hypothermia.

Duluth Police Lt. Robin Roeser said Voeks will be awarded the department’s rare Police Partnership Award.

“You put yourself at risk to help somebody else,” Roeser said. “I don’t know how we didn’t lose somebody or lose a dog.”

TME – David Hasselhoff himself would have been proud.

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 March 2021 18:13

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