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Weird National Briefs (05/15/2019)

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Grass harassed

DUNEDIN, Fla. - It's true, a Florida man says his grass grew a little too tall. But he doesn't think he should lose his house over it.

The city of Dunedin moved to foreclose on the home of 69-year-old Jim Ficken over $30,000 in unpaid code violation fines. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Ficken was fined $500 a day last summer because his grass was taller than 10 inches.

Ficken filed a lawsuit against the city seeking a nominal $1 in damages, relief from fines and an end to the city's practice of fining people without considering ability to pay.

Last summer, Ficken says he was away for lengthy periods managing the estate of his deceased mother in South Carolina. Ficken says the man paid to mow his lawn then died unexpectedly.

TME – And God help you if you paint your garage the wrong shade of beige.

Snake cycle

EVANSTON, Ill. - An escaped pet snake that apparently slithered into a suburban Chicago family's washing machine ended up smelling like fabric softener after going through the wash.

Sanela Kamencic tells WMAQ-TV she was "totally creeped out: when the snake turned up Wednesday in the washing machine in Evanston.

Police Officer Pedro Carrasco and Animal Control Warden Jason Pound brought the reptile to the Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. Carrasco says it was "peeking its head out of the washing machine'' when they found it.'' Pound says it :smelled like Downy'' after surviving the wash cycle.

Veterinarian Melissa Giese tells radio station WBBM the snake was :in pretty good shape'' and "really feisty.''

The animal hospital says the corn snake, named Penelope, belonged to a 12-year-old boy who lives nearby. They were reunited afterward.

TME – If you’ve got a better way to wash a snake, we’d love to hear it.

Legume larceny

ISLETA PUEBLO, N.M. - A businesswoman attempting to make a delivery outside of Albuquerque says thieves rolled off in her U-Haul packed with thousands of dollars' worth of refried beans.

KOB-TV reports no arrests have been made in Monday's legume larceny outside of the Isleta Resort & Casino just south of Albuquerque.

Mary Jane Brown is the president of Mexicali Rose Instant Refried Beans and says she stayed at the Isleta Pueblo hotel because she was concerned about crime in Albuquerque.

But she says thieves still took off with her U-Haul containing nearly $7,000 worth of beans.

The company is based in Anthony, New Mexico, outside of El Paso, Texas.

TME – Good luck moving those hot beans.

Where my dogs at?

ST. ANN, Mo. - Sometimes, a guy just wants to hang out with his buddies.

Such was apparently the case with Hugo, a dog who ran away from home last week in north St. Louis County and went straight to his doggy day care.

KTVI-TV reports that Hugo is often boarded at Happy Tails Pet Hotel and Playland in St. Ann. Surveillance video provided to KTVI shows Hugo sprinting through the front door into the business and nosing up to another dog after making the trek from home, which was more than a mile.

The trip wasn't easy. Hugo had to cross busy Lindbergh Boulevard to get to Happy Tails.

TME – Regardless, Hugo remains a good boy.

Reptile revealed

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Sheriff's officials say a Florida woman pulled a small alligator from her yoga pants during a traffic stop.

The Charlotte County sheriff's deputy stopped a pickup truck Monday afternoon after it ran a stop sign and 22-year-old driver Michael Clemons told him he and his 25-year-old passenger Ariel Machan-Le Quire were collecting frogs and snakes under an overpass. He gave the deputy permission to search bags in the truck.

When the deputy found 41 3-stripe turtles in the woman's backpack, he asked if she had anything else. She pulled the 1-foot (0.3-meter) gator from her yoga pants.

Charlotte County Sheriff's officials suggested an explanation on Twitter for the incident: ``Not to be outdone by (hash)FloridaMan, a (hash)FloridaWoman pulled an alligator out of her pants.''

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission took over the investigation.

TME – Don’t even ask where she had the crocodile.

State strep

TRENTON, N.J. - A microorganism that played a role in treating tuberculosis is now officially recognized as New Jersey's state microbe.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Friday giving the distinction to Streptomyces griseus (GREE'-say-us).

The microbe was discovered in New Jersey soil in 1916.

In 1943, researchers from Rutgers University used the microbe to create the antibiotic streptomycin.

Tuberculosis death rates in the U.S. plummeted. They fell from about 194 deaths per 100,000 people in 1900 to about 9 deaths per 100,000 people in 1955.

Rutgers researcher Selman Waksman was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering the microbe and creating the antibiotic.

TME – More like “New Germ-sey,” eh?

Twinspirational story

SUMRALL, Miss. - Twin brothers in Mississippi are graduating in the top two spots of their high school class.

Jimmy Dilworth is the slightly older one, and he is valedictorian at Sumrall High School. Tommy Dilworth is salutatorian.

They tell WDAM-TV that they have always been competitive, and they believe that has pushed them toward success.

They are both in cross country, archery and track. They are both in the math honor society, Beta Club.

The only activity they don't share is cheer. Tommy is on the cheer squad. Jimmy is not.

Graduation is May 25.

TME – So one of them is definitely evil … but which one?

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