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Weird National Briefs (08/26/2020)

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Kangaroo crime

BERLIN (AP) — A tiny albino baby kangaroo has gone missing from a German zoo and authorities said Friday it’s possible she may have been stolen.

The kangaroo named Mila was born last month at the Kaiserslautern zoo in southwestern Germany and has been a star attraction. She was last seen in her cage on Wednesday morning, and wasn’t there when zookeepers closed down operations that night, police told the dpa news agency.

“We’re investigating in all directions,” police told dpa. “We can’t rule out that she was stolen.”

Zoo Director Matthias Schmitt issued an appeal to the public for help in tracking down the baby, who was seldom far from her mother’s side. He issued a photo of both together with Mila peering out of her mother’s pouch.

Schmitt said it seems unlikely that the small marsupial was snatched by a wild fox or other predator, saying there were no blood traces found anywhere.

The zoo has employed two hunters with dogs to search for the kangaroo, but so far they have had no success.

“The whole team at the zoo is hoping Mila will be found again and is in good health,” he said.

TME – You hate to see a joeynapping like this.

Cocoa oh no!

BERLIN (AP) — Residents of a Swiss town got a bit of a shock when it started snowing particles of a fine cocoa powder after the ventilation system at a chocolate factory malfunctioned.

The Lindt & Spruengli company confirmed local reports Tuesday that there was a minor defect in the cooling ventilation for a line for roasted “cocoa nibs” in its factory in Olten, between Zurich and Basel.

The nibs, fragments of crushed cocoa beans, are the basis of chocolate.

Combined with strong winds on Friday morning, the powder spread around the immediate vicinity of the factory, leaving a fine cocoa dusting.

The company says one car was lightly coated, and that it has offered to pay for any cleaning needed — but hasn’t yet been taken up on the offer.

Factory production was able to continue as normal and the company says the particles were completely harmless to people or the environment.

The ventilation system has now been repaired.

TME – Time for “Chocolate Rain” to make a comeback.

Flight fight

ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) — A bald eagle launched an aerial assault on a drone operated by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy — known as EGLE — ripping off a propeller and sending the aircraft into Lake Michigan.

The attack happened July 21, when the drone was mapping shoreline erosion near Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to document and help communities cope with high water levels, the department said in a statement.

Environmental quality analyst and drone pilot Hunter King said he had completed about seven minutes of the mapping flight when satellite reception became spotty.

King pressed a button to return the $950 drone to him and was viewing his video screen when the drone began to twirl.

“It was like a really bad roller coaster ride,” said King, who looked up and saw the eagle flying away, apparently unhurt by its confrontation with technology.

Two birdwatchers who were nearby saw the bird attack something but told officials they didn’t realize it was a drone.

The drone sent 27 warning notifications in the 3.5 seconds that it took to spiral to the water, including one noting that a propeller was missing. A search of the shoreline failed to find the drone. Data later revealed that it landed in 4 feet of water about 150 feet offshore.

EGLE’s drone team is considering what it can do to reduce the possibility of a repeat attack, including possibly using “skins” or other designs on the aircraft to make them look less like seagulls, the agency said.

TME – Nature finds a way.

Driver’s seat

CENTERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Driver’s license photos aren’t always the best, but when a Tennessee woman received her new ID the picture was perfect — for a furniture store.

Jade Dodd renewed her license online and received it last week, but to her surprise, the photo wasn’t a picture of her. It only showed an empty chair.

“The lady at the DMV did not really believe me when I was like ‘hey, I need my license fixed,’” Dodd said. “Then, she looked it up in the system and goes, ‘oh, I need my manager for this.’”

The chair ended up being the focal point of the license because it was the last photo taken and saved to Dodd’s file, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security told WKRN-TV. The photo was taken accidentally, the department said.

Dodd said she wasn’t upset by the mistake. Instead, she said it lightened the mood amidst the coronavirus pandemic and provided her and her coworkers with a few laughs.

“My boss thinks it’s funnier than anyone,” Dodd added. “I was at work Friday and he pointed to a chair outside of his office door and was like, ‘I thought this was you, I waved at it this morning.’”

She posted the photo to Facebook on Aug. 6 and as of Wednesday, it had been shared more than 19,000 times and turned into several memes.

Dodd received her new license Monday — without the chair.

TME – Meanwhile, Claude Raines has a new ID with a picture of Jade Dodd.

Baby on board

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The mother of a baby born on an airplane that was taking her to a hospital in Anchorage has named her son Sky because of his unique birth and first experience.

Chrystal Hicks gave birth to Sky Airon Hicks on Aug. 5 around 1 a.m. after boarding a plane to be flown from the small community of Glennallen to a hospital, KTUU-TV reported. She was 35 weeks pregnant.

“I was just having contractions and it wouldn’t stop, and it kept getting stronger and they thought we were going to make it,” Hicks said. “But we obviously didn’t make it very far.”

Hicks gave birth less than an hour into the flight, she said.

“It was shocking, it was really weird at first, I didn’t know what to think,” Hicks said. “But everybody kept talking about the baby on the plane.”

Hicks and her son made it safely to the hospital. Sky was placed on a breathing machine when he arrived because he was born a month premature. The baby is expected to be discharged from the hospital next week.

Hicks said filing out the birth certificate information was difficult because they were about 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) in the air.

“I just put Anchorage,” Hicks said. “I didn’t want to put on a plane or in the sky.”

Hicks has three other children — ages 3, 9 and 11.

TME – They are indeed friendly skies.

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 04:58

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