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Weird National Briefs (10/07/2020)

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This week in criminal masterminds

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Three men blew up an ATM in a Chinese takeout restaurant in Philadelphia while the establishment was still open but were unable to get any cash, police said.

The men entered the Golden Chinese/American takeout restaurant in northwest Philadelphia shortly after 9 p.m. Friday and ordered food, police said. They then placed some kind of explosive device which damaged the ATM and the window and knocked items off shelves behind the counter, police said.

The three went back into the establishment but were unable to remove the cash box that was still inside the damaged ATM, police said. The three then fled, one on a bicycle and the other two on foot. Police were searching for suspects and no arrests were immediately reported.

TME – Hard to believe such a well-conceived plan could go awry.

Out of luck

RIDGE MANOR, Fla. (AP) — A woman who won $1,000 in a second chance drawing on July 29 isn’t getting her prize because the certified letter she sent to the Florida Lottery’s headquarters never arrived.

Sue Burgess told WFLA that officials in Tallahassee told her “no ticket, no prize.”

The second chance lottery prize gives winners limited time to turn in a ticket to claim the prize. Their options are to either put the ticket in a drop box at a local lottery office, which were not then open to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, or mail them to the headquarters.

Burgess told the television station she felt it would be safer to send the ticket via certified mail with the U.S. Postal Service.

The tracking information shows the ticket arrived at a Tallahassee post office at 7:12 a.m. on Aug. 12. But the online tracking shows the ticket was never delivered to the lottery office.

When Burgess called, lottery officials told her that without a ticket, the prize would go to an alternate winner.

In a second chance game, the lottery has a record of winners because players register their names and contact information. Burgess told the station she was notified she won by a lottery official who called to give her the good news.

Typically, lottery winners of more than $600 can submit winning tickets in person at their local lottery office. But because of COVID-19, offices were closed to the public. Burgess says she was told she could send the ticket via certified mail or leave the ticket in a drop box at a local lottery office.

Burgess said there was a one-week time frame to submit the ticket, but she missed an email about being a winner and by the time the office called her, she only had days to get the ticket post-marked.

“That’s why you chose certified mail,” Burgess told the station. “With COVID, I understand the mail is a little bit slow. But for safety sake, certified mail usually has priority.”

Lottery officials told WFLA the claim was never received at the headquarters.

The claims department told Burgess to contact the postal service to find out what happened to the letter. The postal service said they are investigating what happened.

In a statement to the station, the postal service offered an apology to Burgess for any “inconvenience.”

TME – What are the odds?

Fowl language

LONDON (AP) — A British zoo has had to separate five foul-mouthed parrots who keepers say were encouraging each other to swear.

Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade and Elsie joined Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre’s colony of 200 gray parrots in August, and soon revealed a penchant for blue language.

“We are quite used to parrots swearing, but we’ve never had five at the same time,” said the zoo’s chief executive, Steve Nichols. “Most parrots clam up outside, but for some reason these five relish it.”

Nichols said no visitors had complained about the parrots, and most found the situation funny.

“When a parrot tells tells you to ‘f-— off’ it amuses people very highly,” he said Tuesday. “It’s brought a big smile to a really hard year.”

Nichols said the parrots have been separated to save children’s ears. They were moved to different areas of the park so they don’t “set each other off,” he said.

TME – Polly want a !$&#@%?>

How emu-sing

BOSTON (AP) — An emu that was spotted roaming the streets of a city near Boston was corralled by authorities in Massachusetts.

The emu was reported Wednesday morning in Haverhill, about 35 miles north of Boston, and was captured two hours later.

The Eagle-Tribune reported that the emu named Kermit, escaped from the property of a local resident who cares for unwanted animals. The resident had been preparing to transport Kermit to a farm in Maine when it fled.

Authorities say the bird was captured safely after it was given a pear from a nearby tree.

Native to Australia, emus are the largest living bird after the ostrich and can reach up to nearly 100 pounds and a height of almost six feet. They run fast and can become aggressive.

TME – I thought pears only worked on partridges?

Metro man cave

NEW YORK (AP) — Three railroad workers have been suspended for turning a storage room under New York’s Grand Central Terminal into an unauthorized “man cave” with a television, a refrigerator, a microwave and a futon couch, officials said Thursday.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority investigation found that managers at Metro-North Railroad were unaware of the hideaway beneath Track 114.

“Many a New Yorker has fantasized about kicking back with a cold beer in a prime piece of Manhattan real estate — especially one this close to good transportation,” MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny said in a news release. “But few would have the chutzpah to commandeer a secret room beneath Grand Central Terminal.”

Three Metro-North employees — a wireman, a carpenter foreman and an electrical foreman — were suspended without pay pending disciplinary hearings.

The investigation began after the MTA’s office of the inspector general received an anonymous tip in February 2019 alleging that there was a “man cave” under Grand Central with “a couch and a flat screen t.v.” where three specific employees would “hang out and get drunk and party.”

Investigators found the room, which had wooden cabinets designed to conceal the TV and futon, according to the report.

Railroad officials said the space presented a fire hazard because rescue workers would have had difficulty accessing an unmapped room.

TME – You don’t even want to know where they put the hot tub.

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 October 2020 07:41

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