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Weird National Briefs (12/25/2019)

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Owl be home for Christmas

ATLANTA - A Georgia family got a real hoot from its Christmas tree: More than a week after they bought it, they discovered a live owl nestled among its branches.

Katie McBride Newman said Friday that she and her daughter spotted the bird on Dec. 12. They had bought the 10-foot (3-meter) tall tree from a Home Depot, brought it back to their Atlanta area home and decorated it with lights and, coincidentally, owl ornaments.

“It was surreal, but we weren’t really freaked out about it,” McBride Newman said. “We’re really outdoorsy people. We love the wilderness.”

The family opened windows and doors near the tree hoping the owl would fly away, but it didn’t.

“The owl seemed to be pretty comfortable, and I thought, ‘Hey buddy, it’s not going to go well if you just stay here. There’s no food, I’m sorry,’” said McBride Newman’s husband, Billy Newman.

So the family called a nonprofit nature center for help. The Chattahoochee Nature Center caught the bird and helped the family release it.

McBride Newman said she believed the bird had been in the tree since they bought it, but was hidden.

“We think he was just in there hugging the trunk,” she said. “It’s a very dense tree and it was very fresh. That’s why we picked it.”

TME – Whoooo cares?

About face

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A suspected robber who face-planted into a Pizza Hut door before fleeing has been arrested thanks to the DNA evidence he left behind, police said.

Markell Deshaun Barnes, 19, was taken into custody last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after a forensic laboratory matched his DNA, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports.

According to police, officers had swabbed the door for possible DNA evidence from the June 2019 robbery of a Pizza Hut in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Investigators took the DNA after reviewing surveillance images and seeing the 19-year-old face-planting into a locked door.

Barnes is suspected in another Las Cruces robbery that same day at a gas station.

He has been charged with one third-degree felony count of attempted armed robbery and one fourth-degree felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Barnes has since been transferred to the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is being held without bond.

No attorney is listed for Barnes.

TME – They’re really doing great things with facial recognition technology, aren’t they?

Plane stupid

FRESNO, Calif. - A 17-year-old girl was arrested Wednesday after authorities say she sneaked into a small plane at an airport in central California and drove it into a chain-link fence.

The teenager breached the fence of Fresno Yosemite International Airport, started up the plane and crashed it into a fence, airport spokeswoman Vikkie Calderon told The Fresno Bee.

Airport officials said officers found the teen in the pilot’s seat, wearing the pilot’s headset.

No one was injured. No passenger planes were in danger, Calderon said.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of theft of an aircraft. She will be booked into the juvenile hall after officers finish questioning her.

The girl’s mother told Fresno news station KFSN-TV that she hadn’t heard from her daughter since Tuesday night.

TME – It’s like a deleted scene from “Love, Actually.”

Trouser shrimp

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A thief stuffed a total of 30 bags of frozen shrimp down his pants in back-to-back burglaries of a Southern California grocery store, police said Wednesday.

The man took the shrimp from a Vons market in the city of Riverside by entering the store three times in a span of 15 minutes on Dec. 14.

Each time he went to the frozen food section and concealed the shrimp in his pants, Riverside police said in a statement.

The stolen food had a retail value of more than $500.

Security video of the suspect in the market was posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page.

TME – Were they jumbo shrimp at least?

Odor and out

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Des Moines City Council has disbanded the city’s Citizen Odor Board.

The council took the action Monday after concluding the panel was no longer needed after nearly 30 years of recording complaints. It had no enforcement powers.

People still will be able to report stenches to the city’s 24/7 odor hotline: (515) 244-0336. If the city gets 10 complaints about the same smell within six hours, it will investigate the source.

SuAnn Donovan, the city’s neighborhood inspection zoning administrator, said an administrative law judge would hear appeals from companies found to be significant odor generators.

The council also eliminated the Des Moines Music Commission, which hadn’t met for more than seven years. City staffers said in a document given the council that Des Moines now has a vibrant live music scene that no longer needs a commission’s help.

TME – Alas, they just didn’t pass the smell test.

Where’s the fire?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama man was arrested for stealing a fire chief’s vehicle and running from police in a high-speed chase that he narrated on the vehicle’s in-car video system.

News media report that the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office arrested Logan Cale Norton on Wednesday.

Glencoe’s fire chief Richard Johnson said firefighters were answering a call when Norton jumped into Johnson’s marked vehicle and took off, with the emergency lights still on.

According to the sheriff’s office, Norton was traveling on the wrong side of the road and attempted to hit another patrol vehicle during a chase with police. He eventually surrendered without resistance after stopping at the main fire hall.

Norton can be heard on the dash camera in the stolen vehicle narrating the pursuit as he was running from law enforcement, officials said.

Norton faces charges and citations related to theft of property, attempting to elude, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. It wasn’t immediately clear if he has a lawyer.

TME – Maybe he was just trying to volunteer.

Last modified on Monday, 23 December 2019 16:41


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