This week in odd news: Donkey owners to pony up; 'Nacho man'
BY RICHARD A. SOMMA
Sep. 29, 2017
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A longhorn bull from Oklahoma with a record horn span of more than 8 feet has been sold for $165,000 at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Texas.
The bull named Cowboy Tuff Chex owned by Bob Loomis of Overbrook, Oklahoma, was sold Friday to Richard and Jeanne Filip of Fayetteville, Texas.
Richard Filip told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the bull will be used for breeding on the couple's ranch, which has more than 100 longhorns. Jeanne Filip said the bull will be "the VIP of the ranch."
The 101 inch span from tip to tip is about 8.4 feet wide.
At the same auction last year, Lazy J's Bluegrass from Kansas, the world record-holder for a steer with horns at 121 inches, sold for $49,000.
BERLIN (AP) — A German court has ordered a donkey's owners to pony up 5,800 euros ($6,800) to the driver of a pricy McLaren sports car to cover damage caused when the animal chomped the backside of the vehicle.
Police said that Vitus the donkey may have mistaken the orange McLaren parked next to his enclosure as a giant carrot when he bit the back, damaging the paint and a carbon-fiber piece.
The dpa news agency reported that the state court in Giessen on Thursday sided with the car owner, who filed the suit after the donkey owner refused reimbursement for the incident last September.
At the time, Local media reported the owner of the donkey refused to pay for the damage, telling the McLaren owner he should have picked a better parking place.
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Authorities say a West Virginia grandmother has joined her grandson in jail after being accused of smuggling drugs to him behind bars.
The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force said 64-year-old Carolyn Lou Gay was arrested Wednesday on 15 charges related to drug possession and delivery.
News media report a criminal complaint says Gay visited her grandson Sept. 2 at Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg. The complaint says a guard heard inmate Shawn Douglas Weister tell Gay to "go ahead." It says Weister was directed to a strip search room, but instead ran away. When guards caught up, he yelled: "Run granny, they caught me."
The complaint says investigators found 22 sealed drinking straws containing various drugs including heroin in Weister's possession, and Gay is the only person who visited him.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a New Jersey woman made up a story that her granddaughter was missing inside a Walmart so that her son could steal clothes and candy.
Police in Egg Harbor Township say that Donna Hall and her son Nicholas Hall were charged after Tuesday's incident.
Police say Donna Hall told employees she had last seen the 8-year-old girl in the store's jewelry section.
Security guards say they saw Nicholas Hall filling bags with clothes and candy while the store was locked down. Police later determined there was never a girl missing.
Donna Hall was charged with creating a false public alarm and shoplifting and Nicholas Hall was charged with shoplifting and drug possession.
It wasn't immediately known if the pair had attorneys to comment on their behalf.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — When Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell took out a St. Louis Cardinals fan's plate of nachos while trying to catch a foul ball, the spectator had no idea he'd end up all over the internet.
KSDK-TV reports that a video circulating on social media shows Russell running into the stands at Busch Stadium during Tuesday's game, knocking over Andrew Gudermuth's nachos and falling into the lap of Gudermuth's girlfriend.
Gudermuth says the Cardinals replaced the spilled nachos and gave his group beer and Italian ice. He also says Russell shook his hand and apologized.
The South County resident, now nicknamed "Nacho Man," says the attention has made him popular on Twitter.
The 21-year-old Cardinals fan hopes his experience provides some comic relief during a tense time in the country.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Civil defense officials in northeast Mexico say a light rain was accompanied by small fish that fell from the sky.
Tamaulipas civil defense says in a brief statement that rain Tuesday in the coastal city of Tampico included fish. Photos posted on the agency's Facebook page show four small fish in a bag and another on a sidewalk.
According the U.S. Library of Congress, it's a phenomenon that has been reported since ancient times. Scientists believe that tornadoes over water — known as waterspouts — could be responsible for sucking fish into the air where they are blown around until being released to the ground.
AUBURN, Maine (AP) — A pair of cows is responsible for a pair of car crashes this week in Maine.
Police say one driver who crashed into a black Angus cow was on the phone with 911 at the same time there was a second car crash with a second black Angus cow about 200 yards (183 meters) away.
The Sun Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2xDmdNd ) that it happened early Wednesday in Auburn.
According to police reports, the cows apparently wandered away from a farm.
Neither driver was seriously injured, but both cows were euthanized.
The driver involved in the first crash says there would have been enough meat to fill his freezer. But neither driver was allowed to keep the meat.
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — New yellow painted highway lines in the Alaska's Panhandle city of Ketchikan are crooked and the paint that's been used by state transportation officials has stained cars, officials said.
Among those affected was Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor David Landis, whose car ended up with yellow paint on it.
"You come to expect having highway striping like that to be straight and have orderly looking lines and be professionally applied," Landis said. "Something was clearly wrong with the equipment or the operation of that equipment to have so many things wrong all at once."
The problems emerged after the state Department of Transportation tried out a new line painting system on the Tongass Highway, The Ketchikan Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/2fqSsIe) Saturday.
Department spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said the paint is "not drying as quickly as it should due to humidity in southeast Alaska."
Bob Sivertson, a Ketchikan city council member, called it the poorest line painting work he's seen.
Bailey said the state will not repaint the yellow lines.
She said people with cars that got paint on them should have the vehicles pressure washed.
If the car washes don't work, she recommended spraying WD-40 lubricant on areas stained with yellow paint. The lubricant should be left on cars for up to two hours before washing them.
And if that does not work, she said, they should put a "liberal coating of Vaseline" on the car areas stained yellow. It should be left on the cars overnight before getting the vehicles pressure washed, Bailey said.
RAMSEY, N.J. (AP) — A 71-year-old New Jersey man was arrested twice in one day on charges of driving while intoxicated.
NorthJersey.com reports (https://njersy.co/2hxhpyT) Richard Haskell was first arrested Saturday morning when police in Ramsey found him sleeping in his parked car near a pond with a bottle of alcohol between his legs. He was given a field sobriety test and failed. He was later released.
That afternoon, police say Haskell drove to the police department to see if his car from the earlier arrest would be released. Officers performed another field sobriety test, and Haskell's blood-alcohol level was still over the legal limit.
He was charged with a second DWI and given a court date.
No attorney information is available. A phone message left for Haskell wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.
YORK, Maine (AP) — A Maine police officer put his nose in harm's way during a wildlife rescue.
York Police Department officer David McKinnon came upon a skunk with its head stuck inside a cup while on patrol early Sunday.
He decided to help despite the high risk of a malodorous outcome.
He recorded video with his smartphone in one hand and gently tugged on the paper cup with the other hand while speaking reassuringly to the skunk.
Once freed, the skunk lifted its tail in preparation to spray. But it decided instead to scamper away as McKinnon exclaimed, "I never thought in a million years!"
The video had 41,000 views on Facebook as of Wednesday, and McKinnon earned praise for his bravery in the face of a potentially stinky rescue.
EWING, N.J. (AP) — A convenience store chain is challenging a man's claim that he found maggots in a sandwich he ordered from a store in New Jersey.
Chris Garcia tells The Trentonian (http://bit.ly/2xufxRC ) he bought a buffalo chicken cheesesteak hoagie Saturday from a Wawa store in Ewing. He says after taking few bites, he found two maggots moving around the sandwich. Garcia's mother recorded video of maggots crawling on the sandwich wrapper.
A Wawa spokeswoman says its investigation shows the claim is "highly unlikely and probably impossible." She says the 750-store chain inspects its stores daily and holds itself to the "highest standard of quality" in the food it serves.
Garcia says he got a refund after returning the sandwich.
Wawa also has stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.
BEDDINGTON, Maine (AP) — Maine forest rangers say the quick actions of a woman armed with a frying pan helped stop a forest fire.
Rangers say Nancy Weeks used a frying pan to carry water back and forth between the flames and a nearby pond in a wooded area near Beddington. WGME-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2wNjKv0 ) Weeks kept the fire under control until crews arrived.
Officials say the fire was sparked by an unattended camp fire.
Rangers say it's still fire season in the state, and likely will remain so until the first snowfall.
BALTIMORE (AP) — A gigantic glob of congealed fat, wet wipes and other waste — deemed a "fatberg" because of its iceberg-like size — has been blamed for a sewer overflow in Baltimore.
The overflow discharged about 1.2 million gallons of sewage into the Jones Falls waterway last week.
The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that the fatberg was discovered in a sewer main near Baltimore Penn Station.
Public works officials said the walls of a century-old 24-inch wide pipe were caked with oils, grease and congealed fats. Up to 85 percent of the pipe was clogged, blocking the flow of sewage.
The fatberg has been mostly scraped off and sent to a landfill.
A fatberg estimated to weigh more than 140 tons was recently discovered in London's sewer system. Officials say it could take weeks to be destroyed.
LUGOFF, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina sheriff says a man clocked doing 141 mph on Interstate 20 told a deputy he was on his way to see his girlfriend.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said a deputy assigned to his special traffic unit saw 20-year-old Liam Buckley fly past him late Friday on I-20 just east of the Richland County line.
Matthews says the deputy used radar to determine Buckley was going 141 mph. The sheriff says when officers caught up with Buckley's 2005 Chevrolet Corvette, he told them he was going to visit his girlfriend in Myrtle Beach.
Matthews said in a news release that Buckley was cited and spent a night in jail. It wasn't known if he had a lawyer.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Lots of pop songs have hooks. This one has loops, too.
Velcro Cos. this week released a music video with a message it hopes will stick as well as its products: "Don't Say Velcro."
The video features actors portraying trademark attorneys, joined by a few actual lawyers in the background, pleading with the public to respect the company's brand and refer to similar "scratchy, hairy" products as "hook and loop" fasteners.
"We're asking you not to say a name we took 60 plus years to build," the group sings. "But if you keep calling these Velcro shoes, our trademark will get killed."
Velcro CEO Fraser Cameron said the video had been viewed more than 4 million times worldwide by Tuesday afternoon.
"We want people to know there's a real company behind the brand folks know and love and that there's a difference between Velcro brand products and others in the marketplace," he said. "There's only one Velcro brand. Everything else is just hook and loop."
Velcro has its roots in nature. Swiss engineer George de Mestral came up with the design in the 1940s after studying burrs that stuck to his dog's fur and his wool pants during a walk in the woods. He named his invention Velcro, a combination of "velour" and "crotchet," the French words for velvet and hook.
Production began in France, but by 1958 operations had moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where employees marked the 50th anniversary of the company's U.S. trademark in 2008 by lining up for more than a mile to rip apart 8-inch lengths of the company's famous fasteners.
Today, the company's global headquarters is in the United Kingdom, and its fasteners, found on everything from spacesuits to diapers, are made in seven countries.
"We're in planes, trains, automobiles, commercial and residential construction, hospitals. ... It's really everywhere," Cameron said. "It's really hard to go through a day without encountering our brand."
Velcro's patent expired in 1978, however, allowing competitors such as 3M to move into the market.
Penn Holderness, who wrote and directed the video for Walk West in Raleigh, North Carolina, said the goal was to make a ridiculous 1980s-style video in the vein of "We are the World" for what company officials acknowledge is a First World problem.
"Creatively, we wanted to come up with something that looked and felt melodramatic and serious, but also clearly admitting, as Velcro was willing to do, that this is a bizarre problem that a lot of people don't know about," said Holderness, who's known for viral music videos featuring his family.
The song includes references to other successful brands that have become nearly synonymous with their products, with the name brands bleeped out: "If you need something/To clean up your socks/Do it with bleach/And not with (Clorox)." And "If you have blood/From a boo boo you made/This is a bandage/And not a (Band-Aid)."
BOSTON (AP) — Archaeologists think they've found an outhouse next door to Paul Revere's home in Boston — and oddly enough, it could be flush with artifacts.
Boston city archaeologist Joe Bagley says volunteers already have recovered fragments of pottery, bottles and a tobacco pipe from the dig outside the Pierce-Hichborn House in Boston's North End.
Bagley says the house built in 1711 was owned by one of Revere's cousins, and the renowned American patriot himself likely visited on numerous occasions.
Nina Zannieri of the Paul Revere Memorial Association says colonial-era outhouses — "privies," as they were politely called in the 18th century — often yield surprises.
Bagley says that's because trash and household goods typically were dumped in outhouses.
WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — A mystery couple has been picking up the checks for other customers at a southwestern Pennsylvania restaurant.
KDKA-TV (http://cbsloc.al/2fCvFJR ) reports the couple has been doing that for years at the Applebee's in Washington, Pennsylvania, but only recently have their good deeds come to light.
Jolie Welling says she was celebrating her daughter's birthday only to find the couple recently paid the entire tab — for 16 people. Samantha Powell, the waitress for that party, says the gesture touched her, too, and almost brought her to tears.
Bernie Lewis, the restaurant's assistant manager, says she has sworn to keep the couple's secret.
Powell knows them, too, and says they own a local business. She says the man once told her he pays others' checks because, "I grew up poor and now I'm not."
TREMONT, Maine (AP) — Maine firefighters say they had to rescue a New York couple who took a wrong turn and mistakenly drove into the Atlantic Ocean.
WMTW-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2xMLCnq ) firefighters were called to the docks in Tremont around 8 p.m. Tuesday after there were reports of two people trapped in a car in the water. Officials say the couple's SUV was in 8-to-10 feet (2.4 to 3.1 meters) of water after they traveled down a boat ramp into the water.
A video shows extremely foggy conditions in the area of the dock.
Rescuers were able to pull the couple onto a skiff, and then pulled the SUV back to shore.
An ambulance crew evaluated the couple.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A 14-month-old Tibetan terrier is safe and sound in her new Florida home after surviving Hurricane Irma, numerous thunderstorms and heat.
If Devlyn could talk, her owners — Robin and Dave Saltman of Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville — say she'd tell quite a story.
The Saltmans bought Devlyn from a Houston breeder in August. On Aug. 11, they were letting the dog run around outside and she escaped from their fenced-in yard. With help from daughter Kari Saltman Keene, they sought help though social media.
The Florida Times-Union reports sightings of Devlyn started coming in. On Day 13, she was spotted 12 miles away. She ran off. Then Hurricane Irma hit. Devlyn was caught two days later.
Now safe, Devlyn has a new leash with GPS tracking capability.
CLEVELAND (AP) — One of Trevor Bauer's infamous drones is missing. The Indians won't help him look for it.
The Cleveland pitcher, who also is an enthusiast of flying the unmanned, remote-controlled devices, lost the drone on Monday in a suburban park where he was zipping it around trees and other obstacles with a camera attached.
"I was flying at the park, and about a minute in, I bumped the ground and the GoPro came loose, but I didn't realize it because the drone stayed in the air," he said Tuesday. "I kept flying, and at the end of flight about a minute later, at a completely different part of the park, the drone crashed. It just landed basically."
Bauer was unable to locate the drone. On Tuesday, he posted a message on Twitter asking the person who took it to return it as soon as possible.
It's one of two drones Bauer owns.
"If I don't get it back, I'll have to make a third one," Bauer said with a smile. "And no Cleveland fan wants me to be building a drone right now."
That's certainly the last thing the Indians want.
Before Game 2 of last season's AL Championship Series, Bauer sliced open his right pinky — his throwing hand — while working on a drone. Bauer needed stitches, and the injury put his postseason in doubt.
He started Game 3 in Toronto, but Bauer didn't make it through the first inning before the cut opened and blood dripped from his hand, making it impossible for him to pitch.
Bauer recovered to pitch in the World Series, losing Games 2 and 5 to the Chicago Cubs.
He has become one of the team's most dependable starters this season, going 16-9 with a 4.28 ERA in 30 starts.
Bauer has also learned not to be so serious, and knows there's an amusing side to his latest drone mishap.
"I hope I find it," he said. "If not, it's a pretty funny story."