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Scottish Water

The Weird Week in Review

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Scottish Water

Sewer Blocked by Big Pooh

Scottish Water, a national public utility, has found some unusual objects blocking the sewers underneath Scotland over the past year. That includes a huge plush Winnie-the-Pooh bear in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. But they say the list also contains a fax machine, a bike, a snake, and blue jeans. How does anyone get such items down the drain? But the most common objects that block a sewer are grease, diapers, and baby wipes. A new public awareness campaign hopes to discourage people from putting anything into the sewer system that will cause blockages. Unstopping the pipes costs the utility more than £7 million every year.

Selling Girl Scout Cookies Outside a Cannabis Clinic

In a genius marketing move, 13-year-old Girl Scout Danielle Lei, with her mom’s help, set up a cookie stand outside a medical marijuana clinic in San Francisco. The sidewalk in front of the Green Cross dispensary turned out to be a lucrative position: she sold 117 boxes in two hours! That’s 37 more than she sold in front of a grocery store the next day. It’s not the first time Danielle has sold cookies outside a medical marijuana clinic, although it was the first time at this location. No other Scouts in her troop have tried this method, but the local council has no problem with it. Danielle will return to the Green Cross tomorrow to sell more cookies.

Sinkhole Swallows Eight Corvettes

Of all the places a sinkhole can open up and swallow cars, would you believe it had to be in the National Corvette Museum? Western Kentucky is full of underground holes, the most famous of which is Mammoth Cave. Last week, another one was born, right under six rare 'Vettes owned by the museum and two on loan from General Motors.

Bowling Green city spokeswoman Kim Lancaster said the hole opened up at about 5:40 a.m. CST Wednesday, setting off an alarm and a call to the fire department. Frassinelli said no one was in the museum at the time.

The hole is in part of the domed section of the museum, and that area will remain closed. That's an original part of the facility which was completed in 1994. The fire department estimated the hole is about 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep. Pictures of the sinkhole show a collapsed section of floor with multiple cars visible inside the hole. A few feet away, other Corvettes sit undamaged and undisturbed.

No one was injured. The dome is closed, but the rest of the museum remains open.

Identical Quads Born in Mississippi

Kimberly Fugate was expecting triplets, which was unusual enough, as she was about to turn 42 years old and had used no fertility drugs. But when she underwent a cesarian section on February 8, doctors found four baby girls -all identical to each other! Fetal medicine professor Dr. James Bofill says the odds of producing quadruplets without fertility intervention are one in every 729,000 live births. The odds of those quadruplets all being identical are much higher. The quads came almost 13 weeks early, and will probably remain in the hospital until May, their original due date. Fugate and her husband Craig already have a ten-year-old daughter.

Pants Take Banzai Trip to Costa Rica

Jason Anderson went all out and bought a tailored $1300 suit at Judd Frost Clothiers in Wayzata, Minnesota, for his wedding. After picking up the finished suit, he got on a plane and flew to Costa Rica, where the wedding was to take place. Only afterward did Frost discover that Anderson had left his pants behind! Knowing the large groom would never find proper replacement pants in Costa Rica in time for the wedding, the tailor was determined to ship the pants to him.

After finding no help from FedEx, UPS or airline package services to get the missing pants to the church on time, Judd Frost put his 32-year-old daughter on a southbound plane with the $500 tan gabardine suit pants.

Jessie Frost, who works for her dad’s men’s store, took off about 6 a.m. Sunday and landed about 11 hours later at the San Jose International Airport. After waiting an hour for her van driver and enduring a bumpy back-roads detour around a washout, she and the waylaid trousers finally reached the beachfront resort on the Pacific Ocean, where Jason Anderson, 32, of Maple Grove, and his fiancée, Heather Spaeth, 32, of Wayzata, are to be married Monday afternoon.

Now that’s customer service! The groom had no idea the pants were missing until the tailor contacted the bride through Facebook. The trip had side benefits for Jessie, who took her fiancé along. They attended the wedding and are visiting a cousin in Costa Rica.

Ten-year-old Norwegian Joyrider Does It Again

A 10-year-old boy from Dokka, Norway, was in the news last week when he drove his parents’ car several miles from home with his 18-month-old sister along. He had snuck out while the family was asleep. He drove into a ditch, and flagged down a snowplow for help. The boy told the snowplow driver that he was a dwarf, and had ditched the car when he turned around to retrieve his forgotten license.

It wasn’t so funny when the child pulled the same stunt again this week. The boy drove off in his aunt’s car, and the police were called. The child made it 19 miles this time, before he stopped and a bystander took his car keys away. The Vest Oppland police weren’t as forgiving for the second offense, and have reported the family to child services.

5 Strange News Stories From This Week

Welcome to The Weird Week in Review, where we bring you odd news stories from all over.

1. MAN PAYS FINE WITH FIVE WHEELBARROWS OF PENNIES

On January 11, Nick Stafford of Cedar Bluff, Virginia, carted 1600 pounds of pennies into the Lebanon Department of Motor Vehicles to pay taxes on two of his vehicles. It was the end of a saga that began in September, when Stafford tried to find out which of his homes (which are located in two counties) he should use to register his son's new car. When he tried to call his local DMV, he was routed to a larger call center—and so, to get the local number he wanted, he submitted a successful Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Then he went one step further, filing three lawsuits to get the direct numbers for nine other local DMVs. “If they were going to inconvenience me then I was going to inconvenience them,” Stafford told The Herald Courier.

A judge ultimately dismissed the lawsuits when the state's Attorney General physically handed Stafford the phone numbers in the courtroom. But Stafford still had to pay sales tax on his vehicles, and he got in one last dig at the DMV while doing so: First, he bought five new wheelbarrows. Then, he bought a bunch of rolls of pennies. He hired 11 people to help him unroll the pennies—300,000 in total—and drove them to the DMV, where he put them in the wheelbarrows and, with the help of people he had hired, rolled them in. (“I’m not used to lifting,” Stafford said. “These are heavy.”) The lawsuits, wheelbarrow, and hired help cost Stafford more than $1000 above the amount of the vehicle tax.

2. MOTORIST JAILED OVER KITTY LITTER

When he was pulled over in early December 2016, Ross Lebeau thought it was a routine traffic stop—but Houston sheriff's deputies arrested him on drug charges. In his car, the officers had found a substance in a sock, which, when field tested, was positive for meth. A press release stated that Lebeau had been found with a half pound of meth in his vehicle; the release contained both Lebeau's mugshot and a picture of the substance seized.

Lebeau spent three days in jail, but he was released when lab tests revealed that the substance was not meth after all—it was kitty litter! As WMC Action News 5 reported on January 7:

Lebeau said the substance was cat litter inside a sock.

His father left one in his car and gave the other to his sister for her car. It's supposed to keep the windows from fogging up.

The problem was that two field tests done by deputies came back positive for meth.

The county's forensic lab tested the substance as well, and no drugs were found. The case was then dismissed, but the damage was already done to Lebeau's reputation. "People have been calling me a kingpin or drug lord," Lebeau said, adding that he's lost out on work because of the accusation. “I was wrongly accused, and I'm going to do everything in my power to clear my name."

3. SWISS TOWN DENIES PASSPORT TO "ANNOYING" DUTCH VEGAN

Nancy Holten was born in the Netherlands, but she's lived in Switzerland since she was a child. The outspoken vegan and animal rights activist has campaigned against the cowbells that local livestock wear, saying the tradition is animal abuse, and has complained about loud church bells, hunting, and pig races. Holten, who is seeking Swiss citizenship, as been denied twice. Local residents can approve or deny villagers' requests, and they have deemed Holten too annoying. As Yahoo News UK reported on January 11:

"Tanja Suter, the president of the local Swiss People’s Party, claimed Ms Holten has a 'big mouth' and that residents did not want to grant her citizenship 'if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions.'"

Holten's citizenship case has been transferred to the Cantonal (regional) government body, which can overturn the local decision.

4. MAN FOUND STUCK IN KITCHEN VENT

Gjyste (Julie) Margilaj heard a crashing sound in her first-floor Manhattan apartment kitchen just after midnight on January 10. “I freaked ... out for a couple of minutes, and then I went over to the kitchen and I heard someone panting and breathing like they were in obvious pain. They were freaking out," she told the New York Daily News. “I opened the kitchen vent so he could breathe.” The man, a new resident of the seven-story building, had been on the roof hanging with some friends when, according to the FDNY, he removed the cover of an exhaust fan and slid down into the ductwork. "The shaft was so small that his body took up the entire vent," FDNY Chief Patrick Tansey told Pix 11 News. "So, using power tools was out of the question. We had to expose him by hand." The man—who was wearing just his underwear—only had minor injuries after the ordeal. "He had told the occupant who called us something about a pool in the basement," Tansey said, "but I don't know."

5. GOLFER RUN OVER BY TOILET

This week, Brian Berg filed a lawsuit over an incident that occurred last summer at Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The golfer was enjoying a day on the green when he was run over by a portable toilet. An employee of the course was using a forklift to move the toilet but couldn't see where he was going because the toilet obscured his vision. According to CBS Chicago,

"After he was knocked to the ground by the porta-potty’s “initial blow,” it did not stop, hitting him in the face and knocking him unconscious, the suit says. It injured his shoulder, cut his chin, cracked a rib, bruised a bicep and caused 'a large, deep bruise to his leg.'"

Berg is asking $50,000 in damages from the Elk Grove Park District, which runs the golf course, and the forklift driver.

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5 Strange News Stories From This Week
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iStock

Welcome to The Weird Week in Review, where we bring you odd news stories from all over.

1. CALF GETS LASSOED FROM THE HOOD OF A POLICE CAR

When authorities got a call about a calf that was loose on Tennessee's Highway 79N, David Bevill of Paris, Tennessee, volunteered to help local police capture it. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew drove down the highway with Bevill on the hood, ready to rope in the calf. According to a Facebook post,

Belew said the calf became loose when a man was driving through town and his cattle trailer door broke. “There were actually two that got loose, but Dr. Lyons at Mineral Wells Animal Clinic and his crew were able to get the other one,” Belew said.

“So everybody is happy—we roped one calf, Dr. Lyons got the other one and the guy who was hauling them through town is happy, too,” Belew said.

It's always handy to know a cowboy when you've got a job to do.

2. CAT STUCK IN SUPPORTS OF DOUBLE-DECKER HIGHWAY FOR NINE DAYS

Erin McCutcheon's cat Juno escaped a zippered cat carrier and jumped out of a moving car on the upper deck of I-93 in Boston on Christmas Day. McCutcheon couldn't find her cat, and so distributed posters and put out a call for help on Facebook. On Tuesday, a Local 103 crew of electricians doing maintenance work spotted Juno high above the lower deck, perched on the support girders under the upper deck. Juno had been stuck 80 feet above the highway for nine days! The crew couldn't catch the frightened feline, but eventually lured her out with cans of cat food. Juno, hungry and thirsty, went home with electrician Jay Frazier, and was later reunited with the McCutcheons.

3. MAN CARRIES SCISSORS IN BODY FOR 18 YEARS

Ma Van Nhat underwent surgery at Bac Kan Hospital in Vietnam in 1998 after suffering injuries in a traffic accident. Recently, he complained of pain in his abdomen, which doctors dismissed as a stomachache. But on December 27, during a routine checkup, a doctor determined there was a foreign object there. Last Saturday, surgeons removed a pair of surgical scissors, which had apparently been inside Nhat for 18 years. The scissors had broken and adhered to Nhat's abdominal organs. According to The Huffington Post,

The hospital’s director, Trinh Thi Luong, is now taking great pains to find out who may have left the scissors inside Nhat.

“Even if they are already retired, we will still inform them,” Luong said, according to Reuters. “This is a lesson to all doctors.”

4. MAN OPENS DOOR TO BRICK WALL

An unnamed man in Mainhausen, Germany, woke up Monday morning and got ready for work as usual—but when he opened his front door, he couldn't leave: Someone had built a brick wall over the door opening. The perpetrators had built the wall quickly and quietly during the night. He had to tear out the bricks to leave his house. Police don't know whether the wall was a prank or an act of revenge.

5. NEW SHERIFF GETS ARRESTED

The citizens of Roane County, West Virginia, elected a new sheriff in November. Bo Williams began his new job last Sunday, but on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News, he was was arrested on charges of grand larceny for stealing meth from an evidence locker at his previous job with the Spencer, West Virginia, police department. Bags of meth with evidence numbers were found in his desk and in his car. Williams had resigned from that job after admitting to drug addiction in December. The Roane County commission removed Williams from office that same day, and asked a former sheriff to step in to run the department. Williams is out of jail on bond and may face up to 10 years in prison.

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