Monday, June 30, 2008


Snake gives Biologist the Slip
EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (UPI) -- An Alaska Fish and Game biologist said a baby rubber boa constrictor has escaped from its terrarium in her Eagle River, Alaska, home. Biologist Jessy Coltrane said she took in the 8-inch-long snake, named Grubb, after it was found Friday in an Anchorage man's garage, the Anchorage Daily News reported. However, she said the snake, which is not dangerous to humans, disappeared from its terrarium Tuesday. Coltrane said Grubb is likely hiding somewhere in the vicinity of her home. She said that during the days it was in her house, it did little other than burrow. The biologist said experts are unsure of how the baby snake ended up in Anchorage. "It could be an escaped pet, or it could have come from an escaped female that laid eggs," she said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Bride's Vomit Fear Delays Wedding
LONDON (UPI) -- A London bride-to-be whose wedding was postponed because of her fear of vomiting said she is seeking hypnotherapy to help her overcome her phobia. Emma Pelling, 19, said she has been unable to go through with her wedding to Gareth Heal because she suffers from emetophobia, an intense fear of vomiting, The Telegraph reported. "I have this recurring nightmare of being ill as a bride, running out of the church and abandoning my husband at the altar," Pelling said. Pelling, who said her fear has kept her from visiting places where she has vomited in the past, said she has sought the help of a hypnotherapist to help cure her of the phobia. "I want to make it a special day for both of us. I hope the hypnotherapist can cure me so I can enjoy our special day without the fear of being ill," she said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Crocodile may have been swimming star
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (UPI) -- A crocodile captured in Isle of Palms may actually have swum to the South Carolina city from Florida, natural resources officials say. Steve Bennett, an amphibian and reptile conservation specialist in the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said the 6-foot reptile, thought to be an American crocodile, could easily have traveled miles up the Atlantic Coast from the Everglades in southern Florida to Isle of Palms, The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier reported. "It's not as ludicrous as you think. These are crocodile. They are not American alligators. These are saltwater animals," Bennett said. "Swimming a mile or two off the coast is nothing for a crocodile." The crocodile was captured Thursday near a pier after managing to avoid trappers for weeks. Sgt. James Ryan of the Isle of Palms Police said residents were advised to stay clear of the potentially dangerous reptile. "It's the same as when one turns up on the golf course -- 'Guess what? You better let him play through, because he belongs there and you don't,'" Ryan said. The crocodile is protected under endangered species laws and would likely either be taken to an alligator park or a Florida preserve rather than be put down, The Post and Courier said. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, June 27, 2008


Nude Farmers Really Love Their Coffee
HONOLULU (UPI) -- Eleven female Hawaiian farmers have posed nude, demurely, for a calendar to promote the pricey Kona coffee bean, project organizers say. Project leader Mary Lou Moss said the nude calendar featuring Kona Coffee Farmers Association farmers -- who are all more than 50 years old -- is meant to support legislation being considered by the Hawaii Legislature, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported. Moss said the measure would require all coffee labeled "Kona" to contain beans grown on the western side of the Big Island. The legislation came about after Kona growers complained other coffee companies used the Kona name despite including as little as 10 percent of the beans in their blends. Moss said such diluted products were damaging the Kona name and said she hoped "The Naked Truth about 100 Percent Kona Coffee" calendar would bring attention to the situation. Meanwhile, Moss's husband, Chuck, said having his wife appear unclothed in the 2009 calendar eventually grew on him. "At first I thought it was par for the course. She's very energetic and makes things happen," he told the Star-Bulletin. "But it's tastefully done and I think it was a good idea."

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Two male Anglican priests may have married

The Anglican bishop of London has ordered an investigation into claims that two gay priests have been married in the church, officials said. The Sunday Telegraph reported that the Rev. Peter Cowell and the Rev. David Lord exchanged vows and rings in a ceremony last month that was conducted using one of the church's most traditional wedding ceremonies. The newspaper reported that if carried out, the ceremony broke Church of England guidelines and was conducted in defiance of the Bishop of London, in whose diocese it took place. Both conservative and liberal wings of the Anglican communion expressed shock at word of the ceremony, the newspaper reported. The Rev. Henry Orombi, the Archbishop of Uganda, said the ceremony was "blasphemous." He called on Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to take decisive action if the Anglican Church were not to "disintegrate." "What really shocks me is that this is happening in the Church of England that first brought the Gospel to us," he said. "Our respect for the Church of England will erode unless we see a return to traditional teaching."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


$200,000 in checks tossed in trash
PROVO, Utah (UPI) -- A Provo, Utah, woman said she has recovered nearly $200,000 in checks that she threw out with the trash. The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she flagged down the driver of the garbage truck as soon as she noticed the checks, which were from the company she works for, had gone missing, KTVX-TV, Salt Lake City, reported. Brad Rollins, waste management supervisor for Provo, said a bay was cleared at the county garbage transfer station to allow the woman and a friend to sift through the load of trash to find the specific white kitchen bag they were looking for. Rollins said the two women said a prayer and one of the women almost immediately picked up a bag that turned out to contain the missing documents. "The checks were in great shape. They weren't wrinkled, they were still flat, the deposit slip was still in there. She could've taken it right to the bank and they wouldn't even have known where it had been, and it had been on a trip," Rollins said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Aggressive Crow Targets Reflection in Cars
WESTON-SUPER-MARE, England (UPI) -- People in Weston-super-Mare, England, say a crow has been attacking cars in the town after mistaking its own reflection in windshields for other male crows. The Rev. Geoff Eales of St Peter's Church -- whose car has been targeted by the crow three times during the past week -- said motorists in the town have spent an estimated $140 replacing windshield wipers torn off during the bird's attacks, The Daily Mail reported. Locals said the crow has lived in the same oak tree for the past four years, but only began attacking cars about two weeks ago. "Residents are at a loss to know what to do about the bird, with various ideas from building a scarecrow to hiring a hawk to scare him off," said former town crier Pluto Denn, 76. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, June 23, 2008


Police: Forklift thief didn't get far
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (UPI) -- Police in Boynton Beach, Fla., said a suspected forklift thief was arrested after he was caught driving the vehicle about one mile from where it was stolen. Investigators said Todd Barnes, 44, allegedly drove the 21,600-pound vehicle from a construction site and traveled about one mile before he was stopped by officers, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported. He was charged with grand larceny, trespassing on a construction site and driving with a suspended license.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Child screened in airport luggage X-ray
OSLO, Norway (UPI) -- Airport workers said they were reviewing safety procedures after a preschool-aged child climbed onto a luggage check-in ramp at Oslo Airport in Norway. Neither the child's parents nor airport workers noticed the curious youngster had sneaked onto the ramp until the child went through baggage X-ray equipment, Aftenposten reported. After climbing onto the ramp, the child went out of sight, through a chute and through scanning equipment, the report said. "It's unfortunate that a child could get into the system like this," ground services official Thor Hagen told reporters. Officials said the child was reunited with his parents minutes after being found and airport safety procedures were being reviewed.

Copyright 2008 by United Press Internation

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The Not-So-Lost Tribe by Mike Krumboltz
June 23, 2008 06:09:40 PM
Even in an age when cynical sleuths can hyper-analyze stories for truth and accuracy, the occasional hoax still slips through the cracks. Such was the case with a so-called "lost Amazon tribe."
A few months ago, mainstream news outlets (including, ahem, Yahoo!) reported that a photographer had found a lost tribe of warriors near the Brazilian-Peruvian border. Photos of the tribe backed up his claim.
As it turns out, the story is only half true. The men in the photo are members of a tribe, but it certainly ain't "lost." In fact, as the photographer, José Carlos Meirelles, recently explained, authorities have known about this particular tribe since 1910. The photographer and the agency that released the pictures wanted to make it seem like they were members of a lost tribe in order to call attention to the dangers the logging industry may have on the group.
The photographer recently came clean, and news outlets, perhaps embarrassed at having been taken for a ride, have been slow to pick up the story. Now, the word is starting to spread and articles in the Buzz are picking up steam. Expect a lot more brutal truth in the coming

Friday, June 20, 2008


Britain's top bad boss names: John, Anne
LONDON (UPI) -- An online British poll found the most respondents with gripes about their bosses were unhappy with superiors named John or Anne. The poll of 4,000 Britons, conducted by, found participants were also plagued by bad bosses named Steve, Paul, Alan, Catherine, Debbie and Linda, The Sun reported Monday. Additionally, 51 percent of those polled said they have left a job in the past because of unpleasant superiors and 10 percent said they are on the verge of quitting their current job due to an unbearable boss.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, June 19, 2008


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (UPI) -- Members of a Boy Scout troop that agreed to help clean a historic cemetery in St. Petersburg, Fla., found three voodoo dolls hanging from a tree. The dolls, which were hung in a vertical line on the tree's bark, had rusty pins stuck in their faceless heads, arms and legs, the St. Petersburg Times reported Thursday. "They were kind of like ugly creatures that would eat you alive," said 10-year-old Kevin McDonough, a Webelos Cub Scout. The Greenwood Cemetery, where the dolls were found, has buried on its grounds dozens of Civil War veterans, Union and Confederate, buried on opposite sides of the grounds. University of South Florida religion Professor Mozella Mitchell, who studies Caribbean faiths, said the dolls are associated with many African-derived religions. They're common among people of Haitian, Cuban and Caribbean descent, she said. Believers often use the dolls as sacred objects to connect with the supernatural, not typically for evil purposes, Mitchell was quoted as saying. "I'd say certain sects might work a trick on somebody," she added. "But that's a very minor aspect of the religion." Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


CLEARFIELD, Pa. (UPI) -- A Clearfield County, Pa., farmer said vandals snuck onto his property under cover of night and spray-painted obscenities on three of his goats. Evan Bellin said the crime, which took place during the weekend, could set him back hundreds of dollars as the goats' wool is used to make cashmere and the paint could take months to grow out, WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh, reported. "It's really bad to think they would do that to innocent animals. I mean if they have a problem with me, to come to me. I mean, I have all of my vehicles up here and they didn't touch anything," Bellin said. He said he plans to keep the goats closer to his house for the foreseeable future.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


ST. CHARLES, Mo. (UPI) -- A St. Charles, Mo., church said its Tacky Prom event, which drew teenagers dressed in their least-fashionable clothes, was a rousing success. Sean Kahlich, minister of students at the church, said the party was planned both as an outreach effort for community's youth and as a stress-free event to help teenagers relax as the school year winds down, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday. "It's getting costumed up and acting stupid with a purpose," Kahlich said. "It's prom season, and a lot of drama goes on at prom. People are breaking up or trying to shack up. They're stressing about money. This is the complete antithesis." Teens who attended the Tacky Prom, which encouraged participants to check their closets and thrift stores for the most hideous attire imaginable, said the dance was far less stressful than their actual proms. "I just like the fact that it's not taken too seriously," said Brad Haberstroh, 17. "Your dance moves aren't criticized. You don't have to look good. Here if you come looking good, you look bad."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, June 16, 2008


LEADBURN, Scotland (UPI) -- Scottish police said a motorcyclist pulled over during a recent crackdown on road offenders was traveling faster than 120 mph. Officers said the motorcycle's speed was one of the fastest police have recorded in the Leadburn area in recent years, The Scotsman reported. Lothian and Borders Police said more than 260 motorists were cited for violations during the April 21-28 crackdown. They said traveling without a seat belt was the most common violation, with 176 cited for the violation. An additional 87 people were cited for speeding. "While it is disappointing that some motorists still behave in an irresponsible way, the majority of people are well aware of the law, and act accordingly," said Superintendent Alan Duncan, of Lothian and Borders Police's road policing unit. "The force is determined to keep reducing the number of casualties on our roads, and initiatives like these demonstrate our commitment making our roads safer for everyone."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Man Allegedly Posed as Sheriff's Deputy
REIDSVILLE, N.C. (UPI) -- Rockingham County, N.C., authorities said a man was arrested after he posed as a sheriff's deputy while dealing with a store clerk who was an off-duty deputy. The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office alleged Kevin Michael Taylor, 31, asked for a law enforcement discount from a clerk at an AutoZone store, the News and Record newspaper in Greensboro, N.C., reported. Taylor allegedly showed the clerk a Rockingham Community College identification card from a Basic Law Enforcement Training course and claimed to work in the patrol division of the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office. However, the clerk was an off-duty sheriff's deputy and knew the man was lying, the sheriff's office said. Taylor, who was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, was released on $5,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court May 15.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Zebra Found in College Building
OXFORD, Ga. (UPI) -- Campus police at Georgia's Emory University at Oxford said they were investigating the case of a kidnapped zebra that turned up in a college building. Curtis Jackson, who owns Barcode the zebra, said he did not realize the 800-pound mammal was missing until Wednesday morning when animal control officials returned it to his 53-acre home, which is located about one mile from the college, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday. "He's back in his pen, and he seems a little rowdy right now, but otherwise I think he's OK," Jackson said. Campus police said Barcode was discovered on the third floor of Seney Hall when public safety workers opened the building Wednesday morning. Animal control officials said it did not take long to identify the zebra. "How many people own zebras around here?" said Newton County Animal Control Director Teri Key-Hooson. "We figured it was Mr. Jackson's because we made a call out there for his zebra a couple of years ago." Dean Stephen Bowen said the unknown zebra-nappers took measures to ensure the animal wasn't harmed. "They lined up a row of chairs so the animal couldn't get close to the windows and injure itself," he said. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, June 13, 2008


10 Million Bees Take Over Home
MARTINEZ, Ga. (UPI) -- A Martinez, Ga., woman says her home has been swarmed by as many as 10 million bees. Theresa Manning said she phoned a bee removal expert after she saw the insects flying into her attic and heard scratching coming from behind her walls, WSB-TV, Atlanta, reported. Bee wrangler Jason Rehr said he expected to find multiple hives in the attic, but instead found the bees had turned the structure into a giant hive with honeycombs on the ceiling and walls. "This is the mamma-jamma here, this is the biggest one I've ever seen," Rehr said. He said he plans to move the bees several miles away from the house to hives that have been prepared.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Man Breaks Postal Rules By Reusing Old Box
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (UPI) -- A Colorado man says the U.S. Postal Service accused him of breaking its rules when he tried reusing a priority cardboard box to ship an item. The Postal Service said Gary Adler went against regulations when he tried to reuse a box that was on its way to the garbage, KMGH-TV in Denver reported Wednesday. "We recycle old boxes that we get at the grocery store or other merchants and dumpster dive sometimes," said Adler, who ships sports items from his non-profit organization known as the Pro-Players Association. Adler claims he turned the box inside out and removed the previously used label. "Our priority mail and express mail boxes are bottom line supposed to be used for that service. It is important that the customer uses it for the proper service," said Nicole Reiter of the Postal Service. Alder said he plans to stop using the U.S. Postal Service as a result of the recycling mix-up.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


'Darth Vader' spared jail after attack
HOLYHEAD, Wales (UPI) -- A Welsh judge has spared a man who dressed as "Star Wars" villain Darth Vader and attacked two fans of the iconic film series a stay in jail. Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, was sentenced to two months in jail, suspended for a year, after his lawyer told the court he is an alcoholic who does not remember the incident and is undergoing treatment for his addiction, Sky News reported. Hughes donned a black cape and a black trash bag before attacking Barney Jones, founder of the first British Jedi church, and his cousin while they were filming themselves battling with lightsabers in Jones' yard. Hughes struck Jones with a metal crutch and punched the other man in the thigh. The defendant's lawyer, Frances Jones, told the court his client had no recollection of the incident because of his alcohol addiction. "He is very sorry for coming before the courts," the lawyer said. "He knows his behavior was wrong and didn't want it to happen but he has no recollection of it." Hughes was also ordered to pay $200 to each of his victims.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


NYU trash becomes another's treasure
NEW YORK (UPI) -- Items collected for discard at the end of the semester at New York University have been donated to the homeless, participants in the cleanup said. Green Apple Move Out coordinator Jennie Tichenor said items found in dorm rooms ranged from food to a box labeled "1,000 Sex Games," The New York Times said Sunday. "Kind of from the sublime to the ridiculous," Tichenor said. "Forks and knives. A feather boa. You know, it's New York." The project was initiated last May. Organizers say this year's event, which was funded by alumni and the school's Sustainability Task Force, is expected to gather at least 25,000 pounds of goods. Project organizers say the recycling not only helps the homeless but also helps the environment by eliminating thousands of pounds of campus trash.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, June 9, 2008


Artist Claims Yeti Scalp in Himalayas
OAKER, England (UPI) -- A British artist claims a sketch she made of a legendary yeti was based on alleged witness accounts and a scalp she saw at a Bhutan monastery in the Himalayas. Polyanna Pickering said a monk old her the scalp, which is kept in a part of the monastery that is closed to visitors, is 100 years old and came from the mythical primate, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday. "I was told this was from a Migoi -- their name for the yeti. All I know is, it was bigger than any human or ape scalp I have ever seen," Pickering said. "It had tufts of reddish-black fur coming out of it and was mounted on a pole and seen as a holy relic." Pickering said she sketched the item and expanded on it after speaking with villagers. "I was amazed when they told me of regular sightings, close encounters and even tales of people being carried off by the Migoi," she said. "Their descriptions were so detailed, I ended up doing this 'photo-fit' with them all sitting round telling me to alter this or how that should look." Pickering's sketches will be displayed at her Oaker, England, gallery June 9.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Zoo: Free admission for Mohawk haircuts
MELBOURNE, Fla. (UPI) -- A zoo in Melbourne, Fla., says visitors sporting Mohawks resembling the manes of Visayan warty pigs will get in free during Father's Day weekend. The zoo said the promotion, aimed at publicizing the new Visayan warty pig exhibit that is to open June 14, will run in addition to a promotion offering free admission for dads on Father's Day, WKMG-TV in Orlando reported Monday. Male Visayan warty pigs, which were originally native to six Philippine islands but are now found on only two, bear Mohawk-like manes that often grow to more than one foot in length and stand up vertically when the animals are agitated. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Police: Men shot each other with Tasers
BOULDER, Colo. (UPI) -- Police in Boulder, Colo., say a security guard and a man upset by having his car booted shot each other simultaneously with stun guns during an argument. Sgt. Pat Wyton said Casey Dane, a guard with a private firm called Colorado Security, and Harvey Epstein engaged in a heated argument behind Mamacitas restaurant, the Boulder Daily Camera reported. Epstein, a bartender at Mamacitas, was upset that his car had been booted for parking illegally and retrieved a set of bolt cutters to attempt to free his vehicle, Wyton said. He said Dane ordered Epstein to put down the bolt cutters because he felt threatened and told him he would shoot him with his Taser weapon if he did not comply. Wyton said the guard "decided to shoot the guy," not knowing that Epstein was wielding the same type of Taser. "They shot each other," Wyton said. "It was just kind of a bone-head deal." He said neither man required medical attention. Epstein was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing and use of a stun gun, Wyton said. He was taken to the Boulder County Jail.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, June 6, 2008


Mother, Daughter earn Master's Degrees
CINCINNATI (UPI) -- An Ohio woman who received a master's degree from Cincinnati's Xavier University along with her mother says the degrees were hard work but worth it. Heather Swensgard, 30, of Batavia said she and her mother, Gayle Heintzelman, worked very hard to earn their graduate degrees in education -- so hard they didn't notice a pile of dirty laundry in the background of a video they recorded for the program, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Sunday. "It happened at about midnight, and it was one of those moments we just had to apologize for the laundry," the master's graduate said. Swensgard said graduating Saturday alongside her 60-year-old mother was also the completion of another goal: graduating before her own children started school. The Enquirer said Swensgard has two children, ages 3 and 5, but wanted to earn her master's to help in her job as a human resources worker. Heintzelman, who also is a Batavia resident, told the newspaper her new degree will come in useful at Mercy Hospital Clermont, where she supervises nearly 650 workers.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, June 5, 2008


'Ninja fighter' cop goes back to work
OVIEDO, Fla. (UPI) -- Police in Oviedo, Fla., say they have returned a badge and firearm to an officer who lost them briefly for saying he was a "super-trained killer ninja fighter." Officer Justin Varkony has gone back to his normal job after being on office duty while officials probed a comment on his MySpace social networking Internet page, WKMG-TV, Orlando, Fla., reported. "Jason is a super-trained killer ninja fighter of the night who has not had a chance to use this special skill yet," the comment said. Authorities said there was no validity to an accusation that Varkony went against police conduct rules.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Police: Suspects Had Incriminating Photos
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UPI) -- Jacksonville, Fla., police said two men busted for pot possession incurred additional charges after they showed officers photos of graffiti they created. A police report of the incident said Joshua Howard, 27, and Mark Dell, 30, had spray paint cans, a digital camera and some marijuana in their car when officers approached them outside of a vacant building May 10, The (Jacksonville) Times-Union reported. The officers said the men told them they had intended to "tag" the vacant building with graffiti after smoking some marijuana, but the police showed up before they could accomplish either objective. The men were each given notices to appear in court on loitering and marijuana possession charges. However, before sending the suspects on their way, Officer T.M. Helms said in the report, he asked to look at the pictures on the digital camera. He said the men admitted to creating numerous graffiti displays photographed with the camera, including one that cost a business owner $3,500 to clean up. Howard and Dell were hit with additional charges of criminal mischief for the graffiti.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Flashing Lights Pay Off For Transit Agency
LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Los Angeles' public transit system has started a new phase in advertising by installing LED lights in the subway that play short videos as trains rush past. Some passengers were surprised and even offended when they saw 15-second commercials playing outside the windows of their subway train as they passed through a tunnel Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. "It's intrusive to me. If I want to see that, I'll turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper," actress Roberta Richey said. City officials have said the ads are a good way for the transit agency to supplement a strapped budget and many passengers actually enjoy watching the LED lights whiz by to create the image of a moving video. "We were, like, freaking out. We were saying 'What are they going to think of next?'" filmmaker Ray Mann said. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Teen Allegedly Set Off Alarm as Prank
NASHVILLE (UPI) -- A Nashville high school graduate who allegedly was attempting a prank at her former school was foiled when she set off an alarm, police said. Metro police Capt. David Imhof said the 17-year-old suspect was grabbed, but not bitten, by a police dog after officers arrived at Glencliff High School, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported. Police allege the suspect intended to throw water balloons at arriving students and faculty from her perch on the roof of the school. Imhof said the teen was taken to Nashville General Hospital as a precaution. She faces trespassing and curfew violation charges, he said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International