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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Feature Odd News from the Associated Press


Meteor?: Bright light, loud noise rattle Michigan residents

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:38:23 UT

DETROIT (AP) — The National Weather Service says the bright light and what sounded like thunder in the sky across the Detroit metropolitan area may have been a meteor. Meteorologist Jordan Dale says the weather service hasn't been able to confirm that it was a meteor despite reports and videos received by the agency late Tuesday. But he says "it was not thunder or lightning or weather-related." Some residents reported their homes shaking. The weather service says by about 9 p.m. it had received dozens of reports. Dale says the weather service is trying to determine what caused the light and noise, calling it "a rare occurrence."

Mom-daughter duo show 2 carjackers crime and cocoa don't mix

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:45:10 UT

WOODBRIDGE, Va. (AP) — Police in the Virginia suburbs of the nation's capital say two would-be carjackers fled from their intended victims when a splash of hot cocoa and a dash of resourcefulness entered the mix. Police in Prince William County, Virginia, said in a statement that a 50-year-old woman exited a 7-Eleven convenience store on Saturday night with some purchased items when two men, one with a handgun, approached and demanded her vehicle. Police say the woman struck one man with her bag before her 22-year-old daughter threw her hot chocolate toward both men, who then fled on foot. No one was hurt and no property was taken.

Even the eyelashes freeze: Russia sees minus 88.6 degrees F

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:44:17 UT

MOSCOW (AP) — Even thermometers can't keep up with the plunging temperatures in Russia's remote Yakutia region, which hit minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas Tuesday. In Yakutia — a region of 1 million people about 3,300 miles (5,300 kilometers) east of Moscow — students routinely go to school even in minus 40 degrees. But school was canceled Tuesday throughout the region and police ordered parents to keep their children inside. In the village of Oymyakon, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, state-owned Russian television showed the mercury falling to the bottom of a thermometer that was only set up to measure down to minus 50 degrees.

Massachusetts police arrest man for stealing manhole covers

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:59:02 UT

WEBSTER, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts police say they have arrested a man who stole seven manhole covers and put traffic cones in their place. The Telegram & Gazette reports the 46-year-old Webster man was arrested Friday and charged with larceny. Police say they first received a call around 2:45 p.m. last Wednesday from a witness who saw the suspect taking a manhole cover in Webster. Authorities received several other calls about missing manhole covers, and they say they stopped a vehicle matching the witness' description later that day. Police say the suspect acknowledged taking the manhole covers and pointed officers to where he had sold them. Authorities recovered the covers Wednesday from a Millbury salvage yard.

German linguists: 'Alternative facts' the non-word of 2017

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:16:15 UT

BERLIN (AP) — German linguists have declared the phrase "alternative facts," popularized by White House aide Kellyanne Conway, the non-word of 2017. Conway used the phrase last year when asked why President Donald Trump's then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer mischaracterized the size of the inauguration crowd. A team of six language experts at Darmstadt University chose "alternative facts" from among 684 suggestions. German news agency dpa quoted the head of the panel as saying Tuesday the phrase represents the growing practice of "replacing factual arguments with claims that cannot be proven." Each year the panel singles out a phrase that runs counter to the principles of democracy or human dignity.

2 men hit each other in consecutive accidents in Germany

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:46:51 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Police in the eastern German city of Dresden say two men suffered minor injuries after backing in to one another in two consecutive accidents. Police said Tuesday that a 49-year-old man pulled into a disabled parking place on Monday afternoon, then reversed out after noticing his mistake. As he backed out, he accidentally hit a 72-year-old man walking behind him, injuring him slightly. After the two men exchanged information for a report, the older man got in his car and backed out of his own parking spot, hitting the younger man in the process and slightly injuring him. Police say it was at that point they were called to the scene of the two accidents in the Saxony capital.

Wallaby hops across Sydney Harbor Bridge, captured uninjured

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:44:37 UT

SYDNEY (AP) — A wayward wallaby disrupted downtown traffic by bounding across the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Tuesday with police in pursuit. The adult male was captured without any apparent serious injury and is expected to be released back into the wild within days. Swamp wallabies, which are smaller marsupials than their kangaroo cousins, are common across eastern Australia, but are rarely seen in cities. The startled wallaby hopped across the bridge's eight lanes of traffic an hour before sunrise then turned onto an expressway on the harbor's southern shore toward the Sydney Opera House.

Shiver me timbers! New signs pirates liked booty — and books

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:36:46 UT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dead men tell no tales, but there's new evidence that somebody aboard the pirate Blackbeard's flagship harbored books among the booty. In an unusual find, researchers have discovered shreds of paper bearing legible printing that somehow survived three centuries underwater on the sunken vessel. And after more than a year of research that ranged as far as Scotland, they managed to identify them as fragments of a book about nautical voyages published in the early 1700s. Conservators for Blackbeard's ship the Queen Anne's Revenge found the 16 fragments of paper wedged inside the chamber for a breech-loading cannon, with the largest piece being the size of a quarter.

Arizona police arrest 80-year-old man in armed bank robbery

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 21:17:47 UT

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Police in Arizona have arrested an 80-year-old man they say robbed a credit union at gunpoint. Tucson police said Sunday that a tip led to the arrest of Robert Francis Krebs after authorities circulated surveillance photos of him entering the Pyramid Credit Union and at a teller's window. They say Krebs had a handgun, demanded money from the teller and was given cash before running out of the bank. Police released the photos after Friday's robbery. A local hotel clerk called police Saturday to report a man that looked like the one in the photos had tried to cash a check. Police began checking nearby hotels and located Krebs. He was booked into jail on two counts of armed robbery. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Sensores en el suelo ayudan a minoristas

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:40:07 UT

MILWAUKEE (AP) — La próxima fase de colección de datos está bajo tus pies. Los clics en la web dan a los minoristas información valiosa sobre los hábitos de los consumidores, pero ¿qué pueden aprender de los pasos? Es una pregunta que la nueva compañía Scanalytics está ayudando a explorar usando sensores en los suelos para rastrear los movimientos de los consumidores. Los sensores pueden ser usados en edificios de oficinas para reducir costos en energía y en hogares de ancianos para determinar cuándo se cae alguien.

Ritz Carlton, a luxury Saudi prison, takes Feb. 14 bookings

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:21:44 UT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Ritz Carlton in Saudi Arabia's capital may be reopening its doors in time for Valentine's Day, after serving for several months as a prison for the country's elite caught up in what the government has described as a crackdown on corruption. The Ritz Carlton's website on Monday showed bookings available beginning Feb. 14. An unidentified call center employee handling bookings for the hotel said: "Bookings are available from the 14th of February, but the hotel is not liable if the booking is cancelled. Local authorities might extend the hotel lockout for security reasons." Sarah Walker-Kerr, a Dubai-based spokeswoman for Marriott, of which the Ritz Carlton is a subsidiary, declined to comment.

Referee rage: Official lashes out at player in French game

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:14:12 UT

PARIS (AP) — Call it referee rage. French official Tony Chapron kicked out in retribution at Nantes defender Diego Carlos during a league game on Sunday, and then promptly showed Carlos a red card. The bizarre incident happened moments from the end of Paris Saint-Germain's 1-0 win at Nantes. Carlos was running behind Chapron near the halfway line, and trying to catch up with play, when he inadvertently clipped the referee's heels. Bad move. Chapron rolled forward onto the turf and then, a split-second after tumbling, swiped his right leg at Carlos — like a player would do when making a cynical foul on an opponent.

Car goes airborne, slams into 2nd floor of California office

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 22:15:08 UT

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say two people escaped serious injuries when the car they were in went airborne and slammed into the second floor of a Southern California dental office. Orange County fire officials say the Nissan Altima hit a center divider early Sunday, soared into the air and plowed into the top floor of the two-story structure in Santa Ana. The sedan's front half was wedged inside the building while the back half hung out about 10 feet above a sidewalk. Officials say a small fire injured one person who managed to get out of the car unassisted. Authorities had to rescue the second person. Crews will use a crane to remove the car from the building.

Butcher trapped in freezer uses sausage to bash his way out

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:53:41 UT

LONDON (AP) — A British butcher who got locked in a freezer says he was saved by a frozen sausage that he used as a battering ram. Chris McCabe says he became trapped in the walk-in freezer at his shop in Totnes, southwest England, last month when wind blew the door shut. The safety button to open the door had frozen in the -20 C (-4 F) chill. McCabe said he tried unsuccessfully to kick the button free before picking up a 1.5 kilogram (3.3 pound) black pudding, a form of blood sausage. McCabe told website Devon Live that he used the meaty tube "like a battering ram" and managed to unstick the button after several blows. The grateful butcher told the Daily Mirror: "Black pudding saved my life, without a doubt."

Police: Hand grenade disarmed after being found in trash

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 11:55:44 UT

STRATFORD, Conn. (AP) — A hand grenade found in the trash by Connecticut waste management employees has been disarmed. Police responded to the Stratford trash company Thursday and after finding what appeared to be a hand grenade, called the state police bomb squad to disarm the explosive. Police say the grenade appeared to be from either World War I or World War II and was thrown out alongside garbage that ended up at the waste facility. Police say there were no injuries reported and the scene was cleared without incident.

New church bells, constant 'Amazing Grace' draws fire

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:04:45 UT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque resident says new bells and the constant playing of "Amazing Grace" by a Latino Catholic church have created a living hell for her. KOB-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, reports Bernadette Hall-Cuaron says she can no longer stand the regular ding-dongs coming from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church's new electronic bell system. Hall-Cuaron says the bells ring about 20 to 25 times a day and its keeping people from church because the sounds are so annoying. She says bong songs make it hard for her to sleep. Pastor Rev. Joe Vigil says he's responded to the complaints by lowering the volume and moved the bells from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. The church is located in Albuquerque's North Valley neighborhood.

Caimanes asoman hocicos sobre heladas aguas en busca de aire

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 02:07:12 UT

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, Carolina del Norte, EE.UU. (AP) — Si bien la reciente oleada de frío glacial en Carolina del Norte causó que muchos humanos no se atrevieran a sacar sus narices al exterior, algunos caimanes asomaron sus hocicos en nombre de la supervivencia. Cuando los caimanes del Shallotte River Swamp Park se hallaron recientemente debajo de las capas de hielo mientras las temperaturas caían debajo de los niveles de congelación, sacaron sus hocicos a la superficie para recibir aire. La rara escena fue cuestión de supervivencia para los caimanes. Cuando se enfrían, entran en un periodo de inactividad conocido como brumación.

Guam's governor fooled by Russian comedians via phone call

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:44:03 UT

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam's governor was duped by a pair of Russian comedians who pretended to be officials from Ukraine. Comedians Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov posted a YouTube video on Tuesday with a phone call recording of Gov. Eddie Calvo, in which the pranksters asked Calvo about the threat of North Korea's missiles. The foolery started in September 2017 when Guam officials received an email requesting a call with Calvo, the Pacific Daily News reported . The senders claimed to be from the office of the Ukraine prime minister. Guam government spokeswoman Jenna Blas said the email included verifiable information, which led officials to proceed with the phone call.

Chilly 'gators poke heads above ice to cope with bitter cold

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:12:36 UT

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) — Although North Carolina's recent bitter cold snap deterred plenty of humans from sticking their noses outdoors, a group of alligators stuck their snouts into the frost and hunkered down in the name of survival. When the alligators at Shallotte River Swamp Park recently found themselves beneath a sheet of ice as temperatures plunged below freezing, they poked their nostrils above the surface so they could get some air. The odd scene was a matter of survival for the gators. When they get cold, they enter a period of dormancy known as brumation. They slow their metabolism and their breathing, and before the surface ices over they poke their noses out of the water to continue breathing.

Storm blew historic building to Canada; Maine wants it back

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:11:18 UT

LUBEC, Maine (AP) — A fishing-industry building on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is half-submerged in waters near a Canadian island, and conservationists fear it could disintegrate before legal tangles are resolved. The Jan. 4 blizzard tore the brine shed from its mooring at McCurdy's Smokehouse off Lubec, Maine, and it was blown to nearby Campobello Island in New Brunswick, the Bangor Daily News reported . The shed is among five buildings that comprise the last traditional smoked-herring facility in the U.S., and an organization called Lubec Landmarks has worked for almost 25 years to preserve it.