Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Another one will be along in a minute

Here are some baby opossums munching fruit

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Farmer's valiant attempt to save frozen newborn goat by baking it in oven was sadly unsuccessful

When farmer Dennis Albaugh from West Milton, Ohio, discovered a newborn goat nearly frozen to death on Thursday morning, he was willing to try just about anything to save it. Albaugh found the buckling, rejected by its mother after a rough delivery, clinging to life inside a barn. Following some advice from family members who also farmed goats, Albaugh tried a perhaps unconventional approach in hopes of saving the little goat’s life: he used an oven to warm him.

He placed the newborn in the oven at a very low temperature (170 degrees) with the door fully open to warm it up as quickly as possible. “I was hopeful, but I wasn’t really optimistic it would work,” he explained. It wasn’t long before he saw small signs of progress. “I looked and started to see him breathing better. I could see his heartbeat was getting stronger. He still wasn’t moving though,”Albaugh said. “You could see he was fighting for his life now.” For the next three hours, Albaugh continued to work to save the buckling.

He remained right there by the little goat’s side as he worked to raise its body temperature. The goat spent some time directly in the oven and then right outside the oven. Albaugh was able to feed him. The goat eventually was able to sit up and stand. Albaugh’s wife's 6-month old puppy Rueger took fondly to little Goliath and stayed by his side throughout the ordeal, even affectionately licking the goat as it laid there struggling to survive. “The goat kept moving and responding to the puppy,” he said. But in the end, Albaugh’s efforts weren’t enough.

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Despite Goliath’s progress throughout the day, the goat took a turn for the worse on Thursday evening. Albaugh called the vet, and followed the vet’s advice. Goliath passed away at around 9:45pm. “We’re heartbroken,” Dennis Albaugh said shortly after Goliath’s passing. “We had hoped for the best. He was doing so great this afternoon. He was getting so strong. But he just took a turn for the worse, and his condition deteriorated rapidly. The coldness and exposure time was just too much. Like all farmers, we care so much for our animals, and in the end it just didn’t work. I wish we had a much happier ending to this story.”

Man told police officers that all the items in his vehicle were his except for anything illegal

A Florida man pulled over for allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs told deputies that all the belongings in the vehicle were his, except for any illegal items.

Robert Eugene Pursley was pulled over in Mary Esther at around 2:45am on Feb. 15. After the DUI arrest, 54-year-old Pursley’s vehicle was inventoried before being towed, according to the arrest report.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies found a small baggie of cocaine in the centre console. Pursley told deputies “all the items in his vehicle were his except for anything illegal,” the report said.

He refused to submit to a urine test for the DUI and, when asked if a urine test would show cocaine use, allegedly replied with “no comment.” He is charged with DUI, failing to drive within a single lane, knowingly driving while his licence was suspended or revoked and possession of cocaine. His next scheduled court date is March 10.

Man fined for throwing horse poo over politician

A veteran protester in New Zealand has been found guilty of throwing a bucket of watered-down horse manure over former ACT leader John Banks last year. Judge Anne Kiernan ordered Castislav "Sam" Bracanov to pay $400 plus court costs at the Auckland District Court on Monday. Judge Kiernan said Bracanov did not dispute what happened last year. The issue was that Bracanov believed he was not guilty of the assault because he thought Banks deserved to have manure thrown over him, she said. While Bracanov believed he had done the right thing, he did not produce any legal defence to the charge, the judge said. Bracanov said he would do it again and said the judge was "not human" for finding him guilty. The judge reminded Bracanov he could appeal the decision.

During the trial the judge watched a recording of a police interview with Bracanov where he explained how he hid behind a car, waiting to throw the manure over Banks outside the High Court in Auckland on May 19 last year. The 79-year-old said he got the manure from a paddock at Mangere Bridge in South Auckland, and watered it down. Bracanov said he believed Banks owed him $8,000 because he was fined $10,000 in 1992 for throwing manure on a visiting royal Rolls Royce but should have only been fined $2,000. Banks was police minister at the time. Banks said he did not harbour any animosity towards Bracanov. The incident happened on the first day of the former MP's High Court trial on charges of knowingly filing a false electoral return relating to his failed 2010 bid for the Auckland mayoralty.

Banks was later found guilty but the conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal late last year and a retrial ordered.​ Speaking outside the court on Monday, Banks said he would prefer not to be at the trial and that he did not make a complaint about the manure incident. Banks, who was summoned to give evidence, said Bracanov was an old man who was not well. The trial was repeatedly delayed while Bracanov, who defended himself, prepared for the judge-alone trial and technology issues were resolved. Bracanov arrived at the court wearing his slippers and before the trial began, clearly restated his not guilty plea on the charge of common assault. Speaking before the trial, Bracanov said he and Banks were now "square", and he now had respect for Banks.

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At a previous court appearance on the charge Bracanov said the muck throwing was an act of revenge. Banks, who was the first witness, said an "old man" who seemed "very angry" and "very agitated" tipped a bucket of horse manure over him. Banks said the muck ruined his suit and did not help with his day at court. "The last thing I needed on that morning was an altercation with anyone," he said. Banks was then given leave by the High Court to go home and change his clothes before his trial began. When asked by police prosecutor Joon Yi how he knew it was horse manure Banks said: "It certainly smelled like horse manure and it looked like horse manure, so it must have been horse manure." Banks said the manure was "very sloppy" and he feared there would be a further altercation or more manure coming his way after the first incident, so he went into the court building with his friends to get away from "the old man" whom he now knew to be Bracanov.

Stick and axe wielded in dispute between men over not sharing Doritos

An argument over Doritos escalated to the point where a man threatened another with a stick before his companion then threatened him with an axe, police in Australia's Northern Territory say.

Duty Superintendent Louise Jorgensen said police were called to a disturbance near the Darwin Post Office at around 2:00pm on Sunday. "Two males began arguing about a packet of Doritos. Apparently one was not sharing," Superintendent Jorgensen said.

Superintendent Jorgensen said one of the men picked up a stick and threatened the other. "The other male then casually got up, strolled over to a witch's hat, lifted it up and grabbed an axe which had been hidden underneath," she said. "He then walked straight towards the other male threatening to hit him."

She said Transit Safety Officers then asked the man to drop the weapon. "When he refused they approached and tackled him to the ground. They held him until police arrived and executed the arrest," she said. Superintendent Jorgensen said the man was charged with threatening behaviour and going armed in public.

Street brought to a standstill when man dressed as Superman attacked his car with a pole

A man wearing a Superman costume stopped traffic on Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday afternoon.

Dressed to fight crime but showing little regard for the law, he brought the street to a standstill at about 2.40pm, bashing his own car with a pole and smashing its windows in.

A witness said six trams were halted, while bystanders were unwilling to approach the costumed hero, who looked “a bit freaky”. Traders say the man had been seen driving up and down Chapel Street in the past few days.

After he finished taking out his superhuman anger on his vehicle, the man took his keys and threw them up on a nearby roof – leaving the car immovable. Police were called and man was taken to hospital for assessment. His car was towed away.

With news video.

Swearing workshops help boost awareness of sign language at Australian festival

Barry Priori, a profoundly deaf sign language instructor for Deaf Can: Do, a service provider for Adelaide's deaf and hearing impaired community, wants to get more people interested in sign language.

Mr Priori will be running a series of 'swearing workshops' at this year's Adelaide Fringe festival.

For a small donation, Fringe goers will be able to pull a naughty word out of a "swear jar" and learn how to sign it.

"Hearing people have their swear words, but they don't know what our visual signs are for those swear words," Mr Priori said. "I think it's fair that everyone knows what they look like."

With short video.

Bus passengers get wet after fronts of shelters are removed so motorists can see adverts better

A Birmingham city councillor says bus passengers are being soaked, splashed and left windswept just so transport chiefs can make money from advertising. Front windows on bus shelters, which protect passengers from wind and rain are being gradually removed by transport authority Centro so drivers passing by can see the giant poster adverts more clearly.

Councillor Jerry Evans is now calling for the screens to be replaced after residents in his Springfield ward complained about the issue. Councillor Evans said: “Centro has removed the fronts of many of their shelters so passengers can be splashed in rain by passing traffic and benefit more from the breeze - just so advertisers’ posters can be seen better. The comfort of passengers ought to take priority over advertising revenue.”

Regional transport authority Centro, which is responsible for the majority of bus shelters in the region, said that it is looking to raise money to offset the impact of public sector cuts. A spokesman said: “In the current financial climate we have to look at ways of raising money from non-public sector sources and a very important stream of revenue comes from the advertising on Centro’s 5,000 bus shelters to provide essential services.” He said that money raised pays for cleaning and maintenance of shelters and new shelters.

“It is possible to increase advertising revenue by modifying the shelters so adverts are more prominent, which is similar to London where no shelters are enclosed. This has involved removing the front panels from 273 of those shelters across the West Midlands. However we recognise customers may have concerns and we monitor their feedback but since the scheme began there have been only a limited number of cases where this has had any adverse effect on people using the shelters and we have taken remedial action.”

Lonely 50-year-old monkey has successful first date following the death of her partner

Daisy, a lonely 50-year-old monkey, has gone on a successful first date following the death of her partner. When her companion died Daisy's owners asked the Wild Futures monkey sanctuary in Looe, Cornwall, to take her on and introduce her to new friends.

Keepers at the sanctuary were encouraged when they saw Daisy and her date Pepe "ganging up" on keepers. Daisy was first rescued from a pet shop in 1980 and was found to have cigarette burns and broken fingers. Claire Turnbull from Wild Futures said: "She did have a companion but he sadly died and the owners have luckily realised she shouldn't be on her own."

Daisy spent six weeks in quarantine at the sanctuary before she was introduced to Pepe, described as "a very friendly chap". Ms Turnbull said: "What they're actually doing there is what we call ganging up behaviour so it's the two of them threatening the camera, the keepers and by doing that they form a bond with one another."

The sanctuary said capuchins were a particularly intelligent, social species that naturally lived in the rainforests of South and Central America. All of the keepers at the sanctuary live on site to provide 24-hour care for the animals. Ms Turnbull said: "The really nice thing is to see the way they come in and how they recover and develop and end up with monkey friends."

Monday, March 02, 2015

Smile for the camera


Waggly-tailed baby goats enjoy their dinner

YouTube link.

Hapless thief caught after footprints in the snow led straight to his front door

Mother Nature proved to be lead detective in a crime in Athens, Tennessee, during heavy snowfall on Wednesday. The Athens Police Department responded to a burglary call. Someone had broken into a shed behind Jason Owens' house. A chainsaw, jack, jack stands, extension ladder and step ladder had all been stolen. And, the front doors were damaged along with the handles holding the lock. However, the suspect had left a trail of footprints that led straight to his front door.

Patrol Officer Chris Moses said in his report that he "observed footprints in the freshly laid snow where someone climbed over a chain link fence from the rear yard and made their way to the outbuilding and then back to the residence..." The officer followed the footsteps left in the snow to the front door of the suspect's house. Moses spoke with 19-year-old Brandon Rickheim. The officer asked for additional officers because he knew Rickheim was the suspect in several other burglaries.

The officer noticed the teenager was wearing grey tennis shoes at the time. Officer Moses walked to the rear of the duplex and examined the shoe print and the design left behind. He left Rickheim with other officers. When he returned, Rickheim had changed his shoes. When questioned about it, Moses wrote in his report that Rickheim was upset. According to the incident report, Rickheim gave the officer his tennis shoes and walked outside with him and another officer. They compared the shoe to the print, it was identical.

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Benjamin Elkins lives in the other half of the duplex. He's known Rickheim for a couple of years. He also knows about his past and wasn't completely surprised by this arrest. He had to laugh about the footprints leading right to him. Elkins said, "That right there is just stupid. If he is a master thief or whatever you want to call it, he should've known better than that. Footprints leading right to his door." Rickheim remains in the McMinn County jail charged with burglary. Police had arrested him on unrelated charges on Saturday and he had been released on Tuesday, the day before the footprint break-in.

Squatting woman's shrine to an unrequited love removed from house

Police in the Buffalo Grove suburb of Chicago have advised that a woman be moved out of a house that no one gave her permission to sleep in and take her love shrine with her. On Feb. 23, officers received a call from a man who owns a home in Checker Drive as an investment, who said he was selling the property, but had discovered a major hindrance:

A woman had, without his knowledge, moved into the home. She had stocked his refrigerator and slept in his bed. It appeared that the woman "has been residing here for a while," the officer wrote in the report. She was not present at the time, but had left a stack of mail addressed to her. The woman had unlatched the garage door from the opener, allowing her to lift and close it manually.

An investigating officer found "a romantic interest/shrine," seemingly built in honour of an unrequited love. The owner knew who the shrine's subject was: a subcontractor the owner had hired to work on his house as he prepared to sell it. Once contacted, the subcontractor said the woman was his former business partner, who also desired to be his romantic partner. The subcontractor said he did not feel the same way and had removed her from his business.

While they were connected, though, she would sometimes visit him while he was working at this house. He said the woman, who he described as having "some emotional problems," had also lost her home recently. The woman has not been charged in relation to her unannounced move-in. The police recommended that the owner move her out, though, by placing her mail, her food and her shrine outside.

Blind dog found alive after two weeks out in sub-zero temperatures

Eleven-year-old Madera, a Labrador retriever, had the odds against her when she wandered away from her home in Ester, Alaska, in the midst of a cold snap earlier this month. Madera is completely blind because of an autoimmune disease, and the temperature was 40 below, said her owner, Ed Davis. Usually when it’s really cold out, she wants to come inside immediately after relieving herself.

But for some reason, Madera ventured farther away when his wife let her out on Feb. 6. Davis was at work at on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline when Madera went missing. He came back to Fairbanks on Feb. 19 without much expectation of finding his dog. “My best hope was to walk those trails and look for a track that might be hers,” he said.

“My best hope was to find a frozen dog.” Davis expects he never would have found Madera if Constantine Khrulev hadn’t been out on the trails last week, riding a fat bike and accompanied by his own dog, which was wearing a bell. The bell-wearing dog made the difference, Davis said. Madera, responding to the bell, let out a whine as the dog ran by.

Khrulev went into the woods and found her under a tree, more than 100 yards from the trail and about half a mile from Davis’ house. “She was not going to be found accidentally,” Davis said. Khrulev took Madera to one of Davis’ neighbours. The dog had lost about 14 pounds but was otherwise in good health, Davis said. Her rescuer asked for the $100 reward money to go the the Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund, a gesture that so impressed Davis that he decided to increase the donation to $250.

Indian minister proposes law allowing people to keep tigers as pets in bid to increase population

In an unusual suggestion, a senior Madhya Pradesh minister has sought a law that allows people to domesticate or keep as pets big cats like lions and tigers for their conservation. Animal Husbandry, Horticulture and Food Processing Minister Kusum Mehdele, in a proposal sent to the state’s forest department, has cited legal provisions in some African and South-East Asian countries like Thailand which have helped bring about an increase in the population of the big cats.

Noting that there are various projects in India for the conservation of tigers, the minister, however, said that although tens of millions of rupees have been spent on these projects, there has been no surprising increase in tiger numbers. In Thailand and some other nations, there is a legal recognition to people for keeping tigers and lions as pets, she said, adding the number of such animals is increasing in a surprising way in these countries.

If such a possibility can be thought over, then necessary action should be undertaken and guidelines passed on, she said in the proposal sent to state Forest Minister Gaurishankar Shejwar in September last year. Following suggestions from the minister, Madhya Pradesh Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Narendra Kumar has written to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) seeking their comments on the proposal.

“Kindly give your suggestion or comments in this regard so that the minister can be informed about it,” Kumar said in the letter. The copy of the note sheet carrying the minister’s suggestion and Kumar’s letter were accessed by Bhopal-based wildlife activist Ajay Dubey following an Right to Information appeal filed by him. “It is surprising that such a bizarre suggestion could be made by senior minister Mehdele. She hails from the Panna region of the state, which is known for its tiger population. I denounce such a proposal and request the central government not to give its permission for domesticating the tiger,” Dubey said.

Thief stole everything from woman's freezer while she was hanging out her washing

A woman from Castlecliff in New Zealand is warning residents to keep their appliances under lock and key after a brazen thief snuck in and stole everything out of her freezer while she was hanging out washing. The fridge and freezer are directly opposite Mel Evans' door, which she left open as she went out to the line.

Her 3-year-old daughter was in the lounge and her 7-month-old son was sleeping in his bedroom while the burglar rummaged through her freezer. When Miss Evans came inside, the freezer door was open and emptied of its packs of frozen meat, including chicken drumsticks, steaks and schnitzel, as well as one of two loaves of bread. "Nice of them to leave me the second," she said.

"People are desperate - that's why I haven't bothered with the police." She was unsure whether the person had been watching for her to leave the house, but said they must have known her partner wasn't home. "I'm angry - this is the first time something like this has happened to me."

Miss Evans admitted she was a little nervous and was glad she and her family were moving next week. They have been in the house for 10 months. "It's completely weirded me out," she said. "We can't afford to replace it all but we've still got food so I'm not worried about that." Miss Evans has been telling other residents to "put a padlock on your fridge people". And she warned others in her area to "keep an eye out".

Man complains to Human Rights Commission after being told he was 'too old' to enter bar

An 42-year-old man from Auckland in New Zealand is furious he was turned away from an inner-city bar because of his age. Garth Tomas says he was told the age limit was 38. He's laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. Mr Tomas, who is a committed Christian, says he was turned away from Bar 101 for being too old. "The bouncer asked for my ID, I gave it to him, he looked at it for a little while and said, 'You are too old,'" says Mr Tomas.

"I was stunned. He said the age limit was 38." He'd gone to the bar by himself at about 1am on a Saturday night. It was his first time there. "I didn't know what to say. I've been to bars all around the world and I've never been denied because of basis of age." He tried to go to the bar again last week. Once again he couldn't get in, though this time because of a fire alarm. He's since written a complaint to the Human Rights Commission and contacted police and the liquor licensing authority.

"Whatever the reason it's completely unacceptable. It's a nasty little road they are heading down with that kind of discrimination." Mr Tomas says he was not drunk or abusive and the dismissal was based purely on age. "I hadn't been drinking at all, that night anyway, and I don't drink much anyway, and certainly not that night. I am not an abusive person." John Lawrenson owns the bar and says it's aimed at students.

"We are only being responsible and asking the question, 'What is a man in his 40s trying to do when he's asking to get into a bar full of 18-year-old girls at 2am?'" He says there's no age policy and there has never been one. "At this stage we are still doing an investigation, but based on the conversation I have had so far we doubt the veracity of the man's story. If the event it is true and a specific comment made to him being too old, we will apologise to him."

With news video.

Daughter angry that council sent bill for a penny to her mother six months after she died

A daughter has spoken of her anger and hurt after being sent a 1p council tax bill for her deceased mother – more than six months after she died. Carol Davies was stunned when she opened the letter from Havant Borough Council in Hampshire, which was addressed to her mother Patricia Davies. The letter demanded payment of 1p, to be paid in cash.

Seventy-year-old Patricia, of West Leigh, died in June last year after several weeks in hospital following a battle with cancer. Carol said she had cancelled the council tax bill after her mother died. She also informed the council when her mother was in hospital that she was not living there any more. As executor to her mother’s estate, she asked for any letters to be forwarded on to her address.

Carol, from Hayling Island, said: "It was a total shock. Why have they even bothered to send it? I was quite offended by it considering the communication there was between us and the council. It’s just ridiculous. The postage would have cost more than I had to pay them." Carol phoned the council’s customer services department, where the operator apologised and said the 1p did not need to be paid.

Carol added: "The council is wasting time sending a piece of paper and wasting money to pay for things like this." Mike Ball, service manager for revenue and benefits at Havant Borough Council, said: "The council tax bill was sent in error and I would like to give my sincere apologies for any distress this may have caused Mrs Davies. We have spoken with Mrs Davies and also sent her a letter of apology. We will ensure the details are updated to prevent this happening again."

Father upset that his son's first words, picked up from defective Peppa Pig toy, were f*ck you

A three-year-old boy with learning difficulties horrified his parents when some of his first words were “f*ck you” that he was taught by a Peppa Pig toy.

Amari Black’s parents were ecstatic when their youngest child, who was born with rickets, finally started talking thanks to help from the Peppa Pig Fun and Learn Tablet.

But their joy quickly turned to horror when they heard him utter the expletive and realized he had picked it up from the malfunctioning toy.

Thankfully Mr Black doesn't repeat the offending phrase in front of his son during this interview. Oh.

YouTube link.

His father, Garfield, 48, of Waterloo, south east London, noticed that instead of saying “find the odd one out”, the toy says “f*ck you… odd one out”.