Tag Archives: strange news

Atlanta couple says someone stole their food truck

An Atlanta family says its dreams of running its own business were ruined when someone stole its food truck.

The victims told WSB-TV someone stole their Brazilian Taste Truck Dec. 21 in front of the dance studio where family member Muriel Ribiero teaches martial arts. Ribiero and his wife, Maria Marques, say they had spent nearly $20,000 turning a trailer into a food truck, and were nearly ready to put it in business when it was stolen.

He says he had parked the truck in front of the dance studio for two months while he worked on painting it and building the kitchen.

When Atlanta police responded they were unable to find any surveillance video to help them find who stole the food truck.

WiGWAG | What’s better than catnip? A new study says watching cat videos

Better than catnip

A new study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior indicates that watching cat videos on the Internet can boost energy levels and increase feelings of happiness. In the study, University of Indiana Media School assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick found negative emotions were lower and positive emotions higher after viewing cats on the Internet. And, guess what, viewers get happy even if they self-identify as a “dog person.”

Jumped the gun

How excited is Scott Walker about running for president? So excited that he accidentally announced on Twitter three days early. He posted and soon deleted a message on his verified Twitter account July 10 that said, “Scott Walker is running for president.” He officially announced on July 13, becoming the 15th Republican presidential contender. 

Palin pulls plug

Sarah Palin pulled the plug on her subscriber-based online channel — presumably because no one paid to subscribe. The former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate turned celebrity commentator says she’s making the content of the channel available for free on her Facebook page and PAC website. The channel displays the series Sarah Says and Behind the Scenes — a recent episode was about eating moose meat — and also promotes “Sarah’s Picks,” including a “word of the day” and a clock counting down Barack Obama’s days in office.

Phone case triggers warning

Officials in Ocean County, New Jersey, are warning iPhone users not to buy an iPhone case that looks like a gun. “A police officer’s job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation,” said Al Della Fave of the county’s prosecutor office. The iPhone cases are sold via Internet in a range of colors for $5 to $10.

Massacre spoils ‘dream wedding’

The sister of alleged Charleston, South Carolina, shooter Dylann Roof turned to the Internet for donations after her brother ruined her “dream” wedding. Amber Roof’s wedding was to have taken place on June 21, four days after her brother was charged with killing nine African Americans at Emanuel AME Church. She turned to the public via GoFundMe for help rescheduling her nuptials and paying for a dream honeymoon. The page was removed after stirring outrage, but more than 30 people donated, raising more than $1,600 of the $5,000 goal before the campaign was halted.

Deen drama

Paula Deen says she’s not to blame for the image posted to her Twitter account that showed her son wearing dark makeup and costumed as Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy. The image apparently was from a 2011 holiday episode of Deen’s former Food Network show and the tweet mimicked Cuban-American actor Desi Arnaz’s accented English on I Love Lucy. A spokesman said a social media manager was fired over the debacle.

New roots

A&E Networks has announced that Laurence Fishburne will play writer Alex Haley, whose novel about his African-American ancestry was the basis of the original TV miniseries Roots. The new project will draw on the late Haley’s novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, along with new research, A&E said. The 1977 ABC miniseries was a ratings sensation.

Getting squirrely 

Police in the suburban Detroit community of Shelby Township issued an all-points bulletin after the theft of a truck and trailer packed with 18 pallets of nuts — about 28,000 pounds of packaged walnuts and other snacks. The truck and trailer were found but not the nuts valued at $128,000. So, the department issued an appeal for information leading to an arrest and conviction — under the mug shot of a squirrel.

Hello, Stanley

An estimated 1 million people attended the annual Chicago Pride Parade. Boosting this year’s enthusiasm for the event was the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. A highlight of the event was the second appearance of the Stanley Cup, this year aboard the WGN Radio float and hosted by the Chicago Gay Hockey Association.

A judge’s religion

An evangelical Christian judge in Texas has agreed to perform same-sex weddings so long as every couple he marries, whether straight or gay, signs a document acknowledging his opposition. They also are required not to mention “same-sex weddings” to him “before, during or after the ceremony.”

Find more WiGWAG at www.wisconsingazette.com.

No foolin’ Actual news can be stranger than fiction

The Secret Service wants millions of dollars to build another White House.

The highest elevation in Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s state is just 345 feet above sea level, but state employees can’t refer to “climate change.”

The U.S. military says elephants might be better at detecting explosives than dogs.

OK, now, are you double-checking the calendar? Wondering if WiG is feeding you April Fools Day fodder? But no, we’re not putting you on. Those stories are for real.

Read on through our second annual celebration of silly, strange, comical and confounding stories that are true.

Ready, or not

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently issued new rules requiring state and local governments to address concerns related to climate change when planning for disasters. That may be difficult in Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s administration allegedly barred the use of the words “climate change” and “global warming.”

Watchdog and environmental groups are calling for an investigation after former government employees say they were forbidden from using the terms in one of the states most at risk from rising seas and stronger storms.

Scott said the allegations are false. But the ex-employees are sticking with their claims. 

In a recent speech, Secretary of State John Kerry weighed in on the matter. “Now folks, we literally do not have the time to waste debating whether we can say ‘climate change,’” he said. “Because no matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, it will not alter the fact that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.”

Flash games

About 19,000 people recently signed up on a Facebook event page to play hide-and-seek at an Ikea in Amsterdam. And another 13,000 signed up to play at a store in Utrecht.

But the Swedish retailer says no more fun and games in its model kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. The numbers are out of hand. Ikea spokeswoman Martina Smedberg said the company contacted the organizers of the games via social media and “humbly asked them to have their hide-and-seek games somewhere else.”

Red plate special

Did you hear the one about people writing $1,000 checks to have lunch at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Rep. Glen Grothman of Wisconsin. It’s true. A thousand dollars. Must be some menu, because it certainly isn’t the personality, wit and charm of the gaffe-prone, lunatic-fringe Grothman.

Damaging domain

Looking for a domain name to really make an online statement? The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has approved for sale .SUCKS.

But don’t expect to get chickfila.sucks for a song. Vox Populi Registry owns exclusive rights to sell .SUCKS and set premium pricing levels — $300–$2,500, depending on the name.

Analysts said the first buyers likely would be businesses seeking to protect their brand identities.

Still, we know of one newspaper publisher who’d spend his savings — and maybe his husband’s savings — to buy scottwalker.sucks.

Binge-watching bidding?

eBay is up-classing its online auction offerings. On April 1, bidders will be able to get online — live.ebay.com — to watch livestreams from Sotheby’s and participate in auctions, with the exception of major sales of certain art.

First up on the calendar, an auction of photographs, followed by an auction of New York-themed art and then European silver.

An announcement on the site says live-action bidding is quick and lively — each item is for sale for about 2 minutes. That’s going, going, gone.

Princely tunes

Last year on April Fools Day, Bloodshot Records conned consumers into believing it had lined up 21 artists for a rough and rugged roots-take on Prince tunes. Well, Bloodshot apparently misjudged fans, who got really pissed off because they really wanted those Prince covers.

So, this time around, Bloodshot announced the release of Prince covers by Lydia Loveless and Cory Branan and — and then really released the tunes. Loveless covers “I Would Die 4 U” and Branan covers “Under the Cherry Moon.”

Bathroom birth

Isn’t there a saying about a baby and bathwater?

An Iowa woman says she stepped into her shower and started to feel stomach pains. A few minutes later, she stepped out of the shower, with a baby, who is named “Miracle,” weighing in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces.

The 24-year-old woman knew she was pregnant but says she must have misunderstood a hospital worker during a check up. She thought that she was “12 weeks pregnant,” but she must have been told she had 12 weeks left.

Cleanup in the women’s

A meth suppression team was called to a Wal-Mart near Muncie, Indiana, after an employee at the discount store discovered a mobile meth lab in the women’s restroom. The employee saw a suspicious man enter the bathroom with a backpack but leave without the bag. Two people face charges of manufacturing meth, criminal recklessness and dumping controlled substance waste.

The Muncie Star Press, which first reported the story, followed up with a report of other mobile meth-lab busts: Missouri authorities arrested a man for a meth lab on his motorcycle. A man in Florida was arrested for allegedly carrying a mobile meth lab in his pant legs. A woman was arrested after the Louisiana casino where she was cooking meth caught fire. Three people were arrested at an Alabama campsite for manufacturing meth in their tent. And a 64-year-old man was arrested in Fresno, California, for cooking and selling meth from his room at a retirement home.

Brotherly love

A Pennsylvania man was due in court late this month after an arrest for allegedly assaulting his brother. State police said the guy threw a vanity license plate at his older brother. The blue-and-gold plate read, “You’ve got a friend in JESUS,” and had a “John 15: 13-15” sticker, which refers to a passage in the Bible rather than an expiration date for the plate. The passage begins, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Droopy drawers, Dopey law

The police chief in Opelousas, Louisiana, recently asked his city council to consider an ordinance prohibiting people from wearing saggy pants. The proposed ordinance, modeled on a measure adopted in another Louisiana community, states, “Pants worn by any person, regardless of age, should be size appropriate and secured at the waist to prevent the pants from falling more than 3 inches below the hips (crest of ilium).”

The ACLU says such a law would be unconstitutional — clothing is a form of expression.

Still, city officials continue to discuss a possible ban, as well as extending the prohibition to apply to “daisy dukes.” Now, why do we think more cops would be willing to take a measurement of short shorts than sagging pants?

Strong sniffer

Ringling Brothers Circus says it has plans to retire its circus elephants by 2018. Is it possible the U.S. military has plans for them?

New research that involved the U.S. military as a partner revealed that elephants excel at identifying explosives by smell. They also remember training longer than dogs.

The research took place at a game reserve in South Africa, where elephants learned to raise a front leg when they sniffed out TNT.

Researchers conducted the experiments after learning that elephants in Angola intentionally avoided areas that contained land mines.

Thou shalt not remove

A federal judge is allowing a privately funded Ten Commandments monument to remain at the Oklahoma Capitol. The granite monument, which is about 6 feet tall, was approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature in 2012. The original monument was destroyed last October, when a car drove across the Capitol lawn, but a replica has since been installed.

American Atheists Inc. sued to remove the monument, alleging the government was sanctioning a specific religion and violating the First Amendment.

The state now faces petitions from various groups — an animal rights group, a Hindu leader, a satanic association and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — to erect Capitol monuments.

Incarcerated electorate

Anyone old enough to remember the election of 2000 — hanging chads, Katherine Harris, theft of the presidency — won’t be surprised. The ACLU recently filed a federal lawsuit against Jefferson County, Florida, which counted the 1,157 inmates incarcerated at a local state prison in its redistricting. The thing is, Florida inmates can’t vote. In fact, in Florida they’ll have to fight for voting rights even after their release from prison. With more than 100,000 state inmates, the ACLU is now trying to determine the degree of prison-based gerrymandering in Florida. 

White House in the ’burbs

The Secret Service, under scrutiny for security breaches and high-profile gaffes, is asking Congress to appropriate $8 million to build a replica of the White House for training purposes. The second White House — with East and West wings, the grounds and guard booths — would be built at the Secret Service training site in Beltsville, Maryland, about 20 miles from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy told the House Appropriations Committee that Secret Service agents currently train in a parking lot. “We don’t have the bushes, we don’t have the fountains, we don’t get a realistic look at the White House,” he complained.

Now, wouldn’t it be fun to elect the fake president of the fake White House?

Holy rollers

The Life Center church in Panama City Beach, Florida, has lost its local tax-exempt status for hosting naked paint parties and slumber parties featuring “sexist ladies on the beach” during a weeklong celebration dubbed “Amnesia: The Tabernacle.”

The local sheriff called the church activity a “blatant slap in the face” to taxpayers. And the local property appraiser was bothered by the church’s selling of novelty T-shirts, the collection of donations at the door and signage like, “I hate being sober.”

No foolin’.

WiGWAG: News with a twist | March 26, 2015

POO-POOING ARREST

A Pennsylvania man in Wilkes-Barre thought he could ward off an arrest for public drunkenness by making himself untouchable. As police approached the apparently intoxicated man, he dropped to the ground and rolled around in dog waste. He then told police they couldn’t arrest him covered in feces. But they did.

WILD TURKEY TROUBLE

In 2013 in Frankfort, Kentucky, someone made off with 195 bottles of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve bourbon and 27 bottles of 13-year-old Van Winkle rye. Perhaps the $26,000 worth of liquor has run out? Earlier in March, Kentucky authorities reported the theft of five barrels of Wild Turkey bourbon stolen from a distillery in Lawrenceburg. Each barrel was valued at $6,000. A tip led to the recovery of the barrels and the arrest of a man also in possession of 25 firearms and two silencers.

SURGICAL SUCCESS

A surgical team in Stellenbosch, South Africa, announced in mid-March the success of a penis transplant. The operation had lasted nine hours in December and doctors are predicting the 21-year-old patient will have full use of the transplanted organ in two years. The patient had his penis amputated several years ago following complications from a circumcision. An announcement said finding a donor was a major challenge.

LABELED SEXIST

Indonesian clothing company Salvo Sports is apologizing for a label stitched into shirts for Pusamania Bornea, an Indonesian sports team. The label for clothing care said, “Washing instructions: Give this jersey to your woman. It’s her job.”

BREWER HYGIENE

An outbreak of pink eye had Milwaukee Brewers shunning high-fives and avoiding fist bumps, unless wearing batting gloves. The AP reported that catcher Jonathan Lucroy and pitching coach Rick Kranitz, among others, caught the highly contagious infection. The players were instructed to tap elbows instead.

AT LEAST HE’S REGULAR

Akron, Ohio, police are searching for someone they said has defecated on 19 parked cars in driveways. The suspect has been striking before dawn. A resident recently caught the suspect on film. 

WHAT HAPPENS IN WINNEBAGO …

An appeals court says a man was properly convicted of videotaping a sexual encounter with a naked prostitute. A jury in Winnebago County convicted Charles Adams in 2012 of illegally capturing an image of nudity. He was sentenced to five years and six months in prison. Adams argued the prostitute had no expectation of privacy and he needed the video to defend himself in case she overdosed on drugs or accused him of attacking her. 

THINK WHERE IT’S BEEN …

An inmate in New York is accused of hiding oxycodone pills in his rectum and selling them to other inmates at his jail. Correction officers at the Rockland County jail found about 50 pills after searching Bryan Lora and his cell.

LOWER HER PAY

Religious-right activist Phyllis Schlafly says that the current pay gap between men and woman isn’t wide enough and that’s hurting marriage. In an op-ed published by the Christian Post, Schlafly maintained that increasing the pay gap would help women find suitable husbands, because women prefer to have higher-earning partners, while men prefer to be the higher-earning partner in a relationship. 

THE WAY SHE WAS

Barbra Streisand’s unusual spelling of her name became popular in the 1960s, when it peaked at No. 511 on the list of most popular names for baby girls. But Barbra is about to vanish. Fewer than five babies got the name last year, according to the Social Security administration.

LOOKING TO THE SKY FOR HELP

Televangelist Creflo Dollar has asked 200,000 followers to donate $300 apiece so he can buy a luxury jet to preach worldwide. The jet that the reverend is eyeing retails for about $65 million. 

SON OF A PREACHER MAN

The son of Alabama’s chief justice — who has made national headlines recently for his efforts to block same-sex marriage in the state — was arrested on drug charges. Court records show 24-year-old Caleb Moore, the son of Chief Justice Roy Moore, was arrested March 15 and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. And not for the first time.

WiGWag: News with a twist, Cuddlr comfort, mourning on-the-go

Penalty play

Authorities in Temperance, Michigan, have accused a 50-year-old woman and two teenagers of using grass-killer to burn a 100-yard penis symbol into the turf at the Bedford High School Kicking Mules football stadium. Police say the three caused about $15,000 in damages, which elevated the incident from a misdemeanor prank to a felony. 

Cuddlr comfort

Think the brave new digital world is too cold, too uncaring? A new app — Cuddlr — is available for iPhone users who want to comfort strangers and for strangers who want a cuddle. Cuddlr’s rules state: “Unlike some other apps, Cuddlr is strictly about PG-rated experiences. Keep the cuddle a cuddle!” Cuddlr users have about 15 minutes to reply to a cuddle request. 

Mourning on-the-go

A funeral home in Saginaw, Michigan, is offering a drive-thru window for mourners. At the Paradise Funeral Chapel, mourners can pull up to the drive-thru window, where music plays and curtains open automatically to reveal the loved one for 3-minute intervals. The company president explained that some people are afraid of funeral parlors. But as we consider this final disrespect of the deceased, we can’t help but think about health and wellness — more action, less drive-thru.

Fakeagrams

A judge recommended a six-month suspension for a California attorney who doctored photographs on her website to show her hanging with Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Clooney, Leonardo diCaprio and others. The judge said Svitlana Sangary failed to respond to a warning from the state bar and committed false advertising. Sangary has told the AP the photos are genuine.

Brand-new brew

Are coffee and beer the next chocolate and peanut butter? Starbucks thinks so. The ubiquitous coffee shop is launching a new “Dark Barrel Latte” in select Ohio and Florida stores, a mix of coffee and chocolate flavors that is reportedly topped with whipped cream and dark caramel drizzle and features a chocolate and stout flavored sauce. Allegedly, the new flavor best resembles a pint of Guinness. 

Shot in the back

Last year, Arkansas senior Sen. Mark Pryor earned the dubious distinction of being one of only four Democrats to vote against a popular proposal to require background checks for people who purchase firearms online or at gun shows, which ultimately failed to receive the necessary 60-40 supermajority. Turns out that didn’t win him any friends with the National Rifle Association. Last month, they announced a $1.3 million ad buy supporting Pryor’s Republican opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, in the upcoming re-election race this fall. The kicker? A poll taken a month after Pryor’s vote found that 60 percent of Arkansans actually support background checks.

UNHOLY RECOMMENDATION

The marketing department for the Left Behind reboot starring Nicholas Cage certainly isn’t afraid to ask anyone for an endorsement. The right-wing evangelical thriller about believers in the wake of the Rapture, opening this month, recently posted a promotional image on its Facebook page with a blurb from none other than Satan himself. The Prince of Darkness is quoted as saying, “Please do not bring unbelievers to this movie,” over an image of panicked civilians. Who knew evil incarnate would mind his P’s and Q’s?

2013: Bad year to get naked in Wisconsin

From strippers who got busted fighting over a $1 tip to a naked would-be burglar who got stuck in the air vents of a building for 12 hours, some of the oddest news of 2013 involved the nude.

The January brawl at a Juneau strip club started after one dancer took a dollar tip given to another by a customer. The fight, according to police, including punching, slapping and pulling of hair.

A 20-year-old man was ordered in March to “stay out of all the libraries on the face of the earth” after he was found masturbating in a public library in Racine.

And a 19-year-old man may have wished he stayed out of the air vents of a veterinary clinic in Milwaukee. Or, at least he might have wanted to think twice about undressing before climbing into the vents to break into the clinic.

Police said they thought the man was trying to prevent his clothes from snagging on screws inside the vents. He wasn’t seriously injured in the embarrassing September escapade.

Nudists who gathered during the week at a public beach on the Wisconsin River near Mazomanie had their schedules disrupted this year. State authorities closed it on weekdays in hopes larger weekend crowds would deter any hanky panky.

But that didn’t help. Of 13 citations issued for public sex on the beach, 11 were written on — you guessed it — the weekend. The numbers were down, law enforcement officials claimed illegal activity remained rampant. The citations were issued during only seven days of surveillance.

Things went a little bit better for “Thong Cape Scooter Man,” known for cruising Madison clad only in thong underwear and a cape.

Police received calls after the man rode by some students walking to a school bus. That man said while he may have used bad judgment in passing a school, he did so unintentionally.

Since his outfit was enough to keep him from breaking any laws, he was free to ride on.

The cuddlers at Madison’s Snuggle House weren’t nude either, but that didn’t keep them from causing controversy during their three-week venture.

The owner of the business dedicated to “touch therapy” said there was nothing untoward about offering $60-per-hour snuggle sessions in makeshift bedrooms above a bar a block from the Capitol.

But wary city officials weren’t so sure.

“There’s no way that (sexual assault) will not happen,” assistant city attorney Jennifer Zilavy said. “No offense to men, but I don’t know any man who wants to just snuggle.”

And just like that, the Snuggle House folded its blankets and shut its doors in December.

Those dressed but behaving oddly included a Fond du Lac woman who tried to fake an injury so an ambulance would give her a free ride home.

Police were called after the woman tried to get a man to pay her $100 she said was owed. After he refused, and police told her to leave, the woman threw herself on the ground in an attempt to get a free ambulance ride.

Jana Ganjian also had a free ride for years, living in an upscale Racine hotel since 2004. Ganjian fell behind on her payments to the point that she owed $29,000 by the time she was kicked out.

It’s not clear why the hotel allowed her to remain for so long. The hotel manager declined to talk about it.

Another mystery, at least for a while, was the origin of a six-fingered “hand” discovered at Madison recycling plant.

A veteran detective, noting there was no thumb, suggested — and later confirmed — it wasn’t a hand at all, but rather a bear paw.

“When it doubt, count the fingers, or in this case, the claws,” one supervising sergeant said, according to a police incident report.

Not all the unusual events were sad or disturbing.

In July, a Waukesha man discovered a 1949 high school class ring while using a metal detector near his home. With a little detective work, the man was able to trace the ring back to its owner: 82-year-old Dick Diedrich, of Mattoon, Ill.

Diedrich hadn’t seen the ring since 1948, when his sweetheart lost it after taking it off to dissect frogs in biology class. The person who found the ring mailed it back to him.

“It’s your ring’ he told me. ‘Keep it and enjoy it,’” Diedrich said. “So the bottom line is, I’m now sitting here at 82 years old with my class ring 63 years later.”