Monday, October 30, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Happy Halloween

For some in Ocean County, New Jersey, it's not a Happy Halloween. There's outrage over a Halloween display in front of one home in Waretown, but the homeowners are defending their decorations saying it's all in good fun. Basically Kevin Negrotto and his family put a lot of effort creating a horrific fake crime scene with a body pinned against a tree by a white car with blood dropping down it. Not everybody hates it. One neighbor, identified only as Donna, said, "I think it's awesome, I really do. I don't know what the problem is, it's Halloween fun." But police have been inundated with calls from others who say the display is inappropriate and goes too far. Adding that the display is in poor taste, others say it looks like a drunk driving accident. Negrotto says he and his wife have been receiving nasty messages about what they consider a creative Halloween display for trick or treaters. Resident Justin Sarnowski said, "People are being over-sensitive about it. It's Halloween." Negrotto says they did not mean to offend anyone.Meanwhile, local police say they can't issue a ticket for decorations - the Negrettos are free to decorate however they'd like. Happy Halloween. (CBS2)

Well Hello There

Forty-two years ago, Flora Stevens' husband dropped her off for a doctor's appointment in Monticello, New York. When he returned to pick her up she wasn't there - and was never seen again until last week when she was finally found using the last name Harris and living in a Massachusetts assisted-living facility, suffering from dementia. She's now 78 and police have been unable to figure out what happened to her between her August 1975 disappearance and when she was found. Detectives confirmed Harris was Stevens but say due to her condition, she couldn't offer details of her life. She did recognize herself in a photo ID card from a resort where she used to work. Detectives said, "She looked at the ID and said, 'Me!'" Stevens apparently has no living relatives. Sheriff Mike Schiff says in a press release, "It's not too often we get to solve a 42-year-old missing person case. The main thing is we know Flora is safe." (New York Daily News)

Five Months at Sea

Imagine being lost at sea for five months! Two Americans and their two dogs set out to sail from Hawaii to Tahiti last spring, but after their engine died in bad weather May 30, they were forced to use only the ship's sails to attempt to get back to land. Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba started issuing distress signals every day after they'd been at sea two months, but no other vessels were close enough to hear them. As they drifted further and further off course - they were ultimately found 900 miles southeast of Japan, almost 5,000 miles from their original destination. They survived by using water purifiers for drinking water and eating the year's supply of dry food they had on board. They were discovered by a fishing ship from Taiwan Tuesday, and the US Navy's USS Ashland, which was in the area, helped with the rescue. In a statement, Appel said of the Navy, "I'm grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [US Navy] on the horizon was pure relief." (CBS News)

George HW Bush: Strike Three

Looks like former president George HW Bush was a serial butt grabber. Now a third woman, author Christina Baker Kline, has come forward with details on how the former 41st president groped her during a photo op. Basically, same joke, different woman. Kline writes in Slate about her encounter with Bush at a literacy fundraiser in Houston in 2014. As she and her husband flanked Bush, in a wheelchair, the former president asked if she'd like to know the name of his favorite book. She replied yes as the photographer was getting ready to shoot. "Bush put his arm around me, low on my back," she writes. "His comic timing was impeccable. 'David Cop-a-feel,' he said, and squeezed my butt, hard, just as the photographer snapped the photo." Kline provides the image with the Slate piece, writing that it shows her "struggling to keep the smile on my face" as Bush laughs at his joke. When she told her husband what happened as they were being driven away, the female driver turned to them and said, "I do trust you will be ... discreet." Kline says she was rattled by the comment because it suggested this had happened before, and Bush's staff was by now used to protecting him. She adds what galls her the most is that three male authors were at the same event and, to her knowledge, were not groped. Bush "made clear to me that because I am a woman, I can be objectified, sexualized, reduced to a body part." Bush's office referred Slate to the president's previous apology, in which a spokesman says that Bush's hands are often low on a person's waist in such situations because he's in a wheelchair, and that he tells the same general joke to put people at ease. (Slate)

Lets Redecorate the White House

It's not uncommon for presidents to do a little redecorating at the White House when they move in, and the office of General Services Administration has let us know that the Trump administration has spent. So far it comes to $1.75 million taxpayer dollars spent on furniture and other items as part of redecorating the White House and related offices. For those keeping score, that's slightly more than the $1.5 million the Obama administration spent over the same time. President Obama did pay for some of the costs himself but it's unclear if President Trump has done the same thing. There were reports a few months ago that Trump had called the White House "a real dump," though he denied it, later tweeting that the White House is "one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen." Here's some of what that $1.75 million is paying for:
$17,000 for custom rugs
$7,000 for "furniture pedestals"
$5,000 for wallpaper
$12,800 for a custom conference table
$291,000 for office walls
$240,000 for "wood office furniture manufacturing"
$25,000 for "case good furniture"
$29,000 for "upholstered household furniture manufacturing"
$10,000 for floor coverings

Guess it's all just part of making American great again. (Newser)

Ninja Thief Finally Caught
For the better part of a decade, an agile, black-clad Ninja thief has eluded police in Osaka, Japan, as he pulled off burglary after burglary. But the thieving days of the crook who came to be known as the "Ninja of Heisei" have come to an end. The suspect was finally caught by police who got a huge surprise. Turns out the guy is 74-year-old Mitsuaki Tanigawa who said, "I thought I would never be caught." He was arrested after police say he broke into an electronics shop and stole $240 in cash. Police say he was dressed all in black just like a ninja. Tanigawa is described as unemployed, but that's perhaps because his alleged nighttime work was so lucrative. Police think he stole an estimated $250,000 in hundreds of break-ins at homes and businesses beginning in 2009, often while demonstrating remarkable agility by running along the tops of walls. The big break came when the thief was caught on surveillance video lowering a neck warmer from his face. (BBC)

What the What?

In Daytona Beach, Florida, two men apparently got into a fight over beer outside a Popeye's chicken restaurant. That fight quickly turned into murder when 34-year-old James R. Allen allegedly punched 55-year-old John Roughton in the face causing him to fall on flat on his back. Roughton's head bounced off the pavement and he was knocked unconscious. He underwent surgery, but there was little doctors could do and his family elected to have him taken off life support and he died. Allen now faces second-degree murder charges. Both men's addresses were listed as a nearby homeless assistance center. (Daytona Beach News-Journa

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