In Santa Rosa, California, a contractor is accused of trying to intimidate a lawyer by setting a pickup truck ablaze in the driveway of a home where firefighters found a dead bird, a flaming box of poop left on the porch, and an outside brick pillar pulled down. Police say 50-year-old Gary Howard was apparently trying to send a message to a local criminal defense attorney. Problem is-he got the wrong house. Instead, he picked a house of a man with the same name as the lawyer. So Howard was arrested and is being held at the Sonoma County Jail without bail on suspicion of felony arson, vandalism and animal cruelty. The criminal defense lawyer said he's never represented Howard in any legal proceeding, and Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Marcus Sprague said a motive remains unclear. (The Press Democrat)
It Went So Well Last Time, Let's Do It Again
Remember white nationalist Jason Kessler? He's the guy who organized the rally in Charlottesville last August that left one woman dead. And now he wants to do it again! Kessler has applied for a permit to hold an anniversary demonstration next summer. Specifically he wants a two-day rally at Emancipation Park on Aug. 11 and 12. The demonstration would commemorate the anniversary of the "Unite the Right" rally, which Kessler organized. On his website Kessler wrote: "I simply will not allow these bastards to use the one year anniversary of the Charlottesville government violating a federal judge's order and the US Constitution, in conjunction with violent Antifa groups, to further demonize activists." And he vowed that things would be different next year because he and his attorney will demand authorities release security arrangements "to the public in advance so that all parties, both demonstrators and counter-demonstrators, know what is expected of them." It's probably not going to happen as the City of Charlottesville has already filed a lawsuit against Kessler from organizing future demonstrations. If you have forgotten, Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, was killed and 19 other counter-protesters were injured after a man plowed his vehicle into the crowd. (New York Daily News)
In Florida, Martin County Sheriff's officials went to answer a complaint of trespassing when they encountered 71-year-old Donald Hornback-who was brandishing a weapon. Well, sort of. He was actually brandishing an adult vibrator and waived it at police after officers found him sleeping next to a bike inside the fence line of the victim's property. Hornback was asked to pack up his belongings and leave. One officer said Hornback started yelling that "we had no right to remove him from the victim's property." He put his belongings in a back pack and "picked up a large dildo and began to swing it around at the officers and the victim on scene," according to a police report. So he was arrested on a trespassing charge. It's unclear what happened to the... well, you know. (TC Palm)
It was supposed to be an early Christmas present from former US diplomat George Novinger to his wife, Gladys. But tragedy struck when the prominent San Diego couple was swept away Saturday as they tried to cross the Wailuku River above Rainbow Falls in a state park on Hawaii's Big Island. Gladys Novinger, 62, was found unconscious in a pool below the 80-foot waterfall and died in a local hospital. Her 61-year-old husband is still missing. Rescuers have been searching from the air, but the ground search has been repeatedly delayed by heavy rain and flash-flood conditions. George Novinger recently retired from the Foreign Service, where he served in countries including Japan, Paraguay, and Syria before becoming the State Department's director of foreign missions in the Southwest. Gladys Novinger served as San Diego's honorary Peruvian consul. The couple, who were active in numerous community projects, owned San Diego's Vineyard Hacienda. Gladys Novinger's son, Joseph Harmes III, says he was with the couple when they were swept away and added, "They were the best of the best. It is beyond tragic. They are missed deeply." (NBC San Diego)
Cave Women Could Kick Your Butt!
According to new research from Cambridge University pummeling grains for up to five hours a day gave prehistoric women the kind of muscular arms a girl only dreams of today. Researchers used CT scans to compare the upper arm and shinbones of 83 modern women with those of 94 women who lived in Europe 7,400 to 1,200 years ago, during the Neolithic period, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. The research is now highlighting a hidden history of "rigorous" but "underestimated" labor performed by women over thousands of years. According to researcher Alison Macintosh, Neolithic women had similar leg bone strength as modern women, but their arm bones were 30% stronger than those of modern non-athletic women and 11% to 16% stronger than those of Cambridge's champion female rowers. It's no wonder why: Ancient women farmed before the invention of the plow. Their duties likely included planting and harvesting crops, grinding grains into flour, making pottery, tending livestock, "processing milk and meat, and converting hides and wool into textiles.'' (Science Advances)
Witnessing A Murder from 600 Miles Away
Cody Ha may have been 600 miles from his friend in Texas, but the 23-year-old Kansas man sounded as though he were in the same room via the microphones and headphones the pair used to communicate while playing video games online with others Saturday. Then, around 10pm, Ashley Martinez of Houston heard at least two loud popping noises that hurt his ears. Ha didn't speak again, and when players called his phone, they heard only the unanswered ring through his microphone. An hour later, they heard something else: Ha's sister arriving at the Wichita home to find her brother and 62-year-old mother, Huong Pham, covered in blood, dead of gunshot wounds. Martinez said, "She was panicking. She said she didn't feel safe." Another friend said that people often visited the family's home to buy what Ha described as prescription drugs. He suggests Pham sold the drugs and gave Ha a cut of the proceeds. Police, who've named no suspects, are investigating whether the Saturday shooting death of a Pizza Hut delivery driver three blocks from Ha and Pham's home is related. (Washington Post)
What the What?
Groups representing Holocaust survivors have asked Poland's president to explain why a group of artists were allowed to film a naked game of tag inside a gas chamber in the former Nazi death camp of Stutthof. The Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and several other groups sent the request for clarification to President Andrzej Duda in connection with a video that the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow displayed in 2015 without divulging any details on where it was filmed. The letter was sent after research revealed the location was Stutthof, near Gdansk, Poland. The organizations that co-signed the letter want to know whether the artists got permission to make the video, what rules exist for proper conduct at the site, how these are enforced, and whether an investigation of the circumstances of the making of the video had been carried out. Following protests by Jewish groups and community leaders, the Krakow museum pulled the exhibition but then reinstated it, defending it as falling under freedom of artistic expression. (Global News)