California surfer makes board using 10,000 cigarette butts
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (AP) — A California surfer has won a recycled surfboard contest with an entry covered with 10,000 cigarette butts.
"This is the most polluted item picked up on the beach," creator Taylor Lane told the Orange County Register. "And no one thinks twice that you can do anything with it."
Lane, 24, from Santa Cruz had the top entry amid an assortment of boards made from potato sacks, used packaging and stuff picked up from Dumpster dives. An Australian entry was made from an old bathroom door.
The entries were for the third annual "Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest," hosted by the Vissla surfing gear brand and the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation.
A dozen entries were displayed last Friday at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano.
"Who would have thought cigarette butts would have been beautiful?" said visitor Karyn Buky of Rancho Santa Margarita, California. "It gives you an awkward feeling, that something so pretty is so icky at the same time. It's amazing."
Lane and his friend, Ben Judkins, spent the summer plucking butts from the sand, beach parking lots and local paths in Santa Cruz. The board also uses Styrofoam from fish markets.
"It's visually disgusting — but awesome in how gross it is," Judkins said. "It just ties together surfing and something we care about — the environment, the ocean and the health of the ocean."
Canadian man fined for singing '90s dance tune in car
MONTREAL (AP) — A Canadian man's decision to belt out a 1990s dance hit while inside his car has landed him a $149 ticket for being too loud in public.
But Taoufik Moalla said Monday he'll fight the ticket and denies his singing was as deafening as authorities claim.
Moalla says he was happily singing along with the windows mostly rolled up to C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," which neared the top of the Billboard chart in 1991, when he was stopped.
He says he initially thought Montreal police wanted him to move out of their way.
He says was asked if he was yelling and he said no. One of the officers walked away and returned with the fine for screaming in a public place.
10-year-old leads police, state troopers on high-speed chase
CLEVELAND (AP) — A 10-year-old boy led police on a high-speed pursuit that began in Cleveland and ended miles away along the Ohio Turnpike when state troopers boxed him in, and police say it's the second time in two weeks the boy has taken cars on joyrides.
Authorities say no one was injured during the pursuit that began around 9:30 a.m. Thursday when Westlake police saw a car speed by chased by another vehicle, possibly driven by the boy's mother, on Interstate 90 west of Cleveland.
A man called 911 and reported the boy's car was swerving in and out of traffic and had almost run several vehicles off the road. He also said a woman was following him in a red SUV. A woman called 911 and said the boy appeared to be driving around 90 mph.
Three Westlake officers tried to stop the 2004 Toyota Avalon along the interstate and followed it for more than 15 miles (24 kilometers) at high speeds until the boy drove through a toll booth and entered the westbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike, Westlake police Capt. Guy Turner said.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Tim Hoffman said that's when at least four state troopers began joining the chase and attempted a rolling roadblock as the boy drove erratically along the turnpike with speeds reaching 100 mph (161 kph). After a pursuit of around 20 miles (32 kilometers), the boy slowed down and veered onto the grassy berm to avoid driving over stop sticks, Hoffman said. That's when one trooper used his cruiser to nudge the boy's car into a sign. Other police cars blocked the vehicle and prevented it from re-entering the road.
"It was very lucky no one was hurt," Hoffman said.
The boy was taken to a hospital accompanied by a legal guardian, the Highway Patrol said. He will be placed in the custody of Erie County Children's Services after being evaluated. The patrol said it will confer with prosecutors about criminal charges.
A Cleveland police report shows that the boy previously stole his mother's 2013 Dodge Charger on Oct. 16. Police went to the mother's home and, a short time later, other officers responded to a call about a car driven by a small boy on I-90 in Cleveland in the high-speed lane with three flat tires, according to the report.
The boy was arrested and taken to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center and released to his mother.
— MARK GILLISPIE, Associated Press
Locked in beer cooler, Wisconsin man gets busy
MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) — When a central Wisconsin man got locked inside a convenience store cooler overnight, he made the best of it, knocking back a beer and three more malt beverages.
USA Today Network-Wisconsin reports that police were called to a Kwik Trip in Marshfield Wednesday morning. A customer had noticed the 38-year-old man inside the cooler around 6 a.m., and when employees opened it, he fled.
When police found and arrested the man, he told them he went into the store to buy beer and got locked inside the cooler just before midnight Tuesday. He told them he figured he might just as well stay inside and drink.
Police cited the man for retail theft. They said the cooler had a glass door he could have knocked on to be let out.
Air Force retracts tweet's Santa clause: He's real after all
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force says its tweet declaring Santa Claus "isn't real" was just a bluff, part of a threat to steal Christmas from two feuding bases.
We didn't want to have to do this, but if you 2 can't get along we must...Santa will bring you nothing this year...becuase he isn't real!— U.S. Air Force (@usairforce) October 25, 2017
Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri jostled on Twitter about which fleet was better. KFGO radio reports the official Air Force account responded that if the bases couldn't get along, Santa would "bring you nothing this year because he isn't real!"
After the tweet generated widespread ridicule, the Air Force reversed itself. It declared Santa in fact "is real" and that the previous message was just an attempt to get the bases "in line."
The Air Force stressed its North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa's Christmas Eve sleigh travels using satellites, radar and jets.
KFC Twitter follows 11 Herbs and Spices, intrigues internet
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Twitter user has earned kudos online for discovering a subtle message on KFC's account.
The KFC account follows just 11 users; five of them are former members of the Spice Girls and the other six are men named Herb, including Green Bay Packers cornerback Herb Waters and music legend Herb Alpert. It adds up to 11 herbs and spices, part of the famous secret recipe KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders touted for his fried chicken.
.@KFC follows 11 people.Those 11 people? 5 Spice Girls and 6 guys named Herb. 11 Herbs & Spices. I need time to process this.— Edge (@edgette22) October 19, 2017
The connection was noticed on Twitter by a user who goes by "Edge." His tweet about it has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on the platform.
KFC tells The Associated Press it has been following the 11 Herbs and Spices for about a month.
NYC hotel offers 'Stranger Things' room package through 2018
NEW YORK (AP) — New York residents and visitors anticipating the Friday release of the second season of Netflix's hit show "Stranger Things" can now get a hotel package for their binge-watching needs.
The Gregory Hotel in midtown Manhattan is offering a new "ex-stream-ly cozy package" for fans to watch every episode in hotel comfort.
WNBC-TV reports the room will offer streaming service via Google Chromecast to watch the season premiere. The room also comes with "Stranger Things"-themed room decorations and food, such as a light-up wall tapestry and one of the character's favorite snacks, Eggo waffles.
The hotel will offer a mug reading "Friends Don't Lie" — a famous line from the show — for guests to take home.
Booking rates start at $249 per night and will run through Aug. 30, 2018.
Germany: Couple backs off plan to call baby Lucifer
BERLIN (AP) — A baby in Germany won't be named Lucifer after authorities intervened.
A registrar in the central city of Kassel sought clarification from the local district court after a couple sought to give their son the name. Court official Matthias Grund told news agency dpa Wednesday that the registrar suspected the name could endanger the child's well-being.
The parents, who were not identified, were persuaded to relent during a closed-door hearing at the local court and decided to call their son Lucian instead. That saved the court from having to decide whether Lucifer was acceptable.
Authorities in Germany can decide not to accept names for children though there is no outright ban on any specific names.
450-pound seal removed from northern Alaska airport's runway
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — In Alaska, it's not uncommon for wildlife like polar bears to wander onto an airport's runway, but a lounging seal is far more unusual.
But that's what workers found at the airport in the nation's northernmost city on Monday. A seal estimated to weigh 450 pounds (204 kilograms) was removed from the runway at the airport at Utqiagvik (pronounced (oot-GHAR'-vik) by way of sled, KTVA reported.
A photo and video of the bearded seal lounging on the runway in the town formerly known as Barrow was shared by Scott Babcock on Facebook .
The state Department of Transportation got in on the fun by warning pilots of "low sealings" at the airport.
Meadow Bailey, the department's communications director, said Utqiagvik, an Arctic Ocean coastal community on Alaska's North Slope, experienced heavy storms Monday. Staff found the seal while clearing the runway.
The department's staff members are not allowed to handle marine mammals, so the seal was removed by North Slope Animal Control.
The workers have seen birds, caribou, polar bears and musk ox on the runway, but the seal sighting was a first, Bailey said.
Teens dressed as bushes face arrest over pre-Halloween prank
RAHWAY, N.J. (AP) — Teenagers who are getting a jump on Halloween by dressing up as bushes and surprising people in a New Jersey park could face arrest.
The Union County Police Department fears the self-proclaimed "Rahway Bushmen" could cause someone to fall and sue the county.
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Two of the high school students cover camouflage suits with brush while a third acts as lookout. They stand in Rahway River Park and say "hi" to unsuspecting visitors.
One of the teens, who would not give their names, told NJ.com it's more or less an idea to try to make people smile.
Elisa Rodriguez, who heard funny voices and ruffling of leaves, says it was hilarious and the teens should be applauded.
Macron's dog pees on Elysee Palace fireplace as cameras roll
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron's dog Nemo interrupted a meeting his master was having with members of his government when he urinated against a fireplace in the Elysee Palace.
French TV channel LCI on Sunday broadcast the incident, which was caught on film in a gilded and chandeliered room in the presidential palace.
When Macron realized his black Labrador-Griffon cross had just relieved himself nearby, he told the ministers that the dog "was doing something quite exceptional."
Asked by one if it happened often, Macron laughed and told him: "You have triggered completely unusual behavior in my dog."
Nemo was adopted in August by Macron and his wife, Brigitte, and named after Captain Nemo, the fictional hero of Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." Macron is a fan of the book.
Nemo was adopted from an animal shelter and is believed to be about 1 to 2 years old.
Man hiding from police calls for help after getting stuck
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities say a Utah man who was hiding from police and fled arrest had to call 911 to be rescued after getting stuck in his hiding spot.
Salt Lake City police say 46-year-old Shane Paul Owen called dispatchers for help on Tuesday, more than six hours after he accidentally locked himself in a church's boiler room.
Officers were looking for Owens on Monday because he is a suspect in a string of burglaries and had warrants out for his arrest.
Police say an officer spotted him and attempted to pull his vehicle over, but Owen fled, got out of his car and ran into the church.
A SWAT team held a standoff at the church until Owens called to be rescued.
Bighorn sheep jumps off hill, lands on car in Washington
CHELAN, Wash. (AP) — A driver in Washington state escaped injury when a bighorn sheep jumped from a hillside and landed on his car.
The Washington State Patrol says the driver was near the town of Chelan in central Washington on Tuesday when he saw a herd of bighorn sheep on the hillside above the roadway.
One of the animals, a ewe, jumped and smashed the car's windshield.
The driver was not hurt and managed to pull his car over.
The sheep died.
German autobahn shut down after beer truck loses cargo
BERLIN (AP) — Police say a stretch of autobahn in central Germany was temporarily shut down after a beer truck hit a guard rail that ripped its side open and spilled 30,000 bottles across the highway.
Police in Friedberg, north of Frankfurt, said the accident took place Wednesday morning on the A45 highway when a driver lost control of her car and hit the right guard rail, then swerved back into the road against the truck.
The truck then collided with the middle guard rail, which ripped its side open. Some 1,500 cases of beer spilled across the road, leaving broken glass and a sudsy mess along a 200-meter (yard) stretch.
The driver of the car has been taken to a hospital for observation.
Runaway garbage truck hits store named A Beautiful Mess
HENRIETTA, N.Y. (AP) — A runaway garbage truck has slammed into the front of a New York gift shop named A Beautiful Mess, causing extensive damage.
Owner Jeri Flack says he received a call from police on Monday informing her that a garbage truck rolled away from a gas station in Henrietta, traveled across the street and crashed into Flack's retail store.
WHAM-TV reports that gas station workers say the truck driver parked there to use the bathroom and the truck had rolled away by the time he returned.
No one was injured, but the truck's impact caused serious structural damage to the 200-year-old brick building.
Flack says she doesn't know if she'll be able to reopen in time for the Christmas shopping season.
Pesky woodpecker breaks car mirrors in Georgia neighborhood
SNELLVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a pesky woodpecker has been breaking car mirrors in Georgia.
WSB Radio reports over a dozen cars in a Snellville neighborhood were damaged last week. Snellville police took several written reports and stepped up patrols before receiving a tip about the likely suspect.
The police department said in a Facebook post that a witness observed a pileated woodpecker breaking her car mirror in the neighborhood. Authorities say they'll continue their patrols, although they believe that the case is solved.
WSB reports some residents are covering their mirrors with bags to prevent any further damage.
Absent-minded shopper takes cart with baby, causing lockdown
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Police say an absent-minded shopper at a Maine grocery store took somebody else's cart with a sleeping baby inside, causing a lockdown and a police investigation.
Portland police say the shopper was mortified when he realized his mistake but didn't bother to alert anyone on Friday. Instead, the shopper left the cart in another part of the store and retrieved his own cart. Police say store video backs up his claim.
Police Chief Michael Sauschuck says grocery store staff quickly locked down the store. Police determined the conduct didn't warrant criminal charges.
The baby was restrained in a car seat and slept through the entire scare.
Judge serves eviction notice on pregnant mom's unborn baby
PROVO, Utah (AP) — A Utah mom in her final days of pregnancy gave her baby an eviction notice and made it official with a judge's signature. Incredibly, the baby obeyed.
Kaylee Bays was pregnant with her third child, a girl, and thought she was going into labor last week, but it stopped.
She went back to work to her job as a judicial assistant at the Fourth District Court in Provo, and jokingly asked Judge Lynn Davis to serve an eviction notice on her baby.
He did. And It worked. Less than 12 hours later, baby Gretsel was born, the Daily Herald reported .
Bays said Davis told her it was his first baby eviction notice in his 31 years as a judge.
"He told me, 'If it really works, I want it framed.' It did, and I'm going to frame it for him," Bays said.
Bays said the eviction notice gave her baby three days to "vacate the premises."
The notice was addressed to Gretsel at Mommy Belly Lane, in Womb, Utah.
"She came 12 hours later. So far, she's a good listener," she joked. "She didn't want to be in contempt of court."
Officials looking into cause of rumblings that shook ground
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Officials are trying to determine the cause of some reported rumblings that shook areas of southern New Jersey.
Residents in several counties reported hearing booms or feeling the ground shake early Wednesday.
But the United States Geological Survey didn't report any earthquake activity in New Jersey. And National Weather Service officials say there's "nothing weather-related" that would cause the booms.
Officials say sonic booms have been caused in the past by military planes doing supersonic drills along the east coast, but it wasn't immediately clear if that's what happened Wednesday.
No injuries or damage were reported.
Woman says she slipped on sandwich leftovers, sues store
DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware judge says a woman who says she slipped on the remnants of a sandwich can continue her lawsuit against a popular convenience store chain.
Lisa Donovan says she slipped and fell on "hoagie guts," or discarded sandwich pieces, in the parking lot of a Wawa store in 2014.
Defense attorneys asked for summary judgment in their favor, arguing that Donovan had failed to identify a liability expert on the issue of whether the store was negligent.
Donovan argued that an expert was unnecessary because the need to sweep up trash in a parking lot is something the average person can understand.
The judge agreed with Donovan last week, saying a splattered hoagie in a parking lot is no different than water on the floor of a grocery store.
— RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press