Watercooler news from The Associated Press

Odd News

Company settles dog-leasing allegations for more than $900K

BOSTON (AP) — A California-based finance company has agreed to pay more than $900,000 to settle allegations that it was illegally leasing dogs in Massachusetts, the state attorney general’s office said. As part of the agreement entered in Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday, Monterey Financial Services LLC will stop collecting on active leases, cancel about […]
1 month ago
In this photo provided by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, a javelina is seen inside a Subaru...

Hungry javelina gets stuck in car, goes for ride in Arizona

CORNVILLE, Ariz. (AP) — A hungry javelina in Arizona ended up going for a drive when it became trapped inside an empty car and bumped it into neutral. Deputies in Yavapai County responded to a call last week in Cornville, a community 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Sedona, about a javelina stuck in a […]
1 month ago

Mechanic reaps windfall from art in Connecticut dumpster

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A trove of paintings and other artwork found in an abandoned barn has turned out to be worth millions. Notified by a contractor, Waterbury auto mechanic Jared Whipple retrieved the dirt-covered pieces in 2017 from a dumpster containing materials from a barn in Watertown. Whipple later found out they were by […]
1 month ago
In this photo provided by the Spanish Civil Guard and made available on Sunday April 10, 2022, Civi...

Spain probes private taxidermy museum with 1,000 animals

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Civil Guard says it is investigating a businessman in the eastern Valencia region who owned a private taxidermy collection with more than 1,000 stuffed animals, including just over 400 from protected species and at least one specimen of a North African oryx, already extinct. The collection would fetch 29 million euros […]
1 month ago

Cops corral slippery seal on jaunt through Long Island town

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) — A wayward seal has been captured after an early morning foray through a Long Island, New York, town. Police in Southampton said they received a call at approximately 6:30 a.m. Sunday from a person who saw the roving mammal, later identified as a phocid, or earless seal, in the parking lot […]
2 months ago
This Feb. 6, 2022, photo shows a discarded snack bag on the sand in Sandy Hook, N.J. On March 30, 2...

Braces, sex pills, fake eyeball among bizarre NJ beach trash

LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) — Volunteers picked up a record amount of trash from New Jersey’s beaches last year, with plastic items dominating the haul, and bizarre castoffs including male enhancement pills, a set of braces, a glow-in-the-dark condom and a Turkish Airlines hygiene kit found on the sand as well. The Clean Ocean Action […]
2 months ago

Flamingo that escaped Kansas zoo in 2005 spotted in Texas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — One of two flamingos that escaped from a Kansas zoo during a storm 17 years ago has been spotted on the coast of Texas, wildlife officials said. The Coastal Fisheries division of Texas Parks and Wildlife confirmed Tuesday to The Associated Press that the African flamingo — known as No. 492 […]
2 months ago
FILE - Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton attends the premiere of the Hulu documentary "Hill...

Hillary Clinton to voice ‘Into The Woods’ role in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Hillary Clinton will play the offstage role of the Giant in a production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods” in her onetime home state of Arkansas, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre announced on Monday. “Real news, and I’m really excited! Check out the production if you’re in Little Rock,” Clinton tweeted […]
2 months ago

Hillary Clinton to voice ‘Into The Woods’ role in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Hillary Clinton will play the offstage role of the Giant in a production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods” in her onetime home state of Arkansas, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre announced on Monday. “Real news, and I’m really excited! Check out the production if you’re in Little Rock,” Clinton tweeted […]
2 months ago
FILE - A fibreglass sculpture known as the Headington Shark and originally called "Untitled 1986", ...

UK Shark House owner dismayed at getting protected status

LONDON (AP) — The 25-foot tall (7.6 meter) sculpture of a shark crashing through the roof of Magnus Hanson-Heine’s house in rural Oxford, England, is now a protected landmark — and he’s not happy about it. Hanson-Heine loves the installation, erected by his father and a local sculptor in 1986 as an anti-war, anti-nuke protest […]
2 months ago
This photo provided by Sherri and Brock Fenton/AAAS in March 2022 shows a vampire bat in flight. Ac...

Scientists figure out how vampire bats got a taste for blood

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have figured out why vampire bats are the only mammals that can survive on a diet of just blood. They compared the genome of common vampire bats to 26 other bat species and identified 13 genes that are missing or no longer work in vampire bats. Over the years, those gene […]
2 months ago
Rick Madeira, of Fall River, Mass., rides an electric unicycle Monday, March 14, 2022, in Fall Rive...

Man touts electric unicycle as answer to high gas prices

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man says he has the answer for those singing the blues about stratospheric gas prices. Rick Madeira, of Fall River, has taken to riding his electric unicycle to work, saving on gas and cutting his commute time in the process. “It’s just more convenient and it’s obviously more […]
2 months ago
This photo provided by the Chilton County Sheriff's Office in Clanton, Ala., shows a 70-ton crane t...

Weighty case: Alabama man charged in theft of 70-ton crane

CLANTON, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man who called a wrecker service asking to have a 70-ton crane pulled out of the woods is now charged with stealing the heavy machinery, sheriff’s officials said. The owner of a towing service contacted the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, saying the man had called claiming someone […]
2 months ago
Donna Craig-Brown holds "Doug" what was believed to be the world's largest potato in the garden of ...

Nice try but no potato for New Zealand couple’s giant find

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — When is a potato not a potato? When it’s a tuber of a gourd, according to Guinness World Records. A New Zealand couple who believed they had dug up the world’s largest potato in the garden of their small farm near Hamilton have had their dreams turned to mash after […]
2 months ago

NH lawmakers firmly reject seceding from United States

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire House overwhelmingly rejected a proposal Thursday that called for the state to secede from the United States, although 13 lawmakers supported it. Under the secession proposal, voters would have been asked to amend the state constitution to add that New Hampshire “peaceably declares independence from the United States […]
2 months ago
This February 2022 photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows snakes in bags fo...

Border authorities find 52 reptiles hidden in man’s clothing

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A man who tried to slither past U.S. border agents in California had 52 lizards and snakes hidden in his clothing, authorities said Tuesday. The man was driving a truck when he arrived at the San Ysidro border crossing with Mexico on Feb. 25 and was pulled out for additional inspection, […]
2 months ago

Nonprofit: Bag of animal heads linked to sacrifice ritual?

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (AP) — Several animal heads found in a plastic bag in East Greenwich last month appear to be related to some sort of religious animal sacrifice ritual, the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty said Tuesday. The bag, originally brought to the attention of police on Feb. 25 near a […]
2 months ago
This photo provided by the Indianapolis Fire Department shows firefighters on Saturday, March 5, 20...

Indiana boy rescued after getting stuck in tree rescuing cat

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A teenager who scaled a tree at an Indianapolis park to rescue a cat he spotted high up in the branches ended up stuck himself and in need of a rescue, officials said. The 17-year-old boy was at Holliday Park on Indianapolis’ north side Saturday afternoon when he saw the cat and […]
2 months ago
This undated photo provided by the Huron County Sheriff's office shows a homemade ice-fishing shant...

Ice-fishing shanty blown across Michigan bay; anglers safe

MCKINLEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Three anglers are safe after a homemade ice-fishing shanty was blown about a mile (1.6 kilometers) across a bay in Michigan by winds that neared 50 mph (80 kph), authorities said. A person onshore called Huron County dispatchers about 8 a.m. Sunday after seeing someone struggling with the shanty as […]
2 months ago

‘The Batman’ screening features guest appearance: A real bat

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Moviegoers in Austin, Texas, got to see more than one type of bat during a screening of “The Batman” this weekend. An actual bat was spotted swooping around inside the theater, putting the movie on pause while management called animal control and tried — unsuccessfully — to get the critter out, […]
3 months ago
In this February, 2022 photo, Nellie and Clarence Medeiros pose with a 50-pound taro root unearthed...

Massive Hawaii taro root could be largest ever harvested

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — A super-sized taro root has been harvested on Hawaii’s Big Island. The 50-pound corm, which is the root of a taro plant, was grown on Aina ‘Ahiu Farm in Hawaii Island’s South Kona district and could possibly be the largest on record, West Hawaii Today reported Wednesday. The U.S. Department of […]
3 months ago
In this handout photograph provided by Amy Miller, a bronze bell forged in 1834 by Paul Revere's so...

For whom the bell rolls: Paul Revere chime returns home

BOSTON (AP) — A bronze bell cast in 1834 in Paul Revere’s Massachusetts foundry has come home — capping a nearly two-century, cross-country odyssey that saw it hauled by oxcart to churches in Ohio before languishing for decades in a California garage. After a weeklong journey across the U.S., the historic bell was returned Friday […]
3 months ago
FILE - American aviatrix Amelia Earhart poses for photos as she arrives in Southampton, England, af...

Helmet worn by Amelia Earhart sells for $825,000 at auction

A leather helmet that Amelia Earhart wore on a flight across the Atlantic in 1928 and later lost in a crowd of fans in Cleveland has sold at auction for $825,000. The helmet went to an anonymous bidder in an online-only sale that closed Sunday, a spokesperson for Heritage Auctions said. The seller was Anthony […]
3 months ago
Los Angeles school children run to see a giant puppet porcupine named Percy at Elysian Park in Los ...

Quills and thrills as prodigious porcupine puppet unveiled

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was a quilling experience for all. Percy, a porcupine puppet of prodigious proportions, emerged from her giant stump home for an audience of schoolchildren and media members at a Los Angeles park on Tuesday. The adorable beast inspired oohs and awwws as she blinked her droopy eyes and opened her […]
3 months ago