<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Sun, 21 Dec 2014 04:56:08 -0800 Sun, 21 Dec 2014 04:56:08 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mountain Lion Spotted in Backyard]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 06:25:25 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/202*120/12-19-14-mountain+lion+sherry+kempster+newbury+park.JPG

A mountain lion creeping alongside a Southern California woman's backyard wall forced road closures as wildlife officials tried to capture it.

Sherry Kempster of Newbury Park in Ventura County was in her kitchen Friday morning when she heard crows cawing in the backyard, which usually means "a hawk or something" is in the area, she told NBC4.

Kempster looked out the window about 10:20 a.m. and saw the back leg and tail of a creature moving past the barbecue grill. She soon realized it was a mountain lion.

She captured a picturesque image of the lion as it walked along her backyard wall, a mountain view in the background.

Friday's sighting was the first time she and her husband have seen a mountain lion in the 17 years they lived in their home, she said.

After Kempster called 911, Ventura County sheriff's deputies and Fish and Game wardens started looking for the mountain lion. Officials found it in underneath a trailer in a mobile home park about 5 p.m.

Authorities blocked roads for nearly 90 minutes as they worked to contain the big cat.

Officials said the 14-month-old mountain lion, dubbed P-34, came from the Santa Monica Mountains. She was captured about 8:34 p.m. and released "at an undisclosed location," officials said.

Photo Credit: Sherry Kempster]]>
<![CDATA[Woman's Luggage Found 20 Years Later]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:54:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_longlostluggage1218_700x394.jpg

Many travelers fear having their luggage lost at the airport. One Arizona woman had the fear become a reality, though her story has a happy ending — two decades later.

Maria Dellos, a Tuscon teacher, received a phone call from the Transportation Security Administration at Tucson International Airport on Tuesday informing her that luggage she lost 20 years ago had been found.

“I actually almost ignored the call because of telemarketing. All day long I get calls,” Dellos told NBC affiliate KVOA.

Dellos explained to the station that a note she had in the bag containing an old address allowed the TSA to locate her. It contained "very valuable" art supplies from a trade show in Las Vegas, she said.

"I was just absolutely blown away," Dellos said.

“We just did some shuffling of equipment at the airport, so it's quite possible that we came across something that somebody left unattended for a long period of time," TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez told KVOA.

<![CDATA[New Science Paints Picture of Salmon Shark Diet]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:32:36 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/shark+still.jpg

If you hear a snippet of the ominous musical score from the film Jaws, you probably won't conjure up an image of a salmon shark.

In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of a salmon shark.

But this lesser-known cousin of the famous white shark is out there - indeed munching on salmon - following some unknown trajectory between California and Japan.  

“Until relatively recently, it’s been pretty poorly studied,” said Aaron Carlisle, a researcher with  Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey. “Salmon sharks just for some reason kind of fell through the cracks.”

It’s not to say these sharks were basking in complete obscurity; they’re fished in Alaska where they turn up each year to dine on an endless salmon smorgasbord. But Carlisle and other marine researchers wanted to know more about these creatures and their travels.

Carlisle and his team have now turned to an experimental process in which isotopes are taken of the sharks’ vertebrae which hold bands of information, kind of like the rings of a tree. By tracing the bands, scientists can see what the sharks ate during each year of their life, which in turn revealed where they ate it.

 “If you eat a squid in California,” said Carlisle, “that looks different than the same kind of squid in Alaska.”

Through the testing, the research revealed some sharks which visited Alaska, turned up at the back door of the research center - in the Monterey Bay. They also visit Hawaii and Baja.

The team is using the isotope track in conjunction with traditional electronic tagging to get a more elaborate picture of the sharks’ travels.

“What’s really becoming cutting edge,” said Hopkins research coordinator Steve Litvin, “is using these advanced techniques together to give us much deeper knowledge than we ever could with only one.”

Researchers at Stanford may try using the isotope tracing with other marine life, including white sharks.

The information gleaned about the sharks could be used by fishery managers to set regulations to protect the shark, like continuing bans on gill nets in some areas salmon sharks frequent.

“If you actually want to conserve and manage the population,” Carlisle said, “what you really need to understand is the survival.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[Card Game Sells 30K Boxes of Poop]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:29:59 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/51RD-Lha01L._SL1023_.jpg

Instead of coal in their stockings, thousands of Cards Against Humanity customers will be getting a box of poop—bull poop.

The creators of the popular card game protested Black Friday by removing their products from their website, instead only offering one item—a box of “Bulls*@t” for $6.

The box, which quickly sold out to more 30,000 purchasers, contained actual feces, to this dismay of many fans hoping the move was a prank. Last year, the party game was sold on Black Friday for $5 more than its actual price.

The product was described on the company’s website as “literal feces, from an actual bull,” which could be used to “fertilize your garden, adorn a festive tree, or surprise a loved one with a gift of poop.”

Writing on the package claimed the box was made in China, but the poop was made in America.

Despite the description, and a Frequently Asked Questions section that specified the contents even more, some customers raised a stink.

According to the Cards Against Humanity blog, one viewer wrote in “I used my mom’s credit card to buy this she’s going to be livid when I tell her that it was literal cow poop please cancel my order.”

Another said the “ad was misleading” and one said they thought the box “was a new expansion all about poop.”

Chicagoan and game co-creator Max Temkin tweeted about the box, saying “if you buy the poop expecting it to be something else that’s not poop, you’re actually buying a valuable life lesson for $6.”

The game’s official Twitter page also replied to several tweeters clarifying they did in fact purchase poop.

While some called on the company for a refund over the smelly stunt, others are taking advantage of their newly acquired feces, selling the box on eBay for much more than the purchase price.

Card’s Against Humanity’s Twitter feed claims the boxes cost $5.80 to make and mail, and they donated their $6,000 in profits to Heifer International.

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<![CDATA[SF's Ganja Yoga Relies on Marijuana]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:13:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/T6A-YOGA-CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE-VO---00003209.jpg

Marijuana and yoga, in the same studio.

Ganja Yoga in San Francisco's South of Market is combining cannabis use with the full array of poses, the first studio in San Francisco to offer "marijuana yoga classes," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Students are allowed to use "as much or as little" cannabis as they like, during a 15-minute pre-yoga session or throughout the class, instructor Dee Dussault told the newspaper.

Hits off "a joint or vaporizer" come in between instructions on deep breathing.

The marijuana is provided by the students, who must have valid medical marijuana recommendations in order to partake.

There's some contention in the yoga community as to what benefits marijuana offers a yogi. Some teachers say no marijuana use at all is what to strive for. 

Others, like Dussault, note cannabis has proven healing ability and – at the right amount, with a "less is more" attitude – can help with a healthy person's focus.

Ganja Yoga offers classes on Wednesday nights at Merchants of Reality at 285 Ninth Street.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Jelly Belly Launches Champagne-Flavored Jelly Bean]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:44:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/210*120/eb0a6bbb-da10-47c8-8c0d-1bad347f177e.jpg

Jelly Belly wants in on the Champagne game.

Not to be left out of the New Year's festivities, the Fairfield-based manufacturer of jelly beans has launched a new flavor: sparkling white wine of the French variety.

That'd be a Champagne jelly bean, of course.

Patch.com reports that the company is shipping orders made online in time for New Year's parties, and the beans -- alcohol-free -- are so Champagne-like, they look "like a freshly-poured glass as the foam begins to settle."

Not bad.

You can get a one-pound bag for $8.99 or a 10-pound case for $85.99.

Photo Credit: Jelly Belly]]>
<![CDATA[Rain-Soaked Ceiling Falls on Sleeping Hotel Guest]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 09:32:46 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/12-17-2014-ceiling-falls-hotel-guest.jpg

A surprised hotel guest who traveled from Canada to visit Disneyland suffered minor cuts and bruises when part of a rain-soaked ceiling fell on her overnight as a storm pounded Southern California.

Saturated drywall above the hotel room bed broke apart at about 2 a.m. and fell onto the guest at the Alamo Inn & Suites in Anaheim, according to the Anaheim Fire Department. The woman, who traveled from Vancouver, Canada to visit Disneyland, was hospitalized with minor injuries to her chin and face.

Paolo Ang, a friend of the woman, was sleeping in a next-door room when he heard the collapse.

"It was a huge bang," Ang said. "It sounded like someone dropped onto the floor from the bed."

The ceiling was waterlogged after nearly two days of heavy rains that continued overnight in Southern California.

The visitors still plan on stopping by Disneyland after their friend is released from the hospital, Ang said.

Photo Credit: OnSceneTV]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Man Dressed as Santa Robs SF Bank]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:19:40 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/santa-bank.jpg

San Francisco police are looking for one bad Santa.

A man dressed up as Santa Claus robbed a bank near the intersection of Sutter and Stockton on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The Santa, described as 40-50 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, handed the teller a note and then walked out with cash.

Police say the robber did not look unusual because the robbery happened at the same time as SantaCon, the annual event in which hundreds of people dressed as Santa swarm Union Square.

SFPD provided surveillance images to the media Thursday.

No arrests have been made and anyone with information about the suspect is urged to contact San Francisco police and may do so anonymously by calling (415) 392-2623 or may text a tip to 847411 with "SFPD" in the text field followed by the message.

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA["No Big Deal:" California's Only River Postal Carrier]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:11:54 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/waterbymail.jpg

As Santa readies his reindeer, and U.S. postal carriers take to their feet and trucks, one person delivering the mail this holiday season will be dropping off packages by boat.

Rick Stelzriede, 61, of Tracy is the only postal carrier with a river route in California, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Still, he downplays his unusual role.

"I am the only mailman on the water but I mean, it's no big deal," he said. "I could be a postman in the city and do the same job."

The job entails hopping into his 21-foot aluminum boat, and slogging through 60 miles of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, six days a week to get mail, bills and Christmas presents on time to his 23 customers. He doesn't stop for wind, rain, hail, sleet or the thick mess of seemingly endless river weeds and kelp.

"Yeah, it's hard to get to, remote and totally, totally off the wall," he said, opening mail boxes set on the docks and waving "hasta manana" to some of folks along his route.

Stelzriede signed on with the U.S. Postal Service as an independent contractor after a he noticed a veteran water courier on the river route. When that carrier retired some years back that's when Stelzriede "got his shot," said the Postal Service's spokesman in Northern California, Augustine Ruiz. Stelzriede also has customers along a more traditional route, Ruiz said, which he delivers to by mail truck or on foot.

Ruiz joked that Stelzriede is probably the only mailman to meet a river otter on his route or have his pony tail chewed on by a sea gull.

Since he took the job, Stelzriede hasn't stopped, boating along a route between San Francisco and the Central Valley that's been around as long as the Gold Rush.

At the end of the day, the pony-tailed mailman - fully aware of his role in history on the Pony Express - feels he's completed a job well done.

"I really feel like I did a service for someone," he said. "I brought them their mail."

Photo Credit: Henry Jerkins
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<![CDATA[Man Kayaks in Flooded Wine Country]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 08:19:11 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/kayakhealdsburg.jpg

When natural disasters strike in California, the inner adventurer somehow seems to always kick in.

On Thursday, during the biggest Bay Area storm in half a decade, the rains pelted down in the heart of wine country, flooding downtown Healdsburg, almost two hours north of San Francisco.

The streets had filled with so much water, one young man in a hoodie took to his blue kayak to paddle down Main Street.

The odd sight was captured by Santa Rosa photographer Kent Porter and posted to YouTube.

Earlier in December, it was raining so hard in Marin County's Mill Valley, the NBC Bay Area chopper spotted a man who got to where he needed to go by paddle board.

California is also home to earthquakes - another Mother Nature phenomenon that doesn't seem to get the hard-core outdoors-type down.

When a magnitude-6.0 quake hit Napa in August, a bunch of teens skateboarded over the buckled neighborhood streets.

Californians love their outdoor sports, even when they're in the midst of a natural disaster.

So, when the streets buckled after an earthquake in Napa this summer, a bunch of neighborhood teens picked up their skateboards and jumped the uneven streets.

And, when the roads flooded in Mill Valley on Wednesday, the sixth consecutive day of rain in the Bay Area, one man decided to get where he needed to go on a paddleboard.

The NBC Bay Area chopper flew near the Strawberry Village Shopping Center and over U.S. Highway 101 at the Highway 1 offramp, famous for its gorgeous coastlines and high-tide flooding.

Dressed in a blue windbreaker, cap and shorts, the man can be seen paddling past flooded cars – and the occasional seagull – en route to wherever he was headed.

Photo Credit: Santa Rosa Press Democrat Photographer Kent Porter via YouTube
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<![CDATA[#HellaStorm: Californians Make Light of Severe Weather]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:42:36 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/925231afafa74d9fbb4e6e9a6ca98d45.jpg

With the most powerful rainstorm in five years hitting the Bay Area on Thursday, drought-weary Californians took heed of warnings to stay off the roads, while also taking time to poke fun at all the storm hype.

#Stormageddon, #Rainpocalypse and #HellaStorm quickly became hashtags, with Twitter users such as Deborah Nuisuler prioritizing what she should do as thousands lost power because of the gusting winds and slick rains.

"I should brush my teeth before the power goes out," she tweeted. "God forbid I have to use a manual toothbrush.  #priorities #stormageddon"

Many had the day off school or work because of the power outages througout the Bay Area, and took time to send in photos of them reading or snuggling with their pets.

For others though, the big #BayAreaStorm was a chance to telecommute.

"Still haven't lost power or internet," tweeted Lara Kesler. "This is the best #hellastorm ever. #workfromhome."



Photo Credit: Jason D.]]>
<![CDATA[Hunters Find ATM in Middle of Woods]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:56:56 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Discarded+ATM+Hunters.jpg

A father and son on the hunt for game in eastern Pennsylvania instead found an automated teller machine in the middle of the woods.

Pennsylvania State Police responded to a wooded area off the unit block of Orchard Street in Rockland Township, Berks County around 9:30 a.m. Saturday after the men reported finding a stand-alone MAC machine.

Police said they don’t know how much if any money was in the ATM. It also wasn’t clear when the automated teller machine was dumped in the area.

On Tuesday, police released a photo of the black and blue-colored money machine in hopes that someone might know where it came from.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Reading Barracks at 610-378-4011.

<![CDATA[Berkeley Protester Live Tweets While Handcuffed]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:56:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cuff-tweet.jpg

One of the estimated 1,500 protesters who shut down Interstate 80 in Berkeley on Monday night live-tweeted the unfolding events with his hands tied behind his back.

The 28-year-old University of California, Berkeley graduate student, one of about 150 arrested Monday as part of ongoing demonstrations over the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers, wanted to document what was happening while he waited for the paddy wagon, zip-tie handcuffs be damned.

The student, who asked to be identified by his Twitter handle, @ViolentFanon, managed to send out about a half dozen tweets from his Samsung before police confiscated his phone.

"I brought my hands to one side," he told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday by phone. "I was thumbing it."

The student, who said he hails from somewhere in Southern California, said he was chronicling the protests throughout the night, as throngs of people came out to signal their frustration with decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, where two black men were killed by white police officers who didn't face any criminal repercussions.

As he was seated on the ground with others, all restrained, @ViolentFanon tweeted: "Yes, I'm tweeting in handcuffs. No stopping me. #Berkeley #BlackLivesMatter"

While the student said this was his first arrest, he said he's been part of plenty of protests before, most notably in support of Palestine, which is why he likes to keep his name out of the media. "I'm active in lot of causes," he said. "And people are actively against me." The student said he's pretty sure the lengthy detention period, about five hours from the time he was arrested until he was transported to jail, added to the accuracy of his tweets. 

"I had plenty of time to spell correct," he said.

The 28-year-old said he was released from jail early Wednesday morning.

Photo Credit: Twitter via @violentfanon
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<![CDATA[Deers Crashes Through NJ Home]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 08:20:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Deer-in-Home-Lead.jpg

A Galloway Township, New Jersey, woman received an unexpected visitor Saturday afternoon while she was in the middle of cooking.

The woman told police she was inside her home on Northampton Road and placing sweet potatoes in the oven when a deer suddenly burst through her front door and ran into her house.

The woman said she managed to follow the deer into the back of her home and lock the animal inside her master bathroom. She then contacted police.

When police arrived they found shattered glass on the front storm door and a damaged frame on the main door indicating the deer was strong enough to run through the doors and enter the home. After a brief standoff, the officers managed to safely escort the deer out of the home and release it back into the wild.

Police said the deer caused significant damage to the bathroom while it was locked inside.

The homeowner was not injured during the incident.

Photo Credit: Galloway Township Police ]]>
<![CDATA[It's MY Little Pony! Young Girl is Reunited With Her Lost Shetland]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 19:15:33 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/12-5-2014-LostShetland1.jpg

A young girl was reunited with her Shetland pony Friday after it was found wandering the streets of Riverside County last week.

Blossom, the 16-year-old miniature horse, was picked up from a Jurupa Valley property last week just before the Thanksgiving holiday. She was being kept at a Riverside County Animal Services shelter when employees couldn't locate the owners.

"I was asleep and was wondering what was going on, then I discovered the horse in our yard," resident Edith Hernandez said.

When the owners realized Blossom was missing, they and their neighbors posted fliers and were eventually reunited with their horse. 

Nine-year-old Jolette Rodriguez identified the pony as her own. On Friday, she told the Los Angeles Times she was "very, very, very happy."

<![CDATA[Man Busts Store Window, Steals Beer]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 10:28:03 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/henry4.jpg

A man was arrested early Thursday morning after he allegedly smashed a store window with a baseball bat and then walked off with a 12-pack of Heineken.

Mark Henry, 55, of Nashua, was charged with burglary after a witness called police after seeing Henry break into Pigeon's Market at 168 Wilson St., in Manchester, around 12:20 a.m. Police located Henry at the intersection of Wilson and Somverville streets. He was still carrying both the baseball bat and the beer when the officer stopped him.

Henry was scheduled to appear in Manchester DIstrict Court on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Manchester Police]]>
<![CDATA[Sinkhole For Sale: Craigslist Joker Pokes Fun at SF Pothole]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 14:54:51 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pothole-crop.jpg

While it is a serious situation, someone on Craigslist is poking fun at the giant sinkhole that opened up in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

The listing advertises a one-bedroom sinkhole for rent. It says it "just opened up" and you should "act fast."

It's "on major bus lines, and convenient location to coffee shops, GG Park."

The price tag? Only $2,800 a month – utilities excluded.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel
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<![CDATA[Man Paddleboards Through Flooded Mill Valley]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:55:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/paddle2.jpg

Californians love their outdoor sports, even when they're in the midst of a natural disaster.

So, when the streets buckled after an earthquake in Napa this summer, a bunch of neighborhood teens picked up their skateboards and jumped the uneven streets.

And, when the roads flooded in Mill Valley on Wednesday, the sixth consecutive day of rain in the Bay Area, one man decided to get where he needed to go on a paddleboard.

The NBC Bay Area chopper flew near the Strawberry Village Shopping Center and over U.S. Highway 101 at the Highway 1 offramp, famous for its gorgeous coastlines and high-tide flooding.

Dressed in a blue windbreaker, cap and shorts, the man can be seen paddling past flooded cars – and the occasional seagull – en route to wherever he was headed.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper]]>
<![CDATA[Mustang Wedged on Golden Gate Bridge Sidewalk]]> Tue, 02 Dec 2014 19:59:55 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/goldengatecar.jpg

The California Highway Patrol arrested a 22-year-old driver on suspicion of driving under the influence Tuesday morning after his blue Mustang drove onto a Golden Gate Bridge sidewalk, wedging itself into a narrow pedestrian walkway.

Daniel Micah Soto of San Francisco, who is an "Apple specialist,"  was taken into custody shortly after 5:15 a.m., after his car drove onto the pedestrian portion of the bridge normally reserved for bicyclists. CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said Soto suffered some injuries after his airbag deployed.

CHP officials say Soto hit the gas and drove through a security gate as he was making a right-hand turn from Conzelman Road into the parking lot by the Marin Headlands, and lodged his car into in between a chain link fence and the rail of the iconic bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman Priya David Clemens took a photo of the unusual sight, adding that this has never happened before.

"It's a good thing we like to solve puzzles," Clemens said. "Because the driver certainly gave us a challenge."

About 10:20 a.m., crews used a crane to get the Mustang "unwedged" from its spot, and lifted it over a railing before towing it away, she said.

A Facebook page for a Daniel Soto shows a photo of the same Mustang, with the same license plate. A LinkedIn resume lists him working as an Apple specialist. An Apple representative did not return a request for comment. But a co-worker at the Apple store at the Stonetown Galleria confirmed Soto worked there, but declined to say more.

On the Marin County Sheriff's booking log, Soto listed his occupation as "sales," and his bail was set at $2,651.

No booking photo of Soto was provided. Attempts to reach him on Tuesday were not immediately successful.

The Mustang got stuck on the west side sidewalk, which is usually closed to pedestrian traffic until 3:30 p.m. The other side is open in the mornings. Authorities said the accident had nothing to do with Tuesday's rains, though it did slow down an already sluggish commute.

Barclay said the entire situation was "definitely very dangerous," but he noted that since no one was seriously injured, it "could have been much, much worse."

Storm Photos: Send Images to isee@nbcbayarea.com

NBC Bay Area's Shawn Murphy contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Priya Clemens, Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman
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<![CDATA[Ugly Costs More at Christmas Sweater Shop ]]> Tue, 02 Dec 2014 08:16:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ugly-sweater.jpg

Jeremy Turner has taken his obsession with ugly Christmas sweaters the masses. 

He's the owner of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop, a Dallas store he has stocked with more than 1,000 sweaters on the sales floor. He says there's another 8,000 in back. He's even recorded a song called "Ugly Christmas Sweater" that he sings for countless hours every day.

"It don't matter if I'm good or bad, 'cause Santa brought a sweater that is really rad," he sang.

The uglier, the better, in Turner's opinion, for both the customer and his bottom line. 

"We price them by ugliness," he said.

Turner isn't the only business owner hoping to capitalize on less appealing apparel. 

The popularity of ugly sweater-themed holiday parties has created a cottage industry each Christmas season, as revelers across the country scour thrift stores, eBay and shopping malls in search of wackier and tackier winter wear. The trend has translated to eight-figure sales for some businesses and even inspired novelty lines at major retailers such as Forever21 and Target, according to Business Insider.

Thai Ho, who spent more than $100 in the Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop, said the sweaters are worth the money.

"It's for my brother and he's graduating this winter and he likes ugly stuff," he said.

The store, located at 6333 E. Mockingbird Lane, is only open until Dec. 27.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Thief Steals Holiday Decorations ]]> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 08:42:52 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/201*120/Located+Peanuts+Characters.JPG

A family got back their beloved "Peanuts" Christmas decorations, but the "Grinches" who took the hand-painted items over the weekend remain on the loose.

Three wooden “Peanuts”-themed decorations that were stolen from the front lawn of a home in the Magnolia section of Gloucester Township, New Jersey over the weekend turned up on the front step of a man's Somerdale, New Jersey home just hours later, The Gloucester Township Police Department posted to Facebook Monday morning.

After going missing sometime after 9 p.m. Saturday, Pig Pen, Marcie and Peppermint Patty were discovered by 11 p.m. that same night, police said. A man called the Somerdale Police Department after two young men in a white vehicle pulled up to his home, left the decorations on the front step and rang the doorbell before quickly leaving the scene.

Somerdale Police then returned the decorations to the owner.

With the "Peanuts" decorations found, police diverted their attention from recovering the items to capturing the people who took the decorations. If you have any information on the theft, please call the Gloucester Township Police Department's anonymous tip line at 856-842-5560.

Photo Credit: Gloucester Township Police]]>
<![CDATA[Thief Steals Holiday Decorations ]]> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 09:06:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Peanuts-Characters.jpg

UPDATE: Police recovered the decorations and returned them to the owner.

Police are searching for an alleged “Grinch” who stole holiday decorations from a home in Gloucester Township, New Jersey.

Three wooden hand-painted “Peanuts” character decorations were stolen from the front lawn of a home in the Magnolia section of the town between 9 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. The stolen characters were decorations of Pig Pen, Marcie and Peppermint Patty, police said.

If you have any information on the theft, please call the Gloucester Township Police Department's anonymous tip line at 856-842-5560.

Photo Credit: Gloucester Township Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Deep-Sea Anglerfish Caught on Video]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:33:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/deep-sea-anglerfish.jpg

A reclusive "black sea devil" anglerfish was videotaped in its natural habitat for the first time, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute announced Wendesday.

"Anglerfish, like this Melanocetus, are among the most rarely seen of all deep-sea fishes," Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at the institute, said in an online statement.

Measuring only about three and a half inches long, the anglerfish was videotaped by a remotely-operated submersible 1,900 feet below the ocean's surface. Anglerfish generally live up to four times deeper than that.

"The shining spot at the tip of the 'fishing pole' projecting from the fish's head is a glowing lure. The anglerfish uses its light to attract prey in its deep, dark habitat."

Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Research Institute
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<![CDATA[Company Unveils Electronically-Powered Skates]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:18:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1121-2014-RocketSkates.jpg

Forget walking or rollerblading — how about rocket skating?

California-based company Acton has developed electronically-powered skates that can propel the wearer up to 12 miles per hour — no pushing required.

Founders said the idea was inspired by "Iron Man," "Inspector Gadget" and "The Jetsons."

"The idea of just being able to slide around the urban environment is very exciting," said Peter Treadway, co-founder of Acton. "It's kind of like a magic carpet for your feet."

The skates were released this week and sell for $500 a pair.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Lost Kitten Wanders 2,300 Miles]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:32:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Maine+Kitten+Thumb.jpg

How did a kitten travel all the way from New Mexico to Maine? It's a mystery to her owner and the shelter where she's been staying.

According to the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook, "Spice" was put inside a duffel bag and someone dropped her off at a thrift shop in Portland. A shopper found the bag and brought Spice home for a few days before bringing her to the shelter.

At the shelter, they scanned for a microchip and discovered not only did Spice have an owner, but her home was over 2,000 miles away in New Mexico!

According to Jeana Roth at the Animal Refuge League, "We were in disbelief when we called the microchip company and they told us. They were in disbelief too to see a cat from New Mexico came to Maine in just five days."

Spice apparently escaped from her house on Halloween when her owner was opening
the door to trick or treaters. How she managed to get from there to Maine, no one has any idea.

The kitten's owner doesn't have the money to pay for Spice to return to New Mexico, but another pet owner is stepping up to help.

Jon Ayers is the CEO of Idexx. The company makes pet testing kits and Ayers has several shelter cats at home. He has offered to pay to send Spice back home and as soon as she recovers from a small cold she will travel with a shelter employee back to New Mexico to be reunited with her owner.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Let Dog Urinate at Store]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:57:21 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/450148534.jpg

Police are looking for a woman who allegedly let her dog urinate on dozens of clothes at a New Jersey store, refused to leave when asked and then led officers on a short chase after they were called to the scene.

Police say the woman, identified as 35-year-old Theresa Tumbleson, went into a Lane Bryant store in Toms River on Monday with her small dog. While inside, she allegedly let the pet relieve itself on 14 dresses and 11 pairs of pants, causing more than $2,000 in damage to the merchandise.

Police say the suspect got angry when a store employee asked her to leave and officers were called to the scene.

Officers got to the store as the woman was getting in her car. They tried to pull the vehicle over and followed the car for a short distance with their cruiser's lights and sirens on.

The car ran several red lights and officers decided not to give chase because the roads were wet, police said.

Police say warrants are out for Tumbleson’s arrest on charges of eluding a police officer and obstruction of the administration of the law.

She’s also likely to face additional charges in connection with the altercation inside the store, police say.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Canseco May Sell His Shot Finger, Gun on eBay]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:57:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Jose-Canseco-1.jpg

Jose Canseco says he's parting with his finger forever — for a price.

The former major leaguer tweeted Monday that he'll sell his detached digit, along with the gun with which he accidentally shot it off. He tweeted last week that the operation to reattach the finger had failed, and it had fallen off during a poker game.

Canseco said he is also selling the chrome-plated .45-caliber handgun he was cleaning when he accidentally shot off the middle finger on his left hand.

In a series of tweets posted Friday afternoon, Canseco said his finger fell off during a poker game Thursday night, even after he had it surgically reattached. (Warning: The below tweets might seem disturbing to some.)

Canseco was apparently unaware that a bullet was in the chamber when he was cleaning the gun, Las Vegas Metro Lt. Mark Reddon told NBC News.

"It was a serious hand injury," but not a serious medical injury, Reddon said. "There was nothing suspicious. There was no alcohol involved, just a misstep with a handgun."

Canseco began his long major-league career in the 1980s with the Oakland Athletics before going on to play for the Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox and other teams.

He has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his MLB career. After retiring, he also competed in mixed martial arts and boxing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Tony Hawk Rides Hoverboard]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 05:28:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-11-17+at+3.26.35+PM.png

The hoverboard is reality, and Tony Hawk has taken a spin on it.

The pro skateboarder tested the $10,000 prototype Hendo Hoverboard after husband and wife Greg and Jill Henderson launched a Kickstarter to fund it. 

In the video, Hawk performs a few tricks on the board, which hovers an inch off the ground and uses magnets, though he also ends up falling several times.

Hawk had caught attention for another hoverboard video earlier this year — a fake video made by Funny or Die that featured the skateboarder, musician Moby and others riding boards high into the sky, in a prank for which Hawk eventually apologized.  

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<![CDATA[Cocaine Hidden in Raw Meat Found in San Jose ]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:08:33 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1113-2014-CocaineMeat.jpg

TSA agents recently found three vacuum sealed packs of cocaine hidden in raw meat at the San Jose International Airport.

Officials said agents made the discovery in a checked bag on an Alaska Airlines flight on Saturday. The male passenger was arrested.

Photo Credit: TSA]]>
<![CDATA[Comet Scientist's Bad Wardrobe Choice Draws Attention]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:12:10 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thatshirt2.jpg

The first pictures from the comet landing were spectacular, but it's another picture that's getting attention.

Scientist Dr. Matt Taylor — who led the European Space Agency team that landed a robot probe on a comet, capping a project project decades years in the making, according to the BBC — had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction at a celebratory press conference for the success of the Rosetta mission.

His shirt covered in cartoon-like images of buxom, scantily-clad women in seductive poses caught plenty of flak on Twitter for the unwelcoming, sexist message they said it could send women in science fields.

"ESA can land their robot on a comet. A comet! It’s amazing. But they still can’t see misogyny under their noses," Alice Bell wrote in a column for The Guardian. "Pointing this out is not a distraction to the science. It’s part of it."

Photo Credit: Nature News / Via youtube.com]]>
<![CDATA[25,000 Pounds of Turkeys Spilled on I-680 Will Feed Hungry]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 06:06:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/turkey-truck-6-main.jpg

A semi-truck carrying up to 30,000 pounds of frozen Butterball turkeys took a turn too quickly Wednesday morning, flipping over on its side, spilling diesel and thousands of Thanksgiving meals headed for Costco.

But since stores can't sell food that's spilled on the road – even though the turkeys were kept perfectly safe in cardboard boxes – the poultry is instead headed to feed the hungry and homeless at the Alameda County Food Bank in Oakland, spokesman Michael Altfest said. Some of the turkeys will be shared with shelters in Contra Costa County, too.

"This is a fantastic windfall as our Food Bank heads into one of the busiest times of year," Altfest  said. "Receiving this volume of meat protein is rare for us any time of year – and a donation like this simply couldn’t come at a better time. This is going to add a significant helping of holiday joy to thousands of households throughout our community.”

The shipment was handed over before noon on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately an accident happened, and fortunately low-income people in both Alameda County and Contra Costa County are going to benefit," added Suzan Bateson, executive director of the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Joseph Azevedo told NBC Bay Area that the driver "got confused" when he was traveling on Interstate Highway 680 in San Ramon about 2:30 a.m. He originally tried to take the I-580 interchange, but ended up taking the Alcosta Boulevard ramp instead.

And because he was "not familiar" with the ramp, he rounded it at a "high rate of speed" and his rear trailer went out of control, Azavedo said. He hit the brakes but wasn't able to prevent his rig from hitting the guardrail, he said. Between 20 and 40 gallons of diesel spilled on the road, shutting it down for hours.

The driver and co-driver were trapped inside, Azevedo said, and had to be extricated by San Ramon Valley firefighters. The driver suffered minor injuries.

The turkeys had been headed to a wholesale distributor for their eventual delivery to a Costco in Livermore.

In July, 60,000 pounds of African jackfruit and bananas spilled on the side of Interstate Highway 580 in Livermore. The load of squished fruit went to feed the elephants, giraffes and bears at the Oakland Zoo.