<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:22:06 -0700 Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:22:06 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[School Assistant Barricaded Student]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:21:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lemon+grove+academy.JPG

An after-school assistant in California was arrested after some bizarre behavior, including barricading several students into a classroom, taking off her clothes and upending desks, according San Diego County Sheriff's officials.

At about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Linda Lira, 31, started acting strangely at Lemon Grove Academy and shut herself into a room with students.

After several minutes, the children became scared by her behavior, so they used her campus radio to call for help and alert other teachers.

Staff fought Lira to get inside the classroom and get the children out, sheriff's officials say.

They told authorities Lira showed signs of being on narcotics or a hallucinogen. As she struggled with staff, she took off her clothes.

By the time deputies arrived, Lira had barricaded herself in the classroom again. Deputies say she was throwing things, toppling over desks and putting on and removing her clothes over and over again.

Law enforcement was eventually able to take her into custody, and she was first transported to the hospital for evaluation.

On Thursday, investigators returned to the school and interviewed students to count her offenses. Lira was taken to Las Colinas Woman's Detention Facility on 14 felony counts of child endangerment and 14 felony counts of false imprisonment.

The suspect could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

The Lemon Grove School District had social workers and therapists at the campus for those affected by the incident. Lemon Grove Academy is a seventh and eighth grade school located at 7885 Golden Avenue.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Driver Tied Cat to Hood of Car]]> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:12:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/NC_catoncar0324001.jpg Ohio police search for driver spotted with cat tied to the hood of her vehicle.]]> <![CDATA[Couple Weds Around the World]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:16:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wedding-world-kiss.jpg

It's going to be tough for this couple's honeymoon to top their weddings.

Cheetah Platt and Rhiann Woodyard didn't want the average wedding, so they packed their bridal dress and suit and left on a world tour. They've held ceremonies at locations around the world — in front of waterfalls and aqueducts, in an ancient temple, with a giraffe -- taking eye-catching pictures at each one.

The Los Angeles couple had gotten married 21 times as of Saturday, March 21, and they plan on tying the knot 17 more times before May 2, Platt said.

The icing on their wedding cake: They say that getting married around the world has saved them money, compared to the traditional, one-day affair.

The average American wedding costs more than $31,000, according to a recent survey conducted by wedding publication The Knot. Despite traveling to six continents, the couple said their trip to six continents cost less.

"It has been amazing talking to others who see the world the same way and are so excited to create their own wedding experience," the couple said in an e-mail to NBC4.

To the bride, Rhiann Woodyard, the most memorable ceremony so far was being married in India's centuries-old Ajanta Caves, a Buddhist temple carved into a mountain.

"It is such a surreal experience," Woodyard said in an e-mail.

For Platt, it was "riding camels across the sand, then standing in the ancient Egyptian desert and marrying the love of my life in front of the pyramids of Giza."

Both professional acrobats, Woodyard and Platt met at a gathering for acrobatics enthusiasts, the couple told Buzzfeed.

Their registry, posted on honeyfund.com, doesn't consist of the usual pots, pans, plates and dishware -- instead, they listed elephant rides, a Spanish hot-air balloon ride, snorkeling and flights to every corner of the globe.

Couples from around the world have reached out after hearing about their decision, they told NBC4.

And while they caution that their wedding isn't right for everyone, they believe every couple should think about what would make a wedding perfect for them.

"If you are open to changing tradition and exploring other options, you can absolutely create (and afford) the perfect wedding for YOU," said the couple, who signed their e-mail CheeRhi.

The couple does plan a ceremony for their immediate family in Big Bear, a small mountain-top town near LA.

"Nothing will change with the wedding itself, but we can't wait to share it with our family," they said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Cheetah Platt]]>
<![CDATA[Sea Lion Pup Climbs on Surfboard]]> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:42:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sea+lion+surfer+1.jpg

Dan Murphy was surfing Cardiff By-the-Sea when a wiggly little creature jumped on his board and crawled up his back.

At first, the Cardiff resident thought he was being attacked. But as he turned around, he saw a sea lion pup hugging him, as if the animal were scared.

Murphy, a longtime surfer, was amazed. On that Sunday morning off the shore of San Elijo Campground, a friendship was formed, he said.

“You see a lot of wildlife. You see those pups around this time of year,” he said. “I’ve never seen them interact with people like that.”

Murphy said the pup did not appear malnourished and suspects he was one of the sea lions rehabilitated by SeaWorld trainers and then returned to the wild, as the little guy appeared so comfortable around humans.

The pup held on to Murphy for about 20 minutes before crawling into his lap “like a puppy,” he said.

“He spent well over an hour on my board,” Murphy said.

Murphy spent the next hour floating on his surf board with the sea lion pup, as his friend, Eileen Quintela, grabbed her camera from the shore and began snapping pictures.

When their human-sea lion bonding experience was over, Murphy said he had to nudge the pup off his board and say goodbye.

“I was literally in tears,” he said. “I waved to him.”

<![CDATA[BART Opposes Craft Beer Called B.A.R.T.]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:10:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BART25.jpg

BART does not find imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery.

Bay Area Rapid Transit is opposing a new trademark application filed by Truckee's FiftyFifty Brewing for a beer called B.A.R.T.

Bay Area Rapid Transit filed a Notice of Opposition to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on March 16 stating, "BART will be damaged by registration of the mark B.A.R.T. . . . and hereby opposes the name."

"Just as any agency or business does, BART routinely protects its name and registered trademarks," BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said in an email. "Use of the BART name by unauthorized parties for commercial gain, whether or not they are in the rapid transit business, is a violation of trademark law, and something BART must protect itself against."

The beer's name is also an acronym, but it stands for "Barrel Aged Really Tasty." The company website describes it as "a rare one-off beer blended on the brewers whim. The most recent iteration contains a delicious blend of Totality Imperial Stout, Donner Party Porter, and our Summit Barleywine, aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels for 180 days."

FiftyFifty owner and CEO Andy Barr told Inside Scoop SF that B.A.R.T. is named after Bart, a now deceased dog who was the brewery's unofficial mascot.

"The implication is that we came up with that acronym in order to monetize on the fame of Bay Area Rapit Transit — which is not true," he said.

<![CDATA[Resident Writes Note to Person Stealing his Wall Street Journal]]> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:53:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wsj_theif.jpg

A business owner in Berkeley is not happy someone has been taking his Wall Street Journal.

According to news website Berkeleyside.com, a passerby took a photo this week of the notice addressed "To the Berkeley man who has been taking my Wall Street Journal so many times over so many years." The polite notice was posted in front of the Skylight & Sun on the 2000 block of Blake Street.

The note said the company installed a video surveillance system and caught the person taking the newspaper on March 12.

Berkeleyside reader Marty Schiffenbauer snapped a photograph of the sign (pictured above), describing it as "Definitely very Berkeley!"

Photograph courtesy news website Berkeleyside/Marty Schiffenbauer

Photo Credit: Berkeleyside/Marty Schiffenbauer
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<![CDATA[Accidental Invite Elicits Real-Life Wedding Crasher]]> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 09:24:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/223*120/Capture5.PNG

A Washington man is set to travel to Philly after he was accidentally invited to a stranger's bachelor party.

Joey DiJulio of Seattle says it all started with an unexpected email back on February 11.

Joey received an invite to Jeff Minetti's bachelor party in Philadelphia. There was only one problem. Joey had no idea who Jeff was.

“I was trying to make sense of it," Joey said. "I was so confused. I was looking through different addresses and didn’t know who anyone was. I looked and saw my name on the CC and realized it was a typo. I was getting entertainment while being a fly on the wall.”

Jeff explained the mixup to NBC10.

“About fifty people had been in the email, so no one really noticed that anything was wrong,” Jeff said. “I sent a list over to my brother Michael, someone had made the mistake, I’d be happy to throw him under the bus for this one."

For a while Joey kept quiet and was amused by the numerous emails he received about some of the events for the weekend. This included gambling, shuffle board competitions and some other festivities as well. Then it all came to a quick hold.

Jeff's brother Michael Minetti, who sent the initial email, wrote a new message, saying he needed a headcount to give the bartender for the venue. As he was calling out people he hadn’t heard from, Joey finally replied with the following message:

Hi All,

So, I have no idea who any of you guys are, but I have been enjoying being a fly on the wall hearing about the plans for this bachelor party over the last few months.

I'm assuming my E-Mail address was added to the list by mistake (perhaps a typo of someone else?).

I live out in Seattle, WA and although for a moment I thought it might be funny to just show up and be that guy nobody knows but everyone wonders "who is that guy?", buying a plane ticket for a cross-country flight just to crash a bachelor's party might be a bit over the top (although it would be epic!).

Nonetheless, I do hope you guys have a great time and I'd like to take a moment to wish the best of luck in life to the groom!

Joey DiJulio
Seattle, WA

To his surprise, responses in the email started storming his inbox. Despite him being a complete stranger, everyone wanted Joey to go the bachelor party, including the groom.

"I'm overnighting you a wedding invite," Jeff said. "You show up at the bachelor party and I'll make you my best man. You can give the toast even."

A friend of the groom replied, "I say everyone forks up an extra $20 and we get Joey a plane ticket to Philly!"

As everyone was throwing out ideas for how to get him to the party and wedding, Joey took matters into his own hands and created a GoFundMe page.

He posted the description and the entirety of the story and started receiving donations.

"I was putting things on my Facebook about the random bachelor party I wasn't going too," Joey said. "This is totally something so crazy. People thought it was awesome. I promoted it a little and created it myself, and figured let's see how it goes."

Joey eventually reached his goal Wednesday, raising $1,655, well above the $1,264 he estimated it would cost for the entire trip.

"The momentum just kept going, as I realized the first part of this could definitely happen and as we built a following, maybe we can use this small platform for Jeff and his bride to be, and could use some of this money for a really nice wedding gift," Joey said.

Jeff and his friends said they would welcome him with open arms.

"I'd welcome Joe to come and we are the city of brotherly love so we would love to show him a good time," Jeff said.

"If he came, it's gonna be funny, I'd have a million questions to ask him," said Jeff's brother Christopher.

Amy Lee, the bride to be, told NBC10 she's also excited about Joey's visit.

"I'm all onboard and everything happens for a reason," she said.

Lee also said her plans for the bachelor party have changed.

"The first part of festivities I am welcome too," she said. "While I was going to let the boys have fun, after this story, I would have to meet Joey. The brides are crashing the bachelor party!"

The bachelor party is set to take place on March 28. We'll let you know if Jeff follows through on letting Joey become his best man.

<![CDATA[Landlord Hikes SF Tenant's Rent by 400%]]> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:53:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rent3.jpg

A San Francisco woman is meeting with lawyers after her landlord raised her rent by nearly 400 percent.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Deb Follingstand used to pay about $2,100 a month for her two-bedroom apartment in Bernal Heights, where she’s lived for about 10 years.

But earlier this month, the Chinese medicine practitioner got a notice that her landlord was raising the rent to $8,900 a month, and increasing the security deposit to $12,500. She posted the notice on Facebook, which was shared 5,500 times by Tuesday morning. When an NBC Bay Area reporter knocked on her door early Tuesday morning, she declined to speak.

It’s not clear if what the landlord did is legal.


Photo Credit: Norbert Lee]]>
<![CDATA[Meth Lab Discovered in Ind. Walmart Restroom]]> Sat, 14 Mar 2015 14:32:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Walmart-Generic1.jpg

A restroom at a Walmart in eastern Indiana has been closed indefinitely after an employee discovered a working meth lab inside.

State police say a Walmart employee alerted police after seeing a man he described as suspicious enter the restroom about 11:30 p.m. Thursday with a backpack and leave without it. The Star Press reports that members of a state police meth suppression team removed the dangerous chemicals.

Delaware County Health Department inspectors closed the restroom and a nearby women's restroom until they could be "decontaminated" by a professional cleaning company.

State police say people who make methamphetamine are leaving "the deadly explosive chemicals in public places to return later to get the finished product," rather than risk explosions and contamination at their own homes. 

<![CDATA[Sausalito Gas Station Pumps Up Gas Prices to Nearly $8 A Gallon]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 23:35:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0313-2015-gas3.jpg

It sounds like someone's idea of a cruel joke: gas for $8 a gallon. And in Sausalito this week, that was exactly the case.

Bridgeway Gas Station on Thursday had its premium unleaded gas going for $7.99 a gallon. Prices came down a bit Friday, but nowhere near Bay Area averages.

While it defies logic and fairness, the owner said he increased prices because he is tired of people complaining about how much they have to pay for gas.

Locals said the owner has been at it for months.

"When all the prices went down, he doubled his and the more people complained," said Dana, a Sausalito resident. "He'd just add another dollar."

The owner's price increases are not stopping him from making a profit.  The owner said there are enough rich customers and tourists to keep him in business, no matter what he charges.

<![CDATA[Testing Urine-Repelling Paint in San Francisco]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 21:20:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/0313-2015-UrineWall.jpg

San Francisco's Department of Public Works is turning to the public for suggestions on where to test a new paint that repels urine to discourage peeing on the sidewalk.

The paint, which is called Ultra-Ever Dry, is currently available for commercial use only, and is expensive.

Julia Staron, a resident of Hamburg, Germany who organized an effort to paint walls in her city's nightclub district, told Reuters it cost them over $500 to paint a 65-square foot area, but that it has curbed people's enthusiasm to pee on the walls there.

Mohammed Nuru of San Francisco's Department of Public Works said he read about the paint online.

"We will have a sign that says 'Do not urinate here if you fail to comply with the sign, and you happen to use that wall as a urinal it will bounce back on your pants and wet your pants,'" Nuru said. "Hopefully that will send a message."

Nuru said the problem is not just tied to one group or area -- problem spots include North Beach and United Nations Plaza.

Aman Jabbi, who started a Tumblr page on dirty city streets, said he has doubts about the plan.

"It may not solve the problem because people would move to the next block where the paint isn't there," Jabbi said.

Nuru wants to solicit ideas from the public on where they should try the plan out.

"If a suggestion sounds reasonable, we'll try it," Nuru said.

Suggestions may be emailed to dpw@sfdpw.org.

Photo Credit: IG St. Pauli/YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Handgun Handbag Pulled From Stores]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 13:08:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/handgun+handbag.jpg

A provocative purse is being removed from the racks of a New York-area clothing chain following an NBC 4 New York investigation into one shopper's complaints.

The controversial clutch, sold by fashion chain Easy Pickins, has a realistic-looking 3-D imprint of a handgun that could make it look like the wearer is holding a real firearm.

"If I saw a woman walking down the street with this purse I might look at her and say, 'Oh my god, that girl has a gun in her bag,'" said Natalia Perez, a former news reporter who told NBC 4 New York about the pocketbook.

Fernando Cacoillo, head of operations for Easy Pickins, said he was unaware his chain carried the pistol-themed bag and quickly ordered more than 20 stores to stop selling it.

"We’ll take it off the shelves right away,” Cacoillo said. “I would go out to the manufacturer of this handbag and have them take it off the market completely.”

Easy Pickins uses an outside company to choose and purchase merchandise and store managers were not immediately able to determine who manufactures the $18 handbag.

Perez says she is concerned a police officer responding to a crime in New York City might see a purse imprinted with a pistol and mistake it for a real gun.

“All of these things we’re seeing in the media about Ferguson, shootings, and police brutality — this is just not the message you want to send to young women to just go out and look cute with a gun in their purse," she said. "That looks crazy.” 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Employee Worked in Pee-Soaked Pants]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 06:29:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SodaBan.jpg

A Wendy’s restaurant employee in Southern California has filed a claim as a precursor to a lawsuit against the restaurant franchise, claiming her managers implemented a “no bathroom breaks” policy during the lunch rush, aggravating a medical condition.

In her claim, the woman, Maria Rivas, says she was denied access to the bathroom at a Wendy's in Sanee between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in October 2014. Rivas — who is on medication that makes bladder control difficult — she repeatedly asked her supervisor to leave her work station to use the restroom, but was told she could not. 

Rivas said she accidentally urinated on herself and the supervisor forced her to work in soiled clothes for the remainder of her shift, despite potential health code concerns.

In Spanish, Rivas told NBC 7: “He didn’t care and none of the other managers cared to tell me, ‘Mari, go to your house and change.’”

Rivas said her medical problems — diabetes, high cholesterol and thyroid disorder — make frequent bathroom breaks necessary.

Reached for comment, the Wendy’s manager told NBC 7 he was unable to speak on camera, but confirmed a written version of events that he drafted for the restaurant’s attorneys.

In it, he stated that Wendy’s policy is that no one can move from their positions unless an operation leader approves it during the three-hour lunch rush.

In the email, the manager wrote he was unaware of Rivas’ accident until she told him about it at the end of her shift.

NBC 7 also reached out to Wendy’s corporate offices and the HR director sent a statement, and said because it was a personnel matter, the company couldn’t comment on the specifics.

“This is an isolated situation involving one employee at one restaurant,” said Donna Townsend “Our franchise strives to provide a positive working environment for all employees. We promptly investigated complaints arising out of this situation and believe that is was handled appropriately. When an employee request to go to the bathroom, permission is granted, as it is here.”

Rivas’ attorney has filed a claim to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging that the restaurant denied Rivas a reasonable accommodation for her medical condition.

The attorney told NBC 7 that Wendy’s has offered several settlement offers, but Rivas has refused the offers because they were not satisfactory amounts. She remains employed at the restaurant.

Asked why she couldn’t just go to the bathroom anyway or quit, Rivas said she simply cannot afford to be fired or unemployed.

“I depend on this job,” she said. “I don’t have another one.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Worker Hurt by Falling Ham]]> Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:41:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ham-Generic.jpg

A worker was flown to the hospital after officials say he was struck by falling ham.

The unidentified man was working at Hatfield Quality Meats, a pork meat packing company, on the 2700 block of Clemens Road in Hatfield, Pennsylvania Wednesday night. As he was working, a “pallet of ham” fell on top of him, according to officials.

The worker was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital. Officials have not yet revealed his condition.

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for updates.

<![CDATA[Wi-Fi Barbie Accused of Spying for Mattel]]> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 07:12:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/187*120/HelloBarbie.jpg

Hello Barbie, Mattel's new wi-fi enhanced doll with a tiny microphone, isn't even available yet, but she's already causing controversy, according to reports.

The latest Barbie features speech recognition software that enables conversations and recall's the owner's preferences. However, now privacy advocates say that the doll is violating children's policy and could be used for "stealth marketing" with toymakers listening in on the conversations or encouraging children to buy accessories.

"If I had a young child, I would be very concerned that my child's intimate conversations with her doll were being recorded and analyzed," Angela Campbell, faculty adviser at Georgetown University's Center on Privacy and Technology, said in a statement.

Using a microphone, speaker and LED lights inside the doll's necklace, and rechargeable batteries in its legs, Hello Barbies will be able to tell stories, jokes and play interactive games. After listening to its owner's conversation over time, the $75 doll could also reference some of the child's likes. The doll was created by Mattel and uses San Francisco-based startup ToyTalk for voice-recognition software.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood launched a petition Wednesday asking Mattel to stop the doll, calling it "creepy," according to the Christian Science Monitor. The group and others believe that Hello Barbies treasure trove of information will be usedful to marketers.

Campbell said, "In Mattel's demo, Barbie asks many questions that would elicit a great deal of information about a child, her interests, and her family. This information could be of great value to advertisers and be used to market unfairly to children."

Susan Linn, executive director of the Campaign, said that she was leery of Mattel's motives. "It's creepy — and creates a host of dangers for children and families,” she said.

Mattel said there is no controversy because it conformed to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and partner ToyTalk said that any information retrieved from Hello Barbie's owner is "never used for anything to do with marketing or publicity."

Ultimately the decision to buy the $75 doll is up to parents, but the doll won't go on sale until near the end of the year.

Photo Credit: Mattel]]>
<![CDATA[Boy's Hysterical Bar Mitzvah Invite]]> Mon, 09 Mar 2015 12:46:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/bar+mitzvah.jpg

A Chicago-area boy simply wanted to entertain his guests with a music video invitation to his bar mitzvah, but he may have invited more people than he intended when his poppy video went viral.

With almost 1 million video views on YouTube, the north suburban Deerfield 12-year-old Brody Criz and his family reached Internet stardom with their tribute to pop hits.

The video features hits like “Happy” and “Royals” along with parodies of “All of Me,” “Let It Go,” and even “Blurred Lines.”

In an interview with TODAY.com the budding star says he wants to have a career in comedy.

"I love to make people laugh," he said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I love to see when people have smiles on their faces, so, I [wanted] to go above and beyond with my bar mitzvah invitation."

Photo Credit: YouTube
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<![CDATA[CA Tourists Deface Colosseum, Take Selfie: Report]]> Mon, 09 Mar 2015 17:18:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Colosseum-109100420.jpg

Two 20-something tourists from California were arrested in Rome, Italy, for allegedly engraving their initials into the ancient Colosseum and posing for a selfie, Italian news media reported.

The women allegedly left their tour group on Saturday and used a coin to engrave the letters J and N some 3 inches high into the walls of the ancient World Heritage site, the newspaper La Stampa reported. Then they took a selfie. Finally, they apologized, according to reports.

“We apologize for what we did,” the pair reportedly said. “We regret it, but we did not imagine it was something so serious. We’ll remember for a lifetime.”

Buzzfeed's web address for the story was titled "idiots abroad."

Where the women hail from in California was not immediately known.

Police charged the duo with “aggravated damage on a building of historical and artistic interest” after angry tourists spotted them, Rome newspaper La Repubblica reported.

Carabinieri Capt. Lorenzo Iacobone said Monday that such acts "are extremely serious, and no one considers the damage they are creating."

He told NBC News that because the women have no criminal history, they would likely be fined, or tried in absentia at a later date. For now, he told NBC News, they are free to continue their vacation.

A Russian tourist who carved his initials into the Colosseum in November was handed a four-month suspended sentence and a fine of 20,000 euros.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Weird News Photos: Raccoon Gets Head Stuck in Tree]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:42:17 -0700 knot in a tree. ]]> knot in a tree. ]]> http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Raccoon+Stuck+in+Tuckerton+Tree.jpg Check out these weird news photos from around the world.

Photo Credit: Tuckerton Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Giant Octopus Tries to Climb Out of Tank]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 11:08:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/giant3.JPG

A video shows Seattle Aquarium's giant octopus "Ink" trying to crawl out of his tank, prompting online speculation as to whether he was attempting an escape or simply exploring his new surroundings.

Ink didn't get too far. An aquarium staffer helped the animal back into its enclosure. LiveLeak posted the footage Wednesday, which immediately became fodder for online blogs and sites. The Huffington Post and Gawker wondered whether there was a "worldwide octopus uprising" going on.

Just a few days ago, another octopus grabbed a camera from a researcher and turned it on him, and the post went viral on Reddit. 

There were also reports about an octopus that jumped out of the water to snatch a crab.

As for the Seattle octopus, Reddit commenters wondered what could have prompted it to scale the tank. 

Seattle Aquarium officials told the local Seattle Fox affiliate the "video has been blown out of proportion." “It’s a new octopus 'Ink' in a new exhibit exploring his boundaries,” officials said. “In the video that’s been shared by the public it’s one of our staff members helping Ink bank into his exhibit after exploring the edge.”

The aquarium holds daily octopus feedings, where visitors can watch the giant Pacific octopus consume crabs, clams and even other species of octopus. 

Photo Credit: Seattle Aquarium
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<![CDATA[Widow Finds Husband's Grenade]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 03:23:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/030415+pembroke+pines+grenade.jpg

A widow who was cleaning out her husband's storage found a World War II-era grenade in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Wednesday.

The discovery was made at the Colony Point condos, Pembroke Pines Police officials said.

A bomb squad responded and the grenade was secured and safely removed.

No other information was immediately known.

Photo Credit: Pembroke Pines Police]]>
<![CDATA[Naked Woman on Drugs Crashes Car]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 10:58:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/225*120/3-3-2015-NakedCrash.JPG

A naked woman allegedly high on drugs crashed her car and ended up on the front lawn of an apartment building in South Los Angeles.

The woman hit several parked cars before driving across the sidewalk and onto the grass at Lockland Drive and Marlton Avenue at around 5:30 p.m, Los Angeles Police Department said.

No one was injured. Paramedics covered the woman in a blanket when they arrived on the scene and took her away for treatment.

<![CDATA[Japan's "Cat Island" Crawling With Kitties]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:14:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/202*120/cat210.JPG

All the cat videos you ever need — in a single clip.

Aoshima Island in Japan is crawling with kitties, 120 of them, NBC News reported. They outnumber the people six to one.

And yes, the island's nickname is "cat island."

Cats even hang out at the dock, to greet cat-loving tourists.

People come from all over Japan to see the animals, even though there's no shops or hotels.

The cats were originally brought here to hunt mice. Now a kitten-control program is underway -- so far ten cats have been neutered. Only 110 more to go.

<![CDATA[Wooden Passenger Fools Carpool Lane]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:17:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fake+passenger.JPG

A Long Island man allegedly used a wooden figure in a hooded sweatshirt to drive solo in the Long Island Expressway's HOV lane because, he told officers, he was late to his new job, police said.

A Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer noticed the fake passenger when he pulled the man over for speeding at 77 mph at 6:30 a.m. on Friday in Dix Hills.

A photo of the crudely made dummy shows a wooden board with a block-shaped, wooden head wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

"I was trying not to laugh at the guy because I thought it was quite silly," said officer Jonathan Abrams. 

Abrams said for a moment, he actually thought it was a real person.

"The silhouette was realistic enough," he said. "You see people with hoods up, sleeping in the front seat all the time." 

The driver, James Campbell, told NBC 4 New York the officer seemed to have a sense of humor about it.

"He said, 'Passenger, can I see some ID?' And I said, 'Officer, I don't think so,'" said Campbell, chuckling. 

Campbell told the officer that he was driving to a new job and didn't want to be late.

"He said he started a new job and he couldn't afford to be late to his new job, so traveling through the HOV lane allowed him to get there a little bit faster," said Abrams. 

He was issued summonses for speeding and occupancy violation.

Campbell didn't seem deterred. He pulled up to his home Friday evening after work with the dummy still in the front seat, saying he'd been using it for months. 

He said, "He's got a sister down in the basement and on special occasions, I bring her out and she wears a tutu." 

Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Dept. ]]>
<![CDATA[What Color Is This Dress? No One Can Agree]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:44:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/the-dress-B-1l26HXAAEJ48-.jpg

Is this dress blue and black… or gold and white? The debate is raging, and no one seems to agree.

BuzzFeed posted the controversial photo Tuesday evening, and already it's gone viral.

The image was originally uploaded by Tumblr user "swiked," who wrote:

"I see it as white and gold. My friend right here sees it as blue and black. I CANT HANDLE THIS"

Another user fired back:

"if that’s not gold my entire life has been a lie"

Others chimed in, all with different perceptions. Admittedly, no one in the newsroom could agree either.

So what color is it really?

The mystery may never be solved.

Photo Credit: Romanoriginals.com
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<![CDATA[Woman Had Cheating Ex Robbed]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:59:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/022515+sarah+matherly.jpg

A South Florida woman was arrested after authorities say she arranged to have her cheating ex-boyfriend robbed at gunpoint.

Sarah Nicole Matherly, 22, is facing robbery with a firearm and extortion charges following her arrest in Hollywood. She was ordered held on $7,500 bond at a hearing before Broward Judge John Hurley Wednesday.

According to the arrest report, Matherly lured her ex-boyfriend to a home in Hollywood. Once inside, he was met by a group of men.

Matherly went into a bathroom while the men robbed ex, and told them "don't forget his f-ing" chain," said Hurley. One of the men reportedly put a gun to his head during the robbery. 

The home was a "smoke house" where people go to take drugs, Hurley said.

Matherly later contacted her ex and told him, "that's what you get for cheating on me," Hurley said. She also threatened him with robbery if he didn't give her cash, Hurley said.

At the bond court hearing, Matherly's attorney argued that she was in another room and didn't know about the robbery.

Matherly, who has no criminal record, will have to undergo drug testing every week after her release from jail, the judge ordered. She'll also be required to get a job or go back to school.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Guinea Pigs Abandoned at Dolores Park: Report]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:47:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/10385574_10152828852603757_5014629187749311779_n.jpg

At least six abandoned guinea pigs were found wandering aimlessly Wednesday morning in the middle of San Francisco's Dolores Park.

A gardener, who identified herself as Michelle, said she found the guinea pigs overnight at the park near the 20th and Church streets Muni stop, according to a blog post on the San Francisco Chronicle website.

“People leave all kinds of pets in Dolores Park,” Michelle told the Chronicle. “Bunnies, chickens and once I caught a man grazing his goats here.”

Animal Care & Control officials said they were picking up the guinea pigs which will be put up for adoption — if they are friendly.

The woman who found the unusual flock of furry rodents took it all in stride.

“It’s Dolores Park,” Michelle said to the Chronicle. “We get a lot of weird stuff here.”

Animal Care & Control has posted pictures of some different guinea pigs who are up for adoption on its Facebook page (including the one pictured above).

Photo Credit: Animal Care & Control San Francisco]]>
<![CDATA[Madison Bumgarner Poses as Paul Bunyan With Bull]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:29:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*125/madbum2.JPG

World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner is getting some new attention after he posed as Paul Bunyan for a photo shoot.

Yup, that’s him in red suspenders and an ax posing for the cover of the first issue of the Season’s Giants magazine.

MadBum was born in Hickory, North Carolina where he still lives on a farm during the offseason.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Giants]]>
<![CDATA[Spelling Goof: Berkeley Librarians Recycle Misprinted B-E-R-K-L-E-Y Buttons]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:50:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mattchurch.jpg

The public library in Berkeley, California, a city known for its obsession with recycling, composting and all things green, has found a way to reuse its misprinted buttons: by shipping them 2,385 miles away to a library in Michigan.

The California city's name was misspelled on the buttons, which read "I have a library card, Berkley Public Library," dropping an "e" from "Berkeley." The Berkeley Public Library received the shipment of misprinted buttons 10 years ago, and put them in storage after discovering the error.

But even a decade ago, Berkeley was committed to making sure nothing goes to waste. So instead of throwing the buttons away, off they went to Berkley Public Library in Michigan, where they could be put to better use.

And that was the end of that, until recently, when an employee from the Berkeley, California, library found 125 more of the misprinted buttons in storage and contacted the Berkley, Michigan, library once again.

Matt Church, library director for the Berkley Public Library in Michigan, explained: “We had just run out of the buttons from that 10-year-old supply a few months ago, and we were trying to decide if we should get more. We give them to kids when they get their first library card."

And then, as luck would have it, "Berkeley called and said, ‘Hey, we found more!’”

Speaking by phone on Monday, Church said libraries are all about sharing ideas and materials with each other, even when there are thousands of miles between them.

“This reach across the country is so thoughtful," Church said, "and we’d be happy to return the favor if we ever find any extra E’s in our materials.”


Photo Credit: Matt Church/Berkley Public Library, Michigan]]>
<![CDATA["Happy Lunar New Year" From FB's Mark Zuckerberg ]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:34:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/200*120/zuckerberg4.jpg

In honor of the Lunar New Year, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg delivered a message in Mandarin Chinese wishing everyone a happy one, in a video he posted on his own Facebook page.

As of midday Thursday, his video, which appears to be spoken in a pretty good Mandarin dialect in front of a red wall with Chinese lanterns dangling from the ceiling, had over 2 million views and more than 111,000 likes.

He apparently also has decided this is the Year of the Sheep, though others are quibbling that the year is dedicated to the goat or the ram.

"Happy Lunar New Year! 春节快乐!" his post reads."This is a moment of renewal and celebration each year. I hope you have a wonderful time surrounded by friends and family, and I hope that the Year of the Sheep brings you health and happiness."

Zuckerberg is married to Dr. Priscilla Chan, whose father is a Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant, according to the Daily Mail, who arrived in America with his family in the '70s after spending time in a refugee camp. He worked in a Chinese restaurant in Boston before moving his family to Palo Alto.

Zuckerberg, self-taught in the Chinese dialect, drew "gasps and laughter" from a crowd in Beijing during a 30-minute Q&A in October 2014 he conducted in Mandarin. Humbly, Zuckerberg said his "Chinese is horrible," according to the Guardian. But told the crowd that he decided to learn the language to communicate with his in-laws.

Photo Credit: Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page
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<![CDATA[Woman Found in Box Near Landfill]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:44:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Irving+landfill+021815.jpg

A woman was found alive and barely clothed inside a cardboard box near a landfill in North Texas, and now police are working to figure out what happened.

Officers were called Saturday morning after employees and some community service workers in Irving discovered the woman. Police said the woman was wearing only a shirt and only spoke Spanish, telling investigators she was out with friends the night before in Dallas and had no memory of how she ended up in the box or at the dump.

In fact, a missing persons report was filed with Dallas police just hours before she was discovered.

According to police reports obtained by NBC 5, the victim was out drinking with a girlfriend Friday night at a club near Walnut Hill Lane and Brockbank Drive.

The victim's friend went to get their car, leaving the woman with a man they had just met. When the friend came back, the victim was gone.

The missing person report was filed Saturday at about 7 a.m. and by about 9 a.m. workers found the woman, who is in her 30s, inside a large box at the municipal landfill in the 200 block of West Hunter Ferrell Road.

Police took the victim to a local hospital to have her tested on whether she had been raped.

Irving police continue to investigate, and further details have not yet been released.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[What Do You Call A Sport That Combines Skiing and Horses?]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 03:53:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_skijorning0217001_1500x845.jpg Skijoring, a sport that combines skiing and horses, is a huge hit in Silverton, Colorado.]]> <![CDATA["Fifty Shades of Grey" Distracts Sacramento Drivers]]> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:24:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/50ShadesDriveThru.jpg

Opening weekend for the film "Fifty Shades of Grey" included some unwilling viewers.

The movie is being shown at the West Wind Drive-In theater in Sacramento, right off Highway 50. Motorists say they could clearly see the R-rated movie as they drove past.

Even worse, the theater is right next to a go-kart track, which was filled with families over the President's Day weekend.

"I just don't think it should be on a big screen out in the middle of the public, where anybody could turn around and see it," Susan Weiss told KCRA-TV on Monday.

The manager of the theater says he has moved things around so the movie is not visible from the freeway or the track.

By Monday night, KCRA reports, Jennifer Lopez's "The Boy Next Door" and "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” could be seen from a distance, but “Fifty Shades” was tucked away from plain sight.

Photo Credit: KCRA]]>
<![CDATA[Grandfather Viciously Beaten by "Crazy" Attacker at ATM]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 08:10:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/2-17-2015-BeatenGrandfather.JPG

A grandfather was viciously beaten by a man he described as "crazy" during a confrontation at an ATM on Valentine's Day.

Updated Article: Arrest in Attack at ATM

Raul Fonseca was hospitalized following the assault at the Bank of America in Temple City at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The 79-year-old said he was waiting in line when a man in his 30s started screaming "do you know me" in his face.

He tried to defend himself by swinging at the man,  however the situation rapidly escalated.

"Maybe if I hit him, he run away but, no, it was worse," Fonseca said.

His attacker easily overpowered him, raining down punches to his face, arms and head, then kicking him as he lay on the floor.

Fonseca blacked out during the beating, and when he came too he was covered in blood. He was surrounded by good Samaritans and paramedics.

"I don't remember anything until a half hour later," Fonseca said.

The motive is unknown, as the attacker did not steal any of his money. The assailant is described as being around 6 feet tall, 160 pounds.

Fonseca said he is having trouble sleeping at night knowing his attacker is still on the run, and fears he could hurt others.

"He was angry, angry with anybody," Fonseca said, "Catch him put him in jail because he can hurt anybody else."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators are hoping surveillance footage from the bank will be able to help them identify the attacker.

<![CDATA[Watch: Fire Breather Catches Fire]]> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 19:49:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tattoo-Fire1.jpg

A Philadelphia couple captured a scary moment on camera when a performing artist suddenly caught fire.

Jeff Hurd and his wife Alice Gibson attended the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Sunday and watched a fire-breathing performance from the Ink Illusionists.

As the performer blew fire, flames suddenly engulfed his entire body and spread to the floor. The fire breather was able to put the flames out while event organizers quickly extinguished the fire on the floor by flipping a table on it.

Gibson told NBC10 the whole incident happened so fast that many members of the audience thought it was part of the show. The Philadelphia Fire Department did not respond since the flames were put out so quickly and with minimal damage, according to Hurd.

Hurd said the performer told him he was okay when he went to check on him. Gibson told NBC10 she noticed minor burns on his body.

NBC10 reached out to the Ink Illusionists. A spokesperson for the group declined to comment.

The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention is an annual three-day event featuring appearances and performances from some of the most popular and skilled tattoo artists in the country.

Photo Credit: Alice Gibson]]>