<![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 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:07:47 -0700 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:07:47 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[27 Large Marijuana Plants Found Near Walmart ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:02:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/marijuana+plants.jpg

Police in St. Albans, Vermont, found 27 large, mature marijuana plants in a field just south of the Walmart store on Swanton Road.

The find came after authorities received a call on Aug. 28 about strange plants on the private property.

The plants appeared well cared for and some were held up by stakes, police said. Fertilizer had been placed around the base of the plants.

Officials decided to eradicate and destroy the plants, after more people in the community became aware of them.

Police are working to identify those responsible for planting and caring for the unlawful marijuana.

Anyone with information has been asked to call: (802) 524-2166.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: St. Albans Police]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Millipedes Intercepted at SFO]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:32:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfo-millipedes.jpg

Customs agents are used to confiscating fake Viagra pills, counterfeit sports jerseys and illegal DVDS. They're not accustomed to snagging giant myriapodous arthropods, however, that wriggle in the dirt and eat decaying plants.

But the U.S. Customs and Border agriculture specialists found and intercepted 20 foot-long millipedes at the San Francisco International Airport mail facility, the agency announced on Friday, and in doing so, stopped the slimy creatures from any further travel.

The intended recipient in Vista, California, was sent a letter that his or her package of exotic wormlike insects would not be arriving from Berlin, Customs Chief J. Frederick Ho told NBC Bay Area. Ho didn't know why the box would be sent to San Francisco and not LAX.

“I'll be honest, we do get certain strange things here," Ho said. "But I can't recall ever getting something like this here. It is out of the ordinary.”

Shipping millipedes – which some like to keep as exotic pets – isn't illegal, Ho said, but they do need a special permit to be sent through the mail – and this package didn't have that. In fact, the package was mislabled "toy car model."

An agent discovered the millipedes while inspecting the facility's X-ray machine and noted the discrepency. Inside the X-rayed package was a large Styrofoam box, containing a mesh bag that held the millipedes, along with chunks of soil and paper.

Ho said, since the shipper lives in Germany, it is unlikely that person will face a fine or a penalty.

The millipedes were whisked off to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and were euthanized.

Photo Credit: Courtesy U.S. Department of Homeland Security]]>
<![CDATA[Weird News Photos: Giant Deflated Duck]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:05:01 -0700 here.]]> here.]]> http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/deflated+rubber+duck.PNG Check out these weird news photos from around the world.

Photo Credit: NBC LA]]>
<![CDATA[Wildest Food Crazes: International Bacon Day]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 07:52:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/e5f14e57ae9d43c2ac1acf4455526ca6.jpg Cronuts, cupcakes and frozen s'mores are just some of the recent food trends that have swept the culinary world. ]]> <![CDATA[Giant Rubber Duck Forced to Deflate]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:10:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/deflated+rubber+duck.PNG

The giant rubber duck that had been on display in Southern California since last week was deflated Thursday because of damaging winds.

Thousands have flocked to the Port of Los Angeles to view and photograph the 11-ton rubber duck, an art project by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman that has traveled worldwide and made stops in Japan, Brazil, Hong Kong and New Zealand, among other places.

The “World’s Largest Rubber Duck” made it’s Port of Los Angeles debut on Aug. 20 as part of the Tall Ships Festival. It was supposed to be on display only until Aug. 24, but because of its popularity, plans were made to keep the rubber duck on display until Sept. 6 as part of the Duck Days of Summer.

The rubber duck was transported to Banning’s Landing off the Wilmington coast Thursday, where it was supposed to be on display Thursday and Friday. Because of windy conditions, the duck was deflated and towed back to San Pedro. A 10-foot "baby" duck will still be on display in Wilmington Friday.

According to the Port of Los Angeles website, the duck will not be on display over Labor Day Weekend because it is “on holiday.” The duck is expected to be inflated again Tuesday and put back on display at the Downtown Harbor through Saturday.

Upcoming daily events centered around the giant duck include “Dress Like a Duck Day” and “Duck Dance Day.”

<![CDATA[Viral Video: "This is Exasperating" – Little Boy Reacts to Mom's Baby News]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:15:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/162*120/carseat1.JPG

"This is exasperating." "What were you thinking?" "Why you have to just get another baby? You just have two." These are just some of the things Tré told his mother when she told him she was having a baby.

Big words for a six-year-old? The Internet agrees.

Tré's mother Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, posted the video on her Facebook page, and from there it went completely viral. "My husband and I been keeping a secret from Tré, finally told him and he was not happy. He's so smart we are very proud of our kids!" Gibson Hart wrote.

"I've something to tell you -- I'm pregnant," Gibson Hart announces to her son and his toddler sister in the video.

Tré hides his face before going off on a very grown-up rant that includes words like "exasperating." It doesn't take too long to realize that most of Tré's fears come from the possibility of being replaced by someone new, but his mom quickly squishes them.

"We would never replace you and Maya," Shanee Gibson says. "You're just gonna have another brother or sister that you will have to help take care of."

"That doesn't make no sense," Tré responds. And later, "What kind of baby is that?"

"I don't know – it might be a boy, it might be a girl," his mother says.

Tré then makes it clear that he doesn't like little boys because they cry. "Buy me some ear plugs," he requests.

<![CDATA[Missing Dog Found After Napa Quake]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:28:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chance1.jpg

When the earth moved during Sunday's Napa earthquake, scores of noise-sensitive pets took off from their comfortable digs. That included "Chance," a 1-year-old cattle dog mix, who bolted from his home at 3:20 a.m., jumping out the living room door, popping out a screen on his way out.

That set Chance's owner, Casey Myers, 31, and her boyfriend into a worried frenzy.

After Myers screamed then hugged her boyfriend, she immediately started looking for Chance, who typically sleeps by her bed.

But he wasn't there. And she had taken his tags off because they jingle at night. She and her boyfriend hopped in the car to look for their beloved pet.


So she posted Chance's picture on Facebook and posted about 400 flyers about town. She was one of many to advertise their lost post on the Missing Pets of Napa Quake Facebook page.

Then, on Thursday, she got a call from Napa Police Officer Rosa Calderon: "We think we have Chance."

Myers drove to Crosswalk Church, and indeed, Chance was there, sitting – hungry but OK – in the back of a truck.

"I opened the door," Myers said, "and Chance jumped out. I was overwhelmed. I just started bawling."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Casey Myers]]>
<![CDATA[Shaun is Not the Wooliest Sheep in the World After All]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:58:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/shaun1.JPG

Shaun the sheep finally got his first haircut.

This very woolly sheep – found wandering around in Tasmania – was previously thought to be the wooliest in the world. But it turns out he’s not. Shaun just got shorn, and his wool isn’t as heavy as a sheep named Shrek, who holds the world record for a whooping 60 pounds of fleece.

The farmers who found Shaun wandering around Tasmania earlier this week say that while the record would have been nice, they just want to make sure Shaun is comfortable and healthy.


<![CDATA[Human Skull Donated to Thrift Store]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:34:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/013012+human+skull+generic.jpg

Police asked for the public's help to locate whoever donated a human skull to an Austin, Texas, thrift store.

Homicide Detective Derek Israel said Wednesday that foul play was not suspected in the person's death. He said he just wants to know how the skull came to be in an unspecified container left at the store.

Goodwill staff discovered the skull while sifting through donations July 16. A spokeswoman said it could have been gifted up to a week prior to its discovery.

Israel said the skull is from an adult. No other details about it have been released.

This is at least the fourth skull to be donated to the international nonprofit this summer. Three were donated in July to a Goodwill store in Bellevue, Wash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Dies at Burning Man, Struck by Bus: Sheriff]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:19:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BURNING-MAN-VO---00000618.jpg

A woman died at Burning Man early Thursday morning after falling under a bus carrying attendees of the weeklong gathering in northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert, authorities said.

The Pershing County Sheriff's Department in Nevada confirmed the death, referring all other questions to Burning Man's promoter, who said the 29-year-old woman from Wyoming died just after midnight near the Central Camp Area.

Event organizers said Alicia Louise Cipicchio was killed afterapparently falling underneath a "large vehicle" at the festival.

The last time a person died at Burning Man was seven years ago when a woman died when she fell under a trailer being pulled by a bus, promoter Jim Graham said.

"This is a terrible accident," Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell said on the blog. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected."

According to her Facebook page, Cipicchio worked at a Jackson Hole art gallery and previously studied art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

At its peak, Burning Man had 68,000 "Burners" attend this year, Graham said.

The festival describes itself as a gathering of those who "dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance."

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Unbelievable Animals: Rare Blue Lobster Found]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:07:27 -0700 here.]]> here.]]> http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Blue+Lobster.jpg Check out some of the craziest animals and the stories behind them.

Photo Credit: NEWS CENTER]]>
<![CDATA[Shell Shocker: Rare Blue Lobster Found]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:57:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rareblue-lobster.jpg A rare blue lobster has found a permanent home at the Maine State Aquarium. 14 year-old Meghan Laplante was out pulling traps with her dad on Saturday when they pulled up the rare blue lobster.]]> <![CDATA[Burning Man "Burners" Head to Wal-Mart During Rain]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:47:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burning-man-AP139188049693.jpg

Ah, Burning Man, the annual weeklong rave that draws thousands of free-thinkers to a remote spot in the Nevada desert. It's a festival so remote and bizarre that the only limit to free expression is imagination ... and that dust that always gets into the electronics.

Except when it rains.

That's when the "Burners" end up in the parking lot of the Reno Wal-Mart.

Turned back at the gate to the Black Rock Desert after rare showers on Monday turned the ancient lake bottom to a muddy quagmire, hundreds of "Burners'' were forced to overnight on the Wal-Mart blacktop. Nearly a hundred other RVs pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort casino, across the street.

"We're just trying to stay positive," said a woman from Oakland, California, who identified herself only as "Driftwood," and was hanging out with some first-timers from Texas. "Positivity can raise everything up."

Organizers announced after midnight that they could roll onto the lake. By midmorning Tuesday all but a few dozen of the RVs were back on the road again, and by most accounts, no worse for the wear.

"We'll make the best of things," said Aviva Mohilner, a former public relations specialist from Los Angeles making her third trip. "It always works out. Burners make it good."

One New York City man loading coolers into a U-Haul on his first voyage to the desert wilderness said he was in too much of a hurry to make it to the desert Tuesday to talk. But another New Yorker, Ben Zion, asked a reporter to take a picture of him and his eight friends from Israel, all anxious first-timers. The rain delay was actually good for them, he said: "We got to get some rest and a shower."

Cuong Huynh, a four-time Burner and IT specialist from San Diego, California, said he's usually more concerned about dusty wind storms than rain, which is why he keeps his cellphone in a plastic bag.

Last year, it rained just before the festival, packing all the dirt and keeping the dust down, he said.

"Rain is really good for us, just not while you're out there," he said.

Destin Gerek, an 11-year veteran, thinks the delay will add a spark to the gathering.

"All this pent-up energy," said Gerek, 36, who teaches Burning Man workshops on the "intersection of sexuality and pirituality."

Gerek grew up in New York City, lives in California and has toured 25 different countries. "In all my travels, Burning Man is utterly unique," he said. "Absolutely nothing compares."

That was the general consensus among Burners Monday night as many of the RVs, VW buses and truck's pulling trailers gathered at a makeshift staging area under the blinking pink casino lights twinkling through the night.

It wasn't entirely unlike the contraptions that light up the weeklong desert gathering, which began at San Francisco's Baker Beach in 1986 and now culminates in the Black Rock with the burning of a towering wooden effigy Labor Day weekend. A record 68,000 people attended last year.

Still, the Wal-Mart wasn't exactly what seekers of "paradise on the playa" had in mind while driving hundreds of miles to the counter-culture festival, which offers theme camps, art exhibits, all-night music and guerrilla theater, along with a decent dose of nudity and a bunch of other stuff that's just plain weird.

One camp this year is "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust," where participants are invited to be photographed as they "strip naked, cover in Playa dust, paint cracks on the body and finalize with red hands to simulate a connection between oneself and the desert environment."

The journey's final hours, across a dry, perfectly flat lake bed that seems to stretch on forever, is usually part of the fun.

Unless, again, it rains, covering the clay-like surface with standing water that turns to mush under the wheels of a well-equipped "Burner" crew.

Barbara Quintanilla and Bill Sanchez, who drove up from Houston in an RV, said the delay was the least of their worries.

"We made a 2,000-mile trip and none of us had ever driven an RV before. It would only go 35 mph up hills,'' Sanchez said.

Jeff Cross of Orange County, California, said the brief detour hadn't deterred his group's enthusiasm.

"It's the best festival in the world," he said. "There's no cellphones, no internet, no money or corporate sponsors."

True enough, once they reach the desert.

But while they were stuck in Reno, the rain delay provided for one last consumer capitalist opportunity.

"We have a list of 27 things we need to get at Wal-Mart," Quintanilla said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Duck Will Stick Around LA Until September]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:53:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/234*120/Rubber+Duck+Tall+Ships+Fes.JPG

A giant rubber duck that has been drawing crowds to the Port of Los Angeles since its arrival last week will be staying in town a few more days, organizers said Monday.

The 11-ton rubber duckie – part art project, part boat – headlined the Tall Ships Festival this weekend, and proving incredibly popular for gawkers who flocked to see it.

It drew so many fans who wanted to take selfies with it before the festival that event organizers moved it into the World Cruise Terminal so visitors would have to stroll through the rest of the event’s offerings to see it.

The six-stories-tall duck will now remain in LA at the Downtown Harbor until Sept. 6, with daily events centered around the giant fowl, including “Make Your Best Duck Face” day, “Selfie” day and “Dressed Like a Duck” day.

Philanthropic fundraising events have also been added to the duck’s calendar, including a canned food drive and a save-a-bird day.

The duck will not be available for viewing over Labor Day weekend.

For more details on the Port of Los Angeles’ Duck Days of Summer, visit www.portoflosangeles.org

<![CDATA[Wiggly Lines Fixed After Confusing Commute]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 05:20:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/restriping+wiggly+lines.jpg

Crews worked overnight to correct a striping project on I-66 eastbound in Centreville, Virginia, after wiggly lines left many drivers confused Monday morning.

Temporary tape striping was laid down just over a week ago, but peeled from the roadway during the morning rush, Virginia Department of Transportation officials say.

Drivers who experienced the wiggly lines described the traffic as "horrific" and said they took alternate roads to avoid accidents Monday. 

"I had to bail off 66 and take the back roads to be able to get to work on time," one driver said.

Crews began fixing the lines Monday around 7 p.m. and work into the early morning hours to complete the job.

The tape was installed as a part of a temporary lane shift while crews rehabilitate the I-66 bridges over Route 29. The lane shift will be in place for three more weeks, VDOT says.

VDOT is working to determine what caused the striping to peel.

<![CDATA[Skateboarders Shred Buckled Napa Streets]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:50:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/cali.JPG

When NBC Bay Area photographer Jeremy Carroll snapped a picture of skateboarders shredding a stretch of road in Napa that buckled during Sunday's 6.0-magnitude earthquake, little did he know it was going to go viral.

But, after Investigative Unit reporter Vicky Nguyen tweeted it out, the photo took on a life of its own. "Meadowbrook Lane in Napa -- skaters finding upside to quake damage. Photo from #nbcbayarea photog Jeremy Carroll." Nguyen's tweet said.

International media picked up Carroll's photo, which shows what would have otherwise been a normal suburban street, except for the earthquake-made streets ramps that suddenly popped up during the earthquake.

"Wouldn't expect anything less from California," one Twitter user responded.

"Only in America -- that's the spirit!" said another tweet.

Photo Credit: jeremy carroll]]>
<![CDATA[Locals Create Panda-Themed San Diego Flag]]> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 12:34:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SD-Republic-Panda-Flag.jpg

When people think of San Diego a few things instantly come to mind: sun, surf and, of course, pandas.

After all, the San Diego Zoo is famous for the furry bears that consistently make headlines with their cuteness.

Now, the black and white bears have inspired two locals to create a new San Diego flag reminiscent of the California state flag, only more “panda-like,” if you will.

Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, and Martha Barnette, journalist and public radio host, joined forces this year to create San Diego Republic, a company that sells T-shirts featuring a flag of a panda bear.

The design looks similar to the California flag, with a panda instead of a grizzly bear. The iconic star and colored stripe on the design is blue rather than red, too, and below the stripe are the words “San Diego Republic.”

According to the company website, Carroll is the artist behind the flag that honors America’s Finest City. The T-shirts featuring the panda design cost $19.95 a pop and are sold online or at the Simply Local Store in Seaport Village.

The longtime San Diegans are also working on more panda-inspired products slated to be available soon on their website.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Accused of Trying to Enter Maternity Ward With Fake Babies]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:48:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fake-baby-th.jpg

Police in the San Joaquin Valley, California, arrested a woman on trespassing charges after they say she was trying to access a hospital maternity ward.

Merced police said 41-year-old Tonya Whitney and her husband carried dolls that looked like fake babies into Mercy Medical Center on two occasions in the past week. Whitney wore a nurses outfit, carried an old visitor’s pass and a fake baby in a carrier, authorities said. She is facing misdemeanor trespassing charges.

Whitney was turned away before she could get into the maternity ward, according to police, who said they found many life-like dolls inside the woman’s Merced apartment. Whitney said the whole thing is a misunderstanding. She said she sells the dolls and was only at the hospital to make a sales pitch.

Police said Whitney and her husband tried accessing the maternity ward at Mercy Medical twice, the first time on Saturday after visiting the emergency department. "They then returned Monday and they once again attempted,” Merced Police Capt. Tom Trinidad said. “Of course this prompted an immediate response from the hospital because they wanted to secure the safety of the children."

"If you look at it, could be suspicious,” Capt. Trinidad said. “Of course, the assumption could be made that she was there for the purpose of switching out a fake life-like baby with a real baby."

Authorities said hospital security staff noticed the couple's odd behavior, treating the dolls as if they were real, cuddling them and changing diapers.

Police said Whitney has at least one child. Her husband was not arrested.

Attempts to reach Mercy Medical staff for comment were not immediately successful.

NBC's Fresno affiliate KSEE-TV contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Calif. Bill: Dogs Can Eat Out]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:18:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/051213+Cupcake+dog.jpg

Sit. Stay. Dine.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday allowing dogs to dine with owners if seated in an outdoor section of a restaurant.

"It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner," Mariko Yamada, the assembly member who championed the bill, said in a statement. "I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’."

But those who aren’t as dog-friendly don’t have to worry – the law doesn’t force restaurant owners to allow dogs in establishments.

Owners have discretion on whether a dog is allowed to dine alfresco, according to the bill.

"Amidst all the horrific and depressing news around us, I hope this bill helps make people a little happier, and businesses who wish to accommodate diners with dogs safe from being unnecessarily cited," Yamada wrote on her Facebook page.

The restaurant also must have an outdoor entrance that doesn’t require the pet to walk through the restaurant to get to the outdoor area.

Dogs will have to be on a leash and well behaved, and they can’t sit on chairs or benches.

The bill also says that wait staff cannot have direct contact with a dog or pet them, and if they do, they must sanitize their hands.

Pets cannot be in the same area where food is being prepared.

Though the bill applies to restaurants statewide, cities can still pass local regulations that ban pooches from restaurant patios.

"We can't wait to legally come to dinner with our human friends," a Facebook group supporting AB 1965 wrote.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Sutter Brown, the first dog of California and Gov. Brown’s pooch, was not available for comment.

<![CDATA[Man Shows Up for Jail in T-Shirt With Picture of His Mug Shot]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:32:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1200x675-Burt1.jpg

A Maine man showed up to serve a 48-hour jail sentence this month wearing an orange T-shirt with a picture of his mug shot from his arrest on it.

Robert Edward Burt of Pittsfield was arrested in Hartland in June for operating under the influence. He was booked but released after posting bail.

He was later sentenced to serve 48 hours behind bars and reported to serve them Aug. 8.

Burt was released on Aug. 10. It was not immediately clear whether Burt has an attorney. A phone number listed under his name was disconnected.

Photo Credit: Booking Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Sailboat Put on Auction Block for $25]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:57:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/navy+sailboat+auction.JPG

Got $25? You could just buy yourself a sailboat, thanks to the U.S. Navy.

As part of a government liquidation, the U.S. Department of Defense is auctioning off a 50-foot sailboat to the highest bidder.

But this vessel isn’t what you’d expect from a former Navy craft.

The three-hulled, high-performance Contour 50 boat, which is now in Harbor Island, was used for “experimental training and recreational purposes,” according to Liquidity Services, Inc.

Built in the mid 2000s, the craft has undergone some modifications but still has its wing sail, rigging and mast assembly, as well as an inboard 40-horsepower engine.

If that’s the kind of recreational services sailors are privy to, it’s safe to say the Navy has some decent perks. Now, the craft is going to a private owner who’s ready to hit the open ocean.

Bidding for the sailboat starts at $25 on Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. PT and closes Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. The auction will be held online on the Defense Department’s auction site, www.GovLiquidation.com.

Photo Credit: Government Liquidation]]>
<![CDATA[Bighorn Sheep Rescued from Riverside County Canal]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:23:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BIGHORN+sheep-canal-Aug+18-2014_02.jpeg

An endangered bighorn sheep that fell into a La Quinta canal while trying to reach golf course grass was rescued by an animal control officer, officials said Monday.

The endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep looked fatigued and was having trouble keeping its head above the water.

"I was worried about whether he might pull back and force me in," Riverside County Animal Control Officer Kyle Stephens said in a statement. "When I boosted him out, I could tell he was helping me out as best he could."

Though the bigborn is able to scale steep rocky slopes, this one wasn't able to climb the slick walls of the canal.

After the animal control officer rescued the bighorn, the animal seemed to pause before disappearing into the hills, Stephens said.

"It was if he wanted to stick around just for a moment to say, 'Thanks,'" Stephens said.

Golfers took a break from playing to watch the officer save the animal's life, officials said.

"Everyone was smiling after the sheep was out and back into nature," Stephens said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[Man Gets Shot in Head, Walks to Hospital]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 04:17:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hospital+generic+722.jpg

A man in a New York suburb with a gunshot wound to the head was apparently able to walk himself to the hospital, authorities in Westchester County said Saturday.

The 24-year-old was shot in the head at around 10 p.m. Friday evening, according to police in Mount Vernon. The man then crashed his car into a house on 10th Avenue, before apparently walking himself to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, police said. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Authorities were investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The victim has a criminal history and has served time in prison, police said.

<![CDATA[Pot Plants Worth $5M Removed From SoCal Public Park]]> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 04:44:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pot+bust+oc+august+15+copy.jpg

Thousands of marijuana plants worth about $5 million were removed, in what authorities called an all day-long operation, from rough terrain at a Southern California public park Friday. 

Between 2,500 and 4,000 plants were found in the Muddy Canyon area of the Laguna Wilderness Park, south of the 73 Freeway toll road, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The “eradication” operation required authorities to hike up the rugged area and manually tear out the plants. A sheriff’s airship “Duke” was being used to take the plants to a nearby area to be packaged for evidence, officials said.

"There is a complex irrigation here with this grow," said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "As far as where exactly it's coming from, and the source, that's still part of the investigation."

Authorities were looking into the possibility of the grow's irrigation system being connected to the one in the park.

The plants were discovered by a nature conseveration group who were flying above the parks searching for non-native habitats -- otherwise known as weeds.

Investigators said the operation began around 7 a.m. and was expected to take between five and six hours.

An investigation into the plants was underway but authorities had no suspect information and it was unclear how long the plants had been growing.

<![CDATA[Uncanny: "Canstruction" Sculptures Made From Thousands of Cans ]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:31:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Canstruction_39%5B1%5D.jpg Sculptures made of cans are on display at Merchandise Mart in Chicago as part of the 8th annual Canstruction competition, during which teams create the large sculptures made of thousands of canned goods.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Walk-Morris]]>
<![CDATA["Ima Thief" Busted for Stealing: PD]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:07:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/imathiefbondcourt.jpg

A South Florida man who told police his name was Ima Thief was met by a judge's laughter when he appeared in bond court Thursday on charges he tried to steal two televisions from a store.

Police in Sunrise say Thief tried to walk out of the store with more than a thousand dollars worth of merchandise.

“You’re Ima Thief, sir,” Broward Judge John Fry asked the man while laughing.

“Yes, sir,” Thief responded.

“And you’re charged with grand theft,” Judge Fry said while shaking his head. “I’m going to call you Mr. Ima, okay? Alright.”

After exchanging good mornings, Judge Fry said, “I do sincerely wish you the best of luck. I just wasn’t really anticipating seeing this name.”

Police say the man tried to leave a store on the 3300 block of North University Drive in Sunrise with two television sets and three other items in his shopping cart. He was met by security at the door.

When he was told to go back in the store with the items, he refused, and when officers arrived and gave the same order, he tried to get past them and out of the area, police said.

The man refused to identify himself, other than to say his name was Ima Thief. He told police he was 34 years old.

In the arrest affidavit, Officer Andrew Hydes wrote, “the name and date of birth are fictitious and only provided in order for the subject to be processed at the Broward Sheriff’s Office jail.”

The man who identified himself as Thief faces charges of grand theft and resisting an officer. He’s also being held on a no-bond probation violation warrant related to a burglary.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Teen "Repeatedly" Struck With Flashlight: Police]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:09:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mug-shots-split-bay.jpg

Police arrested two men in their 20s on suspicion of felony assault where one of the suspects pulled a sweatshirt over a teenage boy's head and struck him "repeatedly" in the head with a large, metal flashlight.

The teen sustained moderate injuries and has been released from the hospital, according to Palo Alto Police Lt. Zach Perron.

All three knew each other, Perron said on Thursday, though what the fight was about is unknown. Apparently, the suspects had made prior arrangements to meet outside the teen's home, police said.

Detectives arrested 24-year-old Christopher Stadler Snyder of Palo Alto on Wednesday afternoon. The primary suspect - 20-year-old Logan Phillip Korecky of Palo Alto - self-surrenderred later that evening, Perron said.

Their arrests follow on what police say happened on Sunday about 4:00 a.m.in the 1400 block of Tasso Street. The teen was walking outside his home when he was allegedly attacked by Korecky, who also pulled a sweatshirt over the boy's face and struck him with a flashlight, police said. The boy fought back, and he grabbed the suspect's flashlight and ended up hitting Korecky in the head, police said. Korecky fell to the ground. That's when Snynder allegedly came to help, and he and Korecky fled in a black 1990 Acura two-door sedan.

The teen's family took him to the hospital for help, at which point police were notified. At the same time, Korecky was admitted to the hospital for a moderate injury to his head and was released the next day, police said.

Both Korecky and Snyder were charged with one felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto Police]]>
<![CDATA["Hot Cop of Castro" Does "Ice Bucket Challenge"]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:22:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0709-2014-ChrisKohrs.jpg

Officer Chris Korhs of the San Francisco Police Department -- also known as the "Hot Cop of the Castro" will be participating in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise money for charity, according to SFist.

For $30, you can witness the 36-year-old cop in person, "wearing something skimpy and having buckets of ice thrown on him" at The Cafe, the website reported. The show will benefit the Officer Down Foundation, a charity that helps family members of police officers killed in the line of duty.

The show may also benefit those who qualify as "top contributors" to the cause -- they'll receive a vaguely-defined extra-special bonus in "helping" Korhs prepare for the evening, Castro Biscuit reported.

It all goes down at 6 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA["She Just Took Off With It": World Yo-Yo Champ's Dad]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:47:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tessa-yoyo-th.jpg

Tessa Piccillo has certainly had her ups and downs in life. But she's certainly on an upswing this week. The 17-year-old Castro Valley High student was dubbed the top female yo-yo-er at the 2014 World Yo Yo Contest ending on Aug. 9. Gentry Stein of Chico won the men's division. Their combined No. 1 titles put not only the United States, but Northern California on the map in the tightknit yo-yo world.

"I feel great," Tessa told NBC Bay Area Wednesday morning, after her plane touched down from Europe on Sunday night. "I'm kind of like just coming down from an amazing week." Tessa scored 80.4, beating out Julia Gutowska from Poland who scored 75, and Corli du Toit of South Africa who scored 58. The 18-year-old Stein scored 88.2, beating Takeshi Matsuura of Japan who scored 86.7 and Iori Yamaki of Japan who scored 81.4. "It was cool," Stein said by phone, one week before he starts attending Butte Community College in Chico. "I was thinking it would only be a matter of time."

There were 300 contestants all vying for the title, according to the World Yo-Yo Contest. It was held outside the United States - in Prague - for the first time this year. With the title, Tessa took home a trophy and 3,000 Czech crowns, which is about $150. She is sponsored by the Georgia-based YoYoJam Inc., which also helps sponsor the world event.

Scores are based on cleanliness, variation, rareness, execution, music choice, body control and showmanship.

Though Tessa was "nervous and excited" on stage, performing before a world audience including her family back at home watching a livestream, she also felt her tricks were "clean."

In a video of the championship, Tessa slings, and twists and manipulates her fingers, the string and a red yo-yo with expert skill. Her eyes are mostly glued to her yo-yo. Her dimpled face cracks into a smile only when she hits a hard move and the audience cheers her on.

Her father, Eric Piccillo, a wine distributor, said he wasn't completely surprised his middle daughter of three is now world champion. "I knew she had a really good shot at it," he said. "Like any dad, I got the kids into everything," Piccillo added, saying he coached all of his daughters, Emma, 20; Olivia, 13; and Tessa in basketball when they were younger. And then one day, he slipped Tessa a yo-yo. "I had it laying around," he said, "and she just took off with it."

That was about four or five years ago. Tessa watched YouTube videos to teach herself how to walk the dog and much more. When she's not running track, or dribbling a ball, Tessa practices with her yo-yo about two hours a day during the summer, and maybe 30 minutes a day - if that - during the school year.

"It's like a form of meditation for me," she said. "When I'm stressed out, it just makes me feel relaxed."

Watch Gentry Stein take home the world title.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Tessa Piccillo ]]>
<![CDATA[SF Zoo Names Howler Monkey for Robin Williams]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:54:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/howler.jpg

Robin Williams was known for making his audiences howl.

That belly-laughing spirit is behind Williams' namesake at the San Francisco Zoo, which named a Howler monkey after the comedian in June.

"He's been such a friend and zoo supporter," zoo spokesman Danny Latham said on Tuesday.

Williams helped an auctioneer raise money for the zoo last year, and Executive Director Tanya M. Peterson wanted to thank him with the monkey honor before his visit there two months ago.

She picked the Howler, Latham said, because it was "loud and hairy," which Williams identified with "almost immediately."

The 63-year-old Oscar-winner took his life on Monday.

The zoo posted a photo of Williams on June 6 – his last visit there – visiting his namesake. The monkeys are native to South and Central American forests and are famous for their loud howls, which can travel for miles.

"The San Francisco Zoological Society is deeply saddened by the news of Robin Williams' death," the zoo said on its Facebook page. "Mr. Williams was a long time supporter of the Zoo and a dedicated conservation spokesperson."

Williams lived in San Francisco for many years, and then moved to nearby Tiburon in Marin County. He was pronounced dead at his home there after being found unconscious and not breathing around noon on Monday, the Marin County Sheriff’s office said. His death was ruled a suicide due to asphyxia.

The "Mrs. Doubtfire" star posted a photo of him feeding "Robin Williams" some peaches through a zoo fence two months ago and captioned the image: "Feeding "Robin Williams" @sanfranciscozoo. He's their newest Holller Monkey, named after me!"

Photo Credit: Courtesy of San Francisco Zoo Facebook page]]>
<![CDATA[Residents Set Up Dog Walker "Wall of Shame"]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:23:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dog-Poop-Shaming.jpg

Dog walkers who don’t clean up after their pets on one Brooklyn street could find themselves in for a surprise nastier than the messes their pooches leave behind, thanks to a group of fed-up residents.

The South Oxford Street Block Association said on its Facebook page that it is setting up an online “wall of shame” of photos and videos of dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets on walks.

The group's president, Abby Weissman, already posted surveillance footage of a woman walking off after her dog stopped to do its business by a tree box on a sidewalk.

Weissman encouraged other members of the group to be on the lookout for more scofflaw dog walkers and to send in similar photos and videos.

“There is no excuse for this behavior,” Weissman said in a Facebook post. “If you can’t clean up after your dog you shouldn’t have one.”

Some residents in the neighborhood said they supported the idea.

“I am with y’all all the way (about) catching dog-walkers leaving their poop on the ground,” one longtime Fort Greene resident said in a post to the group’s Facebook page. “Oh does that drive me nuts.”

Under city law, dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets could face a $250 fine.

<![CDATA[Caught on Video: Bear in Kiddie Pool Delights Triplets]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:47:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/bear+pool+monrovia+aug11.jpg

Toshi Myamoto heard the excitement in the voices of his 3-year-old triplets when they yelled, "big bear, big bear," and thought it was because they were still reveling in their recent trip to the mountain community east of Los Angeles.

But when he looked out the sliding glass door Sunday of his family's San Gabriel Valley house, he saw an actual bear sloshing around in the backyard kiddie pool on a 90-degree day. The family grabbed a camera and began recording the playful black bear, but Myamoto drew the line when the children asked whether they could go outside for a closer look.

After rolling around in the pool, the bear shook water out of its fur and climbed a fence, likely headed for the hills above Monrovia. Police told NBC4 they receive about one report of a bear sighting per day in the foothill community, even more on trash pick-up days.

California's black bear population is at about 25,000 to 30,000, with most living in mountain areas above 3,000 feet, according to what the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife calls conservative estimates.  In 1982, the statewide bear population was estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000.

Less than 10 percent of the state's black bear population lives in the central western and southwestern California region, according to agency estimates. About half of the population resides in an area north and west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Toshi Myamoto]]>
<![CDATA[Number Goof Leads to Years of Alcatraz Misdials]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:36:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/edtAP7106130276.jpg

Thomas Renault can’t escape from Alcatraz.

At least once a day, the phone rings in his San Francisco office with someone hoping to book a hard-to-get tour of the infamous prison. It’s another wrong number.

Renault doesn't lose his cool despite years of misdials. He even got a call to his business early Monday morning, on the 80th anniversary of opening day at Alcatraz Island.

"The number is off by one," he said by phone. "A long time ago, the fonts for 7's and 1's looked the same, and I think my number got reprinted on all the Alcatraz literature."

That misprint was about five years ago. At its peak, every third call to his business would be about an Alcatraz tour. Renault called the National Park Service, which runs the Alcatraz tours of the former prison, to correct the mistake. He wanted to let them know that his was not the place to book tours for the now-shuttered prison that once housed Al Capone and other notorious inmates.

Renault runs his own organizational development company and doesn't know the first thing about steering a cruise ship to the island, he said. 

"They were really good about it," Renault said of the park service correcting the error.

Alcatraz Cruises, LLC, the official Alcatraz ticket source for the National Park Service, has not returned calls for comment on Renault’s experience.

The misdials keep coming, mainly because dialers sometimes transpose 7 with 1.

Renault isn't bitter about the early morning, mid-day and late-night calls that sometimes come from across the globe. He has warm feelings for the folks who work at Alcatraz.

Last year, a group of business associates from Canada who visited him wanted to see Alcatraz. Renault told them, "Let's see what I can do."

He called up the cruise lines and told them he was the "wrong number guy." They comped him and his out-of-town guests free tickets and tours to the island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

It was Renault's first and only trip there. He said he really enjoyed it. But more than the old prison cells, or the history of the occupation of American Indians on Alcatraz, Renault said he especially loved the gardens.

"They were really so old and beautiful," he said.

To call about reserving a tour on Alcatraz Island, the correct line is 415-981-7625. Tickets are sold out, however, until Aug. 27.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Woman Caught With Cash in Girdle at Airport]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:39:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cash-generic-722x406.jpg

A 78-year-old Florida woman tried to fly on an international trip from Detroit Metropolitan Airport with almost $41,000 in cash hidden inside her girdle, bra and carry-on bag, federal authorities said.

A complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit said the Clearwater woman was trying to board a flight April 2 to the Philippines with her daughter. She initially said she had $200 in cash but submitted a form declaring she had $1,200, prompting questions.

During a search, Customs and Border Protection officers found $8,000 in wallets in her carry-on bag, $4,000 sewn into a cloth pouch and nearly $1,000 in envelopes, according to the complaint. She then told them she had $3,000 in her blouse and $2,000 sewn into the strap of her bra.

Officers continued to search and said they found about $21,000 in her girdle. The woman told authorities that she had recently sold her home for $120,000, wired some money to the Philippines and had planned to carry a portion of the money with her.

"She stated that she did not wire the proceeds to the Philippines this time because she thought it was safer to carry the money," according to the complaint.

Federal law requires travelers to declare if they are carrying more than $10,000. The woman hasn't been charged, but the government in the forfeiture complaint said it wants to keep the money. The Detroit News reported details of the request Friday.

Federal court records don't list a lawyer for the woman. The Associated Press left a message Saturday seeking comment from her at a telephone listing in Florida.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Is Potato Salad Guy California's Fault]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:51:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/5267386119_8bc31236f6_b.jpg

The Ohio man who raised $55,000 for potato salad on Kickstarter wrapped up his campaign this week. Kickstarter's blog helpfully broke down some of the numbers.

Turns out that California was one of the highest contributors to the oddball project, second only to Zack Brown's home state of Ohio.

The way Brown pitched the project, it seemed satirical, absurd, but also rather literal. "Basically, I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet," he wrote.

The goal was set at a reasonable $10. "It might not be good," he warned. "It's my first potato salad."

An ABC station in Columbus helped to drum up suport as did a post on the linksharing site, Reddit. Within days, Brown had attracted tens of thousands of dollars. Despite the $10 goal, the money kept pouring in until the official close of the campaign this week.

It ended up being an historic Kickstarter. Many campaigns have earned more money, but according to Kickstarter, few have earned more pageviews. They say the potato salad kickstarter gathered 4.1 million visits, making it the fourth most popular campaign page in the site's history.

California now has a place in that little piece of internet history, having pledged 17.2% of the total Americans contributed. Only Brown's home state, Ohio, pledged more with 17.6%. The third highest contributor was New York with only 9.5%.

It's easy to imagine that California, as the tech center of the country, might have a greater attraction to Kickstarter (if not potato salad per se) but a lot of this seems to be a function of population. California's has about 18 million more people than New York, meaning our pledges per capita are much more modest.

Californians pledged just a quarter for every thousand residents, while New York showed a smidge more dedication with $0.27 per thousand. Of course, all this pales in comparison to Ohio, which raised a good $0.84 per thousand.

Now that the campaign is over, there will, in fact, be potato salad. Ohio residents can attend "PotatoStock", an event Brown plans to throw in Columbus in September. But skeptics might be glad to learn that a lot of this money will be going into a foundation for hunger. As Brown explains on his project page, "while our little internet joke will one day be forgotten, the impact will be felt forever."

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo / Flickr]]>
<![CDATA[10K Pounds of Pot Behind Toys Boxes]]> Sat, 09 Aug 2014 19:41:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/barbie-boxes-weed.jpg

An estimated 10,000 pounds of marijuana was found hidden behind what appeared to be boxes of Barbie toys piled up in a tractor trailer Thursday evening, according to San Bernardino police.

The packaged weed was seized from a truck depot in San Bernardino around 7 p.m., police said.

The marijuana was packed in unmarked cardboard boxes that were hidden behind decoy boxes that appeared to contain "Barbie Sisters Camper" toys. Police had been working on an investigation that led them to the truck depot, and upon arrival, discovered the suspicious looking truck.

Police suspect that the marijuana was not grown in the United States. Lt. Travis Walker said that the truck was likely dropped to the undisclosed location, and was unaware of whether that was its final destination.

No arrests have been made but police say they have a lead on the suspects.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: San Bernardino Police]]>
<![CDATA[Shoplifters Swipe Lobsters, Rogaine, Whitening Strips: Cops]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:29:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Suffolk-County-Shoplifters.jpg

Police are looking for a pair of shoplifters who swiped some unusual items in unrelated thefts at Long Island stores recently.

A man stole $2,500 worth of Rogaine, toothpaste, teeth whitening strips and allergy medicine from a Target in Central Islip on August 5, police say.

He allegedly loaded up a cart with the merchandise and walked out of the store, where he was picked up by someone in a getaway car.

Police say that a week before that theft, a woman snuck out of a Hauppauge grocery store with a canvas bag filled with $65 worth of live lobsters.

Anyone with information about either of the suspects is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Photo Credit: SCPD]]>
<![CDATA[Toddler Causes White House Lockdown]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 08:22:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/whitehouse6.jpg

A pint-sized intruder managed to squeeze through the fence outside the White House Thursday evening, causing a lock down.

According to NBC News correspondent Chris Jansing, a toddler briefly got away from his parents just after 8 p.m. and entered the grounds of the arguably most famous -- and protected -- residence in the world.

A brief lock down was instituted by the Secret Service, and the scene was quickly cleared.

Neither the parents nor the tiny intruder was detained for questioning, according to NBC News.

"We were going to wait until he learned to talk to question him, but in lieu of that he got a timeout and was sent on way with parents," according to the White House pool report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Albino Redwood Moved 450 Feet]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 07:10:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/080714-rare-tree.jpg

Thursday was moving day for a rare redwood tree in Northern California's wine country. Workers dug up what’s believed to be the world's tallest albino redwood chimera.

It had been set to be cut down to make way for train tracks at the Cotati train station.

Crews used a crane to replant the 70-year-old tree at the station.

A spokesman for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency, known as SMART, told NBC Bay Area last month that moving the tree the 450 feet would cost $150,000.

"It's a complicated move," spokesman Matt Stevens said. "But when we determined the tree was this important to the community, we decided to relocate it."

Neighbors and tree experts campaigned to save the 52-foot tall tree after they found out about plans to cut it down.

According to SMART construction crews, the tree was growing about 10 feet away from a new railway.

Construction on the new 43-mile track will begin next April.

Arborists say the albino redwood is one of only 10 in the world.


Time-lapse video courtesy of The Press Democrat. NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Resembling Steve Jobs Photographed in Brazil]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:47:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/080714-jobs.jpg

Steve Jobs is dead. Long live Steve Jobs... in Brazil, according to one excited Internet user.

The web went nuts on Thursday after a photo snapped by a Reddit user made the rounds.

The photo, a seemingly-harmless selfie, has in the background a man in a wheelchair who bears a strong resemblance to the late Apple founder.

Reddit user "TheHorseSizedDuck" posted a photo saying, "Steve Jobs is in Rio de Janeiro, alive," Valleywag reported.

Jobs died in October 2011 of complications stemming from pancreatic cancer.

Photo Credit: Reddit]]>