<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usWed, 29 Mar 2017 00:32:29 -0700Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:32:29 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Martial Artist Breaks 111 Cement Blocks with His Head]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:09:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT+INT+BLOCKS+032817.00_00_07_03.Still001.jpg

Sixteen-year-old Bosnian taekwondo martial artist Kerim Ahmetspahic performed an incredible stunt over the weekend. He smashed 111 cement building blocks with his head.

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<![CDATA[Do Cats Actually Love Their Humans?]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:51:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_CATS_LOVE_HUMANS_032717_1-149065840584500001.jpg

Does your little feline friend actually love you, or are they just using you for food? Scientists from Oregon State University isolated 50 cats, depriving them of all stimuli before reintroducing four things: human interaction, food, scent and toys.

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<![CDATA['Heaven's Gate' Mass Suicide in San Diego: 20 Years Later]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:17:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-26-17-Heavens+Gate+Rancho+Santa+Fe+Home.JPG

Exactly 20 years ago Sunday, 39 people died in a mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California. "Heaven’s Gate" made headlines around the world.

On March 26, 1997, a 911 call came into the San Diego Command Center.

“This is regarding a mass suicide. I can give you the address,” the caller said.

Shortly after, San Diego Sheriff’s arrived to find a grisly scene: 21 men and 18 women were found dead in the residence. They were all covered in purple blankets and all wearing the same black Nike shoes. None of the bodies had any noticeable signs of trauma. Toxicology results showed the victims had drunk a lethal cocktail of phenobarbital mixed with apple sauce and vodka.

“As they went in they kept finding more bodies and more bodies,” retired San Diego County homicide detective Chuck Curtis tells NBC 7 of the officers who discovered the scene. Curtis was the first officer to the scene. “It was an astonishing thing to them that they thought, ‘Is this ever going to end?’”

Marshall Applewhite, the leader of Heaven’s Gate, made an ominous video at the time. “They’re about to leave and they’re excited to leave," he said of his followers. Applewhite was found among the dead. 

Heaven’s Gate preached that suicide would allow the followers’ souls to be taken to Heaven by a UFO hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet.

"Every once in a while the topic will come up in conversation," Dr. Jack Baca, pastor of a nearby church tells NBC 7.

The Heaven’s Gate mansion in Rancho Santa Fe has been demolished and even the street name has been changed.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, and haven’t seen anything like it since,” Curtis remembers.

Today, Heaven’s Gate lives on with a replica display at the San Diego Sheriff’s Museum in Old Town.

“The locals who come in remember the case,” Curtis says. “They’re all very interested in the case and sometimes express shock or sadness about how people could do this to themselves.”

"I don't know that everyone or anyone frankly ever totally heals from tragic events. There's always a scar left," Baca adds. "There's always an imprint left, and in some ways that's part of what makes us human and gives us a chance to grow."

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Mortician May Have Fake Credentials]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:19:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Jonathan-Ryan.jpg

A Torrington man is accused of hacking the system of a mortuary science school and forging paperwork that would qualify him as a licensed mortician, according to court documents. 

Jonathan Ryan, 22, was charged with second-degree forgery and second-degree computer crimes after police said he forged documents to make it appear like he graduated from the Mortuary Science program at Lincoln College in Southington. 

Ryan then helped prepare dozens of bodies for burial at Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home, which is owned by his father. 

Last year, the director of the school, Dr. Paul Warren, contacted state police to investigate possible forgery at the school in June. 

Warren said that Ryan had created a fake Lincoln College transcript by forging the college seal and registrar's name on a transcript in May 2015. Ryan also created a fake email address for a professor so he was able to get an apprentice embalmer's permit from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.

Between sometime in 2015 and 2016, Ryan worked embalming or assisting in the preparation of roughly 60 bodies for burial at his family's funeral home in Torrington. 

State police said Ryan's father Christopher Ryan told investigators he did not know his son obtained his credentials improperly.

Ryan said the reason he forged documents to become a mortician apprentice was actually part of a two-person investigative journalism project, according to arrest warrant documents. 

According to the arrest documents, Ryan wrote in a submission to the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, in part: 

"I find flaws in unsecure websites and human processes and my partner converts my findings into wonderful articles. We have been working on this little project of ours for over two and (sic) one half years, with little success until stumbling onto your website. It is mind boggling that you would leave such an important form, the Verification of Graduation and Projected Graduation Date forms, COMPLETELY (sic) unsecured. There was no password, there was no authentication, and there was no oversight for 6 (sic) months."  

State police did find that Ryan attended Lincoln College from Sept. 4, 2013 to Dec. 1, 2013, but never got his degree. 

Neither Lincoln College or the Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home returned NBC Connecticut calls for comment. 



Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Man Smashes Glass Door After Chicken Order Delayed]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:13:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Brooklyn+Park+Popeyes+Death.jpg

Police in New Hampshire are looking for a man who allegedly broke a glass door at a Popeye's Chicken after he was told his order wouldn't be ready for another five to 10 minutes.

Salem police said an older man with white hair entered the Popeye's on Route 28 around 6 p.m. on Wednesday and ordered some fried chicken. When he was told that his food wouldn't immediately be ready to eat, he stormed out of the restaurant and kicked the door, smashing the glass.

While police are hoping to find the suspect to make him pay for the damage, they also had a little fun with the incident, saying in a press release, "Why did this guy run away? Because he is chicken."

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Officer Scott Naismith at 603-893-1911.


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<![CDATA[New Cup Blowing Challenge Goes Viral]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:26:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-528392918.jpg

From college students to TV anchors, everyone’s trying out the latest Internet craze. 

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The Cup Blowing Challenge has provoked a new slew of videos on social media. Participants place one cup inside another, with a third cup several inches away. They blow on the top cup, hoping it will jump from one bottom cup to the other.

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Many have tried the Cup Blowing Challenge; not all have succeeded. Some used it as an excuse to procrastinate before finals, while others were in the middle of a work break. Still others just wanted to master a new viral trick before their children.

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“Just completed first cup blowing challenge!! Yes b4 my kids could do it,” one Twitter user wrote.

Critics are calling the trend yet another millennial time-waster, and cup enthusiasts are claiming they blew cups long before it was cool. 

Some are even using the fad for political commentary.

“We might not know how to properly choose a president but at least we can come up with things like the #cupblowingchallenge,” tweeted one user.



Photo Credit: Roderick Chen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[What Do Russians Dream About? Putin, Among Other Things]]> Sat, 18 Mar 2017 08:25:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-615648564.jpg

Vladimir Putin is everywhere in his country's public life. Now it turns out the president is even gracing ordinary Russians' dreams, NBC News reported.

A web search engine said the strongman was the only real individual "to appear often in people's dreams," according to analysis of users' online queries.

Yandex, which is more popular than Google in Russia, said it typically received half a million requests a week about the meaning of nighttime visions.

Putin was the only individual named in Yandex dream searches, which turned up "fish" as the most common query, according to its survey, based on six months of queries.

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Photo Credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Films 'Never-Ending' Gator Parade in South Florida]]> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:18:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/17211880_1366410816738053_6562114182429541711_o.jpg

A Florida wildlife photographer captured a seemingly infinite procession of alligators in South Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve.

Photographer Bobby Wummer filmed the half-hour parade of gators just after sunrise on Monday.

"These Florida gators seemed to be endless, it was the never-ending train of gators of all sizes," Wummer shared in a Facebook post with photos and video of the parade.

The reptiles of various sizes were filmed crawling out of a pond to enter a deeper body of water on the opposite side of a dirt road.

The gators ranged between 2 feet and 12 feet in length, according to Wummer.

The wildlife photographer most recently made viral headlines after snapping a photo of a massive gator snacking on a smaller gator at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County back in April 2016.



Photo Credit: Bobby Wummer
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<![CDATA[Wild Turkey Captured After Chase in SF]]> Fri, 17 Mar 2017 17:28:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/240*120/PicMonkey+Collage51.jpg

This wild turkey has been causing a lot of trouble in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.

San Francisco Animal Control officers released this mugshot after capturing the bird Thursday.

Turkeys are considered a hazard, running in and out of traffic.

This turkey even led officers on a wild chase, even flying up to a rooftop before its capture.

Officers say the bird will likely spend some time at a rescue center before it's released.



Photo Credit: San Franisco Animal Control]]>
<![CDATA[Humpback Whales Mysteriously Organize in Super Groups: Study]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:16:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/humpback-whales.jpg

Some humpback whales are starting to gather in larger-than-usual groups, but scientists aren't sure why, according to a new study published earlier this month.

Typically, these whales are considered solitary mammals, traveling alone, in pairs or temporarily in small groups. Scientists normally call groups of up to 20 humpbacks “small,” according to the study published in PLOS One.

So when groups of 20 to 200 whales began to gather off the coast of South Africa, scientists were shocked.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Ken Findlay, the lead author of the study that described the unusual whale behavior, told New Scientist.

The study, which gathered data from three occasions in 2011, 2014 and 2015, pointed out that the whales were in a peculiar location to begin with. Typically, humpbacks migrate to warm waters to breed in the winter and feed in colder waters near Antarctica during the summer. But they were found in the summer months off the warm waters of South Africa.

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, biologist and executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said it’s hard to say just how unusual the new study’s super group is. She was not involved in the new study, but she has studied whales since 1990. Asmutis-Silvia has seen scores of whales in Cape Cod, and said the large gathering in South Africa might be a result of cultural learning among the whales of that region.

“This is a novel feeding technique for South Africa that hasn’t been seen before,” she said. “It could be indicative of some cultural shift in that population of humpbacks.”

Large groups of whales tend to indicate areas of the ocean that are rich in prey. The 200-whale groups have exhibited clear signs of feeding behavior, according to the study. Scientists who conducted the study say that reasons for the abnormal behavior remain “speculative.”

Despite heavy whaling that has previously endangered the species, humpback whales have made a strong comeback in recent years.



Photo Credit: Jean Tresfon via PLOS
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<![CDATA[Traveler Caught with About 80 Reptiles in Suitcase]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 09:55:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/snake.jpg

A Czech citizen traveling back from South Africa was caught at the Vienna Airport trying to smuggle about 80 reptiles in his suitcase.

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<![CDATA[Boaty McBoatface: New Sub Gets Popular Name]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 04:50:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ALR-Boaty-McBoatface-2.jpg

British officials didn't want to name a polar research ship "Boaty McBoatface," but they had no problem giving the name to a new submarine, NBC News reported. 

Last year, the British government agency Natural Environment Research Council asked the public for help naming its new ship. The public chose "Boaty McBoatface," but the agency opted to honor a famed naturalist instead

So "Boaty McBoatface," the remote-controlled sub, will accompany the RSS Sir David Attenborough. It makes its first voyage Friday through the icy waters of Antarctica collecting data and samples. 



Photo Credit: National Oceanography Centre]]>
<![CDATA[Watch Kids Adorably Interrupt Live TV Interview]]> Fri, 10 Mar 2017 09:08:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/154664086-bbc-generic.jpg

Two children who waltzed into a live TV interview about a very serious matter of world affairs became a viral video sensation Friday. 

The precocious pair walked into a BBC interview with Pusan National University professor Robert Kelly, an expert on Korea, during a discussion on the ramifications of the ouster of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Video the BBC posted on Twitter had more than 6,000 retweets and 7,500 favorites after about four hours, and other posts with the video had tens of thousands more.

First, a little girl in glasses and a yellow sweater opened the door to the office where Kelly was speaking and sauntered up to him. It was his daughter, according to the BBC's write-up of the high jinx.

"I think one of your children has just walked in," presenter James Menendez said.

Kelly tried to soldier on, but things only escalated from there.

An exuberant baby in a baby walker next entered the scene. Then, in a slapstick moment worthy of Buster Keaton, a woman burst through the door after the kids. She hastily rounded them up and pulled them out of the room, with a few books knocked over in the process.

"My apologies," Kelly said, with a slight snicker.

NBC has reached out to Kelly for comment. He hasn't yet addressed the issue on Twitter, except to tweet his thanks to someone who pointed out he's "a damn good Korea analyst."

In other kids-do-the-darndest-thing news Friday, a different video went viral for showing a girl fly through the air after the door she was opening at her Ohio home was caught by powerful winds. (She was okay.)

And a toddler threw a temper tantrum in front of the Queen of England, who handled the outburst gracefully



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Ice Marathon Brings Over 200 to Siberia]]> Wed, 08 Mar 2017 04:41:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ICE+MARATHON.jpg

200 runners from across the globe ran in the 13th annual Baikal Ice Marathan on Tuesday in the Irkutsk region of Russia.

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<![CDATA[Arkansas Student Prove Sobriety by Juggling During Stop]]> Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:07:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_juggler0307a_1500x845.jpg

Blayk Puckett went the extra mile for Sgt. Keith McKay of the University of Central Arkansas police. Puckett decided to pull out his juggling pins and put on a show to prove his sobriety after he was pulled over for a broken brake light.

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<![CDATA[Gator in Florida Catches Lunch on the Golf Course]]> Fri, 03 Mar 2017 12:15:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+GATORFISH+030317.00_00_14_10.Still001.jpg

A golfer was surprised to see an alligator on the 10th hole of the Seven Springs Golf and Country Club in Trinity, Fla., but was more surprised what was in the gator’s mouth.

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<![CDATA[Perfect Timing Beer Truck Crash On Cam]]> Thu, 02 Mar 2017 15:51:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_beercrash0302_1920x1080.jpg

 

A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper's dashcam captured an amazing coincidence of timing during a recent crash.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka had pulled over a driver for speeding.
"You guys have anything to drink tonight?" Smaka asks the driver.  As the driver answers, squealing brakes can be heard.
Trooper Smaka and the driver are then pelted with beer bottles and cans.
"Well, over 1,000 pounds of beer shattering and a tidal wave of beer coming at me," Smaka says.
A truck driver had lost control of his beer rig, spilling his load. 

 

A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper's dashcam captured an amazing coincidence of timing during a recent crash.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka had pulled over a driver for speeding.

"You guys have anything to drink tonight?" Smaka asks the driver.  As the driver answers, squealing brakes can be heard.

Trooper Smaka and the driver are then pelted with beer bottles and cans.

"Well, over 1,000 pounds of beer shattering and a tidal wave of beer coming at me," Smaka says.

A truck driver had lost control of his beer rig, spilling his load. 



Photo Credit: KSNV]]>
<![CDATA[Putin-Shaped Lollipops on Sale in Russia]]> Thu, 02 Mar 2017 13:43:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_INT_PUTINLOLLIPOP2_030217-148848694826900001.jpg

Candy stores across Russia have been selling lollipops in the shape of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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<![CDATA[Watch: National Zoo Lion Gets Dental Checkup]]> Sun, 05 Mar 2017 06:36:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Luke+the+Lion.jpg

A dentist from Virginia is sought around the world for his rare specialty: Exotic animals. Recently, News4 got up close to Luke the Lion at the National Zoo in D.C. as veterinary dentist Dr. Barron Hall performed his regular checkup.

Yes, even lions need to go to the dentist.

Wild animals need dental work because an unhealthy mouth can make an animal sick. Also, alpha males like Luke can instinctively hide a bad tooth causing them pain because it is a sign of weakness, which can get them killed in the wild.

Hall, of Vienna, is in demand at zoos across the country and sanctuaries around the world. He's been in the mouth of some fierce beasts.

“I’ve worked on black bears, grizzly bears, brown bears, pretty much every cat,” Hall said. “A hippo I haven’t done. Polar bear’s on my bucket list.”

Hall belongs to Veterinarians Without Borders, which provides free healthcare for animals in sanctuaries throughout the world and train locals to care for the animals around them.

For his cleaning, Luke was put under.

“Since they’re wild animals, you can’t just go and lift their lips,” Hall said.

A team of medical technicians monitored Luke’s vital signs and kept the 400-pound carnivore peacefully asleep. Colorful mittens kept his massive paws warm.

Luke came to the National Zoo when he was a 1-year-old.

“Luke was brought in to our facility from a facility in South Africa, which means his specific genetic line was not represented in North America at all,” National Zoo big cats curator Craig Saffoe said.

That gave breeders a fresh gene pool to grow the lion population in the United States, and Luke proved to be a star.

“He's been an outstanding breeding animal,” Saffoe said. “He’s produced five litters, four of which have all survived. He’s had a great run for us.”

At 11 years old, Luke is slowing down a bit, though he could live into his 20s.

Staring into the mouth of a lion, one gains renewed respect for the king of the jungle.

“You could extract every tooth in their mouth, the power of their muscle, they’ll still pop your head like a grape if they wanted to,” Hall said.

Luke left the exam with teeth intact and a mouth cleaned and ready to roar.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Dinner 160 Feet Above Dubai]]> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:51:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_INT_DINNERSKY_022817-148830311516800001.jpg

Ever thought about dining 160 feet above ground?  Thrill-seeking diners in Dubai had a chance to eat suspended by a construction crane.  

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<![CDATA[Florida Man Accused of Stealing, Selling Neighbor's Monkey]]> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 04:13:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/022717+zoe+stolen+monkey+Oscar+Leiva.jpg

A Homestead man is facing a grand theft charge after he allegedly stole, then sold, his neighbor's pet monkey.

Oscar Leiva, 21, was arrested Sunday night and booked into Miami-Dade jail, where he was being held on $5,000 bond Monday, records showed. Attorney information for Leiva was not available.

Officers responded to the neighborhood in the 400 block of Southeast 8th Street after the monkey's owner, Vanessa Di Gennaro, reported it missing, according to an arrest report.

Di Gennaro said she was cleaning her home and had left the monkey, Zoe, in her backyard. When she went to check on her, the monkey was missing.

"She's my baby, she's my kid. She goes everywhere with me. I love her to death," Di Gennaro said.

Di Gennaro said she had posted fliers in the area and received a call from a witness who told her the monkey, a white tufted marmoset valued at $2,900, was at Leiva's home, the report said.

Officers found Leiva, who said the monkey was in his kitchen and he thought it was a rat so he caught it. He said he realized it was a monkey so he put it in a cage in his room, the report said.

Leiva said the monkey climbed on his shoulder and he tried to grab it but it tried to bite him, the report said. He said he fell asleep and the monkey ran away.

But the witness said Leiva told him he had stolen the monkey and sold it for $900, the report said.

The suspect's mother believes he's innocent. She told NBC 6 in Spanish that her son does not have the animal.

"I'm surprised that there are people that are that evil on one hand and also people that are good that say 'hey, this is where she is,'" Di Gennaro said.

Di Gennaro said she's worried about Zoe's safety and is offering a $2,000 reward for her return.

"She's a very delicate animal on top of everything, she's not like a dog that you can leave alone. They get into things, they hurt themselves really easy. You have to watch them," she said.



Photo Credit: Vanessa Di Gennaro, Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Benton City Man Fights for Rights To Use Service Horse ]]> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:38:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Fred_Therapy_Animal.png

Benton City resident Tim Fulton is fighting for the right to keep his service horse, Fred, to complete the daily walks prescribed by his doctor. Fulton recieved a $100 fine from Benton City for walking with Fred in residential areas, which are prohibited to horses. 

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<![CDATA[Rare Quadruplet Calves Born in Ireland]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:28:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_INT_QUADCOWS_022317-148789925482500001.jpg

A farming family in Ireland's County Clare is celebrating the births of four nearly identical calves. The odds of this happening are quite incredible.

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<![CDATA[Man Drives Half-Mile with Police Officer on Hood]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:05:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_INT_CHINAPOLICEHOOD_022317-148789366995300001.jpg

A man in China drove away from a checkpoint with a police officer on the hood of his car.  The incident was captured on surveillance footage.

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<![CDATA[Florida Man Claims Dog Accidentally Shot His Girlfriend]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:30:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_12161325.jpg

Diesel the dog did it.

That's the claim a 25-year-old Jacksonville man made after his girlfriend was shot in the leg while she was sleeping.

Brian Murphy's girlfriend, Summer Miracle, was taken to the hospital late Tuesday with non-life threatening injuries.

Murphy told police he was sleeping next to Miracle when his dog Diesel woke him up. He went outside with the dog and then came back into the home.

According to an incident report, Murphy said it was really dark inside the home and could not see anything. That's when he said he saw a flash and heard a bang.

Murphy said he believes Diesel jumped on the nightstand where his gun was sitting and it went off, shooting Miracle.

The boyfriend called 911 and got a towel to put on Miracle's leg, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The girlfriend told police she was sleeping and was not sure how she got shot.

No charges were filed.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Video: Tiger Knocks Drone out of the Sky]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:10:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-23-17-tigers-and-drones.jpg

Incredible video captured at a Siberian tiger enclosure in Northeast China. China's state broadcaster released this footage showing the animals chasing a drone until one jumps up and knocks it out of the sky. Footage from a second camera shows the tigers gathering around the drone on the ground and tearing into it until they were scared away because it started smoking. Staff members say they use drone chasing to keep the tigers fit.



Photo Credit: NBC ]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Turns to Police Department for Help on Math Homework]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:08:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/16640810_10109124209283375_6508236704912685509_n.jpg

When a 10-year-old girl needed help with her math homework, she sought assistance from an unlikely source — her local police department.

“I’m having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?” Lena Draper wrote in a Facebook message to the Marion, Ohio Police Department.

The department responded, and — surprise, surprise — it had answers

The first equation: (8+29)x15.

“Do the numbers in the parenthesis first so in essence it would be 37 x 15,” the department replied.

Then a second problem: (90+27) + (29+15)x2

“Take the answer from the first parenthesis plus the answer from the second parenthesis and multiply that answer times two,” the department wrote. “Work left to right doing the work inside the parenthesis first.”

The young student’s mother, Molly Draper, posted screenshots of the exchange on Facebook soon after learning what her daughter had done.

“My daughter. Cause… she’s my daughter,” Draper wrote. “Thank you, Marion, Ohio Police Department, for truly building relationships with the community.”

As some were quick to note, however, the department solved the second equation inaccurately.

Using the order of operations, the problem is actually solved by adding the numbers in parentheses first, multiplying the second sum by two and adding that total to the sum of the numbers in the first parentheses.

“Hoping it is truly the thought that counts since apparently I cannot! Especially since the answer was wrong, it was very nice for Molly to acknowledge our attempt to help her daughter with some math homework,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. “We do aim to be a full service police department after all. Have to say this is the first time we have been asked by a young Facebook follower to help with homework through messenger but hey, we SERVE and protect. Maybe should have mentioned that History was my favorite subject before answering. Well, we know now!”

The officer writing on the department's page wondered what made the child call on them for help with her homework, saying it wasn’t unheard of “but still pretty rare.”

“The fact that this particular problem (third grade math) was over our head was not the important part,” the department wrote. “What's important is that an environment has been created in this community, quite deliberately that nurtures a sense of connection and belonging and trust. Because those things exist, this rather popular Facebook post was able to happen.”



Photo Credit: Marion, Ohio Police Department/ Facebook
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<![CDATA[Suspected Drunk Driver Does Cartwheels During Sobriety Test]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:04:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dui-suspect1.jpg

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Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico arrested a woman they say did cartwheels during a field sobriety test Friday.

Bryelle Marshall, 23, was arrested and charged with battery, aggravated DWI and driving with an expired license plate after her vehicle was reported driving recklessly

Albuquerque police said an officer found Marshall asleep behind the wheel of her parked car.

After waking Marshall up, officers asked her to step out of the vehicle. Police said she appeared to be extremely intoxicated and was having a hard time listening to the officers' commands.

The incident was recorded by one of the officers' body cameras.

A DWI officer was giving Marshall instructions to complete the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), to which she responded by laughing and doing cartwheels in front of the officers.

The officer then attempted to demonstrate the tests to Marshall when she completed another cartwheel and struck the officer in the back.

At that point, Marshall's opportunities to complete the tests were over and she was arrested.

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Photo Credit: Albuquerque Police Department
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<![CDATA[Bull in Wild NYC Chase Dies Hours After Capture]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:40:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/runaway+cow1.jpg

The rogue bull that escaped from a Queens slaughterhouse and led police on a wild, hours-long chase through neighborhood streets Tuesday, ducking under caution tape and sidestepping cops, has died, NYPD officials confirmed.

The bull, which was seen with at least a dozen tranquilizer darts in its side over the course of the miles-long chase, died at some point before 2:30 p.m., nearly three hours after it escaped a Beaver Road slaughterhouse and went on a free-for-all through Queens, dodging police in Jamaica and South Ozone Park before it was captured in someone's backyard.

A cause of death for the animal wasn't immediately clear, but a spokeswoman for Animal Care Centers of NYC said it died during transport. It wasn't clear where the animal was being taken at the time and city officials had no further comment. The remains will now be taken to a crematorium, officials said. 

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The animal's demise culminates a wild chase that featured daring efforts by police and passersby to bring the bull into custody. Live video from Chopper 4 showed the bull penned between two houses at one point Tuesday as authorities attempted to wrangle it. Chopper footage then captured the animal outmaneuvering law enforcement, dodging an officer who had jumped atop an emergency response vehicle, and ducking under yellow caution tape as it galloped down the middle of a street and onto a sidewalk.

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Passersby appeared to give chase as police, on foot and in department-issued vehicles, pursued the animal. Several times it appeared officers had managed to corral the animal, but each time the bull shot through makeshift barriers and started running down the street again.

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The bull appeared exhausted by about 12:15 p.m., settling in the middle of a street as officers armed with tranquilizer equipment tried -- and failed -- once again to take the animal into custody. About 10 minutes later, the animal was apprehended in someone's backyard; its legs were tied to keep it immobile as at least a half-dozen police officers crowded around it. 

Cows escaped slaughterhouses at least twice last year, in January and April. In the second case, comedian Jon Stewart took possession of the bull and transferred it to an animal sanctuary he owns. 

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Tuesday's crazy chase vaulted the bull to the stuff of Internet legend in a manner of hours. It becomes the second "viral" animal to die in the city in the last few months. In December, a white-tailed buck who was granted a last-minute reprieve from euthanasia after a days-long back and forth between the city and state died in Harlem. The one-antlered buck died while state officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation were arranging relocation. The city blamed the state for its death; the state blamed the city.

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Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York
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<![CDATA[Student Grades Ex's Apology Letter]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 05:34:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-553200253.jpg

A University of Central Florida student's reaction to his ex-girlfriend's plea for forgiveness is making the rounds on social media.

Nick Lutz received a hand-written, four-page letter from his ex, who apologized for the mistakes she made in their relationship.

But the lovelorn woman's effort did not make the grade for Lutz. He marked up her apology letter, gave it a D- and said he sent it back to her.

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The college student posted the letter to Twitter on Friday with all of his corrections and suggestions in red ink. The tweet has since garnered more than 311,000 likes and 106,000 retweets.

He first noted an indention error and criticized the long introduction. Then, he scrutinized the body and statements made throughout the letter.

His ex blamed herself while admiring her former lover. However, she made one detail clear: "I never cheated on you."

Lutz wrote in response: "Strong statement. No supporting details to support your hypothesis."

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The UCF student corrected a misspelling too: "loose" to the more appropriate "lose."

At the end of the four-page letter, Lutz pointed out that his ex had a "strong hypothesis but nothing to back it up." He added that "details are important" and that she needs "to stop contradicting your own story and pick a side."

Lutz signed the letter, "good luck."

We're not sure if his ex has moved on, but it sure does look like Lutz is not interested in rekindling the love.

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Photo Credit: Westend61, Getty
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<![CDATA[Ohio Woman's Final Jab at Trump]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:02:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_116963857380.jpg

As her loved ones mourn their loss, one Ohio woman found a source of comfort in her own passing – by taking a shot at President Donald Trump in her obituary.

Elizabeth "Liz" Smith died Monday at the age of 87, surrounded by her family, who then made her political views well known.

"Liz is smiling now, not to be living during the Trump presidency," her obituary reads.

A member of Huron County Democratic Party and a poll worker, Smith’s daughter told the Sandusky Register that her mother "doesn’t like the man, she never has."

"She had seen that in somebody else’s obituary and kind of made a note of that," said Deborah Lucal.

Smith was a lifetime member of Girl Scouts USA and an avid volunteer, as well as an active member of her church and a travel enthusiast.

Despite Smith’s preference for blue when it came to her politics, Lucal told the Register that her mother requested everyone wear red to her funeral, in celebration of her life.

Smith was hardly the first to make a political statement in her departure.

A Pennsylvania chiropractor who passed away in Jan. 2016 at the age of 70 had just one request for his mourners: "In lieu of flowers, please don't vote for Donald Trump."

His son told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he and his brother decided to include the line after seeing a New Jersey woman’s obituary the previous August, asking loved ones not to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Though commentary came from both sides of the afterlife aisle, one Virginia woman’s obituary broke with the partisan trend in her post-mortem political plea.

"Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God," her May 2016 obituary said.



Photo Credit: Rogelio V. Solis, AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Scientists Say They’ve Discovered a Lost Continent]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:55:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-zealandia--.jpg

Scientists say they have identified an underwater continent two-thirds the size of Australia — and they are calling it Zealandia.

This newly proposed continent is about 1.74 million square miles in size and 94 percent submerged. But at its highest points, it protrudes above the ocean surface in the form of New Zealand and New Caledonia, according to a paper published in GSA Today, the journal of the Geological Society of America.

"If we could pull the plug on the oceans, it would be clear to everyone we have mountain chains and a big, high-standing continent above the ocean crust," Nick Mortimer, a geologist at GNS Science in Dunedin, New Zealand, told Reuters.

Zealandia is believed to have broken away from Australia about 80 million years ago and sunk beneath the sea as part of the break-up of the super-continent Gondwanaland.



Photo Credit: GSA Today]]>