<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usThu, 28 Jul 2016 17:24:46 -0700Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:24:46 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Police Find Package of Marijuana ]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:33:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cheltenham+Police+Marijuana.PNG

Police in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, are looking for the owner of a package of marijuana mistakenly left at the wrong resident’s home.

Earlier this week, a resident called the police department when they received a package they were not expecting, police said.

With no name on the box, officers checked the package for any indication of ownership.

"What we found was surprising to say the least. Two-kilos of high (get it?) quality marijuana,” a Facebook post by the department reads.

The department hopes to return the package to its rightful owner ... and maybe chat with them a little about it.

"If you are that person, please feel free to stop by the station to claim it. We'll be waiting."



Photo Credit: Cheltenham Police Department
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<![CDATA['Pokemon Go' Player Stuck in Tree]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 06:46:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Pokemon+go+tree+cemetery+east+greenwich+firefighter.jpg

First responders came to the rescue of a young woman who got stuck up a tree playing "Pokemon Go" inside a Gloucester County, New Jersey, cemetery Tuesday night.

East Greenwich Township Fire and Rescue posted a safety message about the woman's plight on their Facebook page as their "Public Safety Message of the Day."

The woman, who police described as a young adult, climbed a tree inside Eglington Cemetery to catch a Pokemon. When she couldn't get down, she called 911 and reluctantly admitted when rescuers talked to her that she'd been playing the game. "She was a bit embarrassed at that point," said Rob Gould III, the township's fire chief.

Rescuers used a ladder to get the woman down and didn't embarrass her any further by releasing her name.

They did ask people to think more about their safety when playing "Pokemon Go."

"We have noticed there has been an increase in foot traffic around town. Some of the sites in town such as the churches and the cemetery are game stops," Gould said.

"We were just trying to get the word out that people need to be cognizant about watching where they are going and what they are doing so no one gets hurt. This game phenomenon is happening everywhere, not just the urban areas and we don't want to see anyone get hurt. Luckily this person escaped injury."



Photo Credit: East Greenwich Twp. Fire and Police]]>
<![CDATA[Ducks Dumped, Rescued From New Jersey Mall]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 08:04:05 -0700 New Jersey state wildlife officials said they were looking to find homes for 92 ducks who were dumped at a mall in Secaucus. ]]> <![CDATA[Deputies Free Bear Inexplicably Stuck in Car]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 04:29:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bear-ezgif-2217839850.gif

A black bear found stuck inside a car near Denver left sheriff's deputies scratching their heads this week — it's not clear how the wild animal managed to get inside.

None of the car's windows were broken and the door handles could not be easily lifted, the Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff's Department said in a Facebook post Tuesday. 

"Somehow this medium-sized bear managed to open a door, crawl inside and close the door behind him," the post said. "Deputies could tell by all the moisture on the windows that he'd clearly been inside for a while."

Annie Bruecker told NBC affiliate KUSA that her mom woke her up Tuesday morning after discovering the black bear trapped inside Annie’s 2005 Subaru Outback. Bruecker said the SUV was parked in her driveway overnight with the doors unlocked, something she typically doesn't do.

"[My mom] screamed from downstairs," Bruecker told the station. "She said, 'Annie, there's a bear in your car.' And I thought that she meant that it broke a window, and I was like, 'okay, that's life.' But, no she actually meant that it was in my car."

The two sheriff's deputies at the scene decided to open the hatch of the Subaru to get the bear out, deputies said in the Facebook post. Unable to open it with the key fob, one of the deputies opened the door manually and the bear jumped out, quickly making his way back into the woods.



Photo Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Missing Google Street View, Faroe Islands Get 'Sheep View']]> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 19:32:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/faroe-islands-sheep-view.jpg

If you were to take a tour of Europe's tiny, rocky Faroe Islands in Google Street View, you might see a lot of sheep. 

But you can't take a tour of the Faroe Islands in Google Street View, unlike much of the rest of Europe. A resident of the North Atlantic islands has turned to her sheep to try and fix that. 

Durita Dahl Andreassen, of the tourist organization Visit Faroe Islands, has fastened a 360-degree camera, powered by a solar panel, to the back of her sheep. The camera takes photographs as the animal grazes along the hillsides that she can then upload to Street View. 

She's using this "Sheep View 360" program to get Google's attention, starting a petition to entice the Internet giant to turn its eye on the archipelago located roughly midway between Scotland, Iceland and Norway.

“The Faroe Islands may be rugged and remote but this collection of 18 islands in the North Atlantic also provide some of the world’s most magical landscapes and it is time that this hidden Nordic nation is revealed to the world,” Andreassen said in a post on the Visit Faroe Islands website Monday.

The Faroe Islands, a part of Denmark whose name may in fact derive from the Old Norse word "faer," meaning sheep, according to the CIA Fact Book, has a population of just over 50,000 people. That compares to 80,000 sheep, The Guardian reported. 

The sheep rarely notice the camera and continue to graze as it captures a picture a minute, Andreassen said in a video promoting the project. 

Sheep View imitates Google Street View, which captures images in 360 degrees that give users a sense of what streets look like from their computers or phones; it's available on most of America's roads, and throughout much of Europe as well, including even a few spots in the even-more-remote Greenland. Parts of Germany, Austria, Belarus and a few other nations are not included in Google's current European coverage.

Of course, Sheep View doesn't have quite the same reach as Street View, and Andreassen's project aims to have Google bring Street View cameras to the Faroe Islands, where she argues they're much-needed.

“In order to cover the big sweeping Faroese roads and the whole of the breath-taking landscapes, we need Google to come and map them,” Andreassen said. 



Photo Credit: Courtesy Visit Faroe Islands
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<![CDATA[Solano County Officials Uncover 38,000 Marijuana Plants]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 18:10:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/175*120/marijuana-98529895.jpg

Solano County sheriff's officials said Thursday that a drug enforcement team has found and eradicated more than 38,000 marijuana plants on Ryer Island just west of the J-Mack Ferry since last month.

The street value of the plants found at five large grow sites is approximately $114 million, according to the sheriff's office.

More than 10,130 plants were found along a 3-mile stretch of an irrigation canal in June and 28,000 more plants were found over the past few days, sheriff's officials said.

The plants were growing without permission on private property and the landowner suffered multiple acres in lost or damaged crops. The growers have not been identified and there have been no arrests, according to the sheriff's office.

The large, illegal grows are a threat to public safety that can lead to violence, and the chemicals and pesticides used by the growers drain into irrigation ditches and spread to other nearby crops, sheriff's officials said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mystery Explosion Sounds in Calif.]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 17:42:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/218*120/7-6-16-Alhambra.jpg

Susan Saunders began hearing the explosions at random hours, day and night, in February at her Alhambra home. The first one came at 3 a.m.

"I thought, 'Somebody's blowing things up,'" said Saunders, 60. "It really lifted my windows."

But she heard it again and again. Her neighbors started hearing it. Police were called. They received 114 calls about the noises since mid-February, according to Chris Paulson, the city's administrative services director. He told the Pasadena Star-News local government agencies did not know what the cause of the sound was.

City officials are baffled; one blast interrupted a city council meeting.

"All of a sudden we hear this loud sharp explosion — very quick," Paulson said. "We all flinched and looked around and didn’t see smoke or flames or light."

They called Caltech seismologists. But they don't have an answer.

"There's nothing seismic that I can see," said Jennifer Andrews, a staff seismologist at Caltech in Pasadena, who was asked by Alhambra city officials to check earthquake data for Feb. 22. "What that phenomenon might be, I don't know. I haven't heard the noises."

The seismograph picks up pressure waves from things like thunder and helicopter sounds. But the Alhambra explosions are baffling.

"Whether it's a man-made or natural phenomenon, I don't know," Andrews said.

She hopes to learn more by the end of the week.

Saunders, a school teacher, said the last time she heard it was in early June.

She suggests that schools set up a science project to have students investigate the source of the booms as part of a class project.

Residents, meanwhile, are speculating online about the source of the sounds. Is it a job for Mulder and Scully?

"I believe that anything's possible, but I don't think these are aliens," Saunders said.

Angie Crouch contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News]]>
<![CDATA[Repairs on Giant Sinkhole in East Bay in Final Stretch]]> Sun, 03 Jul 2016 17:36:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N7A+PLEASANT+HILL+FLOOD+VO+-+000004091.jpg

Repairs on a ruptured water line in Pleasant Hill were nearing completion Sunday after the break caused a large sinkhole.

On Friday at 9:04 p.m., the Pleasant Hill Police Department responded to reports of flooding in the area of Contra Costa Boulevard between Woodsworth and Gregory lanes.

A water line failed beneath the roadway surface of the southbound lanes and caused water to escape through the cracks in the street, flooding the roadway and nearby business properties, police said.

The continuous water flow also caused a large sinkhole to develop. Repairs on the water line initially were estimated to be completed late in the day Saturday, however because of the damage to the road surface, major repairs to Contra Costa Boulevard would likely not be complete until Sunday, according to Pleasant Hill city officials.

City officials said they did not anticipate the repairs to impact the Fourth of July Parade, scheduled for Monday morning.

]]>
<![CDATA[Man Pleads Involuntary Manslaughter for Killing His Friend]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 14:08:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-611475849.jpg

A 20-year-old man pleaded no contest today to involuntary manslaughter today for accidentally fatally shooting an 18-year-old friend with a shotgun at an East Oakland apartment last year.

By entering his plea, Isaiah Powell admitted that he shot Frank Franz in the back of the head with a shotgun in the 2700 block of E.C. Reems Court at about 12:40 a.m. on July 21, 2015. Powell was 19 at the time.

Powell's father called police and said his son had accidentally shot another man, according to a probable cause statement by Oakland police Officer Kris McClain.

Responding officers found Franz suffering a gunshot wound to the back of his head. He died at the scene, McClain said.

Powell admitted to police investigators that he shot Franz while playing with the shotgun, according to McClain.

Powell, who also pleaded no contest to grand theft in an unrelated case, faces 7 to 10 years in state prison when he's sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy on Aug. 18.

Powell's attorney, Timothy Murphy, who's unrelated to the judge, said the shooting was "a complete accident" and was "a tragedy" for both Franz and Powell.

Murphy, who has been practicing since 1988, said, "This is the saddest case of my career."

A group of Franz's family members and friends were in court today for Powell's plea but didn't comment on the case.

Powell entered his plea just before Judge Murphy was to rule on whether prosecutors had presented enough evidence at his preliminary hearing,which was held several months ago, to have him ordered to stand trial.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Raid Nets 600 Pounds of Illegal Fireworks]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 08:48:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/010216+fireworks+accident+opa-locka.jpg

Law enforcement officers seized 600 pounds of fireworks Thursday morning from an East Palo Alto man suspected of dealing them ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, police said.

East Palo Alto police served a search warrant at 3 Gardenia Court while investigating the sale of illegal fireworks, police said. The San Mateo County sheriff's bomb squad and narcotics task force helped them with the warrant.

The fireworks and explosive devices seized had a street value of over $12,000, police said. The resident had a small marijuana garden in the home's backyard as well.

Police arrested Michael Burt Fields, 54, for possession of the fireworks. He was booked into jail.

"The use of fireworks in our community causes a variety of public safety issues," police Chief Albert Pardini said in a statement. "If there was a fire in this residence, the explosion and fire would have destroyed the house and likely spread to the adjacent houses causing a significant damage and jeopardizing the lives of many people," Pardini said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Renegade Biker Tackles SF with Traffic Cones ]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 20:37:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Stafford_Springs_Bike_Hit_062116.jpg

Following the preventable deaths of two San Francisco cyclists earlier this month, one man is taking a stand to protect future bike riders from dangerous drivers – and he seemingly doesn’t care if he has to break the law to do it.

The man, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Adam, has been raising money and buying orange traffic cones to act as a barricade along more treacherous stretches of road. He’s been placing them on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin, disregarding the law in the process.

He says the countless times he’s been hit by car doors and run off the road while riding his bike in San Francisco inspired his renegade crusade.

He also says his horn and helmet camera aren’t enough to protect him, making his action a necessary one. The cones that he put up in the Tenderloin come with a note attached that says, simply, “Bikes to the right” and “Cars to the left.”

Adam, who created a Twitter page for his undercover advocacy efforts, has been calling on other riders to share trouble spots, so he can add cones there as well. He said he’s tired of waiting for public policy to make locations a safer place for cyclists.

“This is a top down leadership failure,” he told NBC Bay Area. “We want to put pressure on those individuals to make rapid improvement.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency didn’t seem too upset about the new street additions.

“It’s not legal but it is something we can appreciate,” said spokesperson Paul Rose of the SFMTA. He added that the city has been trying to improve safety measures, and noted that the city recently painted bike lanes along Golden Gate Avenue. Rose also said some permanent barriers will be installed.

But the cones? They're gonna have to go.

]]>
<![CDATA[Mayflies Swarm Ill. Bridge]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 16:25:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Mayfliest.png

Thousands of mayflies have taken over a bridge in central Illinois, creating a traffic nightmare for commuters trying to make their way across the city.

The Havana Police Department warned drivers of a massive mayfly swarm on its Facebook page Monday morning, posting two photos that showed the bridge over the Illinois River and a local squad car blanketed by the bugs.

At one point the mound of insects piled 6 inches high, according to the post, making for slick and dangerous roadways for vehicles trying to make their way through the mess.

“There were already motorcycle accidents due to this and cars stuck in the center of the bridge,” police said.

Newly winged mayflies will emerge from the waters where they live until adulthood in droves when triggered by the right temperature, according to The Wall Street Journal. The insects then die within a few days.

The City of Havana Street Department and IDOT are working to get the mayflies under control, authorities said.



Photo Credit: Havana Police Department
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<![CDATA[Marred by Violence, Pink Saturday Transforms]]> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 23:38:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5P+PINK+SATURDAY+VO+-+00001315.jpg

For years, Pink Saturday was one of the most popular places to be during San Francisco's annual Pride Week. But now, after being marred by violence in recent years, the once-raucous street party is hardly recognizable.

The transformation has been a long time coming: Pink Saturday, which at one time turned the Castro neighborhood into a spot flooded with hundreds of thousands of people, grappled with cancellation two years ago following a string of violent altercations, including a fatal shooting.

As a result, its longtime organizers, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, ended its sponsorship. The San Francisco LGBT Community Center swooped in and saved it last year, but staffers couldn’t said they weren’t equipped to do it again. 

So, it was a surprise to many when it was announced that the sisters would return as host. It was also a surprise when it was announced that the event would be held in an enclosed parking lot with a 21-and-up age requirement. 

“The event is going to be much more straightforward to manage, because it’s a closed off space with a gate…” explained city supervisor Scott Weiner at this year’s event. 

Organizers said they expected about 3,000 people to turn out to the party – a far cry from the 250,000 that showed up in the early aughts. 

The venue isn’t the only drastic change that ruffled some attendees the wrong way: Police presence was amplified, and private security was hired to keep an eye on the shindig. Anyone who wanted to enter had to consent to a metal detector scan, a physical pat down and a search of their belongings.

Several activist organizations said the heightened police presence alienated people of color, many of whom have had a contentious relationship with the city's police department, and have opted to sit out the celebration. 

"As an African-American, I'm disappointed that (Black Lives Matter) won't be here, but that's not going to stop me from representing my community," said Kippy Marks, a resident of San Francisco.

Weiner acknowledged that police and security presence at pride festivities was a complicated issue. 

"Pride is in a tough spot," Weiner said. "We want to strike a balance between providing freedom but also protection. We've had problems recently and to prvent something worse from happening, we need to have that security.

Some attendees were pleased to see the increased police presence.

"When I walked up, I saw two cops outside the Eagle and I said, “Thank you.” They’re hear to protect the people," Jeanette Coreris of San Francisco said.

The once-free event also charged an admittance fee of $10 this year, in hopes that money raised can benefit the victims of the Orlando massacre and for gun control advocacy.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[World's Oldest Cat May Be 29-Year-Old Feline From Tennessee]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:59:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/062416-worlds-oldest-cat.jpg A couple from Tennessee believes they own the oldest living cat in the world and have asked Guinness World Records to verify their claim.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[BART Takes Seat Hogging Rule a Step Further]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:03:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+NEW+BART+TRAIN+VO+-+00001819.jpg

Remember when it was announced that BART would be fining passengers for taking up too many seats? Well, that plan is officially rolling out -- and it's more detailed than many might have assumed.

It was announced Thursday during a board meeting that BART passengers who take up more than one seat during peak traffic times will face warnings, questioning and even fines from BART police if they continue to be cited.

According to SF Gate, violators of the seat rule will "have their names recorded and criminal records checked." 

The punishment extends from actions as small as placing a bag or briefcase on an empty seat, to fully lying down on more than one seat. BART police will start by taking down names of offenders, and after three warnings, violators will face a fine. Passengers who can’t meet the requirements because of health or medical conditions will not be cited.

This policy was adopted by BART in April, with plans to enforce the plan later in the year. BART police are making posters to plaster inside the train cars to alert riders of the new ordinance.

The ordinance defines commute hours, and the times where the train cars will be monitored, as weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.

These rules will start with a soft roll out on Sept. 1, and only verbal warnings will be issued during the first month. Enforcement will officially start on Oct. 1, where fines starting at $100 could be issued for the first violation.

After the second violation within one year, the fine will increase to $200, and then $500 for each additional violation within five years.

Alicia Trost, Communications Department Manager of BART, said that prior to any citation, a warning must be given. This might help protect tourists and first-time riders from facing a penalty, she said. 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Llama Enjoys Leaf Blower's Breeze at Houston Zoo]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:52:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/llama-breeze.jpg Fiesta the llama enjoys the breeze when zookeepers at the Houston Children's Zoo use a leaf blower to clean to clean stalls.]]> <![CDATA[Arrest After Distressed Emu Spotted]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 17:32:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burned+emu.jpg

A man was arrested on Monday evening in Campo, California, after discharging a shotgun when an animal control officer responded to an emu in distress outside his home, sheriff’s officials said.

Sean Michael Shepherd, 31, was taken into custody on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He was being held on $30,000 bail on Tuesday evening. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

Sheriff’s deputies said the bizarre situation surfaced about 6 p.m. Monday in the 28000 block of State Route 94. An animal control officer on patrol spotted an injured emu. As he approached the animal, a man came out of his home and exchanged heated words with the officer, deputies said.

The emu doesn't belong to the suspect, but is his neighbor's animal, officials said.

That’s when the man went inside and returned with a shotgun, firing it into the air, deputies said.

No one was hurt. The emu ran away and disappeared, according to authorities.

The animal’s feathers were apparently burnt. While it wasn't clear what caused the emu's injuries, the incident happened in the area of the Border Fire, which has spanned 7,500 acres near Potrero and caused some injuries to animals.



Photo Credit: San Diego County Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[U-Haul Used in Massive Motorcycle Robbery Found in SF ]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:13:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1741710.jpg

A U-Haul truck that was used to steal five off-road style motorcycles from a Petaluma sports shop Sunday was found in San Francisco Tuesday, a Petaluma police lieutenant said.

The vehicles valued at $38,000 were taken during a burglary at K&B Motorsports in the 300 block of Petaluma Boulevard North around 10 p.m., Lt. Dan Fish said.

The suspects loaded them into the U-Haul and fled with a ramp to the cargo area still dragging on the roadway, Fish said. The windows of the business also were smashed, Fish said.

Officer Brandon Hansen located the U-Haul on Washington Street and attempted to stop it but the vehicle fled.

Police pursued it on southbound U.S. Highway 101 to the Samuel T. Freitas Parkway in Marin County and the California Highway Patrol took over the chase, Fish said.

The U-Haul drove into San Francisco and San Francisco police were requested. A CHP helicopter lost sight of the vehicle in the area of 13th and Howard streets when it drove under an overpass, Fish said.

The Sonoma County Auto Theft Task Force took over the investigation and San Francisco police found the abandoned and empty U-Haul in the area of Candlestick Park on Tuesday, Fish said.

Task Force detective Adam Wirtz said there is no description of the suspects because the un-witnessed theft happened at night.

The damage to the motorsports shop was significant but no estimate is available, Fish said.

The stolen motorcycles are a Kawasaki KX 100 and KX 450, Yamaha KX 450, KTM 350 XC-F and KTM 350 SX-F.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Sonoma County Auto Theft Task Force at (707) 565-1377.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google Reacts to Grandma's Super Polite Searches ]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 21:01:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/731664041.jpg

A U.K man's tweet about his grandmother's oddly polite internet use has gone viral, and its even garnering the attention of Google. 

It all started last week when Twitter user (and apparent nosy grandson) Ben John found his "nan's" laptop open and was immediately amused by her search queries. It became clear to him that she types "please" and "thank you" when using Google's search engine. Naturally, he tweeted a photo of his find and the whole thing went viral: 

John told BBC News he was curious about the odd habit and asked her why she did that. 

"I asked my nan why she used 'please' and 'thank you' and it seemed she thinks that there is someone, a physical person, at Google's headquarters who looks after the searches," he told the news organization. "She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker." 

His original tweet quickly went viral, for many different reasons. Some thought his grandma was sweet, some thought her etiquette was a throwback to generations past and others just got a good chuckle out of it. Eventually, the tweet made its way back to Google, whose company headquarters are in the Bay Area's Mountain View.

Apparently, employees there found the whole thing just as amusing as the 45,000 other people who favorited the tweet. The UK team even personally answered her question Wednesday — meaning that, this time, there really was a real person answering her query:

Ben's nan, whose real name is May Ashworth, hasn't let her newfound viral fame change her. Ben told CBC News they celebrated the "weird" experience with a cup of tea — and, in a toast to the internet age, a selfie: 



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Salinas Gas Station Briefly Becomes Airbnb]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 18:09:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/235*120/salinas.PNG

Sanborn and Market Gas in Salinas was briefly advertised as an Airbnb rental for anyone who ever dreamed of spending the night inside a convenience store of a gas station, KSBW reported.

But as of Thursday, that listing is no longer on the Airbnb site. It's not clear whether Airbnb or the gas station's owners took down the listing.

For just $50 a night, Sanborn and Market Gas offered all you can drink – hot water, other beverages, coffee, and ice cream – a toilet and basic needs. All guests needed to bring along with them was an air mattress.

“Rather than stay at a real nice comfy luxury place, this has a real nice experience,” owner Pete Shen told KSBW.

The gas station promoted itself on Airbnb’s website as, “Gas station stay over,” where guests are offered a safe night’s sleep with security cameras, good lighting and a location on a busy street corner.

“I’m the guinea pig in the commercial business so far for Airbnb,” Shen told KSBW. “After our first stay over, see how it goes, maybe people might like it; maybe people may not like it. So we’ll see how it goes.”



Photo Credit: KSBW]]>
<![CDATA[Political Consultant Loses Bet, Runs Naked ]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 11:09:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/56531571-sacramento-state-capitol.jpg

This probably isn't the weirdest thing to happen in the California Capitol during election week, but it may be the funniest. 

Unlike most other states, California's rules for Senate races stipulate that the two candidates leaving the primary with the most votes will appear on the general election ballot, regardless of party affiliation. That means it's possible for two Democrats (or two Republicans) to face off in November. 

Skeptical of that outcome, political consultant Paul Mitchell bet that two Democrats wouldn't be the top two candidates vying for Barbara Boxer's open senate seat. He said, as the Sacramento Bee reports, that the odds on that happening were so unlikely that he would run naked around the Capitol if it did.

Well, as we know now, it happened. California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, both Democrats, collected the most votes and will appear on the November ballot. 

Like virtually everyone in politics, Mitchell claims he stayed true to his word. He posted on Twitter a link to a map that tracked his supposedly naked run. The location stamp shows that he was indeed at the Capitol building on June 8, and the lap he did around it was titled "streaking." 

He told the Bee there were only a few skateboarders nearby, and that he tried to make the most of natural coverage, including tents around the Capitol. 

No word yet on if Mitchell is hedging bets for general election candidates.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Caution: Alligator Crossing]]> Tue, 07 Jun 2016 08:59:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/060616+gator+in+crosswalk.jpg

An alligator was caught on camera using a crosswalk in Flagler County, in northern Florida, Monday morning.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, the gator was spotted in the bushes near the intersection at Cypress Point Parkway and Cypress Edge Drive in Palm Coast.

FCSO Cpl. Kenny Goncalves said the gator was more than 5 feet long. It was sitting by the crosswalk and suddenly scampered across the roadway in the crosswalk.

"He just walked in the crosswalk like it was normal," Cpl. Goncalves said.

Officers stopped traffic to allow the gator to cross, which they said took about 30 seconds.

A trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called, but before his arrival the gator went to a wooded lot and back to its natural habitat.



Photo Credit: Mark Olson / FCSO Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Prankster Trolls San Jose Wikipedia Page]]> Sat, 04 Jun 2016 21:45:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trolling+San+Jose.jpg

A mysterious prankster has been altering the Wikipedia entry for the city of San Jose, and it appears the Stanley Cup Final taking place in the city may have something to do with it. 

The Wikipedia entry for San Jose has been altered in recent days. The page had listed Mike Sullivan, a former hockey player for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the team's current coach, as the city's mayor as of Saturday morning. It looks to be a jibe against the San Jose Sharks, who are facing off against the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final. 

By Saturday evening, the troller's edits seem to have been fixed and the real mayor, Sam Liccardo, was listed in his correct position.  



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Men Steal $4,700 in Red Bull: Police]]> Sat, 04 Jun 2016 12:39:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/222*120/redbull-stolen-060416.jpg

Red Bull may give you wings, but five Oakland men won't be flying anywhere after being arrested for allegedly stealing $4,700 worth of the energy drink. 

According to the Vacaville police department, five men were nabbed Friday evening after they were spotted wheeling out a cart full of allegedly stolen Red Bull and loading it into a U-Haul. 

The men have been identified as Ronnie Yarbrough, 30, Torn Saelee, 19, Jafar Neal, 29, and Jabari Neal, 29. The fifth suspect is a juvenile and his identity has not been released. All of the men are from Oakland, police said. 

Pictures taken by officers show the U-Haul van packed with the energy drink. Police say the Vacaville grocery store was not the only place the alleged thieves visited. 

"After searching the van, it was evident that our local grocery store was only one of many the crew had graced with their presence," Vacaville police wrote in a Facebook post. 

The four adults have been booked into Solano County Jail. The minor allegedly involved in the theft has been booked into juvenile hall. 



Photo Credit: Vacaville Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[SFAlert Sends Error Tsunami Warning]]> Fri, 03 Jun 2016 13:57:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/goldenGettyImages-180103576.jpg

Subscribers to SFAlert, a text-based alert system run by the city and county of San Francisco, got quite an alarm Friday morning when an erroneous Tsunami warning was sent to their phones.

The warning told San Francisco residents at 8:46 a.m. that the city was on "TSUNAMI WATCH" and advised evacuation preparations. An additional message followed, clarifying that the tsunami warning was sent in error.

According to Francis Zamora, who works as an external affairs manager for the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, the warning was sent during a system test.

"It was part of a regular test and training,” he said. “When we do these trainings they don't usually go out like they did today….how that occurred and why it occurred is something we’ll be reviewing."

The emergency management team apologized for any inconvenience the warning may have caused.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Great Dane Rescue]]> Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:26:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dog+rescue+in+Middletown+1200.jpg

Firefighters come to the rescue on a daily basis, but the rescue of a dog in Middletown was out of the ordinary.

Firefighters responded to Hendley Street around 7:30 a.m. Friday after a resident spotted a Great Dane on a neighbor’s roof.

Firefighters said the dog’s owners were at work, so firefighter Mike Souza climbed a ladder to rescue the dog.

At first, the pup growled, but it soon warmed up to Souza, who guided the dog back through the open window.

“He had to really scooch to get back in because he was really tall,” Souza said. “I think he was happy to be back inside!”

Souza, who has been on the job for 28 years, said this was a first for him.

“A really unique situation, a unique call,” he said.

A woman who identified herself as the dog's owner responded to the Facebook post said the dog was in the basement with her other Great Dane and he is a "Houdini" who apparently pushed his way through a locked door and opened windows to get outside and "say hello to all the new neighbors."



Photo Credit: Middletown Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Cream Truck as Prom Ride ]]> Wed, 01 Jun 2016 18:15:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/b87c89b5-f944-4ea3-89ac-23575cb10170.jpg

A Connecticut teen had a "chill" ride to his prom this year. 

The Bristol teen shocked classmates when he showed up to the senior prom in an ice cream truck. 

Zack Nichparenko said he wanted to take a "non-traditional" approach to prom. 

"I don't think anyone took me seriously at first," the teen said about his idea. 

The 17-year-old said he was outside his house about two weeks before Bristol Eastern High School's prom on May 27 when Daren's Ice Cream Truck stopped by. That's when he got the idea. 

Nichparenko said the ice cream man, Daren Carroll, has been a staple in his neighborhood since he was roughly 4 years old. 

Carroll said he's been asked to plenty of events in the past, like weddings or birthday parties, but never a prom.

"Never has anybody asked me to go the prom in the ice cream truck," Carroll told NBC Connecticut. "Never, ever."

The day of the prom, Carroll met with the high school senior at Slider's Grill and Bar parking lot to take some pictures with family before dropping Nichparenko off at the dance around the corner.

"At first I tried to talk him out of it," Carroll said, noting that at his own prom, no one was outside to see anyone arriving. "But he was right. When we showed up, about 200 people were there."

When Nichparenko and Carroll rolled up in the ice cream truck, they were stopped by security at the gate and asked what they were doing there. 

"I have a delivery!" Carroll told them. "I have a guest!"

No ice cream was sold to students outside the prom at Aqua Surf in Southington because the teens were about to go inside to eat, and Carroll said he didn't want to take away from that. 

"I wanted to do something that not only people will remember, but something that hasn’t been done before," Nichparenko said.

An ice cream truck ride to prom in Connecticut is apparently a first, which comes as no surprise from the aspiring entrepreneur. 

Nichparenko said his plans after high school is to start a dryer vent company in Bristol and has started drafting business ideas with his dad. 



Photo Credit: Zackery Nichparenko
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<![CDATA[South Bay Parents Brace for Possible Norovirus Outbreak ]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 18:15:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/STOMACH+VIRUS+PKG+KNTV+-+00005308.jpg

After a Norovirus scare, parents of students at Willow Glen Elementary School in San Jose have been warned: If your children are sick, keep them home.

Administrators say that between Monday and Thursday, at least 21 children reported symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever – all symptoms that are characteristic of Norovirus, which can cause temporary inflammation of the stomach and large intestine. It can take days to recover from the bug. A large group also reported feeling sick Friday.

Parents received emails and phone calls from the school’s administrator, advising them to keep any student who feels ill home and to take precautionary measures. Once at school, students were reminded to keep rough housing to a minimum and to frequently wash their hands.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is now monitoring similar situations at San Jose's Horace Mann and Walter L. Bachrodt elementary schools. 

"We noticed an increase here at Willow Glen Elementary of kids that had vomiting and diarrhea," said Melinda Landau, San Jose Unified School District's health support manager. "Since we've had situations over at Horace Mann and Bachrodt, we really jumped on it immediately."

Parents said they weren't too worried, citing similar outbreaks that happened when they were young.

“I think these sort of things happen once in a while,” said Kevin Smith, a parent. “When I was a kid we had lice scares and that sort of thing. I think it is something that will be around a few days and go away.”

The school has closed off access to the playground and sporting equipment. Upcoming field trips have also been axed from the calendar, as directed by school district officials.

Although the news has been disappointing to students, parents have been supportive of the school’s decision.

"The school has done a great job at communicating to all the parents to keep your kids home if they're sick and do extra hand washing, so we're feeling good about sending him today,” said Angela Ritcey, whose son attends the Willow Glen.

She continued: “In a public school, where they are all together, this is bound to happen…”

Officials say students are being taught preventative measures, including wearing gloves when needed. But whether it is norovirus or something else, the illness seems to be spreading.

"I've heard from other nurses and other districts that they are seeing it in their schools too," Landau said.

As of Friday evening, public health officials emphasized that there has not yet been a single confirmed case — mainly because the symptoms pass quickly and make it difficult to get lab samples, they said.

But the department is working closely with every district where symptoms appear, and apparently the phone keeps ringing.

Parent Julia Castro hopes that her kids are "just feeling under the weather, and a little rest and a three-day weekend should perk them up."

When asked how she reacted to news of the outbreak, Castro replied, "With caution, definitely. You hear about cruise ships with the norovirus and just how completely and quickly it spreads."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Flintstones Car Parked Illegally]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 18:06:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/052616+key+west+flintstones+car.jpg

Authorities in Key West spent Thursday trying to meet the Flintstones, or at least the owner of an illegally parked car that looks like the modern Stone Age family's.

City officials said they found the vintage car in the right of way in the 800 block of Emma Street Thursday.

The city posted a photo of the car on its Facebook page, and the owner was found a short time later.

"Thanks to everyone who helped on this! And thanks for all the funny remarks. This island is awesome!" the city's post read.



Photo Credit: City of Key West
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<![CDATA[Ospreys Drop Fish, Kitten From Nest]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 06:52:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/osprey+nest+stratford.jpg

The Stratford Fire Department is plagued with an unusual problem: Two ospreys that built a nest above the station are dropping sticks, fish and even a kitten in the path of unsuspecting firefighters below.

The ospreys, which can grow up to 2 feet long with wingspans over 5 feet, have nested on a communication antenna at the fire station along the Connecticut shoreline.

They often drop large sticks, and in some cases entire fish — their main source of food — in front of the main entrance below.

"We have ospreys that have built a nest up there and basically it's causing a little bit of problems with dropping stuff down on the main entrance of the fire station," said Stratford Fire Chief Robert McGrath.

An air conditioning unit was damaged last week after a dropped bass landed inside. Firefighters said the birds dropped a kitten on Sunday.

The other concern is that the nest could prevent the communication antenna from operating properly, according to the chief.

"It could compromise the signal going back and forth from the two towers," said McGrath.

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, osprey are no longer endangered. The nest can be moved if there are no eggs inside, which firefighters say is the case with this one.

DEEP officials said April and May are egg-laying months for the birds, so firefighters are working on a plan to get the feathered visitors to leave.

"It's entertaining, I can tell you that, at best. But really, it's a nuisance," McGrath said.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Venus: San Francisco's Tallest Sculpture]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 11:57:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TRINITY+HEAD+STATUE.jpg

A statue of Venus was finally hoisted atop the Trinity Apartments in San Francisco Monday morning, making the 92-foot sculpture the tallest in the city.

The statue is the centerpiece of a public art-filled piazza in the heart of the apartment complex at Eighth Street between Market and Mission streets.

The massive, stainless-steel sculpture, which is slightly shorter than the Statue of Liberty, is part of a collection designed by renowned artist Lawrence Argent.

The statue means a lot to Yvonne Sangiacomo, whose late husband, Angelo, was the developer of the apartment complex that commissioned the Venus statue. Sangiacomo arrived in a construction hat and wheelchair to witness the feat. She wiped a tear as crews hoisted the stainless steel face on top of the roof.

"He used to always say it would be beyond his imagination how beautiful it was," said Mia Sangiacomo, co-owner of the Trinity Place.  "He'd be surprised that a little Italian guy who flunked kindergarten and lived in his living room until he  was 34 could create so much.  He was a very humble man.  And I think he would've surprised himself how much he did."

Her husband asked a Denver artist to work with a company in China to put the stainless steel statue together; it arrived in San Francisco in 70 pieces. Then it was welded and bolted into 11 stacks, placed on top of each other. Venus is now the centerpiece of what builders are calling 'Piazza Angelo' at the apartments, a plaza that is quite popular in Italy.

"Call it spiritual, call it whatever," co-owner Jim Sangiacomo said. "He trusted the artist to do something really outstanding."

Trinity Place consists of four residential high-rises with a combined 1,900 units. The current Phase 3 under construction is scheduled to be finished by March 2017. Phases 1 and 2 were completed in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

"I'm very proud of my dad," Mia Sangiacomo said. "Very proud.  I miss him.  He did a great job.  Great job dad."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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