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Freaky Friday news: Polite burglar offers to fix screen

Unusual news nuggets from around the globe:

VINELAND, N.J. — Authorities say a burglar offered to repair the screen that he damaged breaking into a New Jersey home after he was confronted by the homeowner and told her he meant to break into a neighbor’s home. The homeowner, Maria Cardona, tells The Press of Atlantic City that the man made her nervous as he told her about his family and kept a hand in his pocket. She says he was “really polite,” but she just wanted him to leave. Vineland police say nothing was stolen during the encounter Monday.

Holy kudzu! Vine in NC town said to resemble Jesus

KINSTON, N.C. — Some residents in an eastern North Carolina city say a patch of kudzu growing on a utility pole is more than an invasive vine. They see a likeness to Jesus Christ on the cross. The Free Press of Kinston reports that people began noticing the growth last week. Kent Hardison runs Ma’s Hot Dog stand nearby. He says he was getting ready to spray it with herbicide until he noticed the resemblance. Hardison and his customers think the vine can be seen as a symbolic reminder that God is watching over people. But the likeness could also cause some problems. A University of Maryland biology professor says kudzu costs power companies about $1.5 million a year to repair damaged lines.

Doctors pull stubborn moth from Colo. boy’s ear

PARKER, Colo. — Doctors have removed a stubborn moth from a 12-year-old Colorado boy’s ear after trying in vain to kill it. In the end, the moth was removed with tweezers. Wade Scholte of Parker, southeast of Denver, says the moth crawled into his ear Sunday night after he fell asleep. He awoke screaming and crying. After trying to remove the moth at home, the boy headed to the emergency room with his mother. The doctors numbed Wade’s ear and then tried drowning the moth to kill it. Finally they used tweezers and pulled it out alive. According to KUSA-TV, doctors put the moth in a cup to give the boy as a keepsake.

Maine homeless man charged for charging cellphone

BANGOR, Maine — Police have brought charges against a homeless man in Maine who helped himself to an outdoor electrical outlet to charge a pair of cellphones. A Bangor police officer checking downtown businesses discovered 23-year-old Shaun Fawster charging his cellphones in an outlet hidden behind some flowers. Fawster was charged last weekend with theft of services, as well as carrying a concealed weapon after the officer found a folding knife tucked underneath his shirt. The Bangor Daily News says Fawster was later released from jail. It’s unknown if he has an attorney.

NYC airport invaded by turtles, delaying flights

NEW YORK — Aviation authorities say dozens of flights were delayed at New York’s Kennedy airport after about 150 turtles crawled onto the tarmac in search of beaches to lay their eggs. The parade of slow-moving diamondback terrapins began about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says that soon there were so many on one runway and nearby taxiways that controllers were forced to move departing flights to another runway. The FAA says flight delays were averaging about 30 minutes. The turtle migration happens every year at Kennedy. The airport is built on the edge of Jamaica Bay and a federally protected park. In late June or early July the turtles heave themselves out of the bay and head toward a beach to lay their eggs.

Only beans in suspicious container in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A large 2- or 3-gallon tin labeled “beans” raised suspicion when it turned up Monday in the parking lot of a Department of Social and Health Services building in Walla Walla. Employees called police who evacuated the building and called in a Washington State Patrol bomb squad. The Union-Bulletin reports technicians X-rayed the tin, but density of the contents prevented a good image. So they used a “disrupter” to blast a hole in the tin. White beans spilled out.

Baboon, possibly from amusement park, on run in NJ

JACKSON, N.J. — A baboon is on the loose in New Jersey. Police say they received two calls Thursday afternoon from people who saw the monkey, and two more residents reported this morning that a baboon was walking around in their neighborhoods. But despite an ongoing search of the areas, the elusive animal remained on the lam into this afternoon. Authorities say the baboon may have escaped from the nearby Six Flags Great Adventure’s Monkey Jungle. The park has 150 baboons. But park officials are not positive one of their animals is missing because they are not counted daily. The Great Adventure baboons are fenced in and implanted with microchips. Park officials say no breaches were found in the fences around Monkey Jungle, and no signs of a potential escape have been found. Officials say anyone who spots the roaming baboon should call police — and not approach the animal, even though baboons are not typically aggressive. The first baboon sighting came Thursday, when a driver said the animal was near Interstate 195, and later that day a woman said a baboon was sitting on her back porch in Jackson. This morning, two residents in developments not far from the park reported a baboon was in their neighborhoods.

‘I’ll drink to that law’: Ohio Statehouse adds bar

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s Capitol building in Columbus will be a place for making laws and making drinks. The Columbus Dispatch reports the Ohio Statehouse’s first full-service bar will open next month within an existing café. The bar on the building’s lower level will sell beer, wine and liquor. The Ohio agency that oversees the Statehouse says the bar will have flat-screen televisions and will be open to the public at certain times. It also will host special events and what are described as “private happy hours.” One thing it won’t allow: guns. A new Ohio law permits some concealed weapons to be carried into bars and other places where alcohol is served. But the public is prohibited from taking firearms into the Statehouse.

Colorado man spends 15 hours in air-conditioning vent

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A 28-year-old Colorado man was rescued dusty but alive after he was trapped nearly 15 hours in an air-conditioning vent. Englewood police say they responded to calls for help Tuesday from the roof of an elementary school, where they discovered a man trapped 30 feet down the vent. Firefighters had to cut open the vent to pull the man out. The Denver Post reports that the man, who wasn’t identified, told police he stole a friend’s purse Monday night and threw it on the roof. When he climbed onto the roof to get the purse, he fell into the vent and became stuck.

Atheist billboard removed from church land in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A billboard supporting atheism has been taken down from property owned by an Ohio church after the pastor complained. The ad put up in Columbus by the Freedom From Religion Foundation featured the beaming face of a local nonbeliever and the man’s message: “I can be good without God.” The sign had upset Rev. Waymon Malone of Christ Cathedral Church. The church owns the land where the billboard went up. Malone was unavailable for comment, but his mother-in-law told The Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday that the pastor ordered the ad be removed. Account executive Jay Schmidt with Matrix Media Services calls the billboard’s placement “an unfortunate oversight.” The ad agency says the sign came down days after it was installed last week and is back up at another site.

Woman, 89, dents car with cane, helps nab duo

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Pennsylvania police say an 89-year-old woman used her cane to dent the car of two people who stole her friend’s purse, and authorities were able to track down the getaway car based in part on the cane’s imprint. New Castle police Chief Thomas Sansone says the woman and her 82-year-old friend were accosted outside a pizza shop Sunday. Police say 27-year-old Jerry Brown Jr. grabbed the purse but couldn’t peel away before the 89-year-old banged the car’s trunk with her cane. Police found the car, and, based on the description of the robber — and dents matching the cane — arrested Brown and 21-year-old Tatiana Vargas. The two are jailed in Lawrence County on robbery charges and on warrants for unrelated crimes. Online court records don’t list attorneys for them.

Man pays $1 Orlando parking fine 35 years late

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Michigan man has paid a $1 Florida parking ticket more than 35 years overdue. Orlando police say they received Stanley Baker’s payment for a Nov. 7, 1975, parking ticket Tuesday. The 89-year-old Pentwater, Mich., man included a note reading, “Better late than never!” Baker’s son, Fritz Baker, says his father found the ticket in a book bought at an Orlando garage sale in 1995. He says his father decided to pay the fine as a lark, even though it wasn’t issued to him. Baker sent the $1 payment in the ticket’s original envelope. That got it delivered to a police department auditorium that was a night and traffic court in 1975. Orlando’s parking violations from 1975 have been destroyed. A police spokesman says the department thought Baker’s payment was funny.

Pa. couple hitched in hospital after groom fall

ERIE, Pa. — A love-sick Pennsylvania couple ended up getting hitched in a hospital chapel after the groom tumbled down a set of stairs on their wedding day. The Erie Times-News reports Derek and Cassy McBride were married Saturday at Saint Vincent Health Center because Derek took the wrong kind of plunge a few hours earlier. The wedding appeared doomed when tests showed Derek McBride had three broken ribs and a punctured, collapsed lung. But family and Saint Vincent nurses stepped up, decorating the chapel with medical glove balloons and bows made of gauze. Guests were told the beach wedding was scrapped. Cassy McBride, whose maiden name was Messenger, wore her gown. Derek had one too — a hospital one, under his tuxedo. Derek McBride hopes to be released soon.

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