June 10, 2011 in Nation/World

Freaky Friday news: A foul mouth and a big heart

Compiled from wire reports

Unusual news nuggets from around the globe:

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A woman with a foul mouth, fat wallet and dislike for men bought $7,200 worth of clothing for more than 50 women at a discount store in Southern California. Claudia Smith, 66, showed up at the Everything a Deal store in Oceanside and bought $2,200 worth of clothing for just a few customers. She told the San Diego Union-Tribune she lived in San Felipe, Mexico, for several years and wanted to buy things for poor Mexican women. Hundreds of women arrived at the store and waited until Smith showed up at 4 p.m. After her $5,000 check cleared, the store allowed 50 women to spend $100 each. Some women blushed at the profanity Smith used to criticize men and dispense nonsensical advice.

Freak temperature hike hits Wichita after midnight

WICHITA, Kan. — An unusual weather pattern caused temperatures in Wichita, Kan., to soar nearly 20 degrees in 20 minutes even though the sun had long gone down. National Weather Service meteorologist Stephanie Dunten says the heat burst hiked temperatures from 85 to 102 degrees in 20 minutes, beginning at 12:22 a.m. Thursday. She says a pocket of air in the upper atmosphere collapsed, and when it hit the ground it sent winds of more than 50 mph through parts of the city.

Box labeled ‘grandma’s urn’ left at Goodwill store

FENTON, Mich. — State police in Michigan are trying to find who left what appear to be a grandmother’s cremated remains in an urn at a Goodwill store near Flint. Fenton Goodwill store manager Allen Ryckman says “it’s got to be the No. 1 or No. 2 weirdest item” the store has ever received. He says it appears to have come from a house that was cleaned out. Store workers found the box just before Easter. The box has the label “grandma’s urn.” The cream-colored urn is about 10 inches tall and weighs about 10 pounds.

Court: Detroit-area mayor can keep age private

WARREN, Mich. — The mayor of Michigan’s third-largest city doesn’t have to reveal his age. The state appeals court entered the strange dispute by overturning a judge’s ruling that had required Jim Fouts to disclose his birthdate as he seeks re-election as Warren mayor in August. The appeals court says it’s not required under Michigan law. Fouts says the decision means age cannot be used as a “weapon of mass destruction.” He says his age is irrelevant. Some records show he’s 66. Three rivals have been trying to keep Fouts off the ballot over his failure to include his age on his candidacy form.

Spain: Contortionist thief hid in suitcase

MADRID — A man was arrested in Spain after curling himself up inside a large suitcase that was placed in an airport bus cargo bay and sneaking out to steal from other people’s luggage, police said. The man arrested was 5-foot-10 and very thin, a police official said. An accomplice was also arrested. The suspects were successful on several occasions before being caught, the police official said. The accomplice would place the contortionist thief inside the cargo bay of a bus running from the airport in the city of Girona south to Barcelona, board the bus and then retrieve him at the end of the line. During the 60-mile ride, the man would slip out of the suitcase and use a sharp object to pick locks or open zippers to get into other people’s luggage, police said. He stole objects including cell phones, laptops and GPS devices and would place them in a smaller bag that he brought with him.

Moose on loose barges into Swedish retirement home

STOCKHOLM — Officials say a moose burst through the dining room window of a retirement home in southwestern Sweden, knocking over furniture and flower pots before taking off into the wild again. Police say aside from the moose, who was scratched by the broken window, no one was injured in the surprise visit at the Brunnsgarden retirement home in the small town of Alingsas. Helen Gillquist, head of the home, said residents had just finished lunch and left the ground-floor dining room when the moose jumped through the three-paneled glass window. She says it “jumped over a sofa and knocked over chairs and flowers” before getting stuck in a set of doors. The moose eventually escaped into a nearby park after police managed to open the home’s doors.

Roads to close for zombie mayhem in Atlanta suburb

MARIETTA, Ga. — Some roads are closing on account of zombies next week in an Atlanta suburb. Police in Cobb County are warning drivers to be on guard for a zombie outbreak as filming of the hit drama series “The Walking Dead” begins there. They plan to post two message boards on a busy thoroughfare. Police officer Mike Bowman said drivers can expect zombies and simulated gunfire, which could lead to traffic delays next week. The message boards will be set up on Cobb Galleria Parkway. The filming is for the second season of the AMC series, which depicts world devastation at the hands of zombies. Cobb County is on metro Atlanta’s northwestern edge.

North Vegas candidate credits neighbor for win

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Wade Wagner appears to have won a nail-biter of an election in Nevada, and he’s pretty sure one of his neighbors is to thank. Unofficial results of Tuesday’s election show the 48-year-old dentist unseated North Las Vegas City Councilman Richard Cherchio by one vote; Wagner drew 1,831 votes to Cherchio’s 1,830. Wagner said his neighbor’s vote put him over the top. He says he was monitoring election results from home about 10 minutes before the polls closed when he saw the neighbor drive up. Wagner asked the neighbor if he had voted, and the man said no. So at Wagner’s urging, the neighbor high-tailed it to the polls and cast his vote at 6:57 p.m. The polls closed at 7 p.m.

Oregon man says electric bike is a bike, not a car

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — When Paul McClain had his driver’s license suspended for driving a car without insurance, the 41-year-old Oregon man started riding an electric bicycle instead. But authorities say he can’t do that either. McClain, of Springfield, is fighting five tickets he received for driving with a suspended license while on his electricity-assisted bicycle. He told a Springfield Municipal Court judge that an electric bike is just like a bike and he doesn’t need a license. But police say it’s not a bike when he turns on the motor. David House, a spokesman for Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services, says it’s a gray area of the law and the issue likely will end up in court.

Spelling detour: Sign in Ohio spells north ‘NORHT’

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — A new, high-profile road sign over an Ohio interstate highway entrance will be replaced, because a contractor’s spelling went off the road. The word “north” appeared prominently at the top of the sign misspelled “N-O-R-H-T.” Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jackie Schafer says the contractor fixed the error in the Cleveland suburb of Strongsville by placing an overlay over the word, with the correct spelling.

Missouri cicada ice cream seller told to cool it

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A public health official in central Missouri has asked an ice cream shop to cool it with the cicada ice cream, even though customers apparently can’t get enough of it. Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream in Columbia, Mo., sold out of its only batch of the insect-filled dessert within hours of its June 1 debut. The Columbia-Missourian says employees collected the cicadas in their backyards and removed most of the dead bugs’ wings. They then boiled the bugs and covered them in brown sugar and milk chocolate. The base ice cream is brown sugar and butter flavor. Gerry Worley, an environmental health chief with the Columbia County Department of Public Health, says the agency’s food code “doesn’t directly address cicadas” and that he has advised against their use as an ingredient.

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