Tuesday, February 21, 2017

‘A huge misunderstanding’: Contractor guts wrong Fort Worth house

When a TCU-area rental house was gutted last week, just before it was to be sold, the owners had lots of questions. Thinking burglars had destroyed the house and taken all the fixtures, they called Fort Worth police to report the crime. Their plight — remarkable in part because of the thoroughness of the burglars, who took appliances, toilets, furniture, cabinets, shutters, doors, molding and even the doorbell — made the news in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Worse still, owners Lee and Lelia Beckelman, of the Houston area, had a contract to sell the house. Their real estate agent found the place gutted Feb. 9. Essentially all that remained were walls, bathtubs and some of the flooring, but as it turns out, the whole episode was an honest mistake. As Fort Worth police were beginning the investigation, they got a phone call from a contractor who explained what happened. The contractor told police that the man who owned a house at 2700 Forest Park Blvd. hired him to gut it. When the contractor and crew arrived at the street, they saw what appeared to be an address on the curb, “2700 Forest Park Boulevard,” directly in front of a house. The crew didn’t notice that the numbers on the house said 2736, not 2700. The owner of 2700 Forest Park didn’t give the contractor any keys, and instructed him to just kick the door in to get inside, Paine said. The contractor did just that, and he and his crew removed almost everything inside over three days, during which they told neighbors they had been hired for the work. Paine said police don’t intend to charge the contractor for the “big goof-up.” (Star Telegram)


Trump motorcade hit by 2×4, 5 students face charges

Authorities say a vehicle in President Donald Trump’s motorcade was struck by a “2×4” and five middle school students are now facing charges. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said in a statement Saturday that the incident happened Friday around 1:45 p.m. Officers assisting the U.S. Secret Service reported that a vehicle in the motorcade had been struck by what was believed to be a small, hard object. Several members of the motorcade returned to the scene after completing the motorcade to look for witnesses and objects along the roadway. A child from a local middle school confessed to throwing the wood at the motorcade and also implicated four additional students. Charges will be filed with the Palm Beach County States Attorney’s Office. (ABC News)


Trashy Town

On a windswept island in the middle of Tokyo Bay, a small mountain rises above the waves. A few seagulls and crows swoop above the brown reeds as Mount Fuji looms over the horizon. The island seems pastoral enough, but it’s totally fake and made out of garbage. The New Sea Surface Disposal Site is the final resting place for trash churned out by Tokyo’s 23 wards. It’s crawling with dump trucks and bulldozers packing Tokyo’s waste into a carefully layered sandwich 30 meters deep. The island is composed of ash from incinerated trash, pulverized nonburnable trash and processed sewage sludge, along with real soil. Exhaust pipes for methane gas seeping from the garbage underfoot stud the mass, while exposed sedimentary layers reveal plastic scraps and other refuse, some decades old. But these are rare: garbage is mostly invisible here, buried under a top layer of soil, and as the landfill grows, so does the city: This is the newest face of Tokyo. (Japan Times)


State trooper is under review for calling immigration authorities

Following a traffic accident on Interstate 5 in Washington state earlier this month, a state trooper ran a routine check on one of the drivers. Armando Chavez Corona didn’t cause the accident in Tacoma on Feb. 9, but the trooper’s check prompted a message from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Chavez Corona was a previously deported felon and to contact ICE for confirmation, according to State Patrol spokesman Kyle Moore. Chavez Corona was convicted of a felony drug charge and deported four times between 1996 and 2000. When ICE officials got to the accident scene, they took Chavez Corona into custody, and he was awaiting deportation as of last Week. Now the state police are reviewing the trooper’s actions. Turns out the Washington State Patrol “has a policy to not stop, detain or interrogate or place an immigration hold on any person solely for the purpose of ascertaining immigration status or in any other way attempt to enforce federal immigration laws”. The Spokesman says that administrative reviews are common there and that the trooper hasn’t been placed on leave or disciplined: “This is just a routine review of whether this trooper followed our policies.” Grace Chavez, the American-born wife of Chavez Corona, is also considering action against the state police. The couple has three children, all who are U.S. citizens. (The News Tribune)


Hitler’s phone, ‘the most destructive ‘weapon’ of all time,’ sold for $243,000

Adolf Hitler’s telephone was sold at auction in the United States on Sunday for $243,000. The winning bid was made by phone but the name of the bidder has not been released. The phone was presented to Hitler by the Wehrmacht and was used to issue most of his commands during the last two years of World War II, according to a description in the catalog for Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland. The phone was recovered from the Fuhrerbunker in 1945 and has been kept in a box in an English country house ever since. Made by Siemens as a black Bakelite phone, it was later painted red and engraved with Hitler’s name and a swastika. The auction house describes the telephone as “Hitler’s mobile device of destruction” and called it “arguably the most destructive ‘weapon’ of all time, which sent millions to their deaths around the world.” (CNN)


Absurd State Licensing Rules Could Send A Woman To Jail Just for Touching a Horse

If Laurie Wheeler puts her hands on a horse, she could go to jail. Not because she would hurt the animal—she’d never think of doing such a thing—but because of an anonymous complaint submitted to the state’s licensing board that governs veterinary medicine. Wheeler has been studying horse massage since 2010, when she adopted an abandoned horse suffering from a potentially life-threatening neurological condition known as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. Her horse, Jazz, was treated with a mix of medication and massage therapy, and Wheeler became interested in the practice. Since then, she’s twice been certified in equine massage by an Indiana-based animal therapy school, and, in 2016, successfully obtained a license from the state of Tennessee, where she lives, to practice massage therapy on humans. She planned to expand her hobby into a professional career working with both equines and equestrians. Before she could, though, the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners got involved. In fact, she received a letter from the board explaining that she wouldn’t be allowed to give horse massages in Tennessee without being licensed as a veterinarian—a process that would require years of additional, expensive schooling. If she ignored the board’s letter and continued to practice, even if she gave horse massages for free rather than as a business, and she could face fines of up to $500 and could be sent to jail for as much as six months for committing a class B misdemeanor. As Wheeler pushed back against the board’s threats, things started to make even less sense. She’s not really sure why the board came after her—and her efforts to find out why have so far been fruitless. As Wheeler learned more about the board’s rules, she found more head-scratching inconsistencies. Giving a massage to a horse in Tennessee requires a veterinary license, but a resident of the state can castrate a horse or artificially inseminate a horse without being licensed—even though both of those activities would seem to have more in common with a vet’s medical training than anything Wheeler was doing. (Reason.com)


Dog has no patience

An Ohio couple captured video of an impatient dog barking and honking a car horn to get his owner to hurry up outside of a Subway. A couple said they stopped at the Subway in Grove City for some lunch when they spotted a dog sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car. The dog was impatiently barking and repeatedly honking the car’s horn. The couple said a woman came out of Subway after being inside for only a few minutes. The owner said that the dog gets unhappy with her whenever it can’t be at her side. (ABC 6 TV)




Holy Cow, it’s:

*International Mother Language Day
*Travel Africa Day (3rd or 4th Tuesday)

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