<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usTue, 27 Jun 2017 22:14:58 -0400Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:14:58 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Oscar Mayer Adds New Vehicles, Drone to WienerFleet]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:22:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/wienerfleet.jpg

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… WienerDrone?

Oscar Mayer announced the expansion of its "WienerFleet" in a YouTube video Monday, which will add two new hot dog-shaped vehicles to bring the company's products straight to consumers. The Kraft Heinz company made the announcement of the fleet expansion to celebrate its new line of hot dogs ahead of its July 4 festivities in Weiner, Arkansas.

The fleet will now include the Wienermobile, WienerMini, WienerRover, WienerCycle, and even a WienerDrone. The new additions will serve their own unique purposes in delivering the hot dogs. The WienerCycle is intended for urban deliveries, while the WienerDrone can travel to remote locations.

"As the most iconic brand, we're going where other hot dogs can't," said head of marketing at Oscar Mayer, Greg Guidotti. "We’re committed to getting our new hot dog in everyone’s hands – and going to great lengths to do this."

The meat company created its first Wienermobile in 1936. The car travels around the country with its class of "Hotdoggers," who man the vehicle. According to the Wienermobile's Instagram account, the car last stopped in Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.

Photo Credit: The Kraft Heinz Company
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<![CDATA[Watch: Raccoon Spotted Riding the Subway in NYC]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:36:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/raccoon+subway+2.JPG

Video of a raccoon riding the subway, nibbling food out of a bowl as it's seated between two people, has New Yorkers alternately repulsed, amused and just plain bewildered. 

Subway rider Brooke Hogan told NBC 4 New York she took the video on a Lexington Avenue-line train heading uptown from 42nd Street last Tuesday. 

The raccoon is seen seated next to a woman -- apparently his owner or handler -- furiously licking food out of a small plastic bowl.

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It's not clear from the video why the woman had a raccoon, or why she brought it on the subway. People in New York aren't allowed to have a raccoon without a license, and licenses aren't issued for pet wildlife, according to the city

People on social media were also apparently befuddled. On a popular Instagram account devoted to chronicling the quirky quotidian scenes of the subway, varying reactions flooded the comments: 

"Never sitting on the train again." 

"I'm not sure if I'm laughing or throwing up." 

"Are you kidding me?? How did people not freak out??" 

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"New York subway is just game over, not even playing anymore."

"People become so strange in the summer."

"Next stop, Bronx zoo." 

"Raccoons are New Yorkers, too." 

"This is why the NYC subway is the best, and worst." 

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It shouldn't be surprising that the subway raccoon was able to grip the bowl with its own paws -- the animals have "amazing dexterity, allowing them to open doors and untie knots," according to New York City's wildlife site. They can also rotate their back feet, allowing them to descend from trees headfirst.

New York City's wildlife site also says most raccoons pose no risk of transferring disease to humans, and the incidence of rabies in the New York City raccoon population is very small. Since 2014, the city and federal governments worked together to vaccinate raccoons on Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens against rabies.

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Still, people shouldn't approach or feed raccoons, the city warns: they can become a nuisance if people supply food or shelter. The "opportunistic feeders" will eat whatever is easily accessible, including fruit, nuts, fungi, insects, worms, birds, turtles, eggs, mice, bats, squirrels, fish, snakes, frogs, dead animals, bird feeder seed, pet food and human food waste. 

Most raccoon don't live past 6 years old in the wild. 

A message has been left with the MTA. 

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Photo Credit: Brooke Hogan]]>
<![CDATA[20-Pound Live Lobster Found in Luggage at Boston Airport ]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:46:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TSALOBSTER+626.jpg

A Transportation Security Administration screener at Boston's Logan Airport made a huge catch at checked baggage on Sunday.

TSA spokesperson Michael McCarthy tweeted a photo of a screener posing with a lobster weighing more than 20 pounds.

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According to a later tweet, the lobster was traveling in a cooler in checked baggage. It was "allowed to continue," McCarthy said.

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<![CDATA[Hammerhead Shark Caught off Cape May]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:43:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Hammderhead+Shark+New+Thumb.jpg A weekend at the shore quickly turned into an odd adventure, when a family reeled in a hammerhead shark at the end of their fishing line.]]> <![CDATA[Diner Finds Dead Frog in Salad at LA Restaurant]]> Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:57:57 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/frogsalad2.jpg

Officials with the BJ's Restaurants chain said they're investigating how a dead frog wound up in a diner's salad at one of the company's locations in West Covina, Los Angeles County.

Shawna Cepeda posted a picture of her salad with a frog that appeared to be the size of two croutons in a Yelp review on June 14. Cepeda couldn't be reached Saturday, but in her Yelp post, she said she ate at the restaurant the previous night and ordered a side salad.

"I was about four bites into it and I noticed it tasted a little different," she wrote. "I thought maybe the ranch dressing was a little bitter, and after mixing the salad around some more I found a dead baby frog."

The manager offered to comp her meal, which she declined.

She said corporate apologized and sent her a $50 gift card.

Krysteen Romero, the general manager at the restaurant, posted a comment on Cepeda's Yelp page more than a week later apologizing and offering to speak to her directly.

In a statement issued to NBC4, BJ's Chief Financial Officer Greg Levin said the company takes this seriously and they "have launched an internal investigation including discussions with our suppliers and distributors to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future."

Photo Credit: Shawna Cepeda]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Awarded After This Wipeout During Bike Training]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:24:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/UDPD+Bike+Cop+Wipeout.gif

A bicycle officer in training took quite a spill during a four-day workout program led by Upper Darby police.

Officer Anthony Devine of the Elkton, Maryland Police Department was racing through a creek when he lost control of the cycle. Devine went flipping through the air, landing on his back in the water.

Cameras set up by the instructors caught the epic spill from multiple angles. The Upper Darby Police Department included the episode as part of a video highlighting the training program. The program included navigating tight courses, off-roading and learning how to ride down stairs.

Devine wasn't injured in the fall though this pride was most likely bruised.

The wipeout earned him the Tigger Award, which is given to the student who bounces highest and farthest during the training.

Photo Credit: Upper Darby Police Department
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<![CDATA[National Llama Competition]]> Sat, 24 Jun 2017 23:16:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+NATIONAL+LLAMA+COMP+THUMB.jpg

Hundreds of llamas and alpacas will gather in Waterloo, Iowa, this weekend to take part in The Gathering of Friends and Champions, a national llama competition. The llamas will be judged on their fleece, agility and halter or gait. Llamas can grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 440 pounds.

<![CDATA[Philly Police Save Deer from Delaware River]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:31:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philadelphia+Police+Deer+Saved+from+River+2+cp.jpg

Philadelphia Police came to the rescue of a wayward deer who became trapped in the Delaware River Thursday evening.

The deer was trapped in thick mud in a basin next to the Chart House restaurant at South Streets and Christopher Columbus Boulevard on Penn's Landing.

After police received several calls, the Marine Unit was dispatched to rescue the animal.

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Sgt. Gregory Caputo said when he and his unit arrived, the deer had freed himself from the mud, but was swimming around looking for a way out of the water. At one point, he swam under a run down pier, Caputo said.

Armed with a dog lasso, the officers were able to snag the deer and pull him out of the 4-foot deep water.

"It didn't give us any struggles or any issues. Once we got it onto the boat, we were able to cover it with a blanket just to prevent it from moving around just so it didn't injure any of the officers on-board," Caputo said.

Caputo and his unit had an an audience of onlookers for the rescue who were thrilled to see the animal saved.

"Customers from the Chart House were all out on the balcony and they all applauded for us," Caputo said.

Officers took the deer to a nearby wooded area, where the animals frequent, and set him free.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police
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<![CDATA[Man Visits Disneyland 2,000 Times In a Row]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:39:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+DISNEY+VISIT+THUMB.jpg

A Huntington Beach man has set a record for most consecutive visits to Disneyland. Jeff Reitz, 44, has visited the park 2,000 times in a row. Reitz started visiting the park every day when he was unemployed and wanted to keep his spirits up. Employed at the VA now, Reitz continues to visit every day after work because it helps him to decompress after a long day. His favorite ride is the Matterhorn Bobsleds, which he first rode with his mom when he was 2 years old. 

<![CDATA[Gorilla Dances Like a 'Maniac' in Hilarious Viral Video]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:29:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Gorilla_.gif

The Dallas Zoo needed three things to make a viral video: a happy gorilla, a blue plastic pool and some water.

Add Michael Sembello's hit "Maniac" from the 1980s movie "Flashdance" and the result is pure joy.

Zola, who's no amateur at reaching social media fame, was captured Tuesday afternoon splashing around during a swimming pool enrichment session. Then, Zola begins dancing like he's never danced before.

The video was shot by primate supervisor Ashley Orrand and posted on the zoo's YouTube page.

Bob Hagh, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram video producer, upped the ante by adding music to the raw video, and Zola's inner "steel-town girl on Saturday night" shined through. It's not clear if Zola has ever watched "Flashdance," but his moves definitely emulate Jennifer Beal's perfectly.   


The Dallas ZooTube video has been viewed more than 67,000 times as of Friday morning. Hagh's tweet has been retweeted more than 20,000 times.

This isn't the first time Zola's moves have attracted attention. In 2011, a video of him "breakdancing" and splashing his feet at the Calgary Zoo also went viral.

According to the zoo, enrichment therapy "helps enhance the environment and lives of animals, like Zola, by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural behaviors."

"Enrichment can take many forms, but for this spunky great ape, it means playing and spinning in his favorite blue pool!"

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<![CDATA[Deer Caught Duking It Out on Camera]]> Sat, 24 Jun 2017 08:30:42 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DeerBoxing.gif

Bring it on! Two deer were caught in an impromptu boxing match, caught on cam by a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer.  (Video Credit: TWRA)

<![CDATA[Girl's Dance Moves Become Viral]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:51:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/taste+of+randolph.jpg

A little girl’s dance moves at the Taste of Randolph Street festival have captured the attention of internet in a video posted to Facebook that’s been viewed more than 258,000 times.

Tony Martin posted the video to Facebook Friday with the hashtag #goviral and the caption “This little girl just went off on Psycho B------ Set.”

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In the nearly three-minute video, the young girl breathlessly busts out an array of dance moves at the crowded festival to the thumping dance music. Other fest-goers stop to admire her moves—including a man, who was identified as her father in the comments, who stops to dance with her.

The Facebook post has been shared more than 2,000 times, has more than 1,000 reactions and dozens of comments.

“She was in the moment! Love it!” one commenter wrote.

Others felt inspired by the girl’s fancy footwork.

“I have to get my daughter some dance lessons,” another commenter wrote.

Commenters, sharing screenshots of a Facebook Live from 2016, also identified the girl as the star of a DJ’s set at House of Sol in 2016.

“Love this little girl!” One her now thousands of fans said.

Photo Credit: NBC
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<![CDATA[Barflies Order Drinks During Armed Robbery]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:44:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/BarRobbery0620_MP4_1280x720_971876419659.jpg

Barflies appeared not to notice as armed robbers were sticking up a Florida bar with a shotgun Sunday, with some patrons even trying to order more drinks as the robbery was in progress.

<![CDATA[Snake Crawls Out From Under Hood of Moving Truck]]> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:46:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/snakehood.jpg

A snake gave a couple of people inside a moving truck quite a scare when it appeared on the hood.

<![CDATA[Furry Surprise Behind the Bumper: Kitten Found in Tesla]]> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:13:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/teslakitty.jpg

A Florida man heard meowing coming from inside his Tesla. He took the vehicle to his service center where a kitten was pulled from the rear bumper.

<![CDATA[Intrepid Rat Drags Whole Garbage Bag Across NYC Sidewalk]]> Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:47:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/garbage+rat.JPG

Never doubt a New York City rat's strength and resolve.

The city's rodents are already known to persist in their quest for local food favorites (see: pizza rat, roll rat).

But one astonishing rat in Brooklyn was captured on video dragging by its teeth an entire filled trash bag just to get to a personal pizza crust inside. 

Leigh Conner filmed the rat on her block in Crown Heights, near Kingston Avenue and Dean Street, DNAInfo reports

She told the news website she was getting on her bike when she spotted the trash bag moving away from the curb. That's when she saw the rat crawling out of the trash bag and start to drag it. 

It was apparently trying to get at a round pizza pie crust inside.

The rat could be seen tugging and gnawing through the plastic trash bag, then finally getting the pizza crust out of the bag. It scurries away with the dough -- but inexplicably abandons it a short distance away.

Could be this city rat is also pretty fickle. 

Photo Credit: Leigh Conner]]>
<![CDATA[Car Catches Fire in Floodwaters in Pa.]]> Sat, 17 Jun 2017 09:59:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/car+catches+fire.jpg

A car was destroyed after it caught fire in the middle of rising floodwaters just outside of Pittsburgh Friday afternoon.

According to WPXI, the water rose quickly near McKnight Road in Ross Township and numerous other vehicles became stuck along the busy thruway.

Heavy downpours have been causing problems since Tuesday, as drainage systems struggled to keep up with the rain.

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<![CDATA[Five Times Athletes Have Challenged Animals]]> Sat, 17 Jun 2017 06:36:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT_SPO_5_TIMES_ATHLETES_VS_ANIMALS_061617-149765207316100001.jpg

With the announcement that Michael Phelps will race a shark for Discovery Channel's "Shark Week," we take a look back at five times athletes competed against animals.

<![CDATA[Giant Pig Gets Loose in Georgetown, Mass.]]> Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:14:02 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Giant_Pig_Loose_in_Georgetown.jpg

Bruno, a not-so-little piggy, took off in Georgetown, Massachusetts, setting off a police chase of sorts.

Photo Credit: Georgetown Police]]>
<![CDATA[Tubby Tabby: 35-Pound Cat Adopted in DC]]> Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:51:52 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/symba.jpg

The Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., found a home for one of its largest residents.

Symba came to the Humane Rescue Alliance's New York Avenue adoption center last week weighing a whopping 35 pounds.

The rotund, 6-year-old cat came to the shelter after his owner moved to an assisted living facility and couldn't take Symba along. 

According to the Humane Rescue Alliance, Symba is 15 pounds heavier than his "goal weight," but he's well on his way to shedding off the pounds. The shelter posted a video of Symba working out on a cat wheel, but the tubby tabby didn't seem too enthused. 

Right now, the shelter says Symba can only take a few steps before becoming short of breath. He's also fed out of food puzzles that are designed to slow down a cat's eating. 

The Humane Rescue Alliance said the person who adopted Symba will have to continue his diet and exercise routine. 

If you're looking for a pet, other animals are available for adoption here

Photo Credit: Humane Rescue Alliance
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<![CDATA[Bear Surprises Florida Man]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 09:05:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/bearstare.jpg

A Florida man had a huge surprise waiting for him in his garage when he arrived home. His surveillance camera captured a black bear running out of the garage.

<![CDATA[Woman's Effort to Bring Dog to Granny in Hospital Goes Viral]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:07:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/shelbyhannick2.jpg

A 21-year-old woman from California pretended a dog was a baby, wrapping it in a blanket and cradling it in her arms, so she could sneak it into a hospital to visit her sick grandmother. 

Shelby Hennick's grandmother was hospitalized a few days ago after she had a bad reaction to a medication, according to multiple reports. The ill woman desperately wanted to see her dog -- and Hennick, a veterinary technician, according to her Twitter bio, wanted to make it happen. 

Hospitals typically don't allow visitors to bring in dogs unless they're service animals, so Hennick had to get creative. She posted photos to Twitter that show her cradling the covered dog like an infant and, victory, grandma snuggling with the pup in her hospital bed. 

"We made it," Hennick tweeted. Her tweet has gone viral, with more than 533,000 likes and 126,000 retweets since it was posted on Sunday. She tweeted people were reaching out to her from all over the world. At least one of them confessed to trying to pull off a similar stunt for a hospitalized grandpa.

Photo Credit: @HennickShelby
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<![CDATA[Restaurants Use Facebook to Find Alleged Dine & Dasher]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:41:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Dine+and+Dash+Suspect+_23963574.jpg

Several Delaware restaurant owners worked together to track down a man who they say made a habit of dining and dashing at their businesses.

Gianmarco Martuscelli, the owner of Klondike Kate’s in Newark, Delaware, told NBC10 surveillance video at his business captured the culprit dining and dashing on several occasions over the past few months.

“Normal dressed guy just having a casual conversation with our bartender, talking about sports,” Martuscelli said. “Said he had to take a phone call, put his bar stool up and walked out.”

Reza Shiekh, a bartender, said the man did the same thing at Grotto’s Pizza where he works.

“This gentleman is something to behold,” Shiekh said. “He went basically everywhere. He would get his meal, his drinks and not pay for anything.”

Shiekh and a few others put the man’s photo on Facebook. Within a few hours of the post, employees from several Delaware bars, including Catherine Rooney’s and Stone Balloon came forward and said the man also dined and dashed at their businesses.

“We all started saying, ‘Hey, he did that to me! Hey he did it to me!’” Martuscelli said. “Before you know it, it’s been over ten to 15 locations in the past month.”

Facebook users quickly gave up the man’s name and described his alleged track record.

“1300 shares later, a lot of eyes,” Shiekh said. “The power of social media got this guy.”

The man made the rounds at several Delaware restaurants again Monday, according to the owners. This time they say, however, he was there to pay his tabs.

“I literally turned around and he was there with two of his friends,” Shiekh said. “He’s trembling and shaking and he said, ‘I think I have a tab to pay. And I said, ‘Yeah.’”

John Stave of Klondike Kate’s was unsure of the man’s sincerity.

“It looked like he was relatively apologetic,” Stave said. “But I think it was more because he got caught then because he was actually sorry.”

<![CDATA[118-Year-Old Painting Found in Antarctica]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:09:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_ANTARCTICA_PAINTING_061317_1-149737955597700001.jpg

A 118-year-old painting of a bird painted by British explorer Dr. Edward Wilson was found in a hut in Antarctica.

<![CDATA[Airbnb Jail Puts Guests Behind Bars]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:43:52 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_Airbnb_Jail_061317-149739931935900001.jpg

A jail in Canada that's been closed for decades is getting a second life thanks to a creative entrepreneur. The owner will begin listing individual cells on Airbnb at the end of June.

<![CDATA[This Is the Tiniest (And Maybe Cutest) Deer You'll Ever See]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:06:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/pudu+deer+thumb.jpg Ever heard of a pudu? They're the world's smallest species of deer. They bark when they sense danger, and have a few other odd behavioral characteristics. This one was born at the Queens Zoo last month.

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher @ WCS]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor: Meth-for-Sex Arrest Followed 14 Years of Double Life]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:26:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/020817+scott+silverthorne.jpg

For 14 years, the former mayor of Fairfax, Virginia, lived a double life as a methamphetamine addict – until he got caught in August.

Friday, Scott Silverthorne walked out of prison after serving three months for drug distribution. He was sentenced to five years with all but three months suspended and was released on time served. He had been in prison since March, when he pleaded guilty.

"A good 14 years or so I have been using drugs ... but I was meticulous, I was careful until eventually I got caught,” he said. “But the reality was that I never let it interfere with my city duties."

In August, police caught him in a sting outside a Tysons hotel. He handed over meth to two undercover cops.

“I handed it to them, and they held it up, and I thought, something’s not right,” he said. “And then within a literal split second, they both jumped out of the car, and two or three SUVs descended on the car that I was sitting in.”

Silverthorne connected with them through a gay dating website. He said they enticed him to bring less than a gram of meth for the meeting, to which he agreed.

“I said from the very beginning, I want to accept responsibility for what I did, but I also want to make sure people know what I didn’t do,” he said.

A three-term mayor, he resigned after his arrest.

Friday he said his arrest was a life-saving wake-up call.

“I used that term, a double life, and a couple people, when I spoke outside the courthouse the other day, said to me, ‘Why are you using that term?’ Let me just say because, I don’t think people really knew the real Scott Silverthorne,” he said.

The story got national attention, with Silverthorne becoming known as the mayor caught in a meth-for-group-sex scandal.

He wanted to speak to reporters, his community, but his attorney advised him to keep quiet.

“I’ve known him since he was little boy, when his dad was mayor, quite frankly,” attorney Brian Drummond said. “He called and started to tell me what was going on, and I said, ‘Yeah, you’re going to need a lawyer.’”

To protect the case, Drummond didn’t want his client talking to the press, but he also feared isolation and humiliation would get to Silverthorne.

“My attorney called me numerous times worried that I might do something crazy,” he said.

Silverthorne said he never considered taking his own life.

Throughout the court proceedings, a team of supporters flocked by his side.

As mayor, he said he always tried to treat people well – no matter their job.

“I think it’s karma. I think it came back to me. I was surprised,” he said. “It’s really easy for people to desert people, it’s easy, and I had a few, there’s no question, but very few. Now, I’m not naive. I know if I screw up again, they won’t be there for me, so I have to be careful. But I also know that people are rooting for me.”

In jail, Silverthorne received hundreds of letters of support. At sentencing Friday, the judge made Silverthorne turn and look at his supporters to acknowledge what more he could lose if it happens again.

As for a political comeback, Silverthorne said, “Let me put it this way: I learned a long time ago never say never, and there’ve been plenty of politicians who’ve done what I’ve done or something similar and have come back. I have spent my entire adult life working for the citizens of Fairfax City. I’m ready to move on.”

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Kansas Inmate Free After Doppelganger Found 17 Years Later]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:50:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/170612-richard-jones-mugshot-2-1049a-rs_5ba8eb2e8356ec001ef7626e18b0c767.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

Richard Jones always insisted he didn't commit the aggravated robbery that landed him in prison for 17 years, and last week he was finally able to walk free, the victim of a case of apparent mistaken identity, NBC News reported.

Two years ago, Jones started hearing from other inmates at Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas that there was another inmate that didn't just look like him, but had a similar-sounding name.

Soon, attorneys tracked down Ricky Amos, whom witnesses could barely tell apart from Jones. A judge vacated Jones' conviction, allowing him to walk free Thursday; Amos has not been charged with the robbery.

"When I saw that picture, it just made sense to me," Jones told the Kansas City Star. "They say you can’t see the picture clearly if you [are] in it, but if I was outside this picture I would have seen the same thing."

Photo Credit: Kansas Department of Corrections]]>
<![CDATA['French Spider-Man' Climbs Hotel in Barcelona]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:11:15 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_SPIDER_MAN_CLIMBS_BARCELONA_061217_1-149729923873900001.jpg

French climber Alain Robert, also known as "French Spider-Man," climbed the Melia Barcelona Sky Hotel on June 12. The hotel is the city's fourth-tallest building.

<![CDATA[Man Fatally Shoots 9-Year-Old Daughter During Gun Safety Lesson: Cops]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 18:27:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Eric-Hummel.jpg

The father of a 9-year-old Indiana girl was charged with multiple felonies Monday after an apparent lesson in firearm safety ended in his daughter’s shooting death, according to police. 

Eric Scott Hummel was charged with reckless homicide, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, battery resulting in death to a person less than 14 years old, and neglect of a dependent, according to charging documents provided by the Hobart police department.

Olivia Hummel, of the 100 block of E. 10th Ave. in Hobart, Indiana, was struck in the head by a bullet at her home Saturday, police said. She was taken to Hobart Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m.

The first officer on the scene ran to the upstairs of the home and found Hummel kneeling next to Olivia; he said he had been performing chest compressions on the girl, the document states.

“She’s dead, she’s dead, I thought it was empty, you can kill,” Hummel told the officer, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Hobart’s Joan Martin Elementary School, where Olivia was a student, planned to be open on Monday so her classmates could make cards for her family.

“Our hearts are saddened and oh so heavy by the loss of Olivia,” school superintendent Dr. Peggy Buffington said in a statement. “She will always be a precious memory for those who knew her because she was adorable and filled with such joy.”

Olivia played with the Hobart Soccer Club, where her father is an assistant coach.

"He is a good man and loves his kids greatly," Tanya Meagher, of the club's board of directors, said about Olivia's father. "Our hearts are with the family."

According to the affidavit, Hummel was smoking a cigarette in his car outside the residence when additional officers arrived, and two boys were sitting on the front porch steps. Hummel looked as if he had been crying, with a “red ring” around his eyes, and trembling hands, the affidavit reads. He told a responding officer he felt “numb,” police said.

One of the boys told police he and his brother were cleaning their room when Hummel approached them with the unloaded gun and began saying things like “you should never mess with the gun,” the document says. Asked how he knew the gun wasn’t loaded, the boy told the officer “when he shoot it at me it just made a little pop sound,” the document says. The boy told the officer Hummel pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger “probably like two times,” while explaining the children should never play with the gun, the affidavit says.

The boy told the officer as Hummel lectured the children about why they should never play with guns before saying “this is why,” and then fatally shooting Olivia, the document says.

At some point, Hummel loaded the gun and forgot when he was telling the children not to play with it, according to the affidavit.

“I was showing the boys the gun and told them not to ever play with it because it can kill someone, then she walked in the room and I pointed it at her and pulled the trigger, thinking it was empty,” Hummel told police, according to the affidavit.

Police said Hummel called Olivia’s mother to tell her what happened and said, “I shot her, I’m sorry.” The affidavit says the mother told police later at the hospital she had screamed and dropped the phone but then picked it back up to hear Hummel’s apology.

“You would think that people would realize that they shouldn’t have guns in the house, especially loaded guns, around kids,” neighbor Patricia Peterson said. “I’m very sad for the family, and I hope they get some peace.”

It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Photo Credit: Hobart Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Why Did 'Lord Buckethead' Run Against the British PM?]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 18:23:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/armus-lord-buckethead-dab.jpg

British prime minister Theresa May had some unusual competition for her seat in Parliament this year—and social media took notice.

Twitter was ablaze Friday with photos of May standing beside an Elmo impersonator, the “Howling Laud,” and a figure named “Lord Buckethead,” who one user described as Darth Vader wearing a trash can.

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In another race, Mr. Fish Finger—yes, that’s a man wearing a fish stick costume—campaigned against Liberal Democrat leader Tim Ferron.

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So what’s with these unusual candidates?

According to Charlie Beckett, a professor of media studies at the London School of Economics, extravagantly costumed joke candidates like Buckethead make up a “great British tradition” that adds comedy to general elections.

“These are kind of the court jesters, the people who remind the powerful that there’s a comic side of life,” Beckett, who studies social media and British politics, said. “It’s just a little bit of color in a carnivalesque way that Brits have always had in them.”

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As far back as the 1960s, these characters have taken advantage of the British practice known as the “declaration of results,” in which all the candidates for each seat stand on stage together as a winner is announced.

“Especially with the famous politicians, like Boris Johnson or the prime minister, they will traditionally attract the most novelty candidates because they get the most coverage,” Beckett said.

Indeed, the Monster Raving Loony Party—which was founded just as politics was becoming a televised spectacle—has entered at least five candidates in races to elect members of parliament since 1983. Lord Buckethead, meanwhile, previously ran against two former prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

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Although a fee of 500 pounds, or about $635, is intended to filter these joke candidates out, British parliamentary elections are otherwise open. To enter an election, a candidate can live anywhere and must gain the signatures of only 10 people in the district.

And often, the campaign promises are just as bizarre as their costumes.

Lord Buckethead wants to provide free bikes for everyone and nationalize the singer Adele, according to the BBC. Mr. Fish Finger, who decided to run after a Twitter poll found more people would trust a fish stick than his opponent, wrote a “manifishto” that includes promises to improve the education system by providing free fish rods for everyone.

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“It’s part of the way that the core of politics in the UK doesn’t have the same decorum that American politics used to have,” Beckett said. “Here, it’s always been a bit more rough and tumble.”

But some candidates, like the Elmo impersonator, Bobby Smith, have other demands.

Bobby Smith, who won three votes while dressed up as Elmo, said that he ran as a way to raise attention to his custody battle. And another candidate, Yemi Hailemariam, wore a T-shirt featuring the name of her husband, Andy Tsege, an Ethiopian-born political dissident who was abducted and detained there in 2014.

“The funny, eccentric candidates must never be campaigning. They may be campaigning generally that life is too dull,” Beckett said, “but generally, if they get too serious, they get ignored.”

Photo Credit: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Deer Crashes Into Paint Store]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 15:03:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/deerpaint.jpg

A young deer ran into a Pennsylvania paint store on June 1. The young buck ran around the store before finding its way out.