<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Fri, 19 Sep 2014 03:50:30 -0400 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 03:50:30 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Urn Containing Ashes Found Near River ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:17:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*124/Missing+Urn.jpg

Police in South Jersey are trying to reunite an urn with ashes inside with its rightful owner.

The urn was found partially buried along the Great Egg Harbor River in Hamilton Township back in July of 2013. Over a year later the owner has not come forward.

The urn has the word “Mom” engraved on the side. If you have any information on the owner, call Detective Frank Schalek at 609-625-2700 ext. 567.
 



Photo Credit: Hamilton Township Police]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Jaguar Found 46 Years Later]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:49:52 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/jaguar+xke+stolen+ivan+schneider.jpg

A classic British roadster regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever made will be returned to its 82-year-old owner nearly five decades after the vehicle was stolen.

The 1967 Jaguar E-type convertible was seized by authorities last month at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. Referred to the XKE in the United States, the car has captured hearts of auto enthusiasts, including Ivan Schneider, since it roared onto the scene in the 1960s with its sporting pedigree, graceful long hood, sleek profile and other timeless design elements. The New York Museum of Modern Art even added an XKE to its permanent design collection in the 1990s.

This particular car's story is not all about looks -- although, most of it is.

The car was stolen 46 years ago in New York City and Schneider, now living in Miami Beach, had no reason to believe he would ever see his beloved sports car again. He was so enamored with it that whenever he bought a new car, Schneider recalled regaling dealers with tales of his lost E-type, which the trial lawyer then in his mid-30s bought for $15,000 after winning a big case. Hagerty's classic car price guide now values the convertible 4.2-liter engine model at more than $112,000.

"I've had a lot of great cars since then, but none of them as pretty," Schneider, a car collector, said Wednesday. "I've had every car you can think of. That was, in looks, my favorite car.

"It's gorgeous. It looks like a bullet almost. It's a car they should make now again."

The theft occurred outside his New York City residence. Schneider walked downstairs on his way to work and realized the car wasn't where he parked.

"I walked up and down Madison Avenue, then up and down 5th Avenue, and it wasn't there," he said. "I was heartbroken."

He filed a police report. Holding out hope that the Jag would be found, he did not buy another car for about four weeks. Eventually, he accepted the possibilty he would never see it again.

Forty-six years later, he found what a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told him during an August phone call even more difficult to accept. The car had been located in a shipping container at the Port of Long Beach/Los Angeles that was bound for Europe.

"When I got the call, I thought they were kidding me," Schneider said.

The break in the decades-old vehicle theft case came when Customs and Border Protection was notified by the National Insurance Crime Bureau of a vehicle reported stolen. CBP typically cross-references documentation provided by exporters with information, including vehicle identification numbers, in the Crime Bureau's active stolen vehicle reports.

"When we located the vehicle, it was in a container bound for the Netherlands," said Javier Larios, of the CBP.

The agency notified the carrier that the container should be returned to the Southern California port complex. When agents opened the container, they found Schneider's Jag, painted white over its original gray color.

"The outside looks great, the inside looks terrible," Schneider said. "This is just a miracle, a miracle."

Schneider plans to have the car restored in New York before it is shipped to his Florida home. He said he is "very excited" to take it for another ride after only putting 6,000 miles on the car before it disappeared.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Mini Poodle Scares Away Bear]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:51:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/199*120/mini+poodle+scares+bear+in+western+pa..JPG A tiny poodle had a big enough bark to protect his home from an intruding bear.]]> <![CDATA[NY Dog Turns Up in Florida]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:36:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/nika+dog+missing+found.jpg More than two years after a New York man's dog disappeared from its home, it mysteriously turned up in Florida. Brynn Gingras reports.]]> <![CDATA[Surge Is Back! Coca-Cola Revives Popular '90s Soft Drink After Fan Campaign]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:56:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/surge+soda.jpg

Children of the '90s, rejoice!

Surge, the popular citrus flavored soft drink, has returned, The Coca-Cola Company announced Monday.

But anyone hoping to take an icy swig of nostalgia will have to wait. Within a day of the announcement, 12-packs of the bright green drink sold out -- twice -- on Amazon.com. The drink is being sold exclusively on the online retailer's site. 

Surge made its original debut in 1996 before disappearing from store shelves in 2001. But a dedicated group of fans started an online campaign, asking the company to bring the drink back.

"They’ve inspired us," said Racquel Mason, associate vice president of sparkling flavors, Coca-Cola North America, in a release. "More than 128,000 people a dozen years after a brand left the market saying, 'Please bring it back!' That’s the best compliment any brand could hope for."

And while fans are thanking Coke, our teeth and waistlines may not be as enthused. According to Amazon.com, a 16-ounce can of Surge contains 230 calories and 56 grams of sugar, one gram more than Mountain Dew, its chief competitor in the '90s.

Nevertheless, fans of the drink have been posting their delight online using the hashtag #SURGEisback.

Coca-Cola says Surge is the first of its discontinued brands to return.

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<![CDATA[Accused Haagen-Dazs Robber Punches Worker: Cops]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:15:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP01102901192.jpg

A Long Island man was arrested after he allegedly tried to steal several containers of Haagen-Dazs ice cream from a 7-Eleven store, then punched the store clerk when he was confronted, police say. 

The 49-year-old East Rockaway man was caught trying to sneak out of the store at 2030 Plainview Ave. in Lawrence at about 4:30 a.m. Monday with "numerous" containers of the ice cream underneath his clothing, according to police. 

When the cashier tried to stop the suspect, the two briefly struggled, and the suspect punched the cashier in the face, police said. 

A canine patrol officer in the area saw the fight and intervened, taking the suspect into custody. 

The suspect is charged with second-degree robbery. Information on an attorney for him wasn't immediately available.

The cashier, who had a swollen left eye from the punch, refused medical treatment at the scene. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Machete Restaurant Heist]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:20:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Crema-Robbery-Chelsea-NY.jpg

A machete-wielding man and two masked accomplices robbed an upscale Chelsea Mexican restaurant last week, stealing an entire cash register while a customer sat at the bar staring at his phone, apparently oblivious to the crime in progress, police say.

The men robbed the bar at Crema on West 17th Street at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, demanding cash from a bartender, according to the NYPD.

Surveillance video from the restaurant shows a robber chasing off a bartender with a machete while the two other suspects stand nearby. The machete-wielding suspect is then seen ripping a cash register from behind the bar, and all three run away.

Police say they were last seen heading west on West 17th Street toward Seventh Avenue.

The surveillance video shows one patron sitting at the bar throughout the heist. A witness told the New York Times that the patron told detectives he did not even know what was happening and had been staring at his phone the entire time.

No injuries were reported in the robbery.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

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<![CDATA[Golfer Wins Trip to Space After Hole-in-One]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:13:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/455429326.jpg

An English golfer scored a trip into space by sinking a rare hole-in-one at a tournament on Sunday.

Andy Sullivan made the shot at the 163-yard, 15th hole at the KLM Open in the Netherlands, The Associated Press reported.

XCOR Aerospace, an Amsterdam-based company that sponsored the tournament, offered a 100,000-euro ($129,238) seat aboard a commercial flight into space to the first player to make an ace on the 15th hole, according to Golf.com.

The reward was aimed at promoting the company's space trips, which are set to open to the public beginning in late 2015.

"I'm not sure yet,” Sullivan said when asked if he would take the trip, Golf.com reported. "I'll see what the missus says."

Sullivan finished third at the KLM Open, two shots behind winner Paul Casey.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Woman Attacked at SEPTA Station]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:13:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SEPTA-Attack.jpg

A video showing a woman being attacked at a SEPTA station has sparked a police investigation.

The video, which was posted on YouTube Friday, shows a woman dressed in white punching and kicking a woman dressed in black at the 30th Street subway station.

The man who uploaded the video, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NBC10 he witnessed the assault last Monday around 7:50 p.m. According to the uploader, prior to the recorded attack, the woman in white was chasing another man through several cars on the Market-Frankford Line while threatening to stab him with “what looked like a homemade shiv.”

"Also at some point on the train he hit her when she was up in his face," the uploader said.

The uploader says the train conductor called police after the train stopped at 30th Street. The man who allegedly was being chased then sat down on a bench next to a woman dressed in black with a cast on her left arm. The woman in white then approached the man and the woman in black which is when the uploader began to record.

The video shows the woman in white screaming at the woman in black. The woman in white then repeatedly punches the woman in black in the face. The woman in white then throws the victim to the floor, grabs her hair and repeatedly kicks her in the face.

The man recording the attack yells for someone to stop the assault. The man who was sitting next to the victim then yells, “Don't stop s*** because this b**** is going to jail! I’ve got a restraining order on this b****!”

After the attack, the woman in white walks up a stairwell and leaves the scene.

“She can’t run, she’s drunk, what’s she gonna run to?” the man asks. “I’ve got a restraining order on her. She ain’t supposed to be the f*** around me.”

The uploader also told NBC10 he spotted the same attacker several days later on a SEPTA train though nothing happened.

A spokesman for SEPTA told NBC10 police are aware of the incident and are currently investigating. The spokesman also said that everyone involved in the incident knows each other and no one was seriously hurt. The spokesman did not confirm whether anyone has been charged but says the investigation is ongoing.

Warning: This video contains graphic language and violence



Photo Credit: YouTube.com/GameSix Collective]]>
<![CDATA[Would-Be Thief Electrocuted at Valley Forge]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 07:48:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/copper_722x406_2187933780.jpg

A man trying to steal from the Valley Forge National Historical Park wound up dead -- apparently electrocuted.

A man called Montgomery County 911 around 4 a.m. to report that his friend appeared to be electrocuted outside the Kennedy Supplee Mansion on S Trooper Road inside the park.

When Upper Merion Township Police arrived, officers found the victim unresponsive, partially inside a 4,100-volt electrical box on the lawn of the mansion.

First repsonders waited for PECO to turn off the electrical box before attending to the 41-year-old man. Medics pronounced the Norristown man dead at the scene.

Investigators said that it appeared the man went into the box in an attempt to steal copper wiring.

The man’s friend, who called 911, remained on the scene and cooperated with the investigation.

Police asked that anyone who might have seen anything suspicious in the area on Friday night or early Saturday to call the Upper Merion Township Police Detective Division at 610-265-3232.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia



Photo Credit: NBCPhiladelphia.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rocky the Bobcat's Owner Gets Last Chance]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:25:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Rocky+the+Bobcat.JPG

Following a series of escapes, Rocky, a pet bobcat from the Jersey Shore, is being returned to his owner one last time.

But a New Jersey judge says this is the woman's last chance to keep the animal under lock-and-key.

Ginny Fine returned to Ocean County Court on Friday as she fought to get the 38-pound feline back from authorities.

Rocky was taken to the Popcorn Park Zoo in July after he escaped from his owner's Stafford Township, N.J. home the month before. Fine was warned she might lose custody of the cat because he had run away at least three times from his outdoor enclosure, in the woman's yard.

In one escape, the partially-declawed feline was missing for several days leaving neighbors concerned.

A judge ordered Rocky to undergo DNA testing to determine if he was a full-blooded bobcat, which are illegal to have as pets in the Garden State. Fine said he is a hybrid. The test, however, came back inconclusive.

In Friday's proceedings, Fine was ordered to pay $250 to the state and boarding fees to the zoo and given back custody of Rocky, according to Stafford Township Police.

The judge warned Fine that this would be her last chance, officials said. Should he escape again, Fine will forfeit her rights to the cat.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA["Dancing" Bear Invades Golf Course, Puts on Adorable Show]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:16:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/88017113.jpg

A black bear tried its best to steal a red flag from a golf course in British Columbia, but quickly lost interest and found a golf ball to play with instead.

The act was caught on camera by a golfer, who posted the video on YouTube, where it has amassed over 400,000 views.



Photo Credit: www.jupiterimages.com]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Panda Gets Dental Work: Raw Video]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:12:23 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/6PW_VO_PANDA_DENTIST_KNSD4S09_1200x675_327733827567.jpg San Diego Zookeepers put one of their giant panda's under anesthetic to fix a chip in her tooth. The zoo provided this video. ]]> <![CDATA[Giant Panda Chips Tooth, Heads to Dentist]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:00:10 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PandaDental_001_Web_1.jpg

A dreaded trip to the dentist isn’t limited to the human race, a giant panda discovered Wednesday.

The San Diego Zoo’s Bai Yun has apparently been eating some tough bamboo, for keepers recently noticed a chip in one of her lower canines.

After a dental exam and x-rays, the veterinary team anesthetized the panda to repair the tooth.

They used a big dental composite to fill in the chip and cured it with a light to seal the filling. The vets also performed a restorative procedure to cover the chipped part and prevent further damage.

“The good news is the pulp canal hadn't been compromised, but it's very close to breaking into the pulp canal," said Meg Sutherland-Smith, associate director of the zoo’s veterinary services.

They topped the procedure off with a good, thorough cleaning and imaging.

Zoo officials explain that as pandas chew and break the bamboo with their mouths, their teeth get worn down over time. Many of these giant bears can spend up to 12 hours a day eating the rough plant.

After 23 years of chewing, Bai Yun’s teeth were due for some work.

All the giant pandas – one of the most popular attractions at the San Diego Zoo – are on loan from China. San Diego keepers work with the Chinese Academy of Science to study behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas.



Photo Credit: Ken Bohn]]>
<![CDATA[Sleepy Burglar Busted While Taking Nap in Home]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:37:53 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/091014+dion+davis+sleeping+burglar.jpg

A sleepy burglar who broke into a Florida home was busted after he was caught napping on a bed inside, authorities said.

Dion Davis, 29, faces a burglary of an unoccupied dwelling charge following his arrest Monday, the Sarasota Sheriff's Office said.

Davis was being held on $10,000 bond Wednesday, jail records showed. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.

According to the sheriff's office, a cleaning woman called deputies after she found Davis sleeping inside a home in Nokomis Monday morning.

When deputies arrived, Davis was still passed out on the bed, a bag full of stolen jewelry sitting next to him.

The deputies took a photo of Davis before waking him up and taking him into custody.



Photo Credit: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Spills Thousands of Oranges]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:03:15 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Oranges-blurb-video.jpg

Vitamin C, anyone? A road in north San Diego County was covered in oranges Tuesday morning after a truck’s trailer overturned, spilling the fruit by the thousands into the street.

The trailer tipped in the 38600 block of Pala-Temecula Rd. in Pala just before 9:30 a.m.

Aerial images of the scene showed the fruit had spilled from dozens of bins secured on the tipped-over trailer. As a result, the road was a very bright orange color ,as opposed to its usual earth tones.

California Highway Patrol officials shut down southbound traffic at Pechanga Parkway and Pala-Temecula Road at Deer Hollow Way after the spill. A SigAlert was issued for the area.

No injuries were reported, officials said. The accident is under investigation.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[The Oval Office Does Not Amuse This Kid]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:11:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/Obama+Kid+Couch+Faceplant.jpg

Getting to meet the President of the United States in the most sought after office in the nation is probably considered a big deal by many Americans.

But for this little kid, it's as boring as going shoe shopping with mom and dad.

The White House photographer posted this image to President Barack Obama's official Flickr account over the summer, but it's gaining some traction today.

The boy was seemingly uninterested by his parents meeting with the president who was giving best wishes dad, a departing Secret Service agent.

You can hear it now: "Come on, Dad! This place is booorrinnnggg!"

[h/t BuzzFeed]

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia



Photo Credit: Lawrence Jackson/White House Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Rare White Lobster Snagged off Maine Coast]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:52:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Marnie%27s+white+lobster.jpg

It was a very rare find off the coast of Maine as two white colored lobsters were caught in traps this week.

Both were caught off the coast of Rockland. If they are true white lobsters it would be the rarest color of all, a one in 100 million chance. The odds of being struck by lightning are one in 700,000.

Many lobstermen go their entire careers without seeing one which is why Joe Bates was so surprised when he pulled one up in his trap.

"When the trap broke the water it stuck right out and I was really surprised and a little bit excited just to see it," Bates said.

Now, a lobster expert at the University of Maine, says he isn't convinced they are in fact true white lobsters because they do show some pigment.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

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<![CDATA[Man Catches Massive Shrimp]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:07:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/giantmantisshrimp.jpg

There’s nothing small about what fisherman Steve Bargeron caught when he was fishing from a deck in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Bargeron caught a shrimp that was far from its name. The giant shrimp was around 18 inches long and Bargeron said he had to grab it from its tail like a lobster.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, scientists said the giant catch could have been a form of mantis shrimp. However, a mantis shrimp isn’t actually related to shrimp; it’s actually a type of crustacean called a stomatopod.

Scientists haven’t been able to identify the exact species yet.



Photo Credit: FWC]]>
<![CDATA[36 Pound Cat Loses Weight]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 21:09:57 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/file-little-dude-obese-cat-wags.jpg

A morbidly obese rescue cat named Little Dude is eating healthy and working on his fitness in preparation of being put up for adoption, said shelter officials in Orange County.

Handlers said the 10-year-old short-haired feline arrived to WAGS Pet Adoption in Westminster in August weighing a hulking 36 pounds - roughly three times what his normal weight should be.

"He is the equivalent of the news stories that you see of humans that are being forklifted outside of their houses," said Cortney Dorney, the shelter manager. "I can tell you that in my 20 years of doing this I've never seen a cat this size."

Little Dude's owner turned him over to WAGS because he said he couldn't pay an added charge at his apartment complex for renters who owned pets.

When the cat arrived, the shelter staff said he needed immediate medical attention - Little Dude's weight problem likely stemmed from eating too many treats and human food, and not enough physical activity, officials said.

"His sheer size was detrimental to his health," Dorney said.

Little Dude, who has put on a strict diet, was down to 33 pounds at his last weigh-in, but he's shedding pounds too quickly due to stress, so he's being fed with a tube to stabilize his weight loss, Dorney said.

It could be weeks before he's ready to be put up for adoption.

"He's fabulous," Dorney said. "He's very laid back and easy going - because of his size he doesn't have a choice. He's a lap cat. He just wants to hang out and be brushed."

Anyone interested in adopting Little Dude can begin the process by filling out an application at the WAGS website at wagspetadoption.org or by calling the shelter at 714-887-6156.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of WAGS Pet Adoption via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Put Out Row Home Blaze, Find Gator]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 08:52:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/a377f6c875b1422bb7588decb9ebf70b.jpg

Philadelphia firefighters made quite the surprising discovery after putting out a minor fire inside a home Friday afternoon.

The fire call on the 5100 block of Ogden Street in West Philadelphia came in around 4:10 p.m. and was out in less than 10 minutes, according to firefighters.

As protocol, firefighters entered the home to make sure everything was OK inside the two-story row home.

Firefighters didn’t find anyone inside the home but they did find a 3- to 4-foot long alligator in the basement.

Firefighters called on animal control by the time they got into the home the reptile was nowhere to be found.

No word on who owns the pet or where it went but witnesses in the neighborhood told NBC10 that they saw a man walking around with what appeared to be a reptile.

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<![CDATA[Marching Band Practice Shut Down Over Noise Complaints]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:22:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/marching+band+practice+shut+down.JPG

An award-winning high school marching band in New Jersey is being squeezed out of its usual practice location and schedule because neighbors have gotten fed up with the noise.

The Marching Mustangs of Brick Memorial High School were shut down during practice Tuesday night while they were rehearsing in their normal spot, a smooth parking lot behind the school where the painted lines mimic the field.

Residents who called the police asked to remain anonymous but told NBC 4 New York their children can't sleep at night. They live about 200 yards away and said the band's music is very loud. 

Jake Solewski, who plays tuba in the band, was crushed to be told he had to go home.

"We are a highly competitive marching band, and without practice we don't get anywhere," he said.

Joe Zurlo, a parent of a band member, said, "We feel like we're second-class citizens. We're being told we can't practice, we're making too much noise. It's a marching band. It's not noise, it's music."

Brick police said in a statement there was a misunderstanding Tuesday night, and they've met with school officials and agreed on a new schedule and new locations. But the band members and their parents say the solution doesn't work for them.

For example, the other options include the school's baseball field, which is not lit and is too bumpy, parents say.

"I think it's not safe and they deserve better," said Jan Rohn.

"If you don't have a steady surface, it's going to end badly," said Solewski.

Rehearsing on the football field, as they did Wednesday night, works very well, but the band can't use it when the football team needs it.

"My son is not a criminal," Rohn said. "He's involved in a very top-notch marching band. We couldn't be prouder of our kids. They come out here and they work very hard."

Parents are hoping for something else to be worked out so the band members can continue to make their community proud.

The Marching Mustangs were Atlantic Coast Champions (Group II) in 2008-2010 and gold medal finalists in 2011-2013, according to the band's website.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

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<![CDATA[Wildest Food Crazes: Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:33:15 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/biscuit-taco-bell.jpg Cronuts, cupcakes and frozen s'mores are just some of the recent food trends that have swept the culinary world.

Photo Credit: Taco Bell]]>
<![CDATA[Singing Monkeys Serenade Zoo Visitors]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:33:56 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC-singing-monkeys.jpg 09/04/14: It can be heard for miles - a bellowing from the Louisville Zoo. But it's not a lion or large animal making the sound. Natalia Martinez from NBC station WAVE in Louisville, Kentucky reports.]]> <![CDATA[Weird News Photos: "Aggressive” Lizard in SoCal]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:45:37 -0400 Read more here.]]> Read more here.]]> http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/140915-huntington-park-lizard.jpg Check out these weird news photos from around the world.

Photo Credit: Huntington Park Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[27 Large Marijuana Plants Found Near Walmart ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:02:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/marijuana+plants.jpg

Police in St. Albans, Vermont, found 27 large, mature marijuana plants in a field just south of the Walmart store on Swanton Road.

The find came after authorities received a call on Aug. 28 about strange plants on the private property.

The plants appeared well cared for and some were held up by stakes, police said. Fertilizer had been placed around the base of the plants.

Officials decided to eradicate and destroy the plants, after more people in the community became aware of them.

Police are working to identify those responsible for planting and caring for the unlawful marijuana.

Anyone with information has been asked to call: (802) 524-2166.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia



Photo Credit: St. Albans Police]]>
<![CDATA[Men Rob Same Gas Station 3 Times: Police]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 08:31:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/abesconarrest.jpg

Two men are charged with robbing one South Jersey gas station three separate times after being caught on surveillance video.

Police say two men forced their way in and stole cash and large amounts nicotine products from the Sunoco gas station and mini-market on the 400 block of White Horse Pike in Absecon, Atlantic County  Aug. 2, Aug. 8 and Aug. 24

Investigators said that surveillance video captured Jack Kalman, 49, and Arthur Schellinger III, 53, in the act.

The Absecon residents were each charged with several counts of conspiracy, burglary and theft.

The two suspects were taken to Atlantic County Jail in lieu of bail as detectives continued to investigate other local burglaries to see if there are any connections to Kalman and/or Schellinger. 



Photo Credit: Absecon Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Take My Sweat, Please: Tennis' Gross Ritual]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:02:56 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/tennis+towel+toss+to+ballboy.jpg

In a sport known for its genteel traditions, tennis has one increasingly common ritual that stands apart for its ickiness — the passing of the sweat-soaked towel.

It happens dozens of times in a long match and is in full glory on the courts at Flushing Meadows: Players call for a towel to be brought to them in the middle of a game, and they quickly wipe the sweat from their faces, sometimes even their necks, arms and legs.

And then, in a fluid motion that's become part of the culture of the men's and women's tours, they casually toss the sweaty rag back to the barehanded ballkid, to be stowed neatly away for the next rubdown. Take my sweat, please.

Longtime observers of the sport say it's enough to put the eeeewwww in U.S. Open.

"If it's not your sweat, it's pretty gross," said U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier, who has followed the trend both as one of the world's top players and now as a tennis broadcaster. "I don't think that I would want my child to be lifting a towel full of sweat. ... I don't think that should be part of the job description."

But it is.

"Some people might think it's disgusting but it's part of the job," said 16-year-old ballboy Marcus Smith of Queens. "We're here to help the players with whatever they need. You've got to do it."

So how did ballkids become de facto sweat valets for players? And why does it seem to be happening more than ever? Followers of the game say it's a trend set by big stars, and, ironically, rules designed to stop players from wasting time.

In years gone by, toweling off was largely an activity of the changeover. And if players really needed to mop sweat during a game, they took care of their own towel, keeping it at the back fence and retrieving it themselves.

Efforts to speed up the game — now a maximum 20 seconds between points at the Grand Slam events — ended up killing these do-it-yourself towel jaunts because they were too time-consuming within the confines of the rules.

Enter the scampering ballkids, whose frantic dashes to deliver the towel (often presented to the player like a toreador's cape) and retrieve the towel (often snagged out of the air from the player's no-look toss) have made the on-court rubdown time-friendly and all-too-easy.

While such players as Greg Rusedski and Andy Roddick were seen as pioneers in the practice of calling for the towel on nearly every point, some players say its popularity really took off with the rise of Rafael Nadal, whose frequent wipedowns have become legendary.

"Nadal brought in those methodical rituals to the game, whether it was an OCD or superstitious," said Bob Bryan, half of the world's No. 1 doubles team. "That goes to younger players and younger players — they emulate their idols and it just becomes part of the culture."

"Now everyone goes to the towel after every point," added brother Mike Bryan. "You don't need a wipe down after every point."

The practice has even spawned its own internationally recognized player-to-ballkid sign language for "bring me the towel" — a hand waving up and down in front of the face.

"It's gotten to be excessive," said Hall of Famer and Australian TV commentator Fred Stolle, who recalled how Nadal once gave towels to two ballkids on the same side of the court so they could deliver him his towel more quickly.

At this year's Australian Open, Nadal was sweating so much that ballkids were called out to clean up the sweat that sloshed on the court around where he was serving.

"It's not particularly attractive, no," said Courier, pointing out rubdown after rubdown on his bank of monitors in his television booth above Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I wish we could put the genie back in the bottle and say no towels until the changeover, but that's just not realistic."

Handling of sweat has become such a part the game that the U.S. Tennis Association has consulted a physician to come up with a "towel policy" for U.S. Open ballkids on how to deal with player bodily fluids.

"Sweat is absolutely fine" under the policy, explained the USTA's Tina Taps, who has supervised the U.S. Open's 250 ballboys and ballgirls since 1989. She said ballkids are encouraged to use hand sanitizer, available at all courts, and told to put bandages on any cuts they may have on their hands.

There is a limit, however.

"If a player should spit into towel, blow their nose into the towel, if there is any blood present, ballpersons are supposed to step back," said Taps, adding that just about everything has happened before. "The court attendant has gloves ... and takes the towel and puts it into a little hazmat bag."

Vanderbilt University infectious disease expert Dr. William Shaffner says that policy is in line with study after study that finds sweat — unlike saliva, mucus, vomit and blood — is not a vehicle for transmitting infections.

"The risk is close to zero. Basically, sweat is no sweat," Shaffner said. "That doesn't mean there's not a certain ick factor there."

Bob and Mike Bryan acknowledged they haven't given much thought to how ballkids feel about it all. That's because they know most ballkids are fans of the game first.

"When I was a ballkid at 10 years old, I didn't care what Andre Agassi did to that towel. I was going to hold it," Mike Bryan said.

Added Bob Bryan: "These kids are like, 'Give me your wristbands!' and they're drenched, and they put them on and they're like, 'Yeah!'"

So have any ballkids ever refused to handle a player's sweaty towel?

"Not a single one," Taps said. "It is almost like an honor to be able to work so closely with the player."

That was a sentiment reflected in interviews with several U.S. Open ballkids. Most wouldn't dream of letting a little sweat stop them from getting close to their idols.

Fifteen-year-old Danny Singer of Manhattan says the highlight of his ballkid career was when he got to work a match of one of his favorite players, Grigor Dimitrov.

"It's cool to hold a famous person's towel." 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia



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