<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-usSat, 18 Aug 2018 12:51:46 -0400Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:51:46 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Whale Flips NJ Fishermen's Boat, Tossing Them Into Ocean]]> Fri, 17 Aug 2018 20:23:10 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/fisherman+thrown+water+whale.jpg

It was high drama on the seas off the Jersey Shore Thursday when a whale capsized a fisherman's boat and the two men aboard had to be rescued by a retired firefighter who happened to be nearby. 

The two fishermen, out to catch fluke, were about 50 yards from the beach in Long Branch when they suddenly felt their vessel, named Kaptain Obvious, flip -- apparently by a hungry whale chasing baitfish.

"He came up underneath the boat, lifted the whole boat out of the water," one of the fishermen, Bill Sobeck, told News 4 New York on Friday, describing a "thud" sound when the whale hit the boat. 

"I could feel myself being thrown up. I don't know what I hit on the way up to scratch my face up," he said, sporting cuts on his nose and chin. "But I do remember landing in the water on my back."

The two were pulled to safety aboard the boat of retired Trenton firefighter Gary Szabo, who raced to the rescue when he heard the may day call.

"We watched the whale, and all of a sudden the boat goes wheeew... and it's gone," one of the fishermen is heard telling Szabo in the video. 

Szabo says he's "never even heard of a whale capsizing a boat except Moby Dick."

Captain Ahab aside, a whale upending a vessel does occasionally happen -- like in Margate two years ago, just a few hundred yards from the beach, when a humpback whale struck the boat from behind.

The boat took the brunt of the damage, and has been towed in for repairs to its T-frame top and engine. As soon as that's done, Sobeck say he's going back out, with one caveat. 

"If I ever see a whale again, it'll be, 'Hi, how you doing, hold up for a picture. I'm outta here,'" he laughed. 

Photo Credit: Gary Szabo/News 4 NY
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<![CDATA[Bright Red Outdoor Urinals Pop Up in Paris]]> Thu, 16 Aug 2018 06:04:02 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/paris-potty.jpg

The City of Lights has debuted an especially flashy new way to curtail public urination: bright red eco-toilets for those on the go. 

Industrial designer Faltazi created the waterless urinal, called "Uritrottoir," to be filled with straw that can be composted. The tops of the urinals double as flower beds. 

Several of the toilets were first rolled out in the spring to a muted reaction, The New York Times reported. But a backlash has developed after one was recently installed on the picturesque Ile St. Louis, according to reports

Not everyone is saying oui, oui to the attention-grabbing boxes, which include signs illustrating how to use them.

A local mayor told the Times he would consider a "fine tuning" of the location of the urinal but stressed it was necessary to cut down on public urination. 

Outdoor urinals aren't an only-in-Paris thing. San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to install an open-air urinal in 2016 with the "pissoir" that city authorities placed in Dolores Park in 2016.

Photo Credit: Michel Spingler/AP
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<![CDATA[You (Or Will Smith) Could Be the New Voice of SEPTA]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:49:48 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SEPTa+Buses+Generic+SEPTA+Lined+Up.jpg

SEPTA wants you to be hearing voices when you ride.

And, you can help the transit agency pick its newest (celebrity) announcer.

“Who do you think would be the best voice for SEPTA?” the agency asked on its contest page. “Will Smith? Kevin Hart? Jill Scott? Sly Stallone? Pink? The Ben Franklin impersonator? You?”

Currently Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins reminds riders to "play it safe and watch your step." In the past former Eagle Connor Barwin reminded riders to recycle. What might the next announcer say?

“Yo, this is Sly Stallone and this train is headed to Frankford” and “Will Smith here, next stop is Belmont Plateau” sure would be fun to hear.

SEPTA is open to suggestions on its next announcer through Aug. 26. The Top 11 “most thoughtful entries" will get prizes, SEPTA said. The grand prize is an Anywhere TrailPass (a $204 value) for September with the other 10 winners getting a SEPTA T-shirt.

Of course, SEPTA would still need to convince their next voice to take the gig. They hope the local pride will swell like it did for Vancouver, Canada, native Seth Rogan who recently became the voice of his hometown TransLink.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Critter McCool Removes Massive Hives From Pa. Business]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 07:54:06 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/190*120/Honey+Bees+Hive.JPG

A new business is creating quite the *buzz* after the new owner found two massive beehives inside. Critter McCool was called in to remove the hives.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[75 Goats, Sheep Escape NJ Livestock Auction, Go for a Stroll]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 06:20:25 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Hackettstown+Sheep+11.jpg If you're passing through Hackettstown on Thursday, beware of the goats and sheep -- lots of them. Potentially dozens of the animals are still loose after an escape Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: Hackettstown PD]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Police Chief Buys Cocaine Online, Prosecutor Says]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:26:32 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/08-09-18+Michael+Coppola.jpg

The police chief of the Palisades Parkway Police Department has been arrested, accused of ordering cocaine online. 

Michael J. Coppola, 43, had been buying cocaine on the Internet and getting it delivered to a post office box, prosecutors say. 

Detectives investigating the case, including postal investigators and Homeland Security, along with Bergen County prosecutors, put a package containing imitation cocaine in Coppola's post office box. 

He went to get the package on Aug. 9, picking up what he believed to be cocaine, and then was pulled over and arrested during a traffic stop on Route 80 East in Ridgefield Park, authorities said. 

Coppola is facing charges of attempt to possess cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Attorney information wasn't immediately clear. He's expected to appear in court in Hackensack on Aug. 22.

Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Lobster Named After Bon Jovi]]> Mon, 06 Aug 2018 08:36:20 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/bon-jovi-lobster.jpg

There's Bon Jovi the rock star and then there's Bon Jovi the rock lobster. 

Jon Bon Jovi stopped at a Long Island supermarket on Saturday to help promote his son's new line of rosé, surprising shoppers at the Farmingdale store. 

But perhaps most surprised was a 19-pound lobster who was named "Bon Jovi" in honor of the "Wanted Dead or Alive" singer. 

Bon Jovi and his son Jesse were also greeted by Stew Leonard, Jr., the CEO of the eponymous grocery store chain. 

They were promoting "Diving Into Hampton Water" rosé, which will be available throughout the East Coast. Stew Leonard's Wine and Spirits is launching the sale of the wine. 

Photo Credit: Stew Leonard’s Wines and Spirits]]>
<![CDATA[Philly's Newest Diner (Literally) Rolled Into Town Friday]]> Fri, 03 Aug 2018 21:42:10 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Wayne+Junction+Diner+Moving+In+to+Philly+LG.gif

Philadelphia's newest diner was greeted by eager guests and antique collectors as it literally rolled into town Friday.

The 1950s Mountain View diner traveled 244 miles south from Willimantic, Connecticut, to Berkley Street in Philadelphia. There, it will reopen as the Wayne Junction Diner. It'll be named after a restaurant formerly located across from Wayne Junction Station, which closed in the 1990s.

“The nostalgia of the Wayne Junction Diner will be a major draw to lower Germantown and a key ingredient to its revitalization,” said Ken Weinstein, President of Philly Office Retail, the company that owns the diner.

"Anyone can build a building and call it a diner, but it’s much more difficult and people appreciate it more if you do something like this.”

Moving the diner required a lot of coordination. Police in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania had to work together to make sure the building traveled safely and, once in Philly, the driver had to navigate the city’s narrow streets.

Area residents and visitors from other Philadelphia neighborhoods greeted the diner with enthusiasm as it drove up to its location.

Carolyn Sutton traveled from East Falls because of the diner’s long history.

“I collect antiques and things like that so I love everything that’s from the past,” Sutton said.

This isn't the first move for the diner. It has quite a travel history:

Originally manufactured by the Mountain View Diners Company in New Jersey, the diner’s first move was to Waterbury, Connecticut, where it originally opened as Egan’s Diner. The diner then moved to Willimantic and became the Windham Diner until 1971 when it made the move to Southington, Connecticut, as G. Otto’s Hiway Diner.

In 1986, it moved back to Waterbury and operated under the name Valley Diner until 1993. The diner found new life back in Willimantic in 2005 when it became Mickey’s and was later connected to the college-oriented nightclub Jonathan’s Café. They detached in 2016, and the diner was put up for sale.

In May 2018, Philly Office Retail purchased the diner as part of the Wayne Junction Revitalization Project. The project began in Oct. 2017.

While the diner won’t open as the new Wayne’s Junction until next year, children attending the opening already knew what they wanted to eat.

One of the kids told NBC10 she wanted “fries, a burger and some milkshakes—two milkshakes.”

The diner, which currently seats 65, will be expanded before the opening to include a larger seating area, a new kitchen and bathrooms. Weinstein believes the diner’s memorable move in will make it worth the wait.

“It is not every day that a 1950’s diner arrives in our city,” Weinstein said. “People will remember where they were on this day for years to come.”

The new Wayne Junction Diner will be the second diner Weinstein has delivered to Philadelphia. The first diner, a 1952 Mountain View, arrived in 1999 and opened in 2000 as Trolley Car Diner in Mount Airy.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[New Jersey Officers Rescue Deer in Pool]]> Thu, 02 Aug 2018 09:31:12 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Officers_Rescue_Deer_in_Pool.jpg

An unexpected guest took a dip in a private pool in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County, prompting officers to rescue the animal. The deer didn't run off and even posed for photos with the officers.

<![CDATA[Bigfoot Lumbers Into Virginia Congressional Race]]> Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:57:51 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/bigfoot-candidate.jpg

Bigfoot is now a campaign issue in a Virginia race for U.S. Congress.

Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn took to Twitter on Sunday to accuse her Republican opponent Denver Riggleman of being a “devotee of Bigfoot erotica.”

Riggleman said the attack stems from satirical Instagram posts depicting a nude Sasquatch.

Riggleman told News4 that he does not believe Bigfoot exists but that he's fascinated by the mythology of the ape-like creature.

He accused Cockburn of taking out of context pieces of a long-running joke he’s had with friends. He said he didn’t know a subset of erotic fiction depicting sexual encounters with Sasquatch existed until Cockburn brought it up.

"This has been one of the most bizarre, surreal and funny things I’ve ever experienced," he said. 

The two are running in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. It runs from the North Carolina border to Northern Virginia and includes Charlottesville.

The seat is currently held by Republican Tom Garrett, who announced that he's an alcoholic and will not seek re-election.

Cockburn's first tweet about Bigfoot is accompanied by a screenshot of an Instagram post showing a hand-drawn hairy, bearded figure with a censored bar over the groin area. 

The Instagram caption says “Cover art for #matinghabitsofbigfoot almost complete. I hide nothing in this magnificent tome. Don’t erase the censor box….”

Cockburn then tweeted a second screenshot depicting Sasquatch with another censored bar and a crudely pasted square photos of Riggleman on the head.

The caption reads, “My “buddies” thought this pic was fitting for my birthday next week and to celebrate my new book release in about a month or 2… “Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him…”

The tweets caught fire, and the story has gotten national coverage. 

The Cockburn campaign declined to say whether they had evidence Riggleman had written Bigfoot erotica.

"Sounds to me like the same old 'locker room talk’ defense. Denver is just more of the same,” Cockburn’s campaign manager, Louise Bruce, said in a statement.

Riggleman said he did write a book titled "The Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him," but it’s not erotic fiction. The cover image he posted on Instagram was a joke from a friend, he said. 

Riggleman said the unpublished book is a collection of Bigfoot stories shared among friends for more than a decade.

“All of the stuff you see is just 14 years of joking,” he said.

Riggleman told News4 he helped write a short story with outdoors writer Don Barone. It is titled, “Bigfoot Exterminators Inc. The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006.”

Riggleman, who is a co-owner of Silverback Distillery in Nelson County, Virginia, accused Cockburn of distracting voters with the erotica allegations posted to her Twitter account.

During the campaign, Cockburn has faced accusations of anti-Semitism, and Riggleman has been accused of supporting white supremacists.

The Republican Party of Virginia accused Cockburn, a former investigative journalist, of anti-Semitism over a 1991 book she co-authored. She has denied the claim.

The book, called "Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship," examines the history of relations between the two nations.

Melvin Leffler, a public policy scholar and history professor at the University of Virginia, told The Roanoke Times "the book contains no evidence that Cockburn is anti-Semitic."

Bruce did not address the Virginia GOP's allegations that Cockburn’s book was anti-Semitic.

Bruce drew a stark contrast between the two candidates, warning Riggleman would continue Garrett’s “far right voting record.”

She tied his candidacy to Senate hopeful and Republican firebrand Corey Stewart. Cockburn took on Washington special interests when she was a journalist and gave voice to people unable to speak for themselves, her spokeswoman said.

The pro-Democrat group Blue Virginia accused Riggleman of campaigning with Isaac Smith, who they called a white supremacist. Smith is one of the founders of Unity and Security for America, according to The Washington Post. The newspaper called the organization "a fledgling group that calls for 'defending Western Civilization.'"

Riggleman wrote an editorial published in the Roanoke Times on July 25 renouncing white supremacy.

He quipped Monday that Cockburn's mudslinging may not play well in the rural areas of the district, warning she could be "alienating Bigfoot voters."

Photo Credit: AP (File)/iStock/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[7-Foot Boa Constrictor on the Loose in Montgomery County]]> Tue, 31 Jul 2018 07:41:40 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Red+Tail+Boa.jpg

"Vinnie," a 10-year-old boa constrictor missing from his Montgomery County home, has residents on edge in a small Pennsylvania community.

The East Greenville Borough made the announcement via its Facebook page on Monday afternoon that the 7-foot red tail boa constrictor was on the loose.

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A friend of Vinnie's owner tells NBC10 the snake went missing four weeks ago, but owners only recently realized he had escaped the home. That's when they called police. So far there have been no confirmed sightings.

News of Vinnie's escape led to a change of plans for some events.

According to another Facebook post, a lunch event in nearby Bieler Park was canceled "due to a large animal on the loose near the site."

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Although it is uncommon, the red tail boa constrictor is known to occasionally attack humans when it perceives a threat.

Vinnie, the friend said, is friendly. 

Anyone who spots the snake is asked to contact the East Greenville Police at 610-635-4300.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect a new statement from East Greenville Borough.

Photo Credit: submitted photo
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<![CDATA[Naked Exerciser Thought Planet Fitness Was 'Judgment-Free Zone,' Police Say ]]> Tue, 24 Jul 2018 12:28:32 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/stagno3.jpg

A man accused of stripping naked before working out at a New Hampshire Planet Fitness reportedly told arresting officers he thought the gym was a "judgment-free zone."

Plaistow police Capt. Brett Morgan said Eric Stagno, 34, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was charged with indecent exposure/lewdness and disorderly conduct after he allegedly walked into the gym on Route 125 in Plaistow on Sunday afternoon, took off his clothes, walked back and forth a couple of times and then started doing poses on his knees on a yoga mat.

As he was being arrested, police said he referenced Planet Fitness' long-standing slogan that it is a "judgment-free zone."

Stagno is free on bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 21 in Plaistow District Court. He could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Planet Fitness has not yet responded for a request for comment. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Plaistow Police]]>
<![CDATA[Oh Baby! Dad Makes Grab for the Ages at Phillies Game]]> Wed, 25 Jul 2018 09:41:54 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/223*120/Phillies+Dad+Baby+Home+Run+Catch.JPG

The Phillies might have come up short Monday night but one father hit a home run with his amazing catch.

With the Phillies down two runs in the bottom of the ninth, Phillies slugger Maikel Franco launched a pitch from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen toward the left field stands. The homer got the Phillies to within one run but the lasting memory of it was Dan Alvarez’s amazing one-handed grab while holding his 2-month-old son.

"I heard the crack of the bat and I was like, 'that has to be a home run,'" Alvarez told NBC10's Tim Furlong. "It was instant reaction so I reached over but at the same time I rememebred I had a baby."

Alvarez’s home run ball grab even caught the attention of Phillies play-by-play guy Tom McCarthy.

“That guy with a baby in hand caught that home run,” McCarthy said during the broadcast.

Slow-motion video showed just how impressive the grab really was. Alvarez had to reach across his body with his right arm and over at least two other Phillies fans to snag the ball. All while cradling his Phillies onesie-clad son, Mason, in his left arm.

Take into account that the ball allegedly had an exit velocity of 97 mph and traveled 361 feet... wow!

NBC10's Tim Furlong spoke to the Chester County resident about his grab (that almost overshadowed the standing ovations for Chase Utley’s final regular season series at Citizens Bank Park) Tuesday. 

Mason's first baseball game certainly isn't one to forget.

The ball will eventually make its way to Mason's room but not before Franco signs it, something the Phillies are making happen.

"I can't wait for him to grow and we show him all the videos," mother Megan Bortle said.

Despite the joy of the catch, not all was well as the Phillies lost by one run to fall into a first-place tie in National League East.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Philadelphia
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<![CDATA[Woman Finds Baby Gator Within Feet of Her Delco Home]]> Mon, 23 Jul 2018 12:46:41 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Baby+Alligator+Rescued.jpg

A Delaware County woman who was admiring a turtle in her backyard got a surprise when she spotted an alligator just a few feet away.

Tracie Hoffecker says she found the 2-to-3-foot-long gator near her home in the Philadelphia suburb of Prospect Park, Pennsylvania, on Sunday morning.

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Hoffecker called her cousin, who is a Philadelphia firefighter, and he safely removed the alligator using a net.

Slimy, Scaly, Taily Reptile Rescue arrived on the scene and recovered the animal. Rescue group representative Matt Snider says the alligator will go to an aquarium.

Authorities say the alligator was likely someone's pet and was illegally dumped in the area.

It is legal to own an alligator under Pennsylvania state law. But it is illegal to release them into the wild.

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Photo Credit: Prospect Park Police Department Facebook
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<![CDATA[2-Year-Old Plays Catch With Dog Over Fence]]> Thu, 19 Jul 2018 20:47:51 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TWITTER+DOG+VIDEO.00_00_08_14.Still003THUMB.jpg

This cute Twitter video that has gone viral shows a little 2-year-old playing catch with a neighbor's dog over their fence. The dog and child play together every time they're both outside at the same time.

<![CDATA[Airbus Beluga XL Whale Takes Flight for the First Time]]> Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:04:27 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1001759760.jpg The Airbus Beluga XL made its first flight. Check out photos of the super-transporter's adorable "whale face" paint job.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rescued Pit Bull Saves Family From NJ House Fire]]> Mon, 23 Jul 2018 08:47:00 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Zeus+Dog+1.jpg

Jeremy Brown rescued Zeus from an animal shelter. Last week, the pit bull returned the favor.

The four-legged hero is credited with saving his family from a house fire in New Jersey.

It all started in the early hours of July 16. Brown, 22, and his family were sleeping after throwing a birthday party for his 2-year-old nephew.

Brown was sleeping on the second floor of the family's Beachwood home when Zeus started barking. 

"He was just going crazy and eventually I woke up," he said.

When Brown opened his bedroom door he saw smoke coming from the guest bedroom across the hall. Realizing the house was on fire, he quickly alerted his girlfriend and his parents.

Zeus, who is about 5 years old, managed to alert his human family of the blaze before the smoke detectors went off.

Thanks to Zeus’ quick thinking, all four adults, two cats and another pet dog living in the house managed to escape safely.

Zeus’ heroic act is even more incredible since the pooch had a pre-existing leg injury — a torn ACL — for which he is still awaiting treatment.

"The fact that he jumped off my bed, he really pushed himself," Brown said, explaining that Zeus went out of his way to make sure the family was alerted even though he was suffering an injury that made jumping not an easy task.

Because of the fire, Brown, who was saving up for Zeus' surgery, is now unsure when Zeus will be able to get the necessary procedure, which brings with it medical costs in the thousands of dollars.

According to Beachwood Fire Chief Roger Hull, the town’s volunteer fire department received a call reporting a house fire at around 2 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from the front of the two-and-a-half story wood frame house.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to extinguish the fire which was in a second floor bedroom at the front of the house.

Brown and Zeus visited the Beachwood Volunteer Fire Department Monday night to thank them and the Pine Beach Fire Department for holding the fire to just one room and for the job well done.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation although a working theory is that an extension cord used to power a portable air conditioning unit may be to blame.

While Brown and his family will have to live elsewhere for about 6 to 8 months while the family's home is repaired from the water and fire damage it sustained, Brown says he is lucky to have Zeus and hopes his story leads to society thinking differently about pit bulls.

"It just seems that some people are scared of these animals and call them bred killers, but that's not really true," he said, adding that it is not fair how they are sometimes treated.

"They are saviors, protectors more than anything," he said. "They are companion dogs and very loyal....Zeus is the greatest dog to me."

Photo Credit: Beachwood Volunteer Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[One Man's Trash Is Another's Treasure 200-Plus Years Later]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:45:17 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Trash+Talk+American+Revolution+Musuem.JPG

One man’s trash is not only another man’s treasure in this instance, but everyone’s treasure. The Museum of the American Revolution’s newest evening event showcases their collection of ancient recycled goods.

The Old City Philadelphia museum is hosting a "Trash Talk" Tuesday to exhibit their archaeological findings dating back to the 1700's. During their excavation, nearly 85,000 artifacts were unearthed.

Tea sets, smoking pipe, and wig rollers were just a few of the pieces recovered from local well shafts and brick-lined privy pits – 18th century toilets – in the Philadelphia area.

This event is part of the ongoing series "History After Hours". For these limited time events, guests can enjoy extended evening hours, special themed programs, and happy hour food and drink specials from 5 to 8 p.m.

Tickets for History After Hours are $10 and can be purchased online in advance here or at the door.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Dino Derby: T-Rexes 'Race' at Washington Racetrack]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:30:26 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/trexgif.gif

You haven't seen a derby like this. Racers in T-Rex costumes took a turn on the Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn, Washington, in a hilarious 10 second sprint caught on cam. 

<![CDATA[Mattress Firm Hiring 'Snoozetern' to Join Social Media Team]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:22:19 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/071718mattressfirms.jpg

You don't have to stay awake at work as a Mattress Firm intern.

The national mattress company said last week it's hiring what it's calling a "snoozetern" to help the its social media team tease product launches and assist customers in selecting the ideal bed.

The intern, who will be based at Mattress Firm's headquarters in Houston, will be responsible for testing beds, creating written and video reviews for the store's website, offering sleeping tips on Facebook Live streams and generating videos that highlight Houston residents' sleeping habits.

"We are excited to hire our first ever Snoozetern," said Chief Marketing Officer Scott Thaler in a news release. "It's not every day that an intern is hired to sleep on the job, but that's just one of many perks."

The job is paid but part time. Applicants must be 18 or older and "proficient in napping, regardless of time of day." But Mattress Firm also wants applicants to know how to use a variety of video editing software, according to the snoozetern website. Applications are due July 23.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA['Zombie' Rat Climbs Out of NYC Bathroom Sink]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:52:47 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/rat-diptych.jpg

A Brooklyn couple experienced firsthand one of New York City’s most disgusting urban legends: a rat came wiggling its way out of their plumbing.

Bari Finkel said a rat crawled out of the sink drain in their Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone Friday night.

“It looked like a zombie coming out of the grave,” she recalled.

Finkel said it was actually her boyfriend who discovered something amiss with the sink -- which had no stopper because of a slow drain -- while using the restroom.

When he looked over at let out a yelp, Finkel went over to the bathroom thinking that he had somehow hurt himself. She said she let out her own horrified scream when she saw the critter for herself.

“I looked over and saw this small creature just emerging from the drain,” she said.

She added, “It was just so insane I couldn’t not laugh.”

Finkel said she went back to the living room to keep her dogs out of the bathroom while her boyfriend tried to handle the situation with a grocery bag. But she said she went back into the bathroom to document what had happened.

“After a couple minutes, (the rat) was making sounds and was clearly also freaked out,” she said. “I said ‘we should probably take a couple of pictures, because this is insane.’”

She said that when she lifted the bag to get pictures, the rat escaped the only way it could: it climbed back down the drain.

“I’m glad we didn’t have to figure out what to do with it, but I did not love the idea of it being in the pipes,” she said.

Finkel said she’d never seen rodents in her apartment building before, and even members of her block association had never heard of anything like that happening.

She told her landlord, whose only response was, “that’s a first.”

They were a little wary of using the bathroom for a few hours after the critter’s visit, Finkel said, but they don’t have any plans to change their routine -- other than replacing their sink stopper.

Photo Credit: Bari Finkel
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<![CDATA[Pug Life: Cape May Police Department ‘Arrests’ Runaway Dog]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:55:39 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/capemaypug.jpg

You can take the pug out of the the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the pug.

Sunday afternoon, the Cape May Police Department took to Facebook after finding a pug wandering through yards along New Jersey Avenue.

Police first announced finding the dog by posting a “pugmug” on the department's official facebook page and giving a phone number for people to contact if they knew the owner.

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Shortly after, the pug was photographed in a jail cell with an update that mentioned the owner had been identified and the runaway pooch would be “released on bail.”

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Still no word on charges or the bail amount. The owner will likely be be keeping this pug on a tight leash from now on.

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<![CDATA[Video Shows Woman Capture, Bag Live Birds in Philly Park]]> Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:05:50 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/birdlady.JPG

A U.S. park ranger confronted a woman seen snatching birds at a historic square in Philadelphia and placing them alive in plastic bags, and she claimed she released the birds after catching them.

Videos posted to Instagram on Wednesday show the woman capturing what appear to be sparrows as she and a man sit on a bench near Independence Hall in Washington Square.

The man appears to toss food to a cluster of birds as the woman leans down and grabs one and puts it into a small plastic bag, which she ties off as the bird flaps around inside.

Park Service spokeswoman Gina Gilliam says a ranger approached the couple Tuesday over a complaint they were catching birds.

The ranger observed empty plastic bags and told the couple that trapping wildlife in the park is illegal.

Photo Credit: Sniffr Media]]>
<![CDATA['Extreme Crowds' Force Build-a-Bear to Close Lines on 'Pay Your Age Day']]> Fri, 13 Jul 2018 00:08:42 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/buildabearchaos2.jpg

After Build-a-Bear Workshop offered customers the chance to pay their age for any stuffable animal, the company was forced to close its lines at all U.S. and Canadian workshops as "extreme crowds" filled shopping centers and throngs of people wrapped around stores and buildings.

The company said in a statement on its website that the response to the company's first-of-its-kind sale "has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history." It added that at the request of local authorities, the company cut off lines and stopped accepting new customers at stores over safety concerns. This resulted in "long lines, extensive waits and disappointed guests."

Some lines were shut down after stores had only been open a few hours. Build-a-Bear said the crowds "greatly exceeded our expectations." 

With kids and adults hoping to get a customizable animal for cheap, social media posts showed local workshops stuffed with eager customers and lines spilling into the hallways of malls.

In New York City, parents with small children were still waiting in line at the 34th Street shop at 1:30 p.m., telling NBC4 they had been there since 6:30 a.m. Some said once inside the store they waited hours just to purchase a bear.

One woman yelled "We need somebody" as she confronted staff members over what she said was a lack of monitoring people who were skipping the line.

"It was not worth it," one child said after a long wait.

The Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista, California, posted Build-a-Bear's statement to its Facebook page and customers replied confused and upset.

"The store or the mall should give out vouchers for customers to return at a later date to obtain their bear. Seems a bit unfair, and both entities should have prepared for a response like this when offering this type of promotion," one Facebook user wrote on the post.

Video from NBC7 showed a sprawling line stretching out of the town center's doors and wrapping around the back of the building.

In Illinois, police could be seen responding to the growing crowd at Orland Square Mall, NBC Chicago reported. A flood of people could also be seen at Oakbrook and Woodfield Malls. Though the lines were long, NBC5 reported customers received their discounted bears without incident.

In response to the chaos, Build-a-Bear gave vouchers for future purchases to guests who were present in lines but were not served. Vouchers were also made available online to Build-a-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada. Those members must log on to their accounts by midnight July 15 and use the voucher by August 31.

The sale allowed customers to choose any of the "furry friends" available at local workshops and pay their age number for it. The company said no one would pay more than $29 for a bear on the special date — regardless if the purchaser is in their 30's or older. Build-a-Bear required no identification or proof of age.

Many of the animals are normally in the $20-30 range, with some costing as low as $10 and some as high as $75.

The day-long event was set to serve as a kickoff for a larger, year-round celebration of birthdays in which those 14 and under can receive a "Count Their Candles" invite. Kids can pay their age for a special bear during their birthday month.

The discount was also being offered at U.K. stores. Police said lines formed at a workshop in England "about a mile long," the BBC reported. Several stores closed for the rest of the day due to the crowds.

Parents reported wait times of up to nine hours in at some locations in England, according to DailyMail.com.

"We have overwhelming data that indicates Build-A-Bear is synonymous with childhood, and nearly one-third of our sales are associated with birthdays," said president and chief executive officer of Build-A-Bear-Workshop Sharon Price John.

Photo Credit: Brad Luck
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<![CDATA[Man Wins Grand Prizes on 9 Mass Cash Lottery Tickets]]> Wed, 11 Jul 2018 23:37:58 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Robert+Lundstedt.png

A Massachusetts man has done the unthinkable and won a total of nine $100,000 grand prizes on tickets he purchased for Monday night's Mass Cash drawing.

Robert Lundstedt of Brockton had a strange feeling about the drawing, so he bought four tickets at Trucchi's Supermarket in West Bridgewater, two tickets at Quick Stop in West Bridgewater, two more at The Corner Market in West Bridgewater, and one ticket at Cumberland Farms in Bridgewater.

"I bought a Gatorade, gave her a five, I had change," Lundstedt said of buying the final ticket. "I had the ticket in my pocket, and I said, 'Here, just play this one time.' And I did."

On Tuesday morning, he picked up a newspaper to check the numbers and discovered the ones he chose matched.

The winning numbers were: 1, 7, 11, 26 and 30.

"I wasn't too surprised," Lundstedt told NBC10 Boston in an exclusive interview.

Met with disbelief, he quickly reversed.

"No, OK, I was, yeah," he said with a smile.

Lundstedt gave two of the tickets to his children, Kristen and Brian, which will leave him with $700,000 in winnings — minus tax withholdings. He doesn't plan to make any flashy purchases, and his kids will be using their winnings to pay their student loans.

"It's not going to change too much for us. We're pretty simple," Brian Lundstedt said. "Just have a little extra in savings."

Lundstedt, a carpenter, told lottery officials he plans to use his winnings to pay off the mortgage on his home. But he also hopes to keep his lotto luck rolling, telling NBC10 Boston he will "absolutely" play again.

"I still play it. That number's going to come in again," he said.

An additional $100,000 prize winning ticket from Monday night's drawing sold at Fisher's Pub in Middleborough has yet to be claimed, lottery officials said.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Deforestation Threatens Some of Earth's Natural Cures]]> Thu, 12 Jul 2018 09:56:00 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/deforestation.png

Amazing medical cures from the Earth’s forests are threatened by deforestation.

<![CDATA[Man Finally Cuts His Nails After 66 Years ]]> Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:37:09 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NYC-Finger+Nail+Photos_9+copy+cropped.jpg The man with the world's longest fingernails has cut them -- after 66 years -- and sold them to a Times Square institution.

Photo Credit: Ripley's Believe It or Not!]]>
<![CDATA[TSA Seizes Python Hidden in Hard Drive at Miami Airport]]> Tue, 10 Jul 2018 13:57:23 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/python-MIA-070918.jpg

They've had it with these snakes on this plane.

Transportation Security Administration agents seized a ball python that was carefully concealed inside of a hard drive and inside a checked bag for a Sunday flight to Barbados from Miami International Airport.

"This organic mass was not explosive, but it shows you can't hide any threat from us," TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz tweeted.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife took the snake and the passenger did not make it on the plane to Barbados and will be fined, according to Koshetz.

Photo Credit: TSA]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Couple Remodeling Bathroom Uncovers Hidden Message]]> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 09:40:23 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/0704-2018-BathroomRemodel.jpg

Are there messages just waiting to be uncovered in my home?

That's what many are wondering after coming across a tweet that went viral this week posted by San Jose resident Alex Monney. The tweet, which has since been deleted, garnered more than 21,000 retweets and hundreds of comments.

Alex and Jess Monney are remodeling their bathroom this month and discovered a message left from the home's previous owners:

"We remodeled this bathroom summer 1995. If you're reading this, that means you're remodeling the bathroom again. What's wrong with the way we did it?!?!?"

The message is also accompanied with a photo of the previous owners. Check out the message below:

The previous homeowners shared a picture of their pet rabbit, Cassie, too. 

"Thank you for the note. It gave us a lot of smiles," homeowner Alex Monney told NBC Bay Area. "It brought a lot of laughter to our life. Your bathroom was great. Sorry, for messing with it."

Here is how the bathroom looked before the remodel in this tweet from Jess below:

The viral bathroom remake continues to be the talk on social media thanks to the likes of comedian and actress Sarah Silverman sharing the story.

The Monneys said they plan to carry on the tradition and write their own message in the walls. 

Meanwhile, we'll be figuring out if any portions of our home are in need of a remodel. Who knows? There could be a hidden message from '95 patiently waiting to be seen.

Photo Credit: ALEX MONNEY
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<![CDATA[Stolen Boat Smashes Into New Bulkhead in NJ]]> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 07:41:41 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Tuckerton+Stolen+Boat+Crash.jpg

A suspected boat thief wound up being captured while trying to hide after allegedly crashing the watercraft into a new bulkhead in New Jersey.

The Tuckerton Fire Department posted photos of the aftermath of the boating wreck at South Green Street Park late Tuesday night to Facebook.

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The boat, which was stolen from nearby Little Egg Harbor, wound up mostly out of the water and on the bulkhead after crashing at a high rate of speed, firefighters said. The operator, however, was nowhere to be found.

West Tuckerton and Mystic Island Fire Company Marine Units joined Tuckerton firefighters in the search for the suspect, utilizing thermal imaging, Tuckerton firefighters said.

"Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor police collared a man after he was spotted under the deck of abandoned house along South Green Street by West Tuckerton firefighters," Tuckerton firefighters said.

The bulkhead and boat were significantly damaged, firefighters said. No one was hurt.

The New Jersey State Police took over the investigation into the boat theft and crash. They charged Kevin Bacorn, of Manahawkin, with theft, criminal trespass and boating while intoxicated.

Bacorn, 32, was released pending his next court date. NBC10 was unable to immediately reach him by phone or social media.

Photo Credit: Tuckerton Fire Department
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<![CDATA[California Bear Relaxes in Hot Tub, Laps Up Margarita]]> Tue, 03 Jul 2018 16:56:09 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/US-CA-Bear-Hot-Tub-CR-153057358745100002.jpg

Mark Hough had barely taken a sip of his Friday afternoon margarita when he heard twigs snapping and leaves rustling in his lush Altadena, California, backyard.

At first he brushed it off as the sounds of his neighbor pottering next door, but the noise grew louder.

"So I got up, looked over in the bushes and lo and behold there's a bear climbing up over my fence," Hough said Monday.