<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Weird News, Strange News, and Odd News]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut https://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-usFri, 19 Oct 2018 01:37:42 -0400Fri, 19 Oct 2018 01:37:42 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Watch Divers Carve Pumpkins Underwater in Florida Keys]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 05:44:34 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/220*120/101418+pumpkins.jpg

A creative group of scuba divers submerged 30 feet beneath the surface in the Florida Keys to carve pumpkins.

The event took place at the annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest that took place Sunday near Key Largo.

Underwater artists of all ages used dive knives and carving tools to transform their orange gourds into sea creatures. Participants were also challenged to keep the hollow, naturally buoyant pumpkins from floating off while the artists worked their magic.

Sebastian Gimeno, 16, and his brother Gabriel, from Weston, impressed the judges with their dolphin and half-moon cutout to win a dive trip.

Other pump-kin entries included sharks, a sea horse, an eel, sea turtle and a skeleton fish.



Photo Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[Runaway Pig Lured Home by Deputy's Doritos]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 23:56:11 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SB+Loose+Pig.jpg

San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies in California had to reach into their bag of tricks — or lunch bag of tricks — to corral a portly pig that had gotten loose.

The two deputies from the Highland station responded to a call of a pig "the size of a mini horse" wandering the streets. They decided the path of least resistance was to sacrifice a bit of their lunch to create a trail of chips to entice the pig back home.

He followed them and was secured inside of his gate. The deputies even knew where to take him because they had encountered him on previous calls.



Photo Credit: @LAPDHQ
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<![CDATA[Hamden Resident Finds Raccoon Sitting on Couch: Police]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2018 07:19:56 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Raccoon+GettyImages-93012824.jpg

A Hamden resident found a raccoon sitting on the couch overnight and the furry masked intruder ran off as soon as someone opened the door of the residence, according to police. 

The resident called police after spotting the animal and police said it’s not clear how it got in the house. 

No one was injured and no photo was available. 

No information was immediately available on where in Hamden it happened.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Corgis Descend on DC's Jefferson Memorial]]> Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:14:14 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/corgi+8.JPG Hundreds of corgis and other dogs from across the D.C. area gathered at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial along the Tidal Basin on Sunday for the "Million Corgi March."

Photo Credit: Christian Paz]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Sets Up Tent on Subway, Crawl Inside, Smoke: Witness]]> Mon, 01 Oct 2018 06:21:04 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DoNb4XrUwAAAy0T.jpg

A couple got onto a subway train at the start of the evening rush Friday, set up a tent, crawled inside and brazenly began smoking drugs to the shock and disgust of other passengers in the train car, one of whom relayed the event to News 4 New York over Twitter.

A witness tweeted both the MTA and News 4 New York when a man and a woman got on the southbound 2 train at 233rd Street in the Bronx, pitched a green and blue camping tent, and crawled inside to "smoke some sort of a drug." 

"They have the car train door open, exposing passengers to drugs," the rider tweeted to NYC Transit just before 5 p.m. "Please alert the conductor or police." 

The witness moved from the car with several other passengers after smoke began filling it. 

"I'm sick and tired of these people on the trains," @Indepublican told News 4. "This drug epidemic is outrageous." 

The witness didn't elaborate as to why he or she suspected the two people were smoking "drugs."

Authorities responded quickly to the tweet, however, and the NYPD Transit Chief jumped in to ask where it was unfolding.

The police response played out live over Twitter, with @NYPDTransit assuring the rider that officers had located the train and were "investigating now."

Two minutes later, @Indepublican replied to @NYPDTransit: "They just walked away with the police. Thank you officer!" 

A message left with the MTA regarding the incident was not immediately returned. 

Police on Saturday said they received a 911 call reporting a tent set up inside a subway car around 5:11 p.m. But when officers arrived at the Jackson Avenue subway station in the Bronx, they didn't find anything. 



Photo Credit: @indepublican/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Mosquitoes in Field Forced Booze Bandit to Surrender: Police]]> Wed, 26 Sep 2018 21:58:19 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/johnmosquitoes.jpg

Mosquitos drove a man out of the Wisconsin cornfield he was hiding in after police say he swiped more than $500 in liquor from a Piggly Wiggly supermarket and led authorities on a three-mile car chase.

A Cambellsport police officer responded to grocery store about 6 p.m. last week on Sept. 18 where he said he saw a man running out of the store with the hot hooch, getting in a car and taking off. The officer pursued the suspect for about three miles, he said, but halfway through the chase the alleged booze bandit took off on foot.

Officers had a dog and a drone assisting them in their search for the man. Shortly after the search began, police received a call that man was attempting to hitchhike in the area.

When police approached the man he threw his hands up and admitted "I am the guy you’re looking for," according to a police report.

Police said the man quit running because he wasn’t familiar with the area and the mosquitoes were "really bad."

The man even asked an arresting officer to wipe 15-20 mosquitoes off of his forehead, police said.

John Wilson, 39, of Fond du Lac, Wisc., was charged with fleeing from an officer, retail theft, obstructing a retail officer, and operating after revocation of his license, police said.



Photo Credit: Cambellsport Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Macy's Shoplifter Bites Worker Who Tries to Stop Her: Cops]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 07:23:45 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/biting+robbery.png

Cops are looking for a woman who allegedly bit a Macy's employee who tried to stop her from stealing clothes at a Long Island store earlier this month. 

Police say the woman pilfered several clothing items from the department store on Walt Whitman Road in Huntington late Sept. 14. A loss prevention employee saw her and tried to stop her, but she bit the worker and fled, possibly in a black BMW with Pennsylvania plates, authorities say. 

Surveillance images show the woman appears to have a tattoo on the upper right part of her back (above). Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest. 

Anyone who recognizes the woman is asked to call 1-800-220-TIPS. 



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Cop Takes Selfie With Raccoon Busted in Woman's Bathroom]]> Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:55:08 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/raccoon+on+thing.jpg

A raccoon busted pawing through a woman's bathroom cabinet was subjected not to a mugshot, but to a selfie.

The rogue raccoon was looking somewhat guilty when it was caught with its arm in the bathroom cabinet of a home in Pinellas County, Florida, this week.

"A masked bandit!" Pinellas County Sheriff's Office captioned a photo of the perp on Facebook." The raccoon is shown perched atop the bathroom cabinet with its tail hanging down, one paw in the cabinet, the other gripping the mirror for stability. 

The woman "was quite surprised to find this furry intruder in her home when she woke up!" police said.

The officers said they were able to catch and release the vain intruder safely, but not before taking a quick selfie.



Photo Credit: Pinellas Country Sherrif's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Friends Hang up Fake Poster at McDonald's in Texas]]> Wed, 05 Sep 2018 12:43:45 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/168*120/mcdonalds30.JPG

A couple of friends noticed a blank wall at a McDonald’s in Pearland, Texas and decided to pull what might be the best unnoticed prank on the franchise — ever.

Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo took a picture of themselves holding McDonald’s burgers and fries and made a poster out of it which they hung up at their local fast food restaurant.

"I noticed there was a blank wall at McDonald’s so I decided to make this fake poster of me and my friend. It’s now been 51 days since I hung it up," Maravilla tweeted Sunday.

The tweet has now gone viral, gaining more than 200,000 retweets and nearly a million likes.

The pair also posted a video on YouTube titled "How to Become McDonalds Poster Models" explaining they noticed there were no Asians on the restaurant walls so they decided to take matters into their own hands.

One of them found a McDonald’s shirt at a thrift store for $7, put on a name tag and fooled all customers into thinking he was an employee and voila, mission accomplished.

"It was all so very exciting, I really hope they’ll never take it down," Maravilla said in the video.



Photo Credit: @Jevholution/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Crazy Video: Masked Burglar Tunnels Into Calif. Store]]> Wed, 22 Aug 2018 05:28:07 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/giphy-burglar-dairy-new.gif

A man was caught on camera after he allegedly tunneled into a store in La Verne, popping out from a hole in the wall while wearing a white mask and crawling around on his knees in a bizarre robbery attempt Monday.

In over 40 years of business, the owners of the Inland Dairy Store at the corner of White Avenue and First Street near the L.A. County Fairground say the store has never been broken into, let alone in such a strange way.

The owner, who didn't wish to be identified, said he couldn't believe what he saw when he reviewed the video with police.

The surveillance video shows the man suddenly pop out from a tiny space in between two refrigerators, knocking a soda display to the ground. The sodas explode on impact.

The man, identified by La Verne police as Rudy Mindiola of Pomona, crawls around on his knees for several minutes trying to open doors.

The only time he gets up on his feet is when the alarm is triggered and he bolts back to the tiny hole police say he made to crawl inside.

La Verne police officers responded minutes later at 4 a.m. Police found a hole in the wall of the store when conducting a perimeter search.

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They said they ultimately found Mindiola hiding in some brush along the nearby train tracks.

Mindiola faces commercial burglary charges after police said they found specific tools when they arrested him.

It's not immediately clear if Mindiola has an attorney who can speak to his arrest.



Photo Credit: La Verne Police Department
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<![CDATA[Mexican City of Guadalajara to Allow Sex in Public]]> Tue, 21 Aug 2018 06:58:43 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/couplemexGettyImages-77418399.jpg

The authorities of the city of Guadalajara, considered to be one of the most conservative cities in Mexico, approved a law that allows sexual relations in public view, unless there's a public complaint. 

With the legal reforms, the police will no longer have the authority to sanction public sex acts, so long as there isn't a complaint from a third party. 

"Having sexual relations or committing acts of exhibitionism of a sexual nature in public places, vacant lots, inside vehicles or in private locations in public view will be considered administrative offenses, as long as a citizen requests police intervention," details the modification to article 14 of the Bylaws of Good Government. 

The changes were issued in the capital of the state of Jalisco under the argument that the police should focus on combatting crime and not bother those who might be lacking funds to pay for a hotel.

That change has caused indignation among many citizens who label it as a moral issue, and also warn that it makes it easier for rapists and pedophiles to abuse their victims.

Once these changes go into effect, the police will only be able to detain and fine those who have intimate encounters in public view if there is an expressed complaint from other citizens. 

This initiative has a history in the world, now that Vondelpark in Amsterdam, one of the most popular public parks in the capital of the Netherlands, has allowed sex in the open air spanning over a decade.

The only rules in Amsterdam are to keep the space clean, the activities should be conducted in areas away from dedicated child zones, and if there's too much noise, police can ask the lovers to leave. 



Photo Credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman a Self-Appointed ‘Bachelorette’ in NYC Tinder Scam]]> Tue, 21 Aug 2018 10:11:53 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tinder+Logo+Generic.jpg

Although she wasn’t handing out any roses, one woman in NYC managed to trick dozens of men into competing for a chance to date her in a stunt that became her very own version of “The Bachelorette.”

According to Gothamist, dozens of men arrived at Union Square on Sunday evening expecting to go on a fairly normal date with Instagram model Natasha Aponte, only to discover that they were all being strung along by the same woman.

The stunt went viral when Twitter user @bvdhai posted a thread detailing his own experience with the massive Tinder scam.

According to @bvdhai, everything had started out fairly normal when he first matched with Aponte on Tinder. The two made small talk and soon exchanged numbers.

Aponte ended their conversation by saying that she was busy with a work presentation, assuring @bvdhai that she would reach back out to him when she had more free time.

The concept of being ghosted is common in the land of dating apps, so @bvdhai figured that Aponte had just made up an elaborate excuse to stop talking and that he would never hear from her again.

Much to his surprise, Aponte contacted him two weeks later, inviting him to check out a DJ with her near Union Square.

It wasn’t until he arrived at Union Square and noticed a large crowd of men loitering by the DJ’s stage that he started to think something weird was going on.

When Aponte took to the stage herself with a microphone, his fears were confirmed.

“Then she says I’ve invited you all here for a chance to go on a date with me and proceeds to give a hunger games speech about what its gonna take to date her,” @bvdhai tweeted.

Even though @bvdhai praised Aponte’s “fallopian fortitude” at pulling off the scam, he wasn’t quite ready to volunteer as tribute. He chose to leave instead.

Many of Aponte's victims were offended by the scam, walking away from the scene without a second look or yelling out profanities at the woman who had misled them.

Several other men, however, did decide to play along with Aponte’s game.

According to NY Mag, Aponte quickly went to work cutting down her pool of suitors by asking those with certain characteristics to leave, including anyone who supported Trump, was looking for just a hookup, or had a beer belly.

As the crowd thinned, Aponte asked the remaining men to participate in physical tests like push-ups and sprints. She also allowed the men to give 1-minute pitches as to why she should date them.

According to reddit user UncleChen69, the 22-year-old Aponte was joined by two women dressed as referees to help monitor the competition.

Many men left the park with bruised egos and newfound trust issues that night.

Aponte has received a notable amount of backlash online for her actions, both from men who were victims of the scam as well as outside observers.

She has since changed her Instagram account to private.

At this time, it’s unclear whether Aponte picked out a winning man for her date.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA['Baaaaaad Boys': 2 Goats Roam Tracks of NYC Subway]]> Tue, 21 Aug 2018 08:55:17 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/goats+on+subway+tracks.jpg

Goats have to commute, too. 

Two goats were spotted roaming on the above-ground N tracks near Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn Monday morning, and after about an hour, the MTA said it had to reroute trains on the line so cops could safely catch them.  

The MTA says it called NYPD and Animal Control about the goats, who were on the tracks between the Fort Hamilton and New Utrecht stations, before 11 a.m. By 12:30 p.m., the goats were still on the tracks. They were surrounded.  

Transit officials tweeted a picture of the black and white goats, captioning it, "Two very baaaaaad boys." N trains were running on the D line in both directions from 36 Street to Coney Island as crews worked to corral them.

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They were tranquilized a short time later and have been taken to the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York, with the help of comedian Jon Stewart, who has a history of bringing rescued animals to that farm.

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It's not clear how the goats got on the tracks, nor where they came from, but it is the third recent incident in a nationwide goat-on-the-lam trend. 

First, more than 100 goats ran amok in an Idaho neighborhood, eating everything in sight. 

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Less than two weeks ago, 75 goats (and sheep) escaped a New Jersey livestock auction and went wandering around Hackettstown. In that case, it appeared someone may have left a gate unsecured.

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Photo Credit: @NYCTSubway]]>
<![CDATA[Bright Red Outdoor Urinals Pop Up in Paris]]> Thu, 16 Aug 2018 06:04:02 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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.

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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['Disbelief': Family Reunited With Missing Cat After 7 Years]]> Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:51:44 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Missing_Cat_Reunited_With_Its_Owner_on_Cape_Cod.jpg

A Massachusetts family has been reunited with their cat seven years after the furry feline went missing. 

“It was disbelief...even a couple of days later it was still disbelief that this cat was found and back home,” said Dennis resident Rebecca Collins West.

Tigger the tabby cat strayed away from West's home one day when she let him outside, and after a few weeks, the family accepted that he was gone.

But West always thought he was alive. And she was right.  

Tigger was recently rescued from a home in Mashpee after the owner was moved to a treatment center.

Staffers at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) shelter in Centerville scanned Tigger and discovered he had a microchip. They called West last week with the great news.

“We had to listen to the message three times because we couldn’t believe that they actually found Tigger,” West said.

She said she is so thankful to have microchipped Tigger when he was young, and without it, perhaps this reunion would never have happened.

West said it was an emotional scene at the shelter on the day she picked up Tigger, and the four-legged feline had not forgotten her. 

“He just stood up majestically and looked right at me,” she said.

Tigger had some scabs and worms but is healing well and getting back to his routine: stealing his sister Hazelnut’s cat food.

West said she won’t be letting him out of the house anytime soon.

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<![CDATA[Giant Lobster Named After Bon Jovi]]> Mon, 06 Aug 2018 08:36:20 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Bigfoot Lumbers Into Virginia Congressional Race]]> Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:57:51 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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['Dirty Socks' Odor Sickens Travelers on Flight From NYC]]> Sat, 28 Jul 2018 14:48:40 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/LGA+SCARE1.jpg

A flight from NYC to Florida had to be diverted to South Carolina because some passengers aboard complained of burning throats and chest pains after a potential hazmat situation from an unknown substance that passengers say smelled like "dirty socks."

Two-hundred-twenty passengers were on board Spirit Airlines Flight 779 from LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale when it was diverted to Myrtle Beach after the airline said an "odor developed in a section of the aircraft."

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“Reports are we have several occupants on a plane exposed to an unknown substance,” Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue can be heard saying over a radio on Broadcastify. “They have deplaned and are currently on the ramp. We have isolated and are attempting to get in contact with the airport fire.”

Officials were linking the medical complaints to that unknown substance that some passengers say smelled like “dirty socks.” There were concerns of a possible chemical on the aircraft that was making people sick, but nothing out of the ordinary was found. 

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“After specific monitoring and hazmat crews entering into the fuselage no substances were found,” Myrtle Beach Fire Department Lt. Christian Sliker said. “The plane is all clear.”

Despite no substances being discovered, fire officials say seven to 10 passengers were transported to an area hospital. Their condition was not immediately known. 

Spirit Airlines said the source was being investigated and although the diversion was an inconvenience, the safety of their guests is "paramount."

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“A supplemental aircraft is en route to Myrtle Beach to pick up our guests,” Spirit Airlines said in a statement.

Photos shared to social media show hundreds of passengers on the tarmac at Myrtle Beach as they wait for another plane to finish the journey to Florida.

FlightAware reports the flight took off from South Carolina around 3:30 Friday morning and landed safely in Fort Lauderdale around 5 a.m, about five hours after its original scheduled landing.

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Photo Credit: Darren Sewdass]]>
<![CDATA[Naked Exerciser Thought Planet Fitness Was 'Judgment-Free Zone,' Police Say ]]> Tue, 24 Jul 2018 12:28:32 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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[2-Year-Old Plays Catch With Dog Over Fence]]> Thu, 19 Jul 2018 20:47:51 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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.

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<![CDATA[Dino Derby: T-Rexes 'Race' at Washington Racetrack]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:30:26 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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. 

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<![CDATA[Mattress Firm Hiring 'Snoozetern' to Join Social Media Team]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:22:19 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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.nbcconnecticut.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[Video Shows Woman Capture, Bag Live Birds in Philly Park]]> Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:05:50 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Man Wins Grand Prizes on 9 Mass Cash Lottery Tickets]]> Wed, 11 Jul 2018 23:37:58 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/deforestation.png

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

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<![CDATA[Man Finally Cuts His Nails After 66 Years ]]> Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:37:09 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Calif. Couple Remodeling Bathroom Uncovers Hidden Message]]> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 09:40:23 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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[California Bear Relaxes in Hot Tub, Laps Up Margarita]]> Tue, 03 Jul 2018 16:56:09 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.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.

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