Dec. 7 American Oddities

By: 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fat squirrel steals pricey goods left out for delivery folks

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — An obese squirrel has been caught on video stealing gourmet chocolate and lip balm that a New Jersey family leaves out yearly as a holiday treat for delivery people.

Michele Boudreaux says on her blog she provides candy, tissues, lip balm and other goodies on her doorstep. This year, her basket was raided within hours.

The thief was targeting the priciest stuff, including Ghirardelli chocolate squares. The Maplewood family set up a surveillance camera and spotted the overweight varmint Tuesday. It cleared out all the chocolate, snack bars and throat lozenges.

She stumbled upon the thieving rodent in the act Wednesday, and recorded it taking more chocolate and a Carmex lip balm. She says they now have the chocolate in a jar that requires opposable thumbs.

 

Maine police: Bouncing roll of duct tape leads to 911 call

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Police in Bangor, Maine, say a reported intruder turned out to be a roll of duct tape.

Officers responded to a call from a woman who heard noises from her basement and reported that her dog was barking aggressively at the noise.

Police said it turns out a “thump-thump-thump” sound the woman heard was a roll of duct tape that fell off a shelf and bounced down the stairs.

Sgt. Tim Cotton wrote on Facebook that the woman had already investigated before the first officer arrived. The officer felt that the woman could’ve held her own until police arrived because she was “from Maine, had a dog, and a roll of duct tape.”

 

Retired justice ‘so 

disappointed’ to be kept off jury

BOSTON (AP) — She was impartial enough to serve as a justice on the highest court in Massachusetts, but apparently that wasn’t enough for Geraldine Hines to be named a juror in a murder trial.

The 70-year-old Hines, who retired from the Supreme Judicial Court in August, said she was “so disappointed” when the prosecutor rejected her as a juror Wednesday.

Hines tells The Boston Globe , “I’ve been waiting my whole life to be a juror in a criminal case.”

After questioning from defense attorneys and Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Mark Lee, Lee used one of his challenges to keep Hines off the jury. He apologized outside of court. The case involves two gang members involved in a gunfight at a festival in Boston in 2014 that took the life of an innocent bystander.

 

Postal Service probes glue-like substance found on mailboxes

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Some residents in a New Jersey city have noticed a glue-like substance on mailboxes is preventing their letters from going down the chute.

The U.S. Postal Service says what’s happening in Paterson is often a method used by thieves to try to snatch envelopes containing cash or checks.

Postal inspector Greg Kliemisch tells The Record the agency has launched an investigation. He declined to say how many incidents have been reported in the city.

 

Woman claims surgeon talked on cellphone during operation

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A suburban New York City woman has sued a doctor, claiming he used his cellphone to take a language test while operating on her.

The Journal News reports 70-year-old Mary Edwards, of Port Chester, filed a lawsuit Monday in state Supreme Court against Dr. Eric Fishman and his employer, Westmed Medical Group. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Fishman performed surgery on Edwards to fix varicose veins twice in 2017. According to the lawsuit, Edwards claims Fishman had a conversation in Spanish on his cellphone during the second outpatient procedure. Edwards’ attorney says his client was terrified for the rest of the operation. Edwards claims Fishman later explained he was taking a Spanish proficiency test during the surgery.

A Westmed spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

 

Judge to decide if raccoons deserve protection from cruelty

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pennsylvania judge will decide whether raccoons are protected animals or vermin meant to be disposed.

Allegheny County officials say 68-year-old William Killgallon has been charged with felony animal cruelty after Pittsburgh police say he admitted to drowning trapped raccoons in a barrel. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Killgallon’s attorney argued Tuesday that his client should not have been charged in the first place.

He argues raccoon are vermin that are not protected under an animal cruelty law. Deputy District Attorney Jennifer DiGiovanni disagreed, saying “a raccoon is very different from a cockroach.” DiGiovanni contends animals like raccoons should be killed humanely, not drowned in a barrel.

The judge says he will issue a decision if the two sides can’t reach an agreement.

 

Secret Santa couple pays off $10K in layaway orders in Maine

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Representatives for a Maine Toys R Us store say a husband and wife stopped in to pay off $10,000 in layaway orders for other families.

WGME-TV reports the couple is local and desired to remain anonymous when making the payment at the South Portland store. Store manager Jay Roes says the money is enough to pay off the balance on about 100 layaway accounts. The gift will help make Christmas more affordable for dozens of families in the area. The total layaway balance at the store remains around $25,000.

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