Aug. 15 Only in America

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Black bear makes an unlikely stop in a liquor store

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — A bear took a stroll into an unlikely snack venue — a Connecticut liquor store. The mid-sized creature lumbered across a parking lot in Bristol Monday afternoon, getting close enough to the entrance of Crazy Bruce’s Liquors to trigger a sensor that automatically opened an outer door. The Hartford Courant reports video from inside shows the bear walking around the foyer while an employee locks an inner door. One unassuming customer also walked into the lobby as an employee unlocked the door and ushered him in. The bear eventually figured out how to leave, and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was notified.

Police look into video of man spanking hippo at LA Zoo

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police are investigating after a video shows a man spanking a hippopotamus at the Los Angeles Zoo. The video shows the man crossing a railing last week and sneaking up on two hippos, Rosie and Mara. He smacks Rosie on the rear and her mother lifts her head as the man runs off and raises his arms in gesture of victory. Zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock tells the Los Angeles Times that any unauthorized interaction with an animal is unsafe for the animal and potentially unsafe for the person. Spurlock says state law prohibits entering zoo enclosures. The zoo has posted a “No Trespassing” sign on the exhibit for the first time. Police told the newspaper they’re investigating the case as trespassing because the hippo didn’t appear to be injured.

Mom who hosted elaborate $25k prom send-off accused of fraud

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia woman who made headlines for an elaborate prom send-off has been charged with Social Security benefits fraud. The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia announced charges of wire fraud, theft of government funds and Social Security fraud Tuesday against 44-year-old Saudia Shuler. Prosecutors say that Shuler applied for benefits, describing herself as disabled and unable to work, but continued working — including operating a restaurant — costing the government more than $36,000. Shuler threw a $25,000 Dubai-themed prom party for her son last year. This year, she threw a “Black Panther”-themed prom send-off with an actual panther for neighborhood kids. She said the party cost was in the six figures. Defense attorney Tariq el Shabazz told WPVI-TV Shuler suffered a stroke, was in rehab and couldn’t do anything for two-plus years.

ASPCA says more than 600 birds removed from home

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says more than 600 birds were removed from a house in central Ohio after reports of animal neglect and a complaint from the public about living conditions. The ASPCA says the birds were living in extremely overcrowded conditions in a home in a Columbus neighborhood. ASPCA and Columbus Humane officials say birds removed from the home Tuesday under a search warrant include parakeets, cockatiels, finches, macaws and cockatoos. Some birds had medical issues, including missing feathers and plucking mutilation. The organizations say they are focusing on assessing the birds’ welfare and ensuring they receive appropriate care. They say the birds have been relocated to a temporary shelter until a court determines custody. The home’s owner wasn’t immediately identified.

Superintendent accused of fouling track to receive $100K

KENILWORTH, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey school superintendent who resigned after he was accused of repeatedly defecating on another high school’s track is receiving more than $100,000 from his school district. A separation agreement between Kenilworth Public Schools and Thomas Tramaglini shows the district will pay his full salary until he officially resigns at the end of September. He’ll also get two months severance pay and more than $20,000 for unused vacation days. The district also won’t contest Tramaglini’s unemployment application. Police say staff members who had monitoring surveillance video to see who was leaving human feces at Holmdel High School spotted Tramaglini in April. He’s been charged with public defecation, lewdness and littering. No motive has been disclosed. Tramaglini’s attorney says his resignation should not “be construed as an acknowledgment of guilt.”

Vandals flood historic WWII submarine, plaques stolen

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — Vandals have flooded a World War II-era submarine that has been part of the New Jersey Naval Museum since 1972. Submarine Memorial Association vice president Les Altschuler tells The Record locks were cut and hatches were open on the USS Ling between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Four bronze plaques honoring submarines and crews that were lost during the war also were stolen. Altschuler says the Ling did not sink even though it was flooded with several feet of water. However, artifacts inside were damaged. The sub is stuck in several feet of mud and in a section of the Hackensack River that is too shallow for the vessel to float.