Mar. 19 Only in America ...

Gorilla at Philadelphia Zoo takes stand against dirty hands

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A male gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo is taking a stand against dirty hands by opting to walk on two legs. Apparently, 18-year-old Louis is a clean freak. When Louis has his hands full of tomatoes or other snacks, he walks upright like a human to keep food and hands clean, rather than the typical gorilla stance of leaning forward on his knuckles. Michael Stern, curator of primates and small mammals, says workers had to install a fire hose over a mud puddle in the yard. The nearly 500-pound, 6-foot-tall primate crosses it like a tight rope to avoid getting dirty. Stern says it’s “pretty unusual” for gorillas to walk around upright. In the wild, Western lowland gorillas like Louis might do it for a few seconds to reach food or wade into swamps.

Police say Indiana man took taxi to and from bank robbery

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Police say a 19-year-old Indiana man took a cab to and from a bank robbery and that he paid the driver with some of his stolen cash. Derrick Faria was arrested less than an hour after Thursday’s robbery of a Fifth Third Bank branch in Evansville. The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Faria reportedly passed a teller a note demanding money, but that he didn’t show a weapon. Faria is being held at the Vanderburgh County Jail on preliminary charges of robbery and possession of drug paraphernalia. Court records show that Faria hadn’t been formally charged as of Friday morning. They didn’t list an attorney for him.

Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago River has been dyed a bright shade of green, kicking off the city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Thousands of people lined the riverfront downtown Chicago on Saturday to see the dyeing, a tradition for the holiday that dates to 1962. A parade was also held. Among those marching in the parade were Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and many candidates running in Tuesday’s primary election. The grand marshal was Alderman Patrick O’Connor. He says it’s a chance to celebrate “the hard working Irish men and women” of Chicago. The Chicago Plumbers Union started the tradition of dyeing the river green, with a material once used to locate leaks in buildings. Organizers say the powder used is a secret recipe and is environmentally safe.

Prison ID of gangster ‘Whitey’ Bulger up for sale

BOSTON (AP) — The purported prison identification card of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger is on the auction block.Lelands.com is selling the badge, which features Bulger’s picture, birthday and Federal Bureau of Prisons ID number. Lelands wouldn’t explain how it obtained the card, saying the person who provided it wished to remain anonymous. The 88-year-old is serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2013 of a litany of crimes, including participating in 11 murders. He was one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives for 16 years until his 2011 arrest in Santa Monica, California. The highest bid for the ID as of Saturday morning was more than $1,600. Bidding closes on March 23.

Store owner: Thieves swipe birds worth thousands of dollars

MENIFEE, California (AP) — A business owner says thieves smashed a window of a Southern California pet store and made off with six birds worth thousands of dollars. Birds-N-Paradise co-owner Erik Schreiner tells the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside that surveillance footage shows at least one shadowy figure stealing the birds early Friday. He says the thieves took three Patagonian conures worth $950 each; a caique parrot worth $1,400; a rose-breasted cockatoo worth $2,200; and a yellow nape Amazon parrot worth $2,500. Schreiner believes the theft at his shop in the city of Menifee is tied to other recent bird heists in the region. Thefts have occurred at a bird farm in Redlands and an exotic bird store in Cypress in the past few weeks. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says it’s not clear if the crimes are linked.

Threats made at Idaho school where puppy was fed to turtle

PRESTON, Idaho (AP) — Threats have been made to an Idaho school where a biology teacher was accused of feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle and police in response stepped up school security. Police Chief Mike Peterson in the small, southeastern town of Preston said Friday the threats were vague but connected to the allegation that the puppy was fed to the turtle March 8 at the junior high school in front of students. Officers were posted outside the town’s schools this week. There was no school Friday but Peterson said officers may return Monday. Two parents have said the teacher fed the turtle a sick puppy. The teacher has not been named. A prosecutor is investigating and Idaho officials seized the turtle Thursday, saying it’s an exotic species requiring a permit.

Category: