Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, June 8th | Strange |

2022-06-15 14:25:32 By : Mr. Shane Shen

Sun and clouds mixed. High near 70F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph..

Partly cloudy skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low 52F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Have you thought about Malm, Kivik or Trotten?

Swedish retailer Ikea is known for the distinctive names of its flat-pack home products. The company’s Norway branch wants to use the brand’s experience to help parents browsing the baby-naming department.

Ikea Norway has built “a name bank” with more than 800 listings available on its website. The names are drawn from ones Ikea has given to its furniture instead of product numbers since 1948.

“After all these years, (Ikea) has built up a large ‘catalog’ to pick from,” Ikea Norway said in a statement.

Ikea names its products after Swedish towns, lakes and other geographical features, but also uses names that have traditionally gone to people.

The branch noted that while retailers saw “both a shortage of raw materials and challenges with delivery times” during the COVID-19 pandemic, “there is at least no shortage of children” in Norway.

The Scandinavian country registered the births of 56,060 babies last year, or 3,081 more than in 2020.

The increase creates “a challenge in finding unique names,” Ikea Norway said.

(AP) Chelsea Blackwell's dachshund, Blue, disappeared Monday, and the distraught owner went in search.

She drove for an hour before coming upon a line of squad cars and people with cameras near the Greyhound bus station in Albany, New York, and set aside her search to investigate.

"I pulled over and thought, oh man, did someone get shot? What's going on?" she said Wednesday. "I mean, there were like eight police cars. There was like all these people with cameras."

Fortunately, tragedy did not lurk — Blackwell had stumbled upon a movie crew — and her search ended in a one-in-a-million lucky happenstance.

Her dog of 15 years was found — by a movie star with a history of rescuing dogs.

"I started asking everybody if they saw my small brown dog," she said.

"You won't believe this," she said the crew told her, but a celebrity had found her pooch.

A phone call and about an hour later, a gray car pulled up, and there was tiny Blue sitting in the lap of two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank.

"I was like, 'No way,'" Blackwell said. "As soon as she got out of the car, I kissed Blue and said, 'Thank you so much.'"

Blackwell asked Swank for her autograph, but Swank did better: They took a picture.

And Blackwell, wanting to be sure Swank got proper credit, posted the photo on Facebook.

(AP) A Massachusetts gas station owner fed up with what he considers attempts by oil companies to fleece customers with outrageously high prices at the pump has stopped selling gas as a protest.

Reynold Gladu, who has run Ren's Mobil Service in downtown Amherst for nearly 50 years, drained his tanks earlier this month and has no current plans to refill them.

"I don't want to be part of it anymore," Gladu told The Daily Hampshire Gazette for a story published Tuesday. "This is the biggest ripoff that ever has happened to people in my lifetime."

Gasoline in Massachusetts is averaging more than $5 per gallon, according to AAA New England.

The business will continue to do oil changes and other repairs, but Gladu acknowledges it is unlikely he will be able to remain open for long without selling gas.

"Dealing with Mobil, they don't think through their pricing policies anymore," Gladu said. "I've served their product, but I refuse to do it anymore, because they're only getting richer."

Julie King, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil Corp., wrote in an email to the newspaper that the price at the pump is out of her company's control and is based on several factors, including the price of crude.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A courthouse in upstate New York was closed for fumigation Tuesday after hundreds of cockroaches were released during an altercation that broke out at an arraignment, according to court officials.

The clash broke out during proceedings in Albany City Court for four people for an arrest at the state Capitol. A defendant who started to film the courtroom proceedings was told to stop. In the altercation that followed, hundreds of cockroaches brought into the courthouse in plastic containers were released, according to the state court system.

The bug release was being investigated while the courthouse was closed for the rest of the day for fumigation.

Court officers arrested a 34-year-old woman in the audience for charges related to the altercation, including disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and tampering with physical evidence.

She was released, and it was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney to speak on her behalf.

"What transpired is not advocacy or activism, it is criminal behavior with the intent to disrupt a proceeding and cause damage," read a statement from the Office of Court Administration.

Something strange was recently spotted near the Amarillo Zoo.

On May 21, at about 1:30 in the morning, security cameras surrounding the zoo captured a peculiar image, to say the least.

The silhouette resembled several things.

Was it a zoo employee wearing a big hat? Or maybe a teenager dressed up in a wolf costume or perhaps a large coyote standing on its hind legs? Some have even suggested it was a Chupacabra.

For now, the zoo is calling it a UAO – Unidentified Amarillo Object.

City officials want their community to weigh in, too.

"It is definitely a strange and interesting image," said Michael Kashuba, City of Amarillo (COA) Director of Parks and Recreation. "Maybe Amarillo can help solve the mystery of our UAO."

The public is more than welcome to submit their own theories on the true identity of the UAO.

"It is also important to note that this entity was outside of the Amarillo Zoo," according to Kashuba. "There were no signs of attempted entry into the zoo. No animals or individuals were harmed. There we no signs of criminal activity or vandalism."

If you think you can crack the case, contact the COA communications office.

June 8 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man showed up to the state's lottery headquarters to collect what he thought was a $600 prize -- and was shocked to discover he had actually won nearly $600,000.

Joshua Locklear, 32, of Pembroke, told North Carolina Education Lottery officials he bought a $10 50X The Cash Fast Play ticket at Pembroke Mini Mart when he noticed the jackpot had reached $585,949.

Locklear said he scanned the ticket and a message told him he would have to collect his prize at lottery headquarters.

The player said he studied the ticket and determined he had won $600. He arrived at lottery headquarters to collect the prize and was shocked to learn he had scored the $585,949 jackpot.

"When I heard, I was like, 'There's no possible way I actually hit the jackpot,'" Locklear said. "I couldn't believe it."

Locklear said he plans to use his prize money to buy a house and a car. He said he also wants to give back to the community.

"I really wasn't expecting that, that's for sure," Locklear said of his win. "It really did come at the right time though."

June 8 (UPI) -- Travelers in the Santa Barbara, Calif., area have reported unusual encounters in recent days with a non-native animal: a zebra.

Marcos Chavez said he was on a bike ride Sunday in the mountains above Santa Barbara when he encountered a zebra blocking traffic on West Camino Cielo.

He said the zebra appeared to be trying to follow as he rode away.

"I jumped on my bike and started pedaling super fast," Chavez told Noozhawk. "He took a three steps, but then the zebra slipped and fell."

Cliff Baldridge posted a photo to Facebook one day before Chavez's encounter that appears to show the same zebra grazing next to a road in the Santa Barbara area. Another sighting was reported May 5.

Locals suggested the animal causing the sightings is likely a locally known zebra named Maynard. The zebra, who belongs to a local resident, was caught on camera during previous walkabouts in 2013, 2015 and 2021. The zebra is domesticated, but known to be free-roaming, locals said.

June 8 (UPI) -- Police in a Colorado town are pleading with the public to "stop trying to take selfies" with a moose on the loose in the area.

The Erie Police Department posted a short video to Facebook showing the moose that wandered into town walking down a road with a police escort.

Police said Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are making plans to relocate the massive animal.

"Please keep a safe distance (further than you would think is safe) if you encounter the moose," the Facebook post said. "Please, please, please stop trying to take selfies with wildlife."

The department also asked members of the public to keep their dogs leashed so as not to frighten the moose.

"Ideally, the moose will bed down for the evening which will allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife to do what they do best," the post said.

June 8 (UPI) -- Police in Wisconsin said two otters that escaped from a zoo during an overnight break-in were found swimming nearby and safely recaptured, while two great horned owls remain missing.

The Baraboo Police Department said two otters and two great horned owls escaped from the Ochsner Park Zoo when someone broke into the facility late Monday night or early Tuesday morning and cut the locks off some habitats.

"The police investigation is ongoing, but what they have determined is that they do think that the primary motivation was to release the animals," Ochsner Park Zoo specialist Ellen Gallagher told WMTV.

Police and zoo officials said the two otters were spotted by kayakers Tuesday and authorities were able to safely capture the animals, which were not injured.

Police are asking the public to keep a lookout for two great horned owls that remain missing. Police said they are not considered dangerous.

"The animals that had escaped were not, they're not really going to do well in the wild. They've lived in captivity almost their whole life," Gallagher said.

The zoo was closed for the day Tuesday and reopened Wednesday morning.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.