Offbeat News: An Army of Chickens, Stupid Criminals & More

China has announced plans to unleash an army of chickens to combat its locust problem this summer. The northern region of Shin-jang is gearing up for what’s expected to be its worst summer yet with the critters given their warmer winter.

You see, locusts typically feed off of crops and other vegetation. According to Yang Zong, an official with the local animal husbandry bureau, around 2,200 chickens are preparing for feeding time. About 2.8-million acres of grassland are expected to get hit with the locusts.

Yang points out that “use of pesticides pollutes the environment,” therefore they’re using the chickens. Herdsmen have been given the birds ahead of the outbreak so they can adapt to the environment. One chicken is reportedly able to eat at least 600 locusts in a day, but they won’t do it alone. The nation is bringing in the reinforcements, aka ducks and other birds, to help the chickens out.

The down side? The chickens will only be able to guard one percent of the grasslands that need protection.

A woman who’d just traveled from Serbia to Moscow had reached for her bags on the luggage carousel when she accidentally fell on it. The woman had reportedly lost her balance in an attempt to grab her dog carrier off the belt and was “swept away” into the luggage room. Adding insult to injury, the airport has fined her for the accident after damaging the airport’s freight transportation system. She’ll be billed at the max 1,500 rubles, which is the equivalent of $24.

The Chinese cities of Chongqing and Hunan have recently installed facial recognition technology inside their public bathrooms as part of their “toilet revolution.” The technology will be used to sense how much toilet paper will dispense in hopes of cutting back on waste and “theft of paper.” There will also be sensors inside toilet cubicles to alert an attendant if someone has been using the loo for more than 10 minutes. The attendant will be sent in to check on the person to see if they’re okay. Another button inside the stall can be pressed to alert if there is ever an emergency. Not surprisingly, the bathrooms are also equipped with WiFi and cell phone chargers.


  • A man in Birmingham, Alabama must have one strong smoking addiction… considering he’s been charged twice with stealing cigarettes. Joshua Magaul Sanders has been arrested after he smashed into the front door of two gas stations and stole cartons of cigarettes. Thing is, he was arrested back in 2015 for doing the same exact thing at an Exxon station and several other stores. His most recent escapades have happened between January and March. Sanders broke into multiple gas stations and put several cartons of cigarettes in a bag before fleeing. Police were able to identify him based on security cam footage. Once caught, Sanders said, “You caught me, I’m the cigarette bandit” and further admitted to his crimes. He’s been charged with two counts of third-degree burglary.
  • A drunk man in Florida had been hospitalized for falling off his bike and has now been arrested after hitting another man at the hospital with a folding chair. Jimmy McCray was being treated at Bayfront Health when he “jumped out of bed and approached his girlfriend in (the) emergency room.” Staff had asked him to return to his bed, but he got angry, picked up a metal folding chair and started swinging it around, hitting another man in the leg. Security was able to restrain him and strapped him into a hospital bed. He faces a charge of battery. The man hit by the chair only suffered minor injuries to his elbows after helping restrain McCray.

Offbeat News: A Puppy Gets a Tummy Tuck & More

“Puppy Tuck”

An overweight pup in Britain is set to undergo a “tummy tuck” surgery to get rid of all the loose skin happening because of her weight loss following being rescued. Hattie, affectionately known as “Hattie The Fattie” as some have nicknamed the collie was fed a diet of straight burgers before she was rescued by the RSPCA. She weighs in at 88 pounds and staff at the center say she looked more like a pot bellied pig than a dog when she was first brought in.

Staffers have put Hattie on a special diet since she’s been rescued and she’s lost around nine pounds, but they’ve started a fundraiser to help Hattie receive tummy tuck surgery to remove excess skin after weight loss.

“I just knew we had to try and help her,” says RSPCA worker Ruth Rickard. “I take her home with me at night so I can administer her insulin injections, which she tolerates very well. As the weight has started to come off we have found that she is very spirited and extremely loving, despite the fact we put her on a diet.”

“The Walking Fed”

Ohio police have been investigating reports of “zombie” raccoons. Residents in the Youngstown area have called police saying they’ve spotted raccoons in their yards during the day acting strangely. Raccoons are nocturnal and are usually only spotted at night. Robert Coggeshall spotted one in his yard while playing with his dogs.

“He would stand up on his hind legs, which I’ve never seen a raccoon do before, and he would show his teeth and then he would fall over backward and go into almost a comatose condition,” Robert explained.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says its not rabies, but a disease called distemper, which causes the symptons Coggeshall mentioned. They say the disease will stay local and eventually die off among the population.

“Lost and Found”

A samurai sword used to make wine was found among debris after the California fires. The Paradise Ridge Winery had kept the sword that belonged to samurai and winery owner Kanaye Nagasawa in the 1800’s. The fires burned the facility down, but after debris removal last month, the sword was recovered. Rene Byck, co-owner of the winery says it’s the “best news ever” and wants to rebuild an exhibition with the sword.


Offbeat News: Border Collie Patrol, Stupid Criminals & More

“Same Day Surprise”

Twin brothers Joshua and Justin Thorington were both in the hospital last week on the same day, for the same reason. Both of their wives were giving birth. First Joshua’s wife, Denise, gave birth to baby Jack and an hour later, Justin’s wife Alex arrived at the hospital… as she was in labor. Alex soon gave birth to baby Lucy. The couples had joked about it happening, but never thought it would come to fruition.

“At first it didn’t really hit me how unique this was, (maybe because I’m a twin),” said Justin. “But the more I think about it the more I realize how special it is.”

“Where the Dinosaurs Roam”

The world’s largest dinosaur footprints have been discovered on the Isle of Skye. The dinos are said to have roamed 170-million years ago. Dr. Steve Brusatte said based on the footprints found, “The sauropods were more than 49-feet-long and weighed more than 10-tons.”

They were also most likely wading in shallow water at the time the footprints were made. Scientists have found dozens more of the footprints nearby.

“Border Collie Patrol”

Yeager Airport in West Virginia is solving its biggest runway problem with the help of Hercules, an 18-month-old border collie. The airport has hired the dog to chase away birds and other animals that linger on the runway. Assistant director at Yeager, Nick Keller believes that once trained, Hercules will be able to reduce deadly animal collisions with planes. The staff will also be trained on how to work with the border collie as if he just a regular human colleague. He’s even getting a reflective vest, safety glasses and ear protection just like everyone else.


  • A Kansas woman called police when she returned home to find her door chained from the inside. She believed someone had broke into her house, but police never found anyone. Two-hours later her ex-boyfriends legs broke through the ceiling. Apparently, he’d been hiding in the attic. The good news? Her current boo was with her at the time and pulled Tyler Bergkamp the rest of the way through the ceiling. And while they did get into a fight, it’s Bergkamp who’s been arrested on aggravated burglary, stalking, criminal damage to property, criminal theft and possession of methamphetamine.
  • A woman in Alabama is arrested after setting fire to a ham that caused an explosion. Beverly Harrison’s family brought her the ham to the Bomar Inn where she resides, but Harrison refused to eat it. When they left she set fire to the package and through it in a garbage can. When smoke filled her room, Harrison fled the scene with her dog. According to police, the fire caused a can of butane fuel to explode. If Harrison is convicted of felony arson, she faces up to life in jail.

Elvis Presley Appears on ‘The Milton Berle Show’

On This Day in Rock: April 3

In 1956, Elvis Presley appeared on ABC-TV’s ‘The Milton Berle Show’ live from the flight deck of the USS Hancock in San Diego, California. He performed ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ It was estimated that one out of every four Americans saw the show.

In 1967, Working on The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album at Abbey Road studios in London, George Harrison recorded his lead vocal on his song ‘Within You Without You’. as well as a sitar part, and some acoustic guitar parts.

In 1971, The Temptations scored their second US No.1 with ‘Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)’. The track is considered one of the Temptations’ signature songs, and is notable for recalling the sound of the group’s 1960s recordings. It is also the final Temptations single to feature founding members Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams.

In 1975, Steve Miller was charged with setting fire to the clothes of a friend, Benita Diorio. When police arrived at Miller’s house, Diorio was putting out the flames, Miller then got into a fight with some of the policemen and was charged with resisting arrest.

Offbeat News: Lifeguard Wanted, Stupid Criminals & More

“Enjoying Nature Naturally”

A campground in Rhode Island is looking for a lifeguard with “excellent communication skills” that can do light maintenance at its pond. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck for the job – but there’s a catch. You have to keep an eye on the nudists and a bathing suit is not required. The campground that’s looking for help is none other than Dyer Woods, Rhode Island’s nudist campgrounds.

“We’re a nudist campground. We’re not clothing-optional,” says campground president Jim Johnson. “We found over the years, with clothing-optional places, you get more gawkers, people who just want to show up and look.” The campground has posted an ad for the part-time lifeguard position on Facebook. Johnson feels watching the naked all day wouldn’t be a deterrent factor for prospective candidates.

The position requires a state lifeguard certification and you must be available to work 10 AM to 4 PM on weekends and Monday holidays. If you’re interested call 401-397-3007 to set up an interview.

“Expensive Taste, Expensive Bail”

A young man with very expensive taste buds keeps racking up bar bills and leaves without paying them. Nicholas James Cooper has been arrested a few times in the past couple weeks for going around Washington D.C. with his British accent, ordering extremely expensive drinks and meals at hotel bars and splitting before the bill comes.

His greatest offense was March 23 at his trip to the Ritz Carlton where he ordered himself a rack of lamb and paired it with a $156 bottle of wine. He also did a shot of 34-year-old Irish whiskey that cost $1,200. Do the math – he ate and drank $2,220.40 and he didn’t pay a cent. Not only that, he charged the bill to Denver Nuggets player Trey Lyles’ room (who was in town to play the Washington Wizards).

Police later arrested Cooper, but he didn’t go down without a fight. He refused to comply and resisted – asking cops to “just shoot” him. Officers were able to arrest him after tackling him to the ground. When they did so a bottle of alcohol fell out of his pocket. Cooper was arrested two times prior to this instance for similar charges and destruction of property. He’s due in court April 12, 2018. Hopefully he manages his meals between now and then…

“Falling in Love”

Not one, but two couples have said “I do” while falling 14 stories on a rollercoaster at Six Flags America. The couples along with their bridesmaids and groomsmen were treated to a ceremony below the Voodoo Drop at the park and later began the ascent to the tops of the 140-foot ride. Then just as they said there final “I do’s,” the coaster dropped them at 56-miles per hour. Spokesperson for Six Flags America, Denise Stokes says it was part of their 20th anniversary of the park and they wanted to do something special for the milestone.

“Bachelor Life”

An 18-year-old in China has applied to the Women’s University in Beijing in hopes of finding himself a lady. Due to the one-child policy in China that favored boys, the male to female ratio in China is pretty distorted. The teen says one of the reasons he wanted to study at the all girl’s college was to make it easier for himself to find a girlfriend. The school says they have as many as 15 male students taking classes alongside the 1,500 females at the university so its quite rare that they accept men. In fact, last year, the school only accepted one male. However, this unnamed fellow has passed the interview stage and is on to his final screenings for acceptance.


  • A U-Haul driver led police on a 20-mile chase in New Hampshire before the van ran out of gas. Police say trouble began when they approached the vehicle and the driver appeared to be passed out. As they got closer, Edward Alexander drove off leading police on a 20-mile interstate chase. The van eventually ran out of gas on a ramp and Alexander was arrested for reckless conduct, disobeying a police, and drunken driving.
  • Police in Northern Ireland have arrested three seniors in connection with a massive pot haul. They were among six arrested after a marijuana lode worth over $1.6-million was found inside a home. Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton believes the bust may be linked to an organized crime group in Northern Ireland and that it was the largest seizure of drugs they’ve had in some time. A 72-year-old man and 58-year-old woman have been released on bail, while three others remain in jail.

Offbeat News: The Best Birthday, Stupid Criminals & More

“Listen to Your Body”

Kevin Daly knew something was up when he had trouble losing weight in his midsection. He’s naturally tall and slim and was always athletic growing up, so the extra pounds were pretty frustrating. In December 2015, the stomach grew even larger after undergoing heart surgery. He managed to lose 34 pounds, yet the tummy was still there. After an abdominal cat scan, Daly discovered he’d been housing a massive growth. The tumor was considered a low-grade liposarcoma. Surgeons removed the 12 pound tumor along with a kidney and Daly was down another 30 pounds. His doctor Julio Teixeira says Daly’s story is an important lesson on taking care of yourself and listening to your body.

“Best Birthday Ever”

Canadian teen, Charlie Lagarde celebrated her 18th birthday by winning lotto. Charlie bought the four dollar scratch off for her big day when it won the grand prize in the Gagnant a Vie lottery. She’ll now receive $1,000 a week for the rest of her life.

“Cargo Class”

Chief Executive Officer of Australian airline Qantas Airways, Alan Joyce has some interesting ideas for future aircrafts that include putting passengers in the cargo hold. Joyce wants to use the cargo hold- you know the place where pets sometimes die and battery fires can start- as a new cabin class where passengers sleep in pods and can exercise. Its all part of his new plan “Project Sunshine,” which seeks to create a nonstop flight from Australia to the UK and Australia to New York in 20 hours. He wants to execute plans within the next four years.


  • Police in Largo, Florida have been accused of using a dead man’s finger to unlock his cell phone. Linus Phillip Jr. was shot and killed by police during an altercation at a Wawa gas station. Police had taken his phone as evidence and went to the funeral home where Phillip’s body was being preserved. They then tried to use his thumb to unlock the phone, but had no such luck. Phillip’s girlfriend Victoria Armstrong says she saw police carrying the phone and a funeral home staff member told her what they did with Phillip’s hand. As of now, the family just wants to see surveillance footage from the Wawa incident, but express outrage over the cellphone incident.
  • A Florida man has been charged after taunting police officers while riding a four wheeler with a beer in his hand. Police attempted a traffic stop on three four wheelers and while two stopped for officers, another continued. The driver, Aaron Keith Clark later returned to the scene and rive in circles yelling at cops “Come and get me!” Reinforcement arrived shortly after and Clark continued his tirade while holding a beer can. He eventually drove off, but police later tracked him to his house. Clark was then taken into custody, but doesn’t remember the incident. He’s charged with fleeing and attempting to elude and reckless driving.

Offbeat News: When You Wish Upon a Beard, Stupid Criminals & More

“Betting on a Boy”

After five generations of girls in the Berriman family, a baby boy has finally joined the herd. Having a girl in the family was so common, the grandparents often placed bets on the gender of the next child born to the family. That all changed when Demi Berriman brought Arnie Ellis, the first boy in ten women, into the world last June, but he wasn’t coming into the world without a fight.

Arnie was born prematurely with severe health issues including sepsis and gastroschisis (meaning his intestines were born outside his body). The little guy weighed under three-pounds and spent two months in the hospital before he was able to come home. But his fight for health has continued – until recently.

While he still needs checkups every six months, Arnie is finally – officially – on the road to recovery.

“He is our little trooper,” says mom Demi. “At one point we were told he only had 24 hours to live but look at him now. He is fantastic… he is demanding and cheeky.”

As for having another boy in the family, the Berrimans stopped placing bets.

“When You Wish Upon a Beard”

Once known as “the most interesting man in the world,” Jonathan Goldsmith brought his finely groomed beard to judge the Best Beardies competition in Vermont, hosted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. His task? Deciding the best looking beard in the Green Mountain State.

Goldsmith thinks a beard can say a lot about the man who’s wearing it. “If it’s wild looking, unkempt — that has some statement. If it’s immaculately trimmed, it might mean that he keeps a clean desk,” he explains.”If it’s really long, I would say that it’s somebody who is his own man and doesn’t really care about convention.”

This year’s Top Beardie award ultimately went to Chip Fortune of Colchester, Vermont for his mountain man-style beard. Other winners included Troy Headrick for his urban beard, Louie Coli for his freestyle beard, Dillon Mears took home people’s choice, and Steve Jalbert was the top fundraiser. Each won a plaque and a gift card for beard care products and, of course, the right to brag. The competition also raised $45,000 for Make-a-Wish, which topped the almost $30,000 it raised last year.

“Up in Flames”

An animatronic dinosaur at a Colorado theme park went extinct after catching fire. The T-Rex at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience smoldered for about 10 minutes before completely engulfing in flames. At some points, witnesses thought it looked like the dino was breathing fire. The T-Rex was one of 16 dinosaurs at the park that moved and made sounds at the Wild Walk exhibit. Park co-owner Zach Reynolds hopes to have a replacement by the summer.


  • A group of inmates is on rooster duty for 200 birds after the Arkansas sheriff’s office seized them after a cockfight. They’re hoping to use the birds as evidence against 137 people arrested in the incident. Several agencies were reportedly working on the case that moved every weekend. At last check, 34 people face felony counts of unlawful animal fighting while 86 face misdemeanor charges. The others arrested were spectators.
  • Police in Oregon arrested a man after he attacked the McDonald’s golden arches in Sutherlin. Jedediah Ezekiel Fulton allegedly got upset when employees refused to make him the 30 double cheeseburgers he ordered. He then proceeded to destroy a banner and attack those famous golden arches. He also grabbed a person’s shirt, which prompted another witness to pull a gun. Fulton was later arrested on suspicion of second-degree disorderly conduct, second-degree criminal trespass, second-degree criminal mischief and harassment.

For more ‘Offbeat News‘ listen to Bob’s Morning Brew with KMZN DJ Bob Allen Monday-Saturday on 99.5FM/740AM KMZN.

Pink Floyd Begins Recording Live Performances at Pompeii

On This Day in Rock: March 23

In 2008 – Neil Aspinall, who ran the Apple Corps music empire for the Beatles from 1970 – 2007 died at a hospital in New York from cancer aged 66.

In 2004 – An album Paul Simon recorded in 1965 that has never saw the light of day in America gets its first official release there. “The Paul Simon Songbook,” previously only available as an import and long out-of-print even in that form, is released via Columbia/Legacy. The original 12-track album was recorded in the wake of the lukewarm response afforded Simon & Garfunkel’s 1964 debut, “Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.”

In 1985 – Billy Joel marries model Christie Brinkley. The couple splits nine years later.

In 1972 – Pink Floyd spend the first of eight days recording performances at Pompeii, Italy’s Roman amphitheater. The film was later released as “Pink Floyd At Pompeii”, and is one of the greatest-ever concert films (at least in KMZN DJ Bob Allen’s humble opinion).

Offbeat News: A Loch Ness Mystery, Stupid Criminals & More

“Loch Ness Lost”

Is it possible the Loch Ness monster has been spotted on a Georgia beach? Probably not, considering Nessie is a Scottish legend, but one man did capture a strange creature washed up on Wolf Island. Jeff Warren of Waycross, Georgia was taken back when he saw the mysterious creature on the shore. It has a striking resemblance to Nessie, but some were quick to shut that idea down.

“It looks like a deep sea shark, like a frilled shark,” says Chantal Audran of the Tybee Island Marine Science. “Although I don’t see gill slits.” Unfortunately, the world may never know what it really was as the body was never recovered. Some are starting to wonder if the video was just a hoax. Chuck Bangley of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center thinks its just a weirdly decomposed shark, if it was even real.

“After taking a look at the photo the tail looks pretty sharky, so my guess (if it’s real and not a Photoshop job) is that it’s some kind of badly decomposed shark,” says Bangley. “Basking sharks do tend to flatten out like that when they wash up.”

“Dogs Over Everything”

A group of students at the University of Michigan would rather have their student body ran by a dog than a human. Not just any dog though, they want to elect Reggie the Campus Corgi as president of the student body.

Reggie often makes visits to the campus with his human Michael P. Sola who’s a resident of Ann Arbor. Michael often takes Reggie for walks during peak hours at the college to meet with students and let them pet him and give him treats. A Facebook group that loves the pup so much is urging students to write in Reggie’s name on the ballot for president, but Reggie isn’t quite ready to lead the student body. Reggie’s Facebook urged students to do otherwise.

“Because some of my good human friends are “truly” running for Student Government President, I’ve decided to ask all my friends to get out and Vote for Them,” the post reads. “They deserve your support in their sincere desire to become leaders of the student body. I’m now returning to simply running with my little doggo friend. Thanks for supporting your candidate’s for student body government with a few minutes of your time in voting! Please help, by reposting this wherever you can!” Though Reggie the corgi isn’t making the run for pres, the pup is pretty popular. He’s even reached the Facebook friends limit of 5,000 friends.

“Great Pacific Garbage”

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch sounds just as scary as it is. The mass of plastic and other debris has taken up a very large space in the Pacific Ocean right in between Hawaii and California. How big are we talking? More than 600,000 square miles. To put that into perspective, its twice the size of Texas.

According to Laurent Lebreton of the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, winds and ocean currents drag the garbage to that spot. It contains about 1.8-trillion pieces of plastic and weighs 88,000 tons or 500 jumbo jets. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only plastic mass in the ocean. Lebreton says that the Great Pacific Grabage Patch is the largest of five trash collections in the oceans.

So what can be done about it? Spokesman of Ocean Cleanup Foundation, Joost Dubois says its time to start cleaning up. “It’s a ticking time bomb of larger material,” Dubois says. “We’ve got to get it before it breaks down into a size that’s too small to collect and also dangerous for marine life.” Scientists along with the European Space Agency are working to take photos of the ocean garbage patches from space. Lebreton says, “How long plastic may remain in the ocean is a big unknown, but unless we begin to remove it, some would say it may remain there forever.”


  • Police originally responded to a call that Leland O’Malley was lingering outside a Wisconsin home and appeared intoxicated. When police tried to make approach the man, O’Malley launched at them and forced the officer to release one of the K-9 dogs on him. O’Malley tried to bite the dog twice. He faces misdemeanor charges of two counts of disorderly conduct, one count of resisting arrest, and one count of striking a police animal.
  • Police in St. Louis are on the look out for a brisket bandit. Callier’s Catering is one of the businesses that has been targeted in the incidents. Their security cameras caught a man walk out of their walk-in cooler carrying what appears to be beef. Salt and Smoke Barbeque have been hit twice, both times their smoker’s stainless steal doors were messed with. Dennis Callier of Callier catering is hoping surveillance footage will help find the suspect.
  • A thief might as well have not worn a mask when he robbed a cellphone store in India. Surveillance caught the man on camera wearing a thin plastic see-through bag over his face when robbed the store of $2,000 in phones and accessories. Thanks to his poor disguise, police were able to identify the man and make an arrest.

Eric Clapton Loses Son After Tragic Accident

March 20: On This Day

In 1991 – Conor Clapton, the 4-year-old son of rock guitarist Eric Clapton, dies when he falls out the window of a 53rd-floor apartment in New York. The tragedy was the second for Clapton in less than a year. His agent, tour manager and bodyguard died the previous summer in the same plane crash that killed blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

In 1984Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats marries actress Britt Ekland. They later divorced in 1992.

In 1980 – A 28-year-old truck driver takes the office manager of Elektra/Asylum Records’ New York branch hostage. Joseph Riviera, the kidnapper, demands that either Jackson Browne or the Eagles give him money in order to start his own business. Neither responds, and he eventually surrenders to New York police.

In 1976Alice Cooper married 19-year-old Sheryl Goddard, a ballerina instructor/choreographer whom performed in the Alice Cooper show from 1975 to 1982. In November 1983, at the height of Cooper’s alcoholism, Sheryl filed for divorce, but by mid-1984, she and Cooper had reconciled. The couple has remained together since. They have three children.

In 1971Yes release The Yes Album in the UK.


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