The Ice At The Seashore Is Beachin’

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The Ice At The Seashore Is Beachin’

In November, thousands of smooth, egg-shaped ice balls accumulated on a long stretch of beach in Hailuoto, Finland, on the Baltic Sea. The icy balls form when turbulent water near the shore breaks up a layer of slushy ice. The ice sticks together, and as waves crash on the shore, they spin the clumps of ice, smoothing them into balls. Sirpa Tero, a visitor to the beach, said she’s seen the phenomenon before, but never covering so much area.

How To Get Caught

In Crystal City, Mo., police are on the lookout for a man who broke into a vending machine at the Twin City Coin Laundry, pocketing $600 in change. He ought to be easy to find. He committed his crime in full view of security cameras, and he was wearing a T-shirt with the motto, “It’s not a crime unless you get caught.”

Inu In A Bumper

When Coco the shiba inu was hit by a car on Oct. 28 in Schenectady, N.Y., the driver stopped and noticed some damage to her car, but couldn’t see what she had hit, so she drove on. 

An hour later, the driver stopped again when she heard noises. This time, she saw Coco, who was lodged in the car’s bumper. “It was like the perfect fit,” said Noella LaFreniere of the Hernas Veterinary Clinic where Coco was treated. “She … came out alive, and it’s shocking to us.” Coco suffered a broken elbow but no other serious injuries. Police located her owners.

No Snakes In The Library, Please

North Carolina’s Madison County Public Library system has had a loosely enforced rule against bringing pets into its branches. But recently, interim director Peggy Goforth recently appeared before the county’s board of commissioners to request a new policy that tightly restricts the sorts of animals admitted to service dogs. Goforth felt she had to advocate for stricter rules after a man brought a bag full of snakes into the library. “He said, ‘My pets are harmless. Here, let me show you,’” Goforth said. “And he poured them out on the front desk. They just wriggled everywhere.” When he was told pets weren’t allowed in the library, “He was really nice about it. He just bagged up all the snakes and left,” she added. She said another man brought in an ant farm and took the top off to feed them, then forgot to put it back on. “The ants got everywhere.” The library’s new policy excludes all animal species except dogs that are trained to help a person with a disability.

The Vote From Space

On election day, astronaut and Neshannock Township, Penn., resident Andrew Morgan, who is currently aboard the International Space Station, cast his absentee ballot from his perch 250 miles above the planet. Ed Allison, Lawrence County’s director of voter services, received Morgan’s application for an absentee ballot and went the extra mile for the spaceman, coordinating with IT for a secure PDF file that Morgan could use to register his selections. “Astronaut Morgan got the ballot, voted it and sent it back,” Allison said. “No problem at all. In the 11 years I have been here, it is certainly unique.”

At Least He Didn’t Get A DWI

Brice Kendell Williams was hoping to avoid getting a DWI. So rather than drive his car from one bar to another in Houma, La., Williams stole a motorized shopping cart from Walmart and drove it more than half a mile to his destination, according to authorities. He carefully parked the scooter between two cars in the lot and went inside, where officers from the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office found him and arrested him for felony unauthorized use of a moveable vehicle. Williams’ bond was set at $2,500.


A passenger on New York’s MTA train system noticed a couple of suspicious packages at the Metro-North New Rochelle station and did what any conscientious rider would do: alerted authorities, using the new Help Point intercom system in the station. It turned out the boxes contained more of the MTA’s Help Point devices; they just hadn’t been installed yet. The alert briefly shut down the station, as police quickly removed the boxes.


Late on Nov. 2 in Hattingen, Germany, 300 patrons of a swingers’ club were interrupted mid-party when carbon monoxide alarms sounded and several patrons began to feel unwell. Firefighters escorted the swingers, many clad only in bathrobes, to safety, with 10 people requiring treatment. However, firefighters could not detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide once they arrived on the scene.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Belinda Gail Fondren, of Evans, La., was charged with maintaining false public records after it was discovered that she was writing fake doctor’s notes for high school students so they could get out of class. Fondren, who worked at a medical clinic, charged $20 for each excuse, Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft said. He also said it was common knowledge among students that the excuses were for sale. Two students obtained excuses on 14 occasions. Fondren’s fraud came to light when someone from the Vernon Parish School Board called a doctor about the notes, which he denied having authorized. Her bond was set at $15,000.

Weird Weather

Residents of Kansas City were puzzled by a foul smell in the air on the evening of Nov. 6. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service came to the rescue with an explanation: a cold front that moved into the area from the north included a shallow mixing layer that had trapped the odors in Minnesota and Iowa. As they put it: “Strong winds … transported in an ‘agriculture’ smell from farms north of here.”

Not Intelligent Enough To Avoid Jail

Convicted bank robber and career criminal Michael Jauernik, 71, received a sentence of more than 12 years in prison in Germany, but managed to stall his incarceration by delivering a five-day-long closing statement that included anecdotes about his career in crime and details about his fitness routine. Twenty-hours into the soliloquy, the judge finally cut him off, saying she wished she had done so earlier in light of his “excessive digressions.” Jauernik, who wore sunglasses throughout his trial, told the court, “I am more intelligent and clever than any employee of the criminal police agency, that much is sure.”

Just Try To Find A Hitman In China

After six years of litigation, six men were found guilty of attempted murder in Guangxi, China. They had participated in a chain of murder-for-hire plots that never resulted in a death. Businessman Tan Youhui started the chain by hiring a hit man to take out a rival identified only as Mr. Wei. That hit man then subcontracted a second hit man to do the dirty deed. Hit man No. 2 subcontracted with hit man No. 3, who then reached out to hit man No. 4. After getting the nod from No. 4, hit man No. 5, Ling Xiansi, decided on a different scheme: He contacted the target, Mr. Wei, and proposed they fake the murder and take the cash, which by this point amounted to 100,000 yen. Wei agreed, then reported the case to the police. Tan and the five hitmen will serve sentences ranging from 31 months to five years.

Thank God The Thief Installed A Camera

Miguel Angel Reyes-Avila, of Half Moon Bay, Calif., waited patiently until his neighbors took their dog for a walk, then pounced. Reyes-Avila allegedly entered their home through an open window and lifted $4,000 worth of jewelry and the keys to their 2009 Mitsubishi. When the neighbors returned and found their car gone, they called police, who asked neighborhood folks to share their security footage. Most helpful was the video from Reyes-Avila’s own home, provided by another resident who was happy to help law enforcement. The camera caught a suspect driving away in the car. Sheriff’s office spokesperson Rosemerry Blankswade said officers recognized Reyes-Avila from earlier incidents and arrested him on charges of felony burglary and grand theft auto.

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