News of the Weird: Week of November 23rd

Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Family Values

Members of the Spann family of Comanche County, Oklahoma, keep running afoul of that state’s incest law, with the latest dust-up over the marriage of 26-year-old Misty Spann and her 43-year-old mother, Patricia, in March 2016. The two had been separated after Patricia lost custody of her young kids, but when they resumed contact a few years ago, Patricia told investigators, “they hit it off.” KFOR reported that Patricia also married one of her sons in 2008, but two years later that marriage was annulled. Another son reported to KSWO-TV that Patricia tried to start an inappropriate relationship with him, but he shut her down. In early November, Misty received a 10-year deferred sentence and will serve two years’ probation. Her mother/ex-wife (their union was annulled in October) will be sentenced in January.

Nerd Alerts

• Since Twitter announced that it would allow 280-character messages rather than its original 140, a whole new world has opened up for the game-addicted among us. Gizmodo reports that tweeters are using the expanded tweetspace to play board games such as chess, Connect Four, Shogi and Go. Games are even being customized; one tweet enthuses about “Marine biology twitter-chess. With a new marine biology fact every time a piece is moved, and a scientifically accurate death scene when a piece is taken.” Uh, ok.

• A sharp-eyed Google Earth user from Leeds, England, searching for Longcross Studios in Surrey, came across a “Star Wars” fan’s dream: the Millennium Falcon, nestled inside a ring of stacked shipping containers and covered with a tarp. Andi Durrant tweeted about his find on Nov. 8. The spaceship was used in filming “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” at Longcross; that movie is set for release Dec. 15.

Sweet!

Becky Reilly of Omaha, Nebraska, was forced to call in a roofing company after discovering thousands of honeybees had invaded her home’s attic, producing so much honey that it was dripping down the side of the house. “We heard a loud and rhythmic buzzing, and it was somewhat terrifying because we knew what it meant,” Reilly told KETV. Jason Starkey of Takoda Green Roofing said he removed about 40 pounds of honey on Oct. 26 before moving the bees and tackling the damage, which he called “horrible.” Local beekeeper John Gebuhr moved the bees to his garage, but he is pessimistic about their survival through the winter. But Reilly’s friends and neighbors are thrilled: They’re getting honey for Christmas!

Inappropriate

An Indonesian museum, De Mata Trick Eye Museum in Yogyakarta, has been forced to remove an exhibit that encouraged visitors to take a selfie with a waxwork of Adolf Hitler. The figure, which stood in front of a giant image of the entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp, had been on display since 2014, and the museum said it was one of the most popular displays. Metro News reported that the musum originally defended the exhibit as “fun,” but when the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles demanded its removal, the museum complied, taking it down on Nov. 10.

Ewwww!

Sean A. Sykes Jr., 24, of Kansas City, Missouri, has discovered one way to avoid the justice system. Sykes was detained in a Sept. 1 traffic stop, but he denied any knowledge of the drugs and handguns found in the car, The Kansas City Star reported. As he was being questioned at the police station, the detective wrote in his report, Sykes was asked his address. In response, he “leaned to one side of his chair and released a loud fart before answering with the address. Mr. Sykes continued to be flatulent and I ended the interview,” the detective wrote. Charges were not filed at that time, but Sykes was pulled over again on Nov. 5 and was in possession of marijuana, crack cocaine and a stolen pistol. He was in custody awaiting a bond hearing.

Least Competent Criminals

• A loss prevention officer at a Vero Beach, Florida, Walmart happened to catch 25-year-old Cheyenne Amber West and another woman as they carried out some complicated maneuvers in the electronics aisle on Nov. 6. The officer told the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office that West and her friend chose a computer, video game controllers and other items worth a total of almost $2,000, then covered the bar codes with stickers taken from less-expensive clearance items. They then moved to the self-checkout lane, where their loot totaled just $3.70. “I am just trying to get gifts for my son that I cannot afford,” West told officers. “The computer is for my husband. Since he just got me a Coach purse, I figured he deserved something nice as well.” Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that West was charged with felony grand theft and felony shoplifting and was released on $3,000 bail. The other woman was not charged.

• Rondell Tony Chinuhuk, 32, of Anchorage, Alaska, had the pedal to the metal on Nov. 7 when he nicked a motorized shopping cart from a Safeway store in Fairbanks. But the battery-operated Mart Cart tops out at 1.9 miles per hour, so even after a 10-minute joyride, he had barely left the parking lot. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that Chinuhuk was charged with felony second-degree theft.

A New Twist on Yard Work

Council officers for the village of Blubberhouses in North Yorkshire, England, stumbled upon seven trash bags full of cannabis plants at the side of a road on Nov. 12, according to the BBC. They contacted the North Yorkshire Police, whereupon Constable Amanda Hanusch-Moore tweeted a photo of the bags and invited the owners to “come and speak to us at Harrogate Police Station, we’re more than happy to discuss!”

Voting Woes

• Douglas Aaron Shuttlesworth, 34, was simply trying to exercise his civic duty when he reported to an elementary school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to vote — on Monday, Nov. 6, the day before Election Day. Susquehanna Township police arrested Shuttlesworth for DUI after he appeared at the school intoxicated and admitted he had driven there to vote. The Associated Press reported that Shuttlesworth’s mother elucidated: Her son thought it was Tuesday.

• Poll workers at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, made an unusual discovery on Election Day: Someone had left behind a plastic bag with a complete set of dentures inside. UPI reported that the dental prosthetics were removed to the Portland City Clerk’s office, where they await retrieval by their (presumably) toothless voter.

Naked and Weird

• Joseph Vaglica, 40, of Edgewater, Florida, surprised a woman at her New Smyrna Beach home on Nov. 7 when, naked, he burst in through the garage door and ran through her kitchen “acting irrationally.” The homeowner dashed next door to her stepson’s house and called 911, reported the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Meanwhile, Vaglica helped himself to some of the woman’s clothes, then ran outside and started banging on the windows at the stepson’s home. When New Smyrna Beach police officers arrived, Vaglica was rolling around in the grass. Police said he was intoxicated; he was later charged with burglary with assault.

• Sullivan, Missouri, police department Lt. Patrick Johnson joined the town’s residents in witnessing a barrage of weird behavior on Nov. 3 and 4. Johnson thinks the people who were “barking like dogs or other farm animals, running up and down the street, entering people’s homes, breaking into a business” were high on flakka, a synthetic drug, mixed with methamphetamine, although the substances have not yet been tested. Some of the people broke into a nightclub, stripped down to their birthday suits and showered in fountain water or soda, according to the Sullivan Independent News. Two people were arrested, and others were treated at a hospital.

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