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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Update August 2017

Thailand News
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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
Odds & Ends  The Associated Press

Saturday August 26 - August 31, 2017

91-year-old Thai woman earns bachelor’s degree

Bangkok (AP) - A 91-year old woman in Thailand has earned a college degree after spending more than 10 years studying for it. Public television broadcaster Thai PBS says Kimlan Jinakul was granted the Bachelor of Arts degree in human and family development Wednesday at the government-run Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University just outside Bangkok. “If we do not study, do not read, do not know, then we won’t be able to speak and make sense,” she said. Her diploma was handed to her by HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. Diplomas at Thailand’s public universities are traditionally handed out by members of the royal family. “I am happy and honored that the king has graciously shown such limitless mercy,” Kimlan said, using a phrase meant to show utmost respect to Thai royalty. Kimlan traveled with her family from their home in Phayao province, 725 kilometers (450 miles) north of Bangkok, to attend the graduation ceremony. “Sometimes she felt weary because of her body,” Kimlan’s son, Mongkol Jinakul, told Thai PBS. “But we as her children tried to cheer her on and mom studied until the end and it was a success.” The Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, which has courses catering for the elderly, this year had 199 students who are over 60 years old. It offers part-time and remote learning. “For the elderly, we focus on practicality rather than the academic aspect,” Professor Panumas Kadngaongam, acting dean of the university, said. “So the subject can be studied and put to use immediately.”

Near tragedy in Poland when
car crosses tracks before train

Warsaw, Poland (AP) - The driver of a Volkswagen and three passengers barely escaped tragedy after their car plowed through a railroad crossing barrier in Poland as a high-speed train approached. The train hit the back of the car just as it managed to cross the tracks, but nobody inside was injured. The incident occurred late Monday evening in Koszalin, northern Poland, and was captured on video by the Polish state railway company, PKP. The footage shows the barriers coming down and seconds later the car approaching, the driver apparently unaware of its presence and driving straight through it. Police said the driver was a 48-year-old local woman who was slapped with a fine of 500 zlotys ($140).

It’s not delivery. It’s DiGiorno Pizza ... spilled on I-30

Little Rock, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas highway officials shut down westbound lanes of a cross-country interstate for four hours so crews could pick up pizza. An 18-wheeler containing DiGiorno and Tombstone frozen pizzas scraped a bridge support and sliced open its trailer Wednesday, spilling the pies across Interstate 30 in front of the Arkansas Department of Transportation office just south of Little Rock. Agency spokesman Danny Straessle said the bridge suffered only cosmetic damage. He says “there were some people shaken up” but that no one was hurt. The westbound section of I-30 was closed for four hours and was closed eastbound for an hour too while crews cleared away the mess. Straessle says the pizza sauce, the cheese and pepperoni, plus some spilled diesel left a “slippery spot.”

(Rusty Hubbard/Arkansas Department of Transportation via AP)

Roadside egg poacher caught
on tape and cops are on the hunt

Hereford Township, Pa. (AP) - Authorities are trying to crack the case of an egg thief who’s been stealing from a roadside stand in rural Pennsylvania. Stand-owner Denise Timer said Wednesday that she set up a security camera after about 100 eggs and small amounts of cash were stolen from her Hereford Township property over the last month and a half. Police have linked the thefts to a man who was caught on camera rummaging through the egg cooler the same day that a dozen eggs and $6 in change were taken. Timer says she now only puts out a dozen eggs at a time, but they were also recently stolen. The suspect is believed to drive a white van and has a tattoo of what looks like a bull’s head on his right forearm.

Saturday August 19 - August 25, 2017

$1M bill deposit attempt leads to Iowa man’s drug arrest

Sioux City, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man who tried to deposit what he presented as a $1 million bill has been charged with drug possession in Iowa. A criminal complaint says Sioux City police officers were called to a Northwest Bank branch Thursday to talk to a man who tried to deposit the bill into his account. The officers asked 33-year-old Dennis Strickland whether he had any more of the bills and that a baggie fell out when he emptied a pocket. The complaint says the baggie contained methamphetamine. The U.S. Treasury Department says it has never produced a $1 million bill.

Gurney holding deceased person falls from van into traffic

Olympia, Wash. (AP) - Police say a gurney holding a dead body fell from the back of a coroner’s van into Olympia traffic. The Olympian reports the van was heading back to the county coroner’s office Monday after responding to a home death. Olympia Police Department Lt. Paul Lower says two gurneys fell out of the van at the intersection of Martin Way East and Phoenix Street Southeast. The gurney holding the deceased person was found in the intersection, while the second gurney rolled down the street and was found in a parking lot. Lower says officers rerouted traffic while the coroner’s office was notified and returned to load the gurneys back into the van. Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock says an investigation has started to determine the cause of the incident. He says there was no trauma to the body and the family was notified.

Accused burglar doesn’t flush toilet,
leaves DNA for police

Ventura, Calif. (AP) - A man accused of burglarizing a Southern California home took a bathroom break and left DNA evidence in the toilet that led to his arrest, an investigator said Tuesday. The suspect “did his business and didn’t flush it” during the October break-in in the city of Thousand Oaks, said Detective Tim Lohman of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. That allowed investigators to collect evidence to conduct a DNA profile. It matched another profile in a national database and detectives tracked down the suspect at his home in the nearby city of Ventura. Andrew David Jensen was arrested July 28 on suspicion of first-degree residential burglary, a felony. His bail was set at $180,000. Lohman said it’s the first DNA burglary match case he knows of with fecal evidence collected from a toilet. “When people think of DNA evidence, they usually think of hair samples or saliva,” Lohman said. Jensen was scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Lottery luck strikes twice for Quebec man who won millions

Quebec City (AP) - There are lucky men, and then there’s Jules Parent. For the second time in nine years, the 69-year-old Quebec retiree has won a million Canadian dollars playing the lottery. Parent muses, “Was I born under a good star?” He showed up at lottery offices to pick up a check for $1,222,069 after winning the jackpot from an online play worth $3.20. Loto-Quebec places the odds of such a bet at about one in 23 million. Parent also won $1 million back in 2008. He said Thursday that gambling is one of his favorite pastimes along with walking, hunting and fishing, and he intends to keep playing. He also plans to build a new home. In Parent’s words: “It won’t be a castle, but it will be in the modern style.”

Lawyer says juror might have stolen opioid evidence at trial

Columbus, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio defense attorney says at least one juror may have stolen oxycodone pills during a drug trial. The Columbus Dispatch reports attorney John David Moore Jr. says jurors found his client guilty and then rushed out of the courthouse before anyone noticed the 71 opioid pills were missing. He says his client should get a new trial or have his charges dismissed. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and the court’s administrative judge say they’ve never heard of evidence going missing during jury deliberations. Heroin and methamphetamine used as evidence didn’t go missing. O’Brien says that it’s premature to blame jurors for the missing pills and that their disappearance doesn’t affect the facts of the case. The Franklin County sheriff’s office is investigating and reviewing surveillance camera footage.

August 12 - August 18, 2017

Boston transit ads seek to kick manspreading to the curb

Boston (AP) - The Boston-area transit system is hoping to kick manspreading to the curb. The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has begun a lighthearted digital campaign to discourage men from sitting with their legs wide apart, crowding out riders who might otherwise squeeze into a seat on a packed rush-hour train. The transit system is also asking people carrying large, heavy backpacks to take them off when boarding the train. The backpacks take up space and often bang into other passengers. In a brief animated video that recently debuted at the Copley station, a fat cat rolls around on a chair with a message reminding passengers to take only the seats they need. It ends with the words “Courtesy counts.”

(EMT via AP)

UK girl left in tears after she’s fined for selling lemonade

London (AP) - A British man and his young daughter have gained international attention for being fined for selling lemonade. Andre Spicer said his 5-year-old daughter was left in tears after local council officers fined her 150 pounds ($195) for selling lemonade without a license near their home in London. The girl was selling home-made lemonade to fans attending the Lovebox dance festival when she was fined. The four officers approached the girl and began speaking in technical legal terms, telling her that her lemonade stand infringed on local business rights. Halfway through the interaction with the officers, Spicer said his daughter burst into tears and said, “I’ve done a bad thing, daddy. I’ve done something wrong.” “I think initially she was a bit shocked and sad,” Spicer said. “And then I suggested we try it again with a permit. And she said: ‘Oh, it’s a bit scary.’” He hopes that his daughter will overcome the “heart-wrenching” experience and continue to pursue entrepreneurial ideas. Spicer wrote an article about the incident for the Daily Telegraph that garnered hundreds of comments and shares online. Local officials said the fine will be cancelled immediately. They have apologized to the family. In a statement Friday, the council said it was “very sorry” about what happened and that its enforcement officers are expected to “show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen.”

Officials try to figure out why roaches swarmed from manhole

Philadelphia (AP) - The Philadelphia Water Department is trying to figure out what caused thousands of cockroaches to emerge from a manhole and swarm a neighborhood. Pat Wall tells WCAU-TV that the bugs emerged Sunday night and have been invading her Bridesburg neighborhood ever since. She says the bugs were so thick residents couldn’t see the ground. Water department spokesman John DiGiulio says crews will be out Tuesday investigating. He says a sewer inlet might be clogged with food and trash that can attract the bugs, which are also known to multiply in warmer weather. In the meantime, residents say they’re spraying their homes and stomping the bugs to keep them away.

Authorities: Man robs bank, then gets naked and throws money

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in Florida say they arrested a man who robbed a bank, stripped naked and ran down the street throwing stolen money - a spectacle that he somehow thought would jump-start his career as a comedian. Instead, the FBI says 25-year-old Alexander Sperber is charged with bank robbery. A federal complaint says the man told authorities he parked his car at the bank, made a gun motion with his hand and demanded money from the teller, who gave him about $4,700 in a bag. Officials say a red dye pack exploded, staining his clothes and a cast on his left wrist. The Sun Sentinel reports Sperber was taken to a hospital and found to be coherent and uninjured. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

August 5 - August 11, 2017

See this? Doctors find 27 contact
lenses in woman’s eye

London (AP) - Doctors intending to perform cataract surgery on a 67-year-old woman in Britain found something rather unexpected: 17 contact lenses mashed together in her right eye. In a case report published Monday in the journal BMJ, the doctors said that the woman had worn monthly disposable contact lenses for 35 years; she had “deep set eyes” and poorer vision in that eye, which they said might have contributed to a failure to remove some of the lenses. The doctors said the 17 lenses were bound together by mucus. A further 10 were found by the surgeon using a microscope. Rupal Morjaria, a specialist trainee in ophthalmology, said the “large mass” would have caused quite a lot of irritation. The patient had chalked it up to old age and dry eye, Morjaria said.

Flood destroys entire cash contents
of Wisconsin bank vault

Burlington, Wis. (AP) - Flooding last week destroyed all the cash in the vault of a southeastern Wisconsin bank. Fox River State Bank president Keith Polleck refused to disclose how much money was ruined, but said the Federal Reserve will have to replace every dollar. Polleck told WISN-TV that the vault at the bank in Burlington, 35 miles (55 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee, is water resistant but not waterproof. As the Fox River rose above flood stage, water flooded the bank, rising up to 21 inches (53 centimeters) deep inside the facility. Now that the river is back below flood stage, restoration crews have started to clean up. Carpets have been ripped out. Drywall is being replaced. The bank’s documents are drying, though most are backed up electronically.

London Zoo welcomes a new kind
of visitor: Robotic dinosaurs

(AP Photo/Caroline Spiezio)

London (AP) - London Zoo is welcoming a new star attraction this summer: robotic dinosaurs. Visitors will see robotic replicas of Mesozoic-era dinosaurs, including T. Rex and Triceratops, which lived approximately 65 million years ago, at a “time travel safari” exhibit named Zoorassic Park. The robots make sounds and motions that mimic the real-life dinosaurs. Some even drip water out of their mouths or spray it at passers-by. Information about the dinosaurs’ massive extinction is dispersed throughout the display at the zoo in north London. At the end, visitors are “transported” back to modern times with a video on endangered species, recent extinctions and conservation efforts. The exhibition opens Saturday and runs until Sept. 3.

Cops: Customer threatened to shoot
someone over bad sandwich

South Euclid, Ohio (AP) - Police in suburban Cleveland say a fast-food restaurant customer angry about the way his sandwich tasted and looked threatened to shoot somebody over it. The South Euclid Police Department reported receiving a call Tuesday about a man storming into the Steak ‘n Shake restaurant “acting crazy,” saying he had a gun and was going to shoot someone. Police say the 20-year-old man complained that the egg on his sandwich was runny and slimy and looked like spit. He was in custody Wednesday pending a court appearance on an aggravated menacing charge. Police say he didn’t have a gun. Police posted on the department Facebook page tips for better ways to deal with restaurant dissatisfaction. Police added in the post that they don’t take special orders at “hotel SEPD.”

Police officer with stun gun sets
naked man on fire

Manitowoc, Wis. (AP) - Police say an officer using a stun gun to restrain a naked man accidentally set the man’s chest hair and beard on fire. Officers found the 32-year-old naked man standing in the street in Manitowoc (MAN’-ih-toh-walk), Wisconsin, on Sunday evening. They say the man yelled that he wanted to harm people living nearby. Officers suspected he was impaired by drugs and placed him in handcuffs, but the man struggled and refused to enter a squad car. That’s when one officer deployed a stun gun, striking a lighter in the man’s hand. The lighter fluid and electricity combined to spark the fire in his beard and chest hair. As officers extinguished the blaze, the man punched one of them in the face. Manitowoc is 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of Green Bay.



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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Saturday August 26- August 31, 2017

Saturday August 19 - August 25, 2017

August 12 - August 18, 2017

August 5 - August 11, 2017


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