News of the Weird by the Editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication

LEAD STORY -- Government in Action

In 2013, Chad Dearth of Overland Park, Kansas, purchased his dream car, a 1964 Chevy Impala, and got an "antique" license plate for it. Since then, he has sold the car and moved to a new neighborhood, but earlier this year he received word that seven to 10 collection letters a day were arriving at his old address from state turnpike authorities up and down the East Coast. That's when Dearth learned that Kansas is one of a few states that assign identical numbers to different categories of specialty license plates, and his old antique plate number matched the number on a commercial semi truck -- the one photographed by one of the authorities demanding payment for toll violations. Lee Ann Phelps, vehicle services manager for the Kansas Department of Revenue, told Fox4 she doesn't know why the state uses identical numbers, but there are about 625,000 plates in the state that share a number. Kansas has issued a new license for the truck, but in the meantime, the bills continue. Dearth most recently got a letter from the Delaware Turnpike Authority seeking $479. [Fox4, 5/27/2020]

Green Eggs, No Ham

A.K. Shihabudheen of Malappuram, India, and his wife cracked an egg from one of their chickens about nine months ago and were surprised to see a dark green yolk, rather than the standard yellow. "All the eggs which the hen laid ... were this kind," Shihabudheen told The News Minute, "and so we started to incubate the eggs. Out of the six chicks which hatched from these eggs, a few have started to lay eggs and those yolks are also green in color." The eggs taste like other eggs and cause no health problems, the family said. Experts from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University suspect the feed given to the birds may be behind the phenomenon, according to Dr. S. Sankaralingam, but Shihabudheen says he gives all his birds the same feed. [The News Minute, 5/15/2020]

Monkey Business

Egyptian talk show host Lobna Asal abruptly fled the studio mid-interview on May 27 after being attacked by the monkey brought to the set by her interview subject, actor Ibrahim El-Samman, United Press International reported. Appearing on Egyptian channel Al Hayat, the monkey co-starred with El-Samman on his latest project, and at first settled in Asal's lap for several minutes, calmly listening to the conversation, but then jumped down and attacked her legs. As she ran off, another person arrived to wrangle the primate. [United Press International, 5/27/2020]

Another Job Threatened

Massachusetts-based Boston Dynamics has partnered with the New Zealand robotics company Rocos to develop a robotic dog, Spot, to herd sheep. "The age of autonomous robots is upon us," Rocos chief executive David Inggs told United Press International. The dog can be controlled remotely as it guides sheep through mountainous and difficult terrain, according to the company. "It just needs to walk with intent toward the sheep and they seem to respond," said Richard Stinear, Rocos chief technology officer. In other words, they act like sheep. [United Press International, 5/22/2020]

Bird Brain

Security agencies in India thought they may have captured a Pakistani spy after villagers in Manyari, a border town in the disputed region of Kashmir, delivered the courier to police, but the mole wasn't a mole at all; it was a pigeon. According to Sky News, Kathua Police Superintendent Shailendra Mishra said the bird flew into a home on May 24 and a "ring was seen attached to one of its legs with some numbers on it ... Some called it a coded message." Authorities are trying to decipher the message, as pigeons have been used for espionage in the disputed region in the past. Meanwhile, the BBC reports that a Pakistani man named Habibullah is claiming the pigeon is his, and the number on the ring is his mobile phone number. Habibullah, who lives just a few miles from the India/Pakistan border, has asked for the pigeon's return and told local media India should "refrain from victimizing innocent birds." [Sky News, 5/26/2020] [BBC, 5/27/2020]

The Allure of Junk Food

-- San Diego police responding to a burglar alarm at a Wells Fargo bank in Chollas View, California, around 3:30 a.m. on May 27, found a broken window by the bank's drive-thru. Alarm company personnel told officers surveillance cameras showed a man inside the bank's break room, using the microwave. Police gained entry to the bank and arrested the unnamed man, who told KGTV he had gone into the bank only to warm up his Hot Pockets. Asked if the Hot Pockets were worth the arrest, the man said, "Hell yeah it was worth it." [KGTV, 5/27/2020]

-- City Parks and Recreation employee Zach Morris was cleaning up storm damage in Wynne, Arkansas, at the city's sports complex on May 24 when he noticed that someone had broken into the concession stand. "The whole place was just looted," Morris told WREG. The stand had been fully stocked for games scheduled before COVID-19 lockdowns began, and thieves helped themselves to drinks and candy, even taking the time to prepare nachos and popcorn before they left. Police are hoping the culprits will confess. "The right thing to do is take responsibility for the mistakes you made," Morris said. [WREG, 5/25/2020]

Latest Sightings

UFO hunter Scott Waring discovered what he believes to be the "entrance to an alien base" on Earth on May 13 by studying Google Earth. According to the Mirror, Waring said the base doesn't fit in with its surroundings on a "small and uninhabited island in Indonesia" and "aliens would love to have a hidden base" in such a secluded location. Using a Google Earth tool, he measured the opening, which is about 66 feet across -- big enough, he said, to "get a lot of alien ships in there." One commenter on Waring's YouTube channel praised his finding: "My gut tells me this is 100% legit. Good job man!" [Mirror, 5/20/2020]

Florida

Police in Miramar, Florida, are still trying to identify a man who was caught on surveillance video ransacking Miramar High School on May 25. The suspect spent nearly 24 hours destroying computers, painting graffiti on the walls and flooding areas of the school, the Miami Herald reported -- all while stark naked, except for headphones. School officials put the cost of the damages at about $100,000. [Miami Herald, 5/26/2020]

It's a Mystery

Folks in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, have been hearing odd, loud banging noises at all hours over the past few weeks. "We're all hearing it and it's interrupting our sleep," Heather Donily told the CBC. "There's a sense of panic when you first hear it." Most people believe the noises are "bear bangers" -- noisy flares used to scare bears away in the wilderness -- and police are investigating, but Councilman Pete Fry has concerns: "Bear bangers actually do have the potential to cause harm. ... If they're being indiscriminately used throughout the city ... somebody might actually get hurt." [CBC, 5/28/2020]

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