New York City Mayor Eric Adams named former schoolteacher Kathleen Corradi to a new position on April 12, United Press International reported. Corradi is the rat czar (officially, director of rodent mitigation) of the Big Apple. Adams said it was "clear we needed someone solely focused on leading our rat reduction efforts across all five boroughs." In 2022, rat sightings in the city increased by 74% over the previous year. Requirements for the job included being "highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty" with a "swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor and general aura of badassery." "I look forward to sending the rats packing," Corradi said. [UPI, 4/13/2023]
Although he is no longer governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger still performs his civic duty -- in this case, filling a huge pothole in his Brentwood neighborhood with concrete. The Associated Press reported that on April 11, the Terminator himself, along with a helper, used a shovel and packaged concrete to fill a hole in the street. "Today, after the whole neighborhood has been upset about this giant pothole that's been screwing up cars and bicycles for weeks, I went out with my team and fixed it," he tweeted. "This is crazy. For three weeks I've been waiting for this hole to be closed." Arnold's heroics may have been misguided, however; according to a statement from SoCalGas, the "pothole" actually was an active work trench for a project to be completed in May. [Associated Press, 4/12/2023]
Police in Boardman, Ohio, are still on the lookout for a robber who broke into a Bed Bath & Beyond store early on April 8, WFMJ-TV reported. Surveillance cameras captured a "stocky male" throwing a rock through a window at the store, then heading to a stockroom in the back, where he filled four shopping carts with 33 Dyson vacuum cleaners. The vacuums were valued at between $500 and $750 each, for a total loss of $17,000. Because there are no surveillance cameras outside the store, authorities didn't get a picture of the getaway vehicle. That sucks. [WFMJ, 4/11/2023]
Recent Alarming Headline
In 2008, an enormous sinkhole appeared in Daisetta, Texas, NPR reported. At that time, it grew to a cavity about 900 feet across and 260 feet deep, then stabilized. Over the years, it became a sort of recreational area, where people fished and alligators lazed. But on April 2, the hole began expanding. "My neighbor came over and said he kept hearing popping sounds like a gunshot," said Tim Priessler. "We went to the backyard, and there were buildings falling in. It was like a movie. You can see cracks forming in the ground." Since then, a vacant building and several storage tanks have sunk. The EPA and city officials are working to find out what has caused the sinkhole to shift, but as of April 10, no evacuation orders had been issued. [NPR, 4/11/2023]
Least Competent Criminal
Seems like it would go without saying, but you might want to assemble an item you just stole away from the store's parking lot. On April 3 in Flagler County, Florida, Patrick Vandermeyden-Miller allegedly walked out of a Target store with an electric scooter he had not paid for, WESH-TV reported. Deputies were called to the scene, where they found Vandermeyden-Miller near a cart rack, putting together the scooter. He also had drug paraphernalia in his pockets. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and petit theft. [WESH, 4/6/2023]
News You Can Use
Darryl Pitt, chair of the meteorite division at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel, has an offer Mainers won't want to refuse: If you're the first to find a big (the size of a softball or bigger) space rock from a recent meteorite crash, the museum will pay you $25,000. The fireball was seen in the sky around noon on April 8, and NASA reported that "signatures consistent with falling meteorites" were registered by radar. The rocks probably fell to Earth in a remote wooded area near the border with Canada; NASA estimates the largest specimens will be found near Waite, Maine. Good luck! [AP, 4/12/2023]
Late on April 7, Boris Richard, 21, made an "unauthorized entry" into the embalming room at the Smith Funeral Home in Monroe, Alabama, The Smoking Gun reported. Richard, who is an "unofficial" worker at the home, used his phone to FaceTime with a friend as he looked over several "post-autopsy" corpses resting there, police said. Richard declined to answer any of the officers' questions and was released on a $1,500 bond. [Smoking Gun, 4/12/2023]
A feud among neighbors in China's Hunan Province that had been brewing since April 2022 recently came to a deadly head, Fox News reported on April 10. The original feud started when Mr. Gu cut down Mr. Zhong's trees without his permission. Mr. Gu was further inflamed when Mr. Zhong's wife towed away the cut trees, so he sneaked onto Mr. Zhong's property during the night and shone a flashlight at Mr. Zhong's chickens, causing 500 birds to rush into a corner and trample one another to death. To add insult to injury, Mr. Gu returned on a different night and employed the same tactic, causing another 640 chickens to die. A court ruled on April 4 that Mr. Gu had intentionally caused Mr. Zhong to suffer property loss to the tune of about $2,000. He was sentenced to six months in prison and one year of probation. [Fox News, 4/10/2023]
Is That a Knife in Your Head ...
Donald the Duck, a mallard who lives in Saint-Nolff, France, is infamous among residents because he seems to live a perfectly normal life with the blade of a knife stuck in his head, Oddity Central reported. While Donald could swim and eat without trouble, members of the Pinocchio et Sauvageons society decided it should be removed. On March 31, rescuers managed to catch him, and the surgery was a success, with Donald flying the coop as soon as the door was open. Authorities are now trying to discover who stabbed Donald. [Oddity Central, 4/7/2023]
Bayley, a mini "sheepadoodle" dog with her own Instagram account, is famous because she looks remarkably like Snoopy, the cheeky beagle in the comic strip "Peanuts." Bayley has more than 240,000 followers on social media, People reported. Bayley's black eyes, nose and big, floppy ears make her a dead ringer for the beloved comic character, even though they are not the same breed. Now Bayley's owner just needs to get a small, yellow bird to round out the cast. [People, 4/12/2023]
Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.