September 24, 2015
Captive Snake With No Male Companion Gives Birth Again
St. Louis (AP) For the second time in two years, a captive snake in southeast Missouri has given birth without any interaction with a member of the opposite sex.
Officials at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center say a female yellow-bellied water snake reproduced on her own in 2014 and again this summer. The snake has been living in captivity, without a male companion, for nearly eight years. An intern who cares for the snake found the freshly laid membranes in July.
This year’s offspring didn’t survive, but the two born last summer are on display at the nature center, about 100 miles south of St. Louis.
Conservation Department herpetologist Jeff Briggler said virgin births are rare but can occur in some species through a process called parthenogenesis. It occurs in some insects, fish, amphibians, birds and reptiles, including some snakes, but not mammals.
Parthenogenesis is a type of asexual reproduction in which offspring develop from unfertilized eggs, meaning there is no genetic contribution by a male. It’s caused when cells known as polar bodies, which are produced with an animal’s egg and usually die, behave like sperm and fuse with the egg, triggering cell division.
$1M Lottery Ticket Found Among Old Mail
Kentwood, MI (AP) A Michigan woman who won a $1 million lottery prize didn’t know about it for months, after leaving the ticket in a pile of mail.
Lottery officials say Linda Tuttle of Kentwood stepped forward Tuesday with a winning ticket from the May 26 Mega Millions drawing.
Tuttle told officials she recently found the ticket at home among some old mail. She didn’t search until a clerk at a local store mentioned that it had sold a $1 million winner in May.
Tuttle plans to use some money to visit former exchange students in China.
Burglary Suspects’ Getaway Lands Them At The Police Station
Roswell, GA (AP) Authorities say two suspects in a drug store burglary chose one of the worst possible places to make their getaway: the police station.
Police say the men ran from the business, ending up at the back gate of the Roswell police station.
Roswell police say an officer on patrol heard an alarm coming from the Wender and Roberts Pharmacy around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Police say the officer spotted three men wearing masks and gloves run from the business. One was taken into custody, but two others fled.
Authorities say a police dog tracked the two fleeing suspects to the rear gate of the Roswell Police Department, where both were apprehended.
The suspects’ names weren’t released.
Man Says ‘Evil Twin’ Robbed Stores...Gets 60+ Years
Allentown, PA (AP) A man who claimed at trial that his “evil twin” robbed 10 gas stations, convenience and beer stores in eastern Pennsylvania must spend at least 60 years in prison.
The (Allentown) Morning Call reports 34-year-old Steven Felton, of Emmaus, was sentenced to 62 to 124 years on Monday. Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach said she was offended by Felton’s arrogance.
A jury last month convicted Felton in the 10 robberies in the Lehigh Valley, all of which occurred during the fall of 2012.
Most of the heists were caught on video, which clearly showed Felton’s face as he wielded a pellet gun.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Matthew Falk asked for a long sentence, saying some traumatized clerks are unable to return to work due to Felton’s “reign of terror.”
Seattle Aquarium Trains Otter To Use Inhaler For Asthma
Seattle (AP) The Seattle Aquarium has diagnosed a sea otter with asthma and is training the animal to use an inhaler.
KING-TV reports Dr. Lesanna Lahner diagnosed the otter, named Mishka, after she was having trouble breathing when smoke from wildfires was in the Seattle area.
Mishka’s trainer uses food to teach the 1-year-old to push her nose on the inhaler and take a deep breath. The medication in the otter’s inhaler is exactly the same as what humans use.
Lahner says reduced genetic diversity could have contributed to Mishka’s diagnosis. Sea otters went extinct in Washington and 40 years ago, Alaskan sea otters were brought south and reintroduced to the coast.
Hawaii Man Bit By Shark Swims To Shore, Posts Video Online
Honolulu (AP) A Hawaii spear fisherman who was bit in the leg by a tiger shark off the coast of the Big Island swam to shore and then filmed a video of his deep wound as he was being carried away on a gurney.
“I just got attacked by a tiger shark,” an exasperated Braxton Rocha, 27, of Kapaau, Hawaii, said in the shaky video posted to Instagram. The footage pans down the man’s body to a gaping gash in the middle of his left leg.
“Love you, brah,” a friend standing near him says. “Love you too, brah,” Rocha replies before the clip ends.
A tiger shark believed to be 13 feet long bit Rocha’s leg Sunday as he spearfished off the northern tip of the Big Island, officials said. He swam to shore after the attack, and his fishing companion called 911, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a press release.
Rocha was flown by helicopter to a hospital for surgery. His condition was not immediately known.
Lawyers Can Now Keep Their Bras On At Maine Jail Visits
Portland, ME (AP) Jail workers went too far in telling female lawyers they’d have to remove their underwire bras if they wanted to meet with clients, a sheriff said.
At least two attorneys say they were told they’d have to remove their bras when entering the Cumberland County Jail because they set off the metal detector. The women refused to comply and left.
Sheriff Kevin Joyce said it was never jail policy to turn away attorneys under such circumstances, and he told reporters on Monday that he won’t let it happen again.
The newspaper, which first reported the flap, said the metal detector policy was drafted by a jail administrator who was hired last year after several security breaches that included inmates escaping from maximum-security cells for sexual trysts and others smuggling drugs into the facility.
The attorneys who were asked to remove their bras requested an apology.
Joyce said Monday that he wasn’t ready to apologize until an investigation was completed into what exactly happened when the women tried to enter the jail.
Fairfield said the sheriff “seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth” while trying to placate both the attorneys and support staff.
Wanna Get Fired? Please Be Smarter Than This Guy
St. Albans, VT (AP) Police say a Vermont chocolate factory worker hated his job and wanted to get fired, so he did the first thing that came to mind: He called in a bomb threat.
Police say 22-year-old Kristofer Pregent stole a co-worker’s cellphone and made the false threat under a different worker’s name Monday night at the Barry Callebaut chocolate factory in St. Albans.
Police say Pregent then threw the cellphone in a toilet tank.
He first told police he received a bomb threat, then later said that didn’t happen. He told officers he was unhappy with his job and wanted out.
Pregent was charged with false public alarm, petit larceny and unlawful mischief.
A phone number for him couldn’t be found Tuesday.