October 31, 2013
City: Odor From Sriracha Chili Plant A Nuisance
Los Angeles (AP) The maker of Sriracha hot sauce is under fire for allegedly fouling the air around its Southern California factory.
The city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday asking a judge to stop production at the Huy Fong Foods factory, claiming the chili odor emanating from the plant is a public nuisance.
City officials say residents have been complaining of burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches and that some people have had to leave their house to escape the smell.
One family was forced to move a birthday party indoors after the strong smell overwhelmed the festivity, Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante told the Los Angeles Times.
Huy Fong initially cooperated with the city, but talks broke down last week after company representatives denied there was an odor problem, saying their employees worked in similar olfactory settings without complaint, Galante said.
The city, which is about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is seeking temporary closure of the factory until Huy Fong submits a plan to minimize the smell.
“If they fix it and the odor problems stop, we don’t need this order; but so far the odor complaints continue,” Galante said.
Biting Spiders Force UK School Closures
London (AP) Creepy crawlies, in the form of a venomous spider infestation, has forced a school in Britain to close a week before Halloween.
The Dean Academy, a secondary school in southwest England’s Gloucestershire, said it was closing Wednesday to get rid of the false widow spiders. The spiders are commonly mistaken for their relative, the black widow spider, whose bite can be fatal.
The school said no one has been bitten by the spider but local health authorities have advised it to close for the day to deal with the infestation.
Experts say the Steodata nobilis, a species of the false widow, are becoming more common in the U.K. and are the most dangerous of the 12 species of biting spiders known in Britain.
But they stress that spider bites are rare in Britain, and in most cases the symptoms are mild.
The spider’s bite may sting, swell up or cause discomfort like a wasp sting, but has not been known to cause deaths.
“They’re not aggressive spiders, they don’t seek out humans,” said David Lalloo, a professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
“Most people won’t get much of a reaction. Some people may feel a bit unwell for a day or two, but that’s very rare,” he said.
No Arrest Yet, But College Says Squirrel Vandalized Bicycle
Estherville, IA (AP) A squirrel roaming a community college in northern Iowa has become the No. 1 suspect in a vandalized bicycle incident.
Officials at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville say the rodent chewed through two tires, a bicycle seat, a headlight and a taillight in the span of two days beginning Wednesday.
The Sioux City Journal reports the bicycle owner, an associate math professor, reported the incidents to Estherville police.
Another professor later came forward with a photo that shows the squirrel attacking the bike.
A school spokeswoman says the photo helps solve the mystery of how the bicycle was vandalized without witnesses seeing a suspect.
The professor has since parked his bicycle indoors.
Michigan Car Wash Offers Service With A Scream
Madison Heights, MI (AP) A Detroit-area drive-thru car wash is upping the fear factor again this Halloween season, offering scares along with the traditional wash and wax options.
Quick and Easy Full Service Wash in Madison Heights has featured spooky decorations and the occasional masked worker for the past three years. The idea is to create a haunted car washing experience at no extra charge.
``We started off with just a couple things, a few lights here and there and everybody liked it, so we just kept going,’’ manager Shawn Guilmette told The Detroit News. ``A lot of people like it, but there are a few that don’t.
``We had one customer who got so scared she almost landed in the passenger seat, but she still comes back.’’
In addition to the decor and the masked workers, Quick and Easy offers a ``Blood Bath Wax’’ a red-tinted wax that gushes onto the vehicles. The car wash will stay haunted for a week or so after Halloween.
It’s Ok....Just Blame It On The Dog!
Wenatchee, WA (AP) Fire officials say a dog reaching for treats turned on a stove and started a fire causing smoke damage to an apartment in the central Washington city of Wenatchee.
Wenatchee Fire Marshal Mark Yaple tells KPQ radio that it appears the black Labrador was reaching for a bag of dog food left on a stove top when it turned on the stove with its paw.
Yaple says the residents were not at home when fire crews arrived.
He says emergency crews were able to revive the dog with mouth-to-snout resuscitation.
Damage was estimated at $10,000.
Wenatchee, a city of more than 30,000, is about 130 miles from Seattle.
Texan Disproves Old Adage, But Survives Lightning Twice
Saint Jo, TX (AP) An off-road racing enthusiast has survived being struck by lightning twice during the same storm in North Texas. Casey Wagner said Sunday that doctors told him a tingling feeling would last for about a week.
KTVT-TV reports Wagner was at an off-road competition in Saint Jo, 85 miles northwest of Dallas, when storms arrived.
The 31-year-old Wagner was under a tree when he was hit by lightning. He dropped to his knees then he was struck again. Wagner says he saw sparks during the strikes.
A nurse who happened to be nearby cared for Wagner until he was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released. Wagner says he believes God kept him alive and he plans to start going to church more.