May 8, 2014
New Jersey Fire Siren Silenced By Osprey Nest
Spring Lake, NJ (AP) A pair of ospreys has quieted a fire alarm in one New Jersey shore town.
The raptors have built a nest inside the fire siren at Spring Lake. By law, the nest can’t be disturbed. Ospreys are listed as a threatened species in New Jersey during their breeding season.
So the siren has been turned off for the spring and summer, while firefighters and paramedics rely on pagers and cellphones to alert them of emergencies.
“We had to shut off the siren for the rest of the season,” he said.
First responders in the resort about 60 miles north of Atlantic City say so far things have been working smoothly.
Spring Lake officials say they may need to create an alternate place nearby for the birds to nest next year, as they tend to return to the same spot.
“The issue is, once they pick a spot, they keep coming back to that spot,” he said. “Even if we got rid of the nest at the end of the season, we’d have to build a new spot for them to nest next season. So we’ll do whatever we have to do to make sure they have a habitat to live in.”
The nest cannot be disturbed at least until Sept. 1.
Officials say they believe several chicks have hatched, but none was visible from the ground on Tuesday.
NYPD Baseball Team’s Jerseys Stolen In Texas
New York (AP) Most thieves would balk at stealing on the NYPD baseball team, but the squad has been forced to cancel a tournament championship game after someone made off with its jerseys, gloves and bats.
The New York Post reports the team comprised of New York City police officers was at a tournament in Texas when about $15,000 worth of gear and equipment was stolen from a team minivan. Team manager Jose Vasquez tells the Post the police officers spent the morning filling out police reports instead of taking the field.
The self-funded team, New York’s Finest Baseball Club, was scheduled to play the Dallas Fire Department.
Colorado Symphony Links Up With Pot Industry
Denver (AP) The Colorado Symphony Orchestra said Tuesday it will play a series of “cannabis-friendly” fundraising concerts sponsored by the state’s burgeoning pot industry.
The state’s only full-time professional orchestra hopes the unusual shows dubbed “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series” will boost its audience as it struggles with dwindling attendance and shrinking budgets.
“The cannabis industry obviously opens the door even further to a younger, more diverse audience,” symphony CEO Jerome Kern told The Associated Press.
In return for sponsorship, marijuana-related companies get “the legitimacy of being associated with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.” he said.
The event, however, is strictly BYOC bring your own cannabis, according to an events listing on the symphony website that says pot will not be sold.
Richard Yost of Ideal 420 Soil, a New Hampshire company that sells soil and other cultivation products to marijuana growers, sees sponsoring the concerts as a chance to link his company to one of the best orchestras in the nation and to make the point that pot consumers can be clean-cut and sophisticated.
Retail marijuana sales have been legal in Colorado since January but there have been concerns about the safety and packaging of edible marijuana products.
Still, poll results released Monday showed 52 percent of Coloradans think marijuana legalization has been beneficial, and 67 percent disagree with the sentiment that it has eroded the moral fiber of people in the state.
Kern said he has heard complaints from at least one musician and from symphony supporters about the upcoming concerts.
Jane West, whose Edible Events Co. is organizing the series, said concertgoers will be able to smoke pot in a separate area at the gallery. Guests must be at least 21 and purchase $75 tickets in advance.
“We try to create upscale events where people can come and enjoy some cannabis just like they would a glass of wine,” West said.
Squirrel Goes Nuts On Maine Teenager Taking Selfie
Auburn, ME (AP) A photo op with a squirrel that went awry has left a teenager flustered but unhurt.
Seventeen-year-old Brian Genest, of Auburn, said Thursday he saw what appeared to be a friendly squirrel on a hand rail while walking through John Chestnut Park near Tampa, Florida. He was on a trip looking at colleges.
Genest took a selfie of himself and the squirrel. But the flash and noises from his camera phone scared the squirrel, which climbed under his shirt and hung onto his back before scampering out.
“He was just in that spot where my arm can’t reach him,” Genest said. “I threw myself on the ground, and that scared him off.”
Genest’s mother, Paula Wright, snapped photos of the hoopla, originally posted to his Instagram feed along with his selfie.
Genest had approached the squirrel making clicking sounds with his tongue to get closer. His mother said the spectacle Saturday taught him a lesson.
“I think he got a little lesson from the squirrel that he’s not really its buddy,” she said.
She said neither her son nor the squirrel was harmed.
Family Who Lost Dog During Sandy Finds It At Pound
Eatontown, NJ (AP) A New Jersey family whose terrier-pit bull mix escaped from their backyard during Superstorm Sandy went to an animal shelter this week to adopt a new pet and came home with their old dog.
Chuck James tells The Associated Press that his family searched for the brown-and-white dog named Reckless for months after the October 2012 storm before finally giving up hope.
“We reported him missing and called the shelters periodically, just hoping they had him,” James said Saturday. “We always kept our hopes up, but eventually it’s time to move on.”
James said the family had planned in recent weeks to get a new dog as a 10th birthday surprise for their eldest daughter, Ally. But when the family of five went to the Monmouth County SPCA on Thursday to adopt a new animal, James and his wife approached the first cage and saw a familiar face inside. “He was a little bigger than I remembered because they had fed him well,” James joked. “But then he was laying on my wife’s feet, and I knew it was him. ... I was in disbelief.
I know this dog is meant to be with our family.” “We’re all so happy to have him back,” James said. “Thank God for no-kill shelters because every time they kill an animal, it’s somebody’s friend who might be lost. Thank God they didn’t put him down because this would have been a different story.”
Spam To Be Used To Lure Invasive Big-Headed Ants
Costa Mesa, CA (AP) California agriculture officials are on the hunt for an invasive species of ant that’s been spotted in an Orange County yard and they’ll use Spam as bait.
The Orange County Register reports that 1,570 bait stations will be set up Monday in seven Orange County cities.
The ants love the fatty, oily food.
An amateur bug-lover spotted a colony last month in a Costa Mesa yard and agriculture officials have been trying to determine if there are other colonies.
The species is native to Africa and has a huge head. If it spreads in California it could threaten the state’s agriculture.
The ants aren’t dangerous to humans.
Officials will try to get the OK from property owners before placing the bait stations in front yards.
Schools Boss Say New Jersey Class Prank Overblown
Teaneck, NJ (AP) The head of a New Jersey school district where more than 60 students were arrested after being accused of pulling a senior class prank says their antics were overblown in the media.
Teaneck Superintendent Barbara Pinsak issued a statement Friday saying janitors cleaning Teaneck High School found no evidence to back up initial police reports students had urinated in the hallways.
Teaneck police haven’t responded to Pinsak’s comments.
Pinsak says there was no damage to school property and the cleanup consisted of removing petroleum jelly from doorknobs, sweeping floors of debris and removing graffiti.
She says the district doesn’t condone the students’ behavior but exaggerated reports of mayhem “misrepresent” their school and community.
Sixty-three high school seniors were charged with burglary and criminal mischief.