PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) – A suburban Phoenix elementary school has received some wild visitors.
Staff members spotted four burros walking onto the playground of Vistancia Elementary in the city of Peoria on Thursday morning.
Peoria Unified School District spokeswoman Erin Dunsey says employees saw the burros enter the grounds through a parking lot. The animals then went to the playground and left through a side gate.
Dunsey says the burros were there only briefly and before any students had arrived. Nobody was hurt.
Peoria police spokesman Brandon Sheffert says authorities received a call about burros running on a golf course and believes they were the same animals.
Officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which oversees wild burro adoptions, say it’s unusual to see the animals in a residential area. Anyone who encounters burros shouldn’t approach or feed them.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma prison officials say officers discovered a false wall with an “escape hatch” inside a halfway house that holds prisoners who are nearing the end of their sentences.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said Friday that officers found the false wall while searching for contraband at the Center Point halfway house in Oklahoma City.
Officials say inmates removed drywall to create a pathway outside and concealed it with a false wall. The department says inmates would check in with security then sneak out through the hatch.
Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh says the department will investigate security measures at the halfway house. He says some inmates may see their sentences lengthened because of the escapes.
Officials also seized 18 cellphones, 87 phone chargers, 39 syringes, marijuana and methamphetamine.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police are “addressing” an unusual crime spree: Someone is stealing the ones and zeroes from addresses mounted on people’s homes.
WTXF-TV says it’s happening in the city’s East Kensington section.
Meghan Haley says she noticed the zero missing from her home on Wednesday and saw a woman stealing it when she checked her surveillance video .
Another woman, Krista Ricca, was awakened by the sound of a power drill about 4 a.m. and saw a man stealing a number from her neighbor’s home across the street.
The news website Billy Penn first reported the thefts.
Scott Fisher had a zero stolen. He says he doesn’t know if “someone is trying to send a message or someone just has an obsession with zeroes and ones.”
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (AP) — A man who got stuck head-first between two rocks on a Rhode Island jetty while trying to retrieve his cellphone has been rescued with the help of olive oil.
WJAR-TV reports it happened Saturday afternoon near a fishing area in Point Judith.
Authorities say the man dropped his phone and got stuck up to his chest when he bent down to retrieve it.
Narragansett firefighters and environmental police spent most of the afternoon trying to free him before the tide came in. After about 2 ½ hours, they were able to remove him with the help of olive oil.
The man went to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia and a small injury to his foot.
BOSTON (AP) — Who wants to drink that dirty water?
Some of New England’s leading breweries will compete Oct. 1 to see who can turn the questionable water of Boston’s Charles River into the tastiest suds.
Six area breweries have signed on for the first ever “Brew the Charles” challenge, a highlight of HUBweek, a weeklong Boston-area festival celebrating innovation in art, science and technology.
Nadav Efraty, CEO of Desalitech, a Massachusetts water treatment company that’s sponsoring the competition, hopes it helps spotlight the importance of water conservation and water-saving technologies.
“We’re having fun here, but at the end of the day, we want to educate the public and decisionmakers,” he said. “We’re all efficient with our energy because we know it has environmental and financial costs. We need to think exactly the same way about water.”
The river, which winds through 23 Massachusetts communities before ending in Boston Harbor, has come a long way since it gained notoriety in “Dirty Water,” the Standells’ 1960s hit and one of Boston’s adopted theme songs.
Upgrades to wastewater treatment plants over the decades since, now prevent raw sewage from being dumped directly into the river, and environmental regulators have cracked down on improper sewer connections.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the Charles a B+ for meeting water quality standards for almost all boating and some swimming in its most recent annual report card.
There’s even a movement to build a permanent swimming facility in the river. A portion of the proceeds from “Brew the Charles” will go toward that effort.
Desalitech pulled about 4,000 gallons of water from the river and treated it in one of its reverse osmosis systems.
The water arrived last month at Boston Beer Co. (the makers of Samuel Adams), Cape Ann Brewing Co., Castle Island Brewing Co., Harpoon Brewery, Idle Hands Craft Ales and Ipswich Ale Brewery.
Jennifer Glanville, the brewer at Sam Adams, said it is brewing a German “helles” lager that she believes will “showcase” the water’s unique character. They’re calling it “80 Miles of Helles,” after the 80-mile length of the Charles River.
Adam Romanow, founder of Castle Island Brewing, said his team went with a dry hopped cream ale in hopes that it will also “let the water shine through.” The Norwood, Massachusetts brewery is calling their concoction “Chuck.”
“With this style, there’s not much to hide behind,” Romanow explained. “It’s a traditionally lighter, lower-alcohol, classic American style that has been around for eons but generally gets a bad rep despite being absolutely amazing – kind of like the Charles itself.”
Alexandra Ash, a spokeswoman for the Charles River Watershed Association, which has worked for decades to improve the river’s health, applauded the spirit of the competition but cautioned that it’s still not always safe to swim in the Charles, let alone drink from it untreated.
The association this month found high levels of cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae that can irritate the ears, nose and throat and sicken those who drink or swim in it.
“We still have a bit more work to do until that’s a possibility,” Ash said of drinking river water. “But what’s cool about this competition is that it shows off another great aspect of greater Boston – our local water innovation and expertise.”
Brewers at Sam Adams and Castle Island Brewing report the Desalitech-treated water was high quality. They used it as they would have any other water source – no additional steps or special treatments needed.
“We’ve had tons of people ask us if it’s safe to drink, if it will make them glow and so on,” Romanow said. “But I enjoyed one and I’m not glowing. So I think it’s safe to say that not only can you drink this beer, but you’re going to want to.”
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man troubled by litter along the highway has decided it’s time for the empire to strike back.
WSLS-TV reports Henry Wakley of Blackburg on Thursday dressed as the Star Wars character Darth Vader while cleaning a stretch of highway that he “adopted” through the Adopt-a-Highway program.
Wakley says he’s disturbed by the amount of garbage along the roadway, and likes to get out and dress up because it makes people smile as they drive by. As he picked up garbage along a 1.5 mile stretch, many drivers honked, waved or even stopped by to take a picture.
Wakley says it’s a fun way to bring awareness to the environment.
INDIO, CA (KESQ/CNN) – A thief in CA broke into a YMCA to steal cash from a register, but he didn’t know the cash wasn’t real.
Caught on surveillance video, a man kicked through the duct work in the ceiling of the YMCA Child Development Center in Indio, CA. He dropped to the floor, broke into a cash register and stole all the money inside before escaping out the door.
But the cash register he stole from was a child’s toy, filled with play money.
The money has since been replaced, and with the thief’s face caught on camera, the Indio Police Department is on the lookout because they believe this may not have been his first crime.
“Thieves tend to have specific MOs that they follow, stuff that they get comfortable with,” Sgt. Dan Marshall said. “They don’t get caught doing it once and they figure, hey, it’s a tried and true method and then they stick to it.”
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Visitors to a central Kentucky farm may do a double-take when they see the newest addition: a two-faced calf.
Stan McCubbin of Campbellsville told WDRB-TV that he thought he had twins when he first saw the calf on Friday, but quickly realized he had something far more unusual.
The female calf has two noses, two mouths and four eyes, though the middle two eyes don’t function. Although she can walk, the McCubbins say she ends up going in circles and falling over.
The family says most calves with such a genetic mutation are stillborn, but so far this one is eating and seems healthy.
McCubbin’s wife, Brandy, said their 5-year-old daughter, Kenley, named the calf Lucky because she’s lucky to be alive.
MADISON, Maine (AP) — A Maine high school unable to fill a vacant teacher position has turned to a foreign language computer program to educate students.
With money already earmarked for the job, The Morning Sentinel reports Madison Area Memorial High School opted to purchase the Rosetta Stone program to serve as its full-time French and Spanish teacher.
Principal Jessica Ward says the situation isn’t perfect, but Rosetta Stone was the best option moving forward this year.
The school was forced to purchase the program, which is currently used in more than 4,000 schools nationwide, when no one applied.
Rosetta Stone officials say the program is ideally used in conjunction with a live teacher.
An education technician was hired to supervise the school’s students and administer the program.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a robbery suspect somehow made off with a Terre Haute police car despite being handcuffed behind his back.
The Tribune Star reports that officers had placed 28-year-old Cody Tryon of Terre Haute in the back of the patrol car.
Police say that while unattended, Tyron kicked out the metal screen separating the front and back seats, slid through the opening and drove away.
Police using GPS caught up with him elsewhere in Terre Haute. They say Tyron rammed several squad cars that tried to block the stolen vehicle before he was again taken into custody.
Police say his hands were still restrained behind his back.
Tryon was taken to Vigo County Jail and booked on charges including motor vehicle theft and battery on a law enforcement officer.