Category Archives: Weird
Statues, lights, planters, decorations and other trinkets pilfered from Mount Peace Cemetery in St. Cloud were allegedly adorning the home and yard of Debra Farinella, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
In all, the middle-aged tomb raider is accused of taking 146 pieces from the burial spots, according to WFTV.
“She was not very particular,” said Officer Chad Durham, spokesman for the St. Cloud Police Department, to WOFL. “She would take them from baby gravesites, as well as adult gravesites.”
A tipster gave police a description of a suspect and a partial license plate number. Police eventually located Farinella, who claimed that she bought the cemetery mementos at a yard sale, the Sentinel reported.
She’s been charged with grand theft and petty theft, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s office.
Victims are encouraged to contact the St. Cloud Police Department to reclaim stolen goods, WKMG said.
What is it with Bigfoot? People can’t help but be drawn in with a story surrounding the mythical monster. Well, he (or she) has hit the headlines once again after Bigfoot’s big foot has been discovered.
An extremely large paw has been found in the woods in Massachusetts, USA, and it is thought to be Bigfoot’s. Definitely Bigfoot’s and not a bear’s.
Two young boys discovered the huge decomposing foot as they played in a forest and handed it in to police, who were baffled and sent it for forensic tests.
The grisly find has given Bigfoot enthusiasts new hope that the hairy beast – similar to a Yeti – does indeed exist.
They say it’s the best evidence yet that the legendary ape-like creature roams the forests of North America.
A medical examiner has since determined that the appendage is not human, although it appears to have five toes.
Lakeville Police believe it may just be an extraordinary large bear paw, but are awaiting the outcome of more tests.
“It will take some time before we hear any official results,” said Police Chief Frank Alvilhiera.
In November 2012 there was a Bigfoot sighting in Utah, and that definitely was Bigfoot as it was all caught on camera.
SLIMMED-down Paul Mason bares all — to reveal the ugly folds of sagging skin doctors refuse to remove.
Paul — once the world’s fattest man at 70st — shed an incredible 46st in three years but as a result has so much loose flesh it completely covers his wedding tackle.
Ex-postie Paul, 52, lost two-thirds of his weight when a gastric bypass op reduced his stomach to the size of an egg.
`He has now posed naked in the hope these shocking photos will persuade NHS chiefs to sanction a £60,000 operation to remove the unsightly excess skin.
He said: “I want health professionals to have a look and think, ‘It’s about time we helped this chap’.
“Around my middle and on my legs the skin keeps splitting because of the weight of it.”
Paul, who had the gastric bypass on the NHS in 2010, once gorged on 20,000 calories a day — ten times the healthy level.
He would eat four portions of fish and chips, two kebabs and a roast — just for lunch.
Now he is down to 24st and wants to lose more.
He says about eight stone would go if surgeons removed the droopy skin which restricts his mobility and causes sores.
His GP will present the pictures to NHS bosses as proof he needs the op now.
But Paul, from Ipswich, Suffolk, is beginning to lose hope.
He said: “I met a lady who has been waiting 13 years and she’s only got two stone of loose skin.”
Doctors have told Paul he needs to have a “stable weight” for two years before surgery can go ahead.
A spokesman for the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The NHS has a panel of people, including clinicians, who decide whether the patient should have such an operation.
“A patient must have a stable weight before he or she is considered.”
Paul hopes the pictures will deter others with weight problems.
He said: “People think skin will shrink back but it doesn’t. If they find it shocking perhaps they will think twice.”
An image captured of Filomena Tobias thrusting her middle finger at Chicago Bulls player, Joakim Noah as he was ejected from the court has taken the internet by storm. The provocative gesture came after Noah voiced his objection to a call made against a teammate by a referee during the tense Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
A reveller dressed as the Incredible Hulk is being hunted by police after going on the rampage and attacking a teenager outside a McDonald’s.
Police have released a CCTV image of the woman dressed as the comic character, famous for violent outbursts after uttering the phrase ‘you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry’.
The images show the woman dressed in a torn white shirt with dyed red hair, and covered in green body paint.
Have you seen this woman? Detectives in York are appealing for witnesses to come forward following an assault in the city
The attack happened outside a branch of McDonald’s in York, which has recently lost its 24-hour licence after a series of violent incidents.
Police said a 17-year-old girl was attacked at 3am on Friday, 26 April, outside the burger restaurant when the woman dressed as the Incredible Hulk left the restaurant with a group of people.
As a result of the assault the victim was left with bruising to her face and a black eye.
At the time of the incident the woman suspected of the assault was covered in green body paint with dyed red hair. However police said she is believed to be a white woman, in her late teens or early 20s and around 5ft 8in with a medium build.
Detective Constable Cheryl Hunter, of York CID, said: ‘This appears to have been a wholly unprovoked assault. Thankfully the injuries were not too severe. However, the outcome could have been far more serious.
CCTV footage issued by North Yorkshire Police shows the a woman officers are hunting
‘If you witnessed the assault or can identify the woman I need to speak to about this incident, I ask that you contact the police or Crimestoppers straight away.’
Last month council bosses ordered that the McDonald’s restaurant must cut its opening times after residents said drink-fuelled customers were ruining their lives.
The fast-food chain’s outlet will have to shut after midnight during the week and from 1am on Fridays, Saturdays, Bank Holidays and racedays following a licensing challenge by people living opposite it.
A City of York Council licensing hearing heard evidence from six Stonegate Court residents, backed by local businesses, Visit York and Guildhall councillor Brian Watson, that the restaurant’s round-the-clock opening hours had led to a catalogue of noise, fights, intimidation and abuse and disturbed their sleep.
North Yorkshire Police said there had been 122 incidents connected to McDonald’s over 17 months.
By Kate Golden Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
In America’s Dairyland, steroid hormones from livestock have been found in the snowmelt runoff from large cattle-feeding operations.
In the Shenandoah River, researchers investigating recurring fish kills found something in the polluted waters had feminized 80 to 100 percent of the male smallmouth bass, causing them to produce immature eggs in their testes.
And in Minnesota, three weeks after researchers put male minnows in lakes, they developed intersex characteristics.
All over the country, chemicals known to disrupt or act like hormones seem to have permeated the waters and may be harming wildlife — or people.
“The more you know, the more scared you are,” said Kimberlee Wright, executive director of the Wisconsin-based nonprofit law center Midwest Environmental Advocates.
Known as endocrine disruptors, these chemicals are in soaps, plastics, industrial solvents, pesticides and herbicides, as well as human or animal medicines. Some occur naturally but hundreds are man-made and found everywhere that modern chemistry has improved people’s lives.
A United Nations report in February declared endocrine disruptors a “global threat” to wildlife and humans, particularly infants and children. Close to 800 chemicals are known or suspected to disrupt hormone function, but thousands in use have never been tested, the U.N. report said.
Despite growing evidence of risks, state and federal governments have issued little guidance on how much of these suspected endocrine disruptors in our lakes, streams and groundwater constitute danger for fish, wildlife or people. These chemicals are largely unregulated.
Wisconsin has not systematically looked for endocrine disruptors statewide. Research and regulation of them is poorly funded and loosely coordinated, according to a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism review of records and interviews with government officials and environmental experts.
“We’re not a building full of bureaucrats ignorant to the problem,” said Brad Wolbert, chief of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’s recycling and solid waste program. “It’s just that it’s a really big problem.”
Dozens of pesticides have been associated with endocrine disruption. Pesticides have commonly been detected in surface waters, and in an estimated one-third of drinking water wells in Wisconsin, according to a survey by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Endocrine disruptors mess with the body’s signaling systems, which respond with exquisite sensitivity to tiny amounts of hormones like estrogen or testosterone. Hormones regulate growth and development, stress response, metabolism and a host of other functions.
One major potential source of endocrine disruptors in the environment: Agriculture. An Iowa State University study estimated land applications of livestock manure accounts for more than 90 percent of the total estrogens in the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is concerned about potential impacts on fish. Photo: Kate Golden, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
High levels of exposure to certain endocrine disruptors have been found to cause diabetes or cancer. But even exceptionally low doses may be harmful — although research funded by the chemical industry argues the evidence for this has been overstated.
Scientists coined the term “endocrine disruption” in 1991, at a conference in Racine, after troubling findings emerged from the Great Lakes in the 1980s. Researchers found that women who ate as few as two meals a month of PCB-contaminated Lake Michigan fish delivered smaller babies, and their children later scored worse on memory and attention-span tests.
Scientific evidence has begun to link “exposure to some toxic chemicals to a range of reproductive and childhood developmental problems,” according to a 2010 report from the nonprofit Pew Health Group.
Endocrine disruptors are suspected of causing declining sperm counts, infertility, obesity, genital deformities, breast cancer, prostate cancer, retarded sexual development, and impaired memory or intelligence in children — among other problems.
At the same time, none of the dozens of experts interviewed said Wisconsinites should stop drinking their well water or swimming in lakes. The science is not there yet, they said.
Minnesota outpacing Wisconsin
DNR does not have a testing program for the presence of unregulated endocrine disruptors in surface waters, according to Susan Sylvester, head of the agency’s water quality bureau.
“We don’t have the budget for it. We don’t have any staff on it,” Sylvester said.
Said Melissa Malott, water program director of the environmental advocacy group Clean Wisconsin: “There’s this critical issue, where there’s not funding at the state level or the federal level to figure out how widespread it is or how problematic it is.”
It is quite a contrast to neighboring Minnesota, which sampled 50 lakes last summer for these and other contaminants of emerging concern.
“Minnesota has been by far the most proactive in terms of funding statewide studies on endocrine disruptors,” said Dana Kolpin, lead scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Emerging Contaminants project.
Minnesota has spent at least $1.42 million on such research since 2008, funded in part by a voter-approved sales tax that pours millions into a Clean Water Fund each year. The state’s sampling and monitoring for effects in rivers, streams and groundwater has been conducted in partnership with the USGS and St. Cloud State University.
Wisconsin, like other states, relies on the EPA for guidance on how to safeguard its waters. But the EPA has not provided such guidance, DNR spokesman Bill Cosh wrote in an email.
Seventeen years ago, Congress told the EPA to start screening chemicals for endocrine disruption. The task included an estimated 87,000 chemicals, since narrowed to 10,000. From 1999 to 2010, the EPA received $131.5 million for endocrine disruptor research, though not all of it was spent that way.
Hundreds of studies have since documented various chemicals’ potential to interfere with endocrine systems. Yet in 2011 the EPA’s inspector general slammed the agency, saying the EPA still “has not determined whether any chemical is an endocrine disruptor.”
The EPA said in a statement that it had to start “from scratch” to develop scientifically rigorous new screening methods, and added that “the pace of the program has increased.” (Read the agency’s full response.)
Chemicals widespread in the environment
In 2002, the USGS showed that these chemicals were widespread in streams susceptible to contamination. Since that landmark national study, research on them has exploded.
Potential sources of endocrine disruptors include wastewater treatment plants and urban, industrial or agricultural runoff.
The fathead minnow is a dull, common bait fish, but it has become an important species for research on endocrine disruptors. Here, fish are being raised for research at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency laboratory in Duluth, Minn. Photo: Kate Golden, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Most often, endocrine disruption in wildlife — like the Minnesota intersex minnows or the Shenandoah River bass — cannot be blamed on a single chemical because the waters contain so many different pollutants.
Some endocrine disruptors are hormones, like the progesterone that University of Wisconsin researchers recently found in runoff from Wisconsin livestock operations. The good news from that EPA-funded research was that the hormones degraded so rapidly the researchers surmised “minimal impact on aquatic organisms.”
But they also a reported a more ominous finding: the levels of progesterone found were high enough to slow down male laboratory minnows’ sperm and decrease females’ fertility.
Some chemicals are not hormones but just act like them, or block them.
And some chemicals in Wisconsin’s environment already known to cause health problems are now pegged as possible endocrine disruptors. These include PCBs in the Fox River, neurotoxic mercury in the lakes, and pockets of arsenic, nitrates and the pesticide atrazine in wells.
No widespread sampling in Wisconsin
DNR acknowledged in a January 2012 report that pharmaceuticals and personal care products “have been found in low but surprising quantities throughout the Great Lakes,” and warned that “these products are a cause for concern as they have been linked to several problems such as intersex fish.”
The report added: “In an effort to be proactive and protective of humans and wildlife, Wisconsin should consider developing water quality standards for these pharmaceutical byproducts.”
But it noted that it would need a surface water monitoring program “to determine the scale of this potential problem in the state.”
As for pesticides, the report said that with new products on the market and new toxicity data, the DNR — with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Department of Health Services — should review water quality standards for pesticides “to determine which, if any, need to be updated” to protect people and wildlife.
But it also said pesticides were “not ranked as a top priority by internal staff.”
In lieu of an overarching approach to endocrine disruptors, DNR addresses them through existing programs.
For instance, landfills — from which endocrine disruptors and other chemicals may leach into groundwater — are subject to much tighter standards now than several decades ago, Wolbert said.
The cleanup of Superfund sites or brownfields may target regulated chemicals but clean up unregulated endocrine disruptors along the way.
The agency is also trying to educate the public about proper drug disposal. It recently published a report estimating that just 2 percent of the pharmaceutical waste in Wisconsin is properly collected through take-back programs.
And in conjunction with Minnesota, Wisconsin warns people not to eat some Mississippi River fish because they are contaminated with the potential endocrine disruptor PFOS, once a key ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard.
Like other states, Wisconsin and Minnesota must report to Congress every two years on their water quality protection efforts.
Minnesota’s recent report contains lengthy descriptions of its water sampling for endocrine disruptors, development of health standards and latest attempts to identify statewide trends.
Wisconsin’s names algae blooms and climate change as emerging water issues. It includes a brief recommendation to look for “recently discovered contaminants” in groundwater, but does not address the issue of endocrine disruptors.
Cosh wrote that the agency is aware Minnesota is doing more, and added, “Our current surveillance program is supported by the resources we have available.”
Advocates: Government failing to protect public
Wright, the Midwest Environmental Advocates lawyer, said environmentalists have not agitated for much action on endocrine disruptors in Wisconsin despite a need for it.
“There’s so much trying to hold the line on environmental rollbacks that addressing emerging issues is almost impossible,” she said.
Malott, of Clean Wisconsin, said state and federal governments have failed to adequately address the risks.
“We expect government to think ahead for us. We expect government to figure out what the problems are,” Malott said. “And there is more than enough evidence to implicate these chemicals.”
This project was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the Fund for Environmental Journalism. The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.
Antonia W. “Toni” Larroux
Bay St. Louis, MS
Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013. Antonia W. “Toni” Larroux died after a battle with multiple illnesses: lupus, rickets, scurvy, kidney disease and feline leukemia. She had previously conquered polio as a child contributing to her unusually petite ankles and the nickname “polio legs” given to her by her ex-husband, Jean F. Larroux, Jr. It should not be difficult to imagine the multiple reasons for their divorce 35+ years ago. Two children resulted from that marriage: Hayden Hoffman and Jean F. Larroux, III. Due to multiple, anonymous Mother’s Day cards which arrived each May, the children suspect there were other siblings but that has never been verified.
She is survived by the two confirmed, aforementioned children. Her favorite child, Jean III, eloped in college and married Kim Fulford who dearly loved Toni. They gave Toni three grandchildren: Jean IV, Ann Elizabeth and Hannah Grace. Toni often remarked that her son, Jean III, was “just like his father,” her ex-husband, Jean Jr., a statement that haunts her son to this day.
Hayden Hoffman married Stephen Hoffman of Charleston, WV. They reside in Bay St. Louis and carry the Larroux family torch forward through each and every Happy Hour, Mardi Gras and cocktail party. Steve’s quiet demeanor has provided ballast to an otherwise unstable family. They have two children: Charlie and Helen (the ‘well-behaved’ child Toni’s daughter, Hayden deserved to raise.)
Toni had four sisters: Patty the elder, Kitty the cook, Lisa the lawyer and Piji…the…piji. The sisters dearly loved Toni; spoke often and as one family photo proved, all preferred Clairol blonde in a box #47. They inherited their unique sense of humor from their father, Paul “P. Marvelous” White. He gave nicknames to all the girls such as “tittle mouse”, “kittycat”, “bouder bounce”, “spooker mcdougle” and “poodle pump.”
Toni previously served on the board of the Hancock County Library Foundation. Ironically, the only correspondence she has received from the library since her resignation has been overdue notices for several overdue books (a true statement.) Between ICU, dialysis and physical therapy she selfishly refused to make the time to return them. Her last words were, “tell them that the check is in the mail…” Toni retired from GE Plastics after Hurricane Katrina in 2007. She would undoubtedly cherish the thought of having the former smoking room named in her honor.
Any sendoff for Toni would not be complete without mentioning her lifelong buddy Myrtle Jane Wingo Haas and her adopted daughters Liz & Laura. She considered Aaron Burrell to be a distant grandson (not distant enough) and had the ability with family pets to usher them toward heaven at an unrivaled pace. Her favorite activity was sipping hot tea on her back porch with friends seated around her porch ensemble from Dollar General (again, not kidding.) This will be sold to the highest bidder at her garage ‘estate’ sale. Any gifts in her honor should be made to the Hancock County Library Foundation (to the overdue book fund.)
Visitation will be held at Edmond Fahey Funeral Home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi on Saturday, May 4th at 9:30 a.m. Her memorial service will begin at 11:00 a.m. (another true statement.) It will be led by Rev. Curt Moore of Orlando, Florida, a questionable choice for any spiritual event, but one the family felt would be appropriate due to the fact that every time Toni heard Curt preach she prayed for Jesus to return at that very moment.
On a last but serious note, the woman who loved life and taught her children to ‘laugh at the days to come’ is now safely in the arms of Jesus and dancing at the wedding feast of the Lamb. She will be missed as a mother, friend and grandmother. Anyone wearing black will not be admitted to the memorial. She is not dead. She is alive.
Edmond Fahey Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.