October 2, 2014
Vets In NH Give
Sight To Falcon
Concord, NH (AP) A falcon in New Hampshire has undergone eye surgery to remove cataracts and has received new synthetic lenses.
Banner, a 4-year-old falcon, lost its sight and hasn’t been able to fly or hunt for the past two years. On Monday, a team at Capital Veterinary Emergency Services in Concord removed the cataracts and put in artificial lenses in the hour-long procedure. The Concord Monitor reports I-Med, a Canadian ophthalmology supply manufacturer, donated the 6-milimeter-wide lenses.
A surgeon and veterinary ophthalmologist donated their time for the operation. Banner’s owners, Nancy and Jim Cowan of the New Hampshire School of Falconry in Deering, say it’s the first time this surgery has been done on a falcon.
Banner will need anti-inflammatory eye drops for a few weeks to make sure her eyelids don’t become too irritated by the sutures in her corneas.
Nancy Cowan held Banner on her glove as he shook a leather tassel a few feet away. He smiled when Banner turned toward it. “You can see something all right,” he said. “You can see something.”
Slot Machine Saves German Gambler As Police Arrive
Berlin (AP) A gambler in Germany has been saved from prison by a one-armed bandit.
Police said Thursday that two officers carrying out routine checks at an arcade in the western city of Bochum late last week discovered that a man playing a slot machine faced an arrest warrant.
He had been ordered to pay a 710-euro ($910) fine or go to prison for 71 days after resisting police during a previous incident.
Police say that as officers informed the man that he faced arrest, the slot machine started to flash and the beaming 37-year-old won a jackpot of 1,000-euro (about $1,300).
The man paid his fine on the spot in cash.
Suspect Driving Fast & Smelling
Strong Is Easily Caught
Lebanon, OR (AP) Officers in western Oregon say a suspect they tried to collar at a traffic stop drove too fast for pursuing officers, but eventually he was just too fragrant.
The Albany Democrat-Herald reports that the driver gave officers in Linn County the slip in a high-speed chase before dawn Sunday, doing better than 100 mph in a red Honda Prelude whose hood flew off.
But Lebanon police later saw the car parked and launched a search by foot.
That’s when officers caught a “strong scent of cologne” in the darkness and soon found their suspect hiding in shrubbery.
Thirty-five-year-old Charles V. Agosto was jailed on charges including probation violation and trying to elude officers. Officers said he told them he regretted using the cologne.
There was no immediate indication he had a lawyer.
Elk Nose Into Grand Canyon Water Stations
Flagstaff, AZ (AP) Thirsty hikers have to wait. The elk are first in line.
The animals are helping themselves to water from bottle-filling stations set up around Grand Canyon National Park by lifting the spring-loaded levers with their noses and letting the water flow.
It’s not exactly the kind of use officials had in mind when they installed the stations and dropped the sale of disposable water bottles.
Now, they are elk-proofing the stations to outsmart the animals, conserve water and protect visitors from aggressive behavior.
About a dozen filling stations are set up throughout the park.
The elk favor the one at popular South Kaibab Trail.
Chief resource manager Martha Hahn says caging in the water spout and changing up the way of turning on the water should keep the animals away.
Cat, Dog, Lasers: A Senior Portrait To Remember
Schenectady, NY (AP) A New York boy and his cat, a principal and her dog and lasers.
They all came together in teenager Draven Rodriguez’s senior portrait, which ended up with him holding his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, and Schenectady High School principal Diane Wilkinson holding her Chihuahua, Vivienne.
The 16-year-old had originally wanted his senior yearbook portrait to show him holding his cat, with lasers in the background. He posted the photo on the Internet, and it went viral.
The school denied his request but said the photo could appear somewhere in the yearbook.
Wilkinson got in on the act, and school district officials say the portrait with the two pet owners will appear on the principal’s yearbook page. It’ll be used to raise awareness for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and rescue animals.
Mexican Collector’s "Harry Potter" Hoard Is World’s Biggest
Mexico City (AP) A Mexico City man is in Hogwarts heaven after his collection of “Harry Potter” memorabilia was named the world’s largest.
Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has spent nearly 15 years hoarding all things related to British author J.K. Rowling’s young-adult wizard-fantasy series, which spawned eight blockbuster films.
His collection fills two rooms and counts everything from magic wands and toy figurines to Gryffindor scarves and replica Quidditch brooms.
Guinness World Records officially recognized it Monday as the world No. 1, at 3,097 pieces. The old mark was 807.
Silva Vargas said he began with no intent to amass a huge collection. But soon it was like being under a spell.
He laughingly called his obsession both a blessing and a curse: “My salary, my bonuses ... it all ended up here.”
Kennebunk, ME (AP) Police say two women opened the trunk of their rental car to retrieve their luggage and were greeted by a snake.
The women drove the rental car from Boston to Kennebunk, Maine, where they discovered the ball python Wednesday night and called police.
The snake was turned over to the Maine Warden Service on Thursday and was being transported to the Center for Wildlife in York.
Ball pythons generally grow to 3 to 5 feet long and aren’t considered dangerous.
The ball python is a common pet snake, but authorities say it’s unclear why the snake was in the vehicle.
Kennebunk Deputy Police Chief Dan Jones tells the Portland Press Herald that the women wanted a new rental car even after the snake was removed.