The Odd Side – September 5, 2017

‘Suspect Apprehended!’ Police Nab 6-foot Miami Beach Python

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A 6-foot Burmese python slithered near a popular Miami Beach mall, scaring the crowd outside a convenience store.

Customers leaving Exprezo noticed the snake beneath a royal palm tree on Wednesday. Someone called Miami Beach police and the python was captured.

Police Chief Daniel J. Oates tweeted “suspect apprehended!” along with photos of the capture.

Store owner Indika Wanigarathne tells the Miami Herald she was thinking, “How big can it be?” Then she saw the python and “freaked out.”

Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez says the snake will be turned over to a wildlife refuge.

Library: Fines Can’t Be Paid With Game Tokens

DANVERS, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts library is reminding residents that game tokens are not an acceptable form of payment for overdue book fines.

Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, Massachusetts, posted on social media this week that the library has had a surge of people attempting to pay fines and printing fees with game tokens this summer.

The library says the tokens are not legal tender and cannot be accepted.

Bookkeeper Sue Kontos tells The Salem News she had counted three game tokens one day before realizing they weren’t real money.

Lottery Retires Machine That Printed Record $758.7M Ticket

CHICOPEE, Mass. (AP) – Lottery ticket buyers hoping to use the same Massachusetts machine as the recent $758.7 million Powerball jackpot winner are out of luck.

The Massachusetts State Lottery has retired the machine that printed the winning ticket belonging to Mavis Wanczyk. The Powerball jackpot she claimed last week is the largest grand prize won by a lottery ticket in U.S. history.

State lottery spokesman Christian Teja tells The Boston Globe the machine was removed from a convenience store in Chicopee on Saturday and was sent to the lottery’s Springfield office for maintenance.

He says there is an appetite to preserve “this piece of lottery history.” He says some interesting ideas have been proposed.

Yellow Lobster Joins Boston Aquarium’s Colorful Collection

BOSTON (AP) – A rare yellow lobster has made its debut at the New England Aquarium, posing for a photo op with fellow oddly colored crustaceans.

The lobster was donated to the Boston aquarium by a Salem seafood company. They marked its arrival by showing it off with other lobsters in unusual shades, including blue and orange, and one that is black on one side and orange on the other.

The yellow lobster will not be put on exhibit for about a month as it undergoes quarantine.

The aquarium says the incidence of yellow lobsters in the wild is estimated to be about 1 in 30 million.

Odd Inheritance: 1889 Landmark Courthouse With Clock Tower

LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) – George Beckwith got the surprising phone call a few months ago, informing him that he soon would be an owner of a 19th-century courthouse in Connecticut, nearly 1,400 miles from his home in Missouri.

The 78-year-old resident of Goodman, in southwestern Missouri, knew about the unusual lease agreement his ancestors had signed with Connecticut officials in 1803. If Connecticut ever stopped using the property in Litchfield for a courthouse, the parcel would revert back to descendants of the six landowners who leased it to the state.

Beckwith never thought Connecticut would abandon the landmark 1889 courthouse, which features a Seth Thomas clock tower and lies along the historic Litchfield Green. But that’s exactly what was happening, his lawyer, Michael Rybak, told him in that phone call.

“Just out of the blue, the state of Connecticut got a hold of Mike Rybak and they said they were going to hand over the keys,” said Beckwith, who grew up in Litchfield. “It was certainly startling.”

Beckwith said he had no use for a courthouse or the expenses that came with it, so he went looking for options before the state planned to hand it over on Sept. 30.

The search didn’t take long. The nonprofit Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust has agreed to purchase Beckwith’s interest in the property for an undisclosed, below-market-value price, Rybak said. The trust is the parent organization of two partnerships that own and operate two other buildings in Litchfield.