Odd Side – August 28, 2018

Coast Guard Offering Reward for Info on Buoy Bell Thieves

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The Coast Guard is offering a reward for information about brass gongs and bells that have been stolen from 10 buoys off of Maine’s coast.

The Coast Guard says nine bells were stolen from Penobscot Bay, and one was stolen off Bailey Island in Harpswell.The bell assembly stolen from the White Bull Gong buoy off Bailey Island weighs 371 pounds.

The sounding devices help boats navigate when there is poor visibility, and the Coast Guard says they are most likely being sold to nautical novelty stores or scrap yards.

Coast Guard Lt. Matthew Odom previously said the thefts put lives at risk and cost taxpayers.

Tampering with navigation aids is a federal crime, punishable by up to $25,000 per day.

Low-Number Delaware License Plate Auctioned for $410K

REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) – Low-numbered Delaware license plates are in demand.

Someone paid $410,000 for the plate bearing the number 20 when it went up for auction at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center.

John Wakefield, of Delaware Tag Traders, tells the Delaware News Journal the price exceeded expectations. He says it surpassed $325,000 spent on a number 14 license plate three years ago.

Wakefield says a number like 20 “generates quite a stir and a buzz.”

Fields Medal Stolen From Kurdish Mathematician in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A winner of the Fields Medal, often called the Nobel Prize of Mathematics, had his prize stolen shortly after receiving it during a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Caucher Birkar, a Kurdish refugee from Iran teaching at Cambridge University, put the gold medal, worth around $4,000, in a briefcase and soon afterward realized that it had been stolen, according to event organizers.

Security officials at the Riocentro venue in Riocentro found the empty briefcase in a nearby pavillion.

Police reviewed security tapes and identified two potential suspects.

“The International Congress of Mathematicians is profoundly sorry about the disappearance of the briefcase belonging to mathematician Caucher Birkar, which contained his Fields Medal from the ceremony this morning,” organizers said in a note.

It was the first time that the awards, held every four years, were hosted in the southern hemisphere.

Python Discovered Under Hood Of Wisconsin Motorist’s SUV

OMRO, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin motorist was in for a slithery surprise after his mom’s sport utility vehicle began acting strangely.

Chris Nguyen pulled over in the town of Omro and popped the SUV’s hood to find a 4-foot-long python inside. Fittingly, the snake damaged the engine’s serpentine belt.

Omro police responded and tried to wriggle the snake from the engine. They called “The Snake Man” Steve Keller — a Menasha man who rescues snakes — for help.

Authorities say the snake was identified as a ball python. Its owner said it’s been missing for more than a month.

It’s illegal to have these snakes in Omro, so the snake’s owner was fined. WBAY reports that police said they’d dismiss the ticket if the owner pays for damages to Liz Nguyen’s vehicle.

Keller says he’ll adopt the python.