The Odd Side – February 3, 2015

Firefighters Rescue Cows That Took Icy Dip in Colorado Pond

Firefighters in Colorado have rescued two cows that plunged through the ice on a pond.

Fountain Fire Chief Darin Anstine says someone driving by the pond south of Colorado Springs spotted the cows’ heads sticking out of the water about 30 feet from shore Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters wearing protective suits used saws to cut through six to eight inches of ice and clear a channel to the shore.

Anstine says the cows were able to walk out of the pond about an hour after they were spotted. It’s unclear how long they were in the water, but they’re doing fine.

Anstine says he’s seen a lot of dogs rescued from icy ponds in his 28 years with the department, but never a cow.

Thieves Smash Stolen SUV Into San Francisco Museum for Gold

Thieves rammed a stolen SUV into a downtown San Francisco museum early Tuesday and swiped historic gold nuggets in the latest smash-and-grab theft in the area in recent months.

Three masked men jumped from a Chevrolet Suburban after it rammed through a revolving door at the Wells Fargo History Museum in the financial district and held a security guard at gunpoint while taking gold nuggets from a display case.

The three men escaped in a four-door sedan driven by an accomplice. The security guard was unharmed.

The tactic mirrored three other smash-and-grab thefts involving vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area since May. Police said they are investigating whether there’s a connection.

Last week thieves backed a U-Haul van through the front of a Patagonia store near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, loaded it with high-end outdoor clothing and gear and sped off.

On Nov. 26, two men rammed a vehicle into an upscale designer boutique in Union Square and took handbags.

As many as 10 ounces of gold with an estimated value of roughly $10,000 was stolen from the Wells Fargo museum. Wells Fargo officials were still trying to determine exactly what was stolen before determining a more precise loss figure.

“This is such bad news from my viewpoint,” he said, calling the potential loss of historical indicators a tragedy.

Some of the stolen items, including a bag of ground-up quartz, were recovered. Five men were convicted of the heist at the museum in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido said in a statement that the company is grateful that no one was injured and no damage was done to the historic stagecoaches at the site where Wells Fargo launched in 1852.

People walking to work stopped to snap photos of the SUV wedged in the shattered revolving doors.

Wild Kangaroos in Austria? At Least One, Surviving in the Snow

A kangaroo is on the loose in frigid and snowy Austria, hopping his way toward dispelling a famous slogan.

“No kangaroos in Austria” T-shirts and souvenirs have been big-sellers for years in the alpine nation, since some people confuse Austria with Australia.

Anton the kangaroo bounded away from his owner several weeks ago and has been living rough ever since, disappearing into forested land every time someone tries to capture him.

State-run broadcaster ORF posted a photo of the Australian marsupial on Wednesday sitting in a snowy backyard near the town of Braunau on the border with Germany.

Anton looks fit and is expected to find enough food to survive the winter.

Crash on Interstate Caused By Trucker Pulling His Tooth

Alabama authorities say a tractor-trailer crashed on Interstate 20 because the driver lost control while he was pulling one of his teeth.

The Alabama Highway Patrol says the truck driver told troopers he had taken his hands off the wheel to pull a loose tooth when he wrecked near Tuscaloosa. The crash report states: “He had the tooth in his shirt pocket as proof.”

The tractor-trailer veered off I-20 into a ditch late Sunday and smashed into a tree. The crash shut down a stretch of interstate for about 11 hours until a single lane reopened Monday morning.

Authorities say the 57-year-old driver wasn’t seriously hurt. reports the Highway Patrol redacted the driver’s name from its copy of the crash report released to reporters.

Not So ‘Good to Go’ When Man Gets $18,000 Toll Bridge Bill

A Washington state man says he just paid more than $18,000 in bridge tolls for his son who crossed the 520 bridge daily for work but never got a Good To Go pass.

Media reported that Tom Rose’s son thought he would be billed for the tolls and that he could pay later.

His son never received a bill. He learned the total of what he owed when he tried to sell his car: more than $18,000. That’s $1,360 in tolls and more than $16,000 in penalties.

The department says they tried to bill Rose but their letters were returned. He will have to pay the tolls, but officials say they will try to work something out concerning the penalties.

Media report that a lawyer has filed a class-action lawsuit against the department concerning its policies.