The Odd Side – October 21, 2014

Washington Woman Fined $500 For Feeding Bears 

LONG BEACH, Wash. (AP) — A woman on trial for feeding bears in her neighborhood in Washington state has agreed to stop and pay a fine to settle the case.

The Daily News reports Doris Berryhill Parks was the first person charged under a 2012 state law that makes it a misdemeanor to feed wild animals.

Under the agreement, Berryhill Parks pays a $500 fine and promises not to leave food outside her Ilwaco home. That means no pet food or bird feeders and keeping garbage cans secure.

Washington wildlife officials say they’ve had to trap seven bears that became a dangerous nuisance in her neighborhood.

Wednesday’s agreement came after five hours of testimony before a judge in Pacific County District Court in Long Beach. If Berryhill Parks fails to comply, she would be subject to a 90-day jail sentence.

Home Burglar Steals $10,000 In Change 

ROCHESTER MILLS, Pa. (AP) — State police say someone got away with a lot of change when they burglarized a rural western Pennsylvania home. About $10,000 worth.

Troopers from the Punxsutawney barracks say the North Mahoning Township homeowner discovered the money missing in late September but says it could have been taken at any time since February.

Police say the man had the money stored in six or seven red plastic Folgers coffee containers and a 5-gallon glass jug. Police say there was about $5,000 in the coffee containers and the same amount in the jug.

The township is about 55 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Homes Found for 24 Salem Bearded Dragons 

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Salem woman says an outpouring of support from all over the country will save 24 bearded dragons she has to move or face eviction from her mobile home park.

The Statesman Journal reports that reptile rescuer Sherrie Baldwin is giving away her pet lizards this week — requiring only that the new owners provide veterinary care.

Baldwin made news in August when she gave one of her bearded dragons CPR after she found it floating in its small pool.

That got the attention of her landlord who threatened to evict her from the Sunset Village Mobile Park. But, news coverage had people lining up and calling to help take the scaly reptiles off her hands.

Puppy Found During Massachusetts Arrest

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — Police searching the pockets of a crime suspect in Lawrence, Massachusetts, got an unusual surprise.

An officer pulled out a tiny three-week-old pit bull puppy and handed it over to animal control.

The little dog was separated from its mother too soon and got sick and dehydrated, but is now recovering at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Waltham.

Veterinarian Kristina DePaula estimates the dog is no more than three or four weeks old.

The puppy, dubbed Pocket, of course, should be ready for adoption within a few weeks.

Parrot Missing for Years Returns Speaking Spanish 

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner — and the bird now speaks Spanish.

The reunion was brought about by a Southern California veterinarian who mistook Nigel, an African grey parrot, for her own missing bird, the Daily Breeze reported Sunday.

Teresa Micco tracked Nigel’s microchip to Darren Chick, a Brit who lives in Torrance.

“I introduced myself and said, ‘Have you lost a bird?’” Micco told the newspaper. “He initially said, ‘No.’ But he thought I meant recently.”

When she verified Chick’s name and said she had his African grey parrot, “He looked at me like I was crazy.”

He said his bird went missing four years earlier.

Little is known about Nigel’s whereabouts the past four years, but Chick says the bird’s British accent is gone, and it now chatters in Spanish.

Chick says last week’s reunion brought tears of joy to his eyes — despite the fact that Nigel bit him when he first tried to pick him up.

Micco said the behavior was not unusual and that Nigel would settle back in soon enough.

“He’s doing perfect,” Chick told the newspaper by the week’s end. “It’s really weird. I knew it was him from the minute I saw him.”

It’s the fifth parrot reunion facilitated by Micco, who has been running ads for her own missing bird for nine months.

That parrot, Benjamin, flew the coop in February when it darted out a door that was left open.

Julissa Sperling found Nigel outside her home and brought him to Micco after seeing one of her ads.

But first, she took Nigel to her dog-grooming business.

“He was the happiest bird. He was singing and talking without control,” Sperling said. “He was barking like the dogs.

I’m from Panama and he was saying, ‘What happened?’ in Spanish.”

Woman Gets Prison for Mistaken Name Jail Escape 

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to 9 to 24 months in state prison for taking advantage of county jail guards who were confused by her similar-sounding name and released her to a bail bondsman looking for another inmate.

The (Uniontown) Herald-Standard reports 29-year-old Evelyn Grace Campbell was sentenced by a Fayette County judge on Wednesday.

The Uniontown woman signed herself out of the jail on June 6 when a bondsman showed up to post $500 bail on behalf of another inmate, Maretta Ruth Gambel.

The warden says Campbell stepped forward when guards called for Gambel, then escaped after telling the bail bondsman she didn’t have identification before he let her sign the release papers.

Campbell returned the next day and confessed, then pleaded guilty to an escape charge in September.