The Odd Side – August 27, 2013

Fire Lends Ore. Town’s Water Smoky Taste and Smell

THE DALLES, Ore. (AP) – Residents of an Oregon town on the Columbia River gorge have complained about a smoky taste and smell in their water.

Turns out, it wasn’t their imaginations: Public health authorities say a nearby wildfire burning in a drainage basin contributed the sooty aroma to the town’s drinking water.

The Dalles Chronicle reports the fire dropped burning debris into the stream.

Aside from the aesthetic issues, authorities say the water poses no health risks.

The city is considering mixing in well water from city reservoirs to dilute the water affected by the fire. They are also evaluating options at the local water treatment plant.

A Big Cat Has Detroit Residents on Alert

DETROIT (AP) – Stray dogs are a common sight in Detroit. What about a big cat?

The Detroit Free Press reports that many residents on the city’s northeast side have seen what appears to be an exotic cat, perhaps as tall as 4 feet, roaming the streets. The Michigan Humane Society says it will try to find the cat.

Antwaun Asberry, a 6-foot-5 Detroiter, says the cat’s tail is longer than his arm. The cat has large black spots and stripes, according to a photo.

Fourteen-year-old Paul Hatley says the cat stared back at him when he saw it a few days ago. He says the encounter scared him.

Neighborhood association leader Vondell Boyer wonders what will happen when the cat runs out of rabbits and other small animals to eat.

Doctor: Ohio Man Revives 45 Mins After Heart Stops

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (AP) – A man whose heart stopped beating for 45 minutes credits his faith for being alive and says stunned doctors who declared him dead aren’t sure what happened.

The body of diesel mechanic Tony Yahle was being prepared by nurses to be seen by his family Aug. 5 when he began to show signs of life, doctors said. He fully awakened at the hospital five days later.

Yahle, a 37-year-old West Carrollton resident, has been a topic of conversation since, said cardiologist Dr. Raja Nazir.

“In the last 20 years, I’ve never seen anybody who we have pronounced dead … and then for him to come back, I’ve never seen it,” Nazir told the Dayton Daily News. “Actually, I’ve never heard of it.”

Yahle says it’s a miracle and that doctors couldn’t find any defects in his heart. Their last guess was that it was all the result of a possible viral infection, he said.

Yahle’s teenage son said he spoke to his father shortly before he revived, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

“I pointed at him and said, ‘Dad, you’re not going to die today,’“ said 18-year-old Lawrence Yahle. “I stood there for a few more seconds. I was about to walk back to comfort the family, and that’s when he started showing signs of a heartbeat.”

The teen said he “went from hopeless to hope in an instant.”

Ohio State Set for 3rd Corpse Flower Bloom of 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A large rainforest plant known as a corpse flower because of its terrible smell is expected to bloom soon at an Ohio State University greenhouse that already experienced two of the rare blooms this year.

The 5.5-foot titan arum hadn’t opened by Friday morning, but the school said it was on the verge. The plants unfurl to reveal a bold, reddish-purple color and release the smell of rotting-flesh.

Sometimes they take years to bloom, if they do at all. The blooms are brief, sometimes a day or less.

Each of the four corpse flowers that have bloomed at Ohio State since 2011 got a nickname connected to the school. This time, the greenhouse is inviting fans to vote for one of four options: Scarlet, Sloopy, Carmen or Orton.

Hacked Colo. Road Sign Shows Support for Snowden

TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) – A portable, electronic road sign that was supposed to alert drivers to delays on a southwest Colorado road got changed to say something completely different.

For roughly a day, it read, “SNOWDEN IS A HERO,” referring perhaps to Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents to reporters. The Telluride Daily Planet received a photo of the sign from a reader.

Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Shanks says a time stamp on the photo indicates the message was up for at least 23 hours. A colleague turned off the sign Wednesday.

Shanks says someone probably left part of the sign unlocked, allowing for the message to get changed.

Snowden has won temporary asylum in Russia. The Obama administration wants him to face trial in the U.S for the leaks.

Midland Duck Pond Getting Water Help From Pool

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) – Some lucky ducks in West Texas will get a chance to splash using recycled water.

Officials in Midland have decided to transfer water from the 500,000-gallon Doug Russell Pool to Wadley Barron Park’s duck pond to help relieve a dry spell. Wells that were drilled to supply the pond haven’t yielded as much water as hoped.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram reported Wednesday that the water from the municipal pool, which has now closed for the season, will be trucked when chlorine levels fade.

Tina Jauz with Midland community services says the water transfer is not likely to offset the pond’s evaporation amid lingering hot, dry conditions. She says refilling it with water from Doug Russell Pool, which is normally drained, is one way to help combat the drought.