The Odd Side – June 2, 2015

German Police Alerted to ‘Armed Mob,’ Find Asparagus Pickers

BERLIN (AP) – Police in rural northeastern Germany rushed out to track down a reported mob of up to 15 people armed with knives and sticks. Instead, they found a group of asparagus harvesters.

Police in the town of Ludwigslust said a man called their emergency number Saturday to report having seen “10 to 15 people armed with knives and sticks” on a local road.

Within minutes, six police cars were on their way to the scene. Officers quickly discovered, however, that the group consisted of asparagus harvesters who were walking along the road with their work tools as they went to take a lunch break.

White asparagus is a popular delicacy in Germany and a ubiquitous sight on restaurant menus in late spring.

Oh, Brother: Twins Charged With Hurling Bricks at Each Other

ORANGE CITY, Fla. (AP) – What are a few bricks between brothers?

Well, they’re worth battery charges for twin 52-year-olds after officials say an argument ended with them hurling the projectiles at each other.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Michael and James Remelius were arguing in the front yard of a home last week when Michael first threatened to throw a brick at his brother.

According to a police report, Michael Remelius followed through, striking his brother in the leg and causing a small cut. James Remelius retaliated with a brick that bloodied and bruised his brother’s eye.

Both were arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Both remained jailed Tuesday. James’ bail is $25,000 while Michael’s is $20,000. Court records show they do not yet have attorneys to comment on the case.

Three Burglars Share Tips of Trade in Crime Prevention Video

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Police looking to educate the public about ways to prevent break-ins turned to the experts — a trio of convicted burglars.

The Columbus Police Department recruited the inmates with the help of the state prisons agency and produced a video in which the offenders share their how-to tips. Most of the suggestions are common-sense warnings about locking up, keeping blinds drawn and not storing valuables in cars.

A few recommendations stand out for originality: “Sometimes set it off so people know it’s there. Don’t just buy it and never set it off.” That’s William Coffman, of Franklin County, serving time for burglary and aggravated robbery, on advertising that your home alarm system works.

Columbus police and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction filmed the inmates last year, put the pieces together over the past few months and recently posted the two-part, 24-minute video, called “From the Big House to Your House.”

“We’ll take any tips from the good guys, or we’ll take them from the bad guys,” Hardin County prosecutor Bradford Bailey said.

Washington Gumbo Lover Leaves $2,000 Tip on $93 Tab

WASHINGTON – A Washington man shocked the staff of a neighborhood restaurant earlier this week by leaving a $2,000 for a meal of beer and gumbo he shared with a friend, the proprietor said.

The man, described by restaurant owner Chris Nardelli as a regular who lives nearby, left the tip on a $93 bill on Monday night.

“Thank you for the gumbo!” he wrote on the bill after indulging his taste for the Louisiana dish, a specialty of the house.

“It was pretty shocking to say the least,” said Nardelli, who also is a chef and bartender at the four-year-old restaurant in the Chevy Chase neighborhood. “It made everybody do a triple take.”

The customer, who was not identified, asked on the bill that $1,000 go to chef James Turner and $500 each for Nardelli and waitress Laura Dally.

Mystery of Disappearing Holes In Swiss Cheese Solved

BERLIN (AP) – The mystery of Swiss cheese and its disappearing holes has been solved: The milk’s too clean.

A Swiss agricultural institute discovered that tiny specks of hay are responsible for the famous holes in cheeses like Emmentaler or Appenzeller. As milk matures into cheese these “microscopically small hay particles” help create the holes in the traditional Swiss cheese varieties.

The government-funded Agroscope institute said in a statement Thursday that the transition from age-old milking methods in barns to fully-automated, industrial milking systems had caused holes to decline during the last 15 years.

In a series of tests, scientists added different amounts of hay dust to the milk and discovered it allowed them to regulate the number of holes.

Boston Still Has Snow Piles — And They’re Filled With Trash

BOSTON (AP) – Snow piles from the record-setting New England winter are lingering in the Boston area, even as the weather turns summer-like.

A 75-foot-high snow mound in Boston’s Seaport District has been reduced to a three-story pile of dirt and trash — including bicycles, traffic cones and even half a $5 bill — that remains encrusted in solid ice.

Department of Public Works Commissioner Michael Dennehy tells The Boston Globe the vile pile is “a science experiment waiting to happen.”

Crews have been working for six weeks to clean away the trash as it breaks free from the mound. So far, they have pulled out 85 tons of debris.

Dennehy says the pile will be around for weeks, even as the air temperature hits 80.