The Odd Side – September 1, 2015

$20 Found in San Francisco Leads To $1 Million Lottery Win

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A San Francisco Bay Area man won $1 million in the California Lottery after buying a winning ticket with money he found at the airport.

The California Lottery says that Hubert Tang had not bought a lottery ticket in 10 years.

When he found a $20 bill on the street outside San Francisco International Airport last week, he used it to buy two scratch-off tickets at a market in Millbrae. One of them led to the $1 million top prize.

Tang plans to save the money for now. He says he may begin leaving $20 bills on the street in random places to spread his good fortune.

Two Arrested for Enjoying Meal On Boat While Family Slept

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) – Police in Connecticut have charged two people they say broke into a boat at a Norwalk marina to enjoy a fast-food meal and take some selfies while a family of five slept on board.

Police tell The Hour the family was awoken at about 2:00 a.m. Sunday by the flash from a camera.

One family member confronted the intruders, and they ran away.

Police found a receipt inside a bag of still-warm fast food and used the receipt to track down the culprits. One told police that they had never been on a boat and only wanted to take some pictures.

Migrants Bike Into Norway At Remote Border Crossing

HELSINKI (AP) – A trickle of asylum seekers from Syria and the Mediterranean region have found an unlikely route: through Russia to a remote Arctic border post in Norway, partly on bicycles.

Police Chief Inspector Goeran Stenseth says 151 people have crossed the border this year near the northeastern Norwegian town of Kirkenes, 1,550 miles northeast of Oslo.

He said the migrants arrive in motor vehicles but some have resorted to crossing by bicycle because the Storskog border post is not open to pedestrians. Stenseth said they are planning to take up the issue with Russian border officials.

Two Pythons Given to Vermont Man Headed to Sanctuary

NORTH CLARENDON, Vt. (AP) – Two giant southeast Asian pythons that were rescued by a long-time snake collector and were turned over to state game wardens are headed to a sanctuary.

The larger of the two reticulated pythons picked up by experts from the Massachusetts-based Rainforest Reptile Shows with help from three Vermont game wardens was a female between 17 and 18 feet long, weighing about 220 pounds. A slightly smaller male was about 15 feet long and weighed about 150 pounds.

The snake collector, Pat Howard, said that after the snakes were loaded into plastic tubs for their trip to Massachusetts, he’s “smart enough to realize that snake is bigger than I can safely take care of.”

“Come feeding time is the most dangerous time to be around a snake,” said Howard, who has kept snakes for decades and has almost two dozen smaller snakes in his North Clarendon home. “That’s when anything goes, and you certainly want to be out of the way. A snake that size got ahold of you, if you didn’t have any help with you, you’re a goner.”

The reticulated python, named for the geometric patterns on its skin, is one of the largest snake species in the world. It can reach almost 30 feet long and weigh 350 pounds.

Howard, who does educational programs with some of his snakes and sets up a booth at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland, said he got the pythons from a New York man who couldn’t keep them. Howard said many species of exotic snakes can be bought inexpensively when they are small. People frequently call him when they can no longer take care of them.

Vermont Game Warden Chad Barrett praised Howard for promptly turning the giant snakes over to the proper authorities.

Fate of 1,404 Bottles of Rare Wine Rests With PA. Judge

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) – The fate of 1,404 bottles of rare wine seized from a private collector under Pennsylvania’s strict liquor laws hangs on a judge’s ruling next week on a loophole that may allow hospital “use” of forfeited liquor.

The wine was confiscated in 2014 under a Pennsylvania law that limits nearly all alcoholic beverage sales to its chain of state liquor stores, none of which sells rare vintages.

It was among a cache of 2,447 bottles with an estimated value of at least $125,000 that Pennsylvania State Police seized from Arthur Goldman, a lawyer in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Chester County Hospital in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester filed a court petition on Friday seeking custody of the wine, which it hopes to resell for charity under an obscure provision of state law that allows forfeited liquor “to be delivered to a hospital for its use.”

State police moved ahead with plans to destroy the confiscated wine, which had been placed in an evidence room in Philadelphia. That possibility horrified wine enthusiasts and even the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which urged a solution that would preserve the wine that it said included “rare and hard-to-obtain vintages.”

A week ago, Goldman reached a settlement with state police allowing him to reclaim 1,043 bottles of the forfeited wine. The remaining 1,404 bottles are being sought by the hospital.

Chester County Judge Edward Griffin will decide on Sept. 3 whether state law intended hospital wine donations to be only for medicinal purposes, or whether the hospital can legally resell the bottles for charity.

Police Confront Two College Students Armed WIth Telescope

FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Two North Dakota State University students got a scare when armed police officers mistook their telescope for a rifle.

Levi Joraanstad and Colin Waldera were setting up the telescope at night when they were blinded by a bright light and told to stop moving.

They couldn’t see who was shining the light and presumed it was a prank by other students.

An officer on patrol thought the telescope was a rifle, and that Joraanstad’s dark sweater with white lettering was a tactical vest. He called for backup and the officers confronted the students.

Police say the students were never in danger and that it was a case of “better safe than sorry.”