<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Weird News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:30:46 -0500 Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:30:46 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Move Over Vanilla, Burger Chain Adds Bug-Flavored Shake]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:12:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/shakes1.jpg

What began as a burger chain's April Fools Day trick might soon be a mainstay on the menu. Cricket milkshake, anyone?

Beginning July 1, Wayback Burgers will unveil an Oreo Mud Pie milkshake with Peruvian chocolate-flavored cricket powder.

Oddly enough, the bug-flavored shake had some customers chirping when Wayback Burgers tested it out at a Long Island, New York, chain for a limited time in April.

"We had it for two hours. There were people lined up to try it," Wayback Burgers President John Eucalitto told CNBC News about the shake's test run.

Insect consumption, or entomophagy, is know to be a high-protein and highly sustainable alternative to traditional animal protein sources. A 2013 report by the UN noted that 2 billion humans worldwide consume insects. Still, bugs on the menu might be a tough sell to consumers.

"People think maybe we're grinding up crickets in the back room," said Eucalitto. In fact, he said, the insects are farm raised domestically.

Along with the cricket shake, the fast casual chain is also unveiling a jerky-flavored milkshake complete with Slim Jim garnish. The Cheshire, Connecticut-based company has over 95 Wayback Burger locations worldwide.

The Oreo Mud Pie Cricket Protein Milkshake will be available until to the end of September, but could become a permanent menu item, the company said. 

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<![CDATA[Man Wins $500K After Phone Records Doctors Mocking Him]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 05:30:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-117009763.jpg

A Vienna, Virginia, man was awarded $500,000 after he unintentionally recorded his doctors mocking and insulting him while he was under anesthesia.

The plaintiff, who chose to remain anonymous, sued anesthesiologist Dr. Tiffany Ingham and three other medical professionals, who were released from the case. Ingham, 42, and her practice were ordered by a Reston, Virginia, jury to pay the plaintiff, The Washington Post reported.

The plaintiff used his phone to record post-procedure advice and aftercare instructions from his doctors during the April 2013 colonoscopy procedure.

While checking his phone on his way home, the plaintiff found he had recorded the entire examination and heard his doctors insulting him when he was under anesthesia.

Ingham was recorded mocking the amount of medicine needed to anesthetize the plaintiff.

"After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit," Ingham is heard saying.

Ingham and others mocked the plaintiff for taking many medications. One of the plaintiff’s medications, Gabapentin, was prescribed to treat an irritation in his genital area. A medical assistant touched the man's genitals and commented she might have contracted a sexually transmitted infection.

Ingham is recorded saying the medical assistant might get "some syphilis on your arm or something," then added, "It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you’ll be all right."

The genital area is typically not involved in a colonoscopy.

Ingham signed a post-operative note indicating the plaintiff had hemorrhoids. According to the lawsuit, Ingham stated she planned to note hemorrhoids even though she found none.

The plaintiff claimed he experienced mental anguish, lack of focus and anxiety after the incident. He said has had to see other healthcare professionals and be placed on anti-anxiety medications.

The plaintiff sued for defamation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, violation of Virginia health codes and medical malpractice. The Washington Post reported the jury awarded the man $100,000 for defamation and $200,000 for medical malpractice, as well as the $200,000 in punitive damages.

Ingham had worked out of the Aisthesis anesthesia practice. An Aisthesis employee told The Associated Press Ingham no longer works there.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Sues, Says His Beer Had a Dead Rat Inside]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:32:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/steel-reserve-beer.jpg

A North Texas man filed a lawsuit against MillerCoors and 7-Eleven Monday, saying he drank a beer that had "a dead rat marinating in it" two years ago.

According to the lawsuit, in August 2013 Marco Antonio Navarro bought a 24-ounce can of Steel Reserve beer from a 7-Eleven store along Highway 356 in Irving.

When he got home, Navarro said he cracked open one of the cans and began drinking the beer. He reported he soon felt a "tingle on his lips and noticed the liquid was not flowing out properly," according to the lawsuit.

Navarro's sister said she used her camera phone to take a picture inside the can and realized there was a "dead rat marinating in it."

The lawsuit filed on Navarro's behalf said he "immediately vomited, then continued to suffer from abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, allergies, and back pain, amongst other pain and injuries."

Navarro received medical treatment totaling more than $49,000, according to the lawsuit, and sought the counsel of a therapist after reporting having trouble eating, drinking and maintaining personal relationships.

Now, nearly two years later, he is suing to recover the cost of his medical treatment and for damages due to past and future pain, mental anguish and loss of earning capacity up to but not more than $300,000.

In a statement to NBC 5 Wednesday, MillerCoors addressed the lawsuit and said the following:

"Our brands are produced under incredibly strict standards, and there is nothing more important than the quality of our products and safety of our legal drinking-age consumers.  While we take all customer claims seriously, we do not believe there is any merit to the lawsuit."

NBC 5 as also reached out to 7-Eleven for comment, but as of this writing there has been no response.

Navarro is represented by Garcia, Dubove & Trujillo.

CLICK HERE to read more about this story from our media partners at The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: Steel Brewing Co.
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<![CDATA[DUI Suspect Offers Cop Lotto Number]]> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:19:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/middletown+police+cruiser.jpg

A man arrested on drunken driving charges in Middletown told police he was a state lottery employee and offered the police officer winning lottery numbers to drop the charges, police said.

Police approached Robert K. Eldridge Jr. 41, of Cromwell, on Union Street, near DeKoven Drive, just after 3 p.m. on June 14 when he was stopped at a green light and appeared to be passed out behind the steering wheel.

When Eldridge came to, he attempted to start the car but then noticed the officers, police said. According to the araingment report, Eldrige's eye's were bloodshoot and gloosy and his speech was slurred, prompting the officer to ask how much he'd had to drink. 

He responded that he’d had “a couple drinks,” beers,” and a couple shots of “fireball.”

At the scene, he kept telling officers he was going to lose his job at the lottery, according to police.

After a failed field sobriety test, Eldridge was handcuffed and transported to the police station for testing.

While at the police station, Eldridge kept asking if there was any way to work things out and whether he could just call someone for a ride, police said. Then he offered the police officer winning lottery numbers to resolve the charges, according to the arraignment report.

Breath tests revealed Eldridge’s blood alcohol level was .1638, then .1642, according to police.
He was charged with operating under the influence and possession of narcotics. Police released him on $5,000 bond. He is due in court on June 29. 

Officials from Connecticut Lottery said Eldridge is not a lottery employee and has never been.

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<![CDATA["Adorable" New Octopus Discovered]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:13:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*129/20150618_111418_SJM-OCTOPUS-0619-01_300.jpg

A researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is deciding what to name a tiny octopus she has found and been unable to identify.

"I thought that since this animal is so adorable, I should name it adorabilis," Stephanie Bush, postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, told Santa Cruz Sentinel. "I'm supposed to be this really serious stoic scientist, but I'm still human. It's just so cute."

Bush also discovered that one such octopus laid eggs last year that have yet to hatch.

The octopus is very similar to — and in the same genus as — the flapjack octopus that's been on display at the aquarium for months.



Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute]]>
<![CDATA[Surfboard Breaks World Record]]> Sun, 21 Jun 2015 02:41:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Huntington-Beach-Biggest-Surfboard-Record-.jpg

Surf City USA laid claim to another bit of surfing legend Saturday as a group of surfers banded together to break a world record.

With hundreds looking on, 66 surfers, including surf champions, celebrities and local heroes, rode a custom 42-foot-long surfboard off the shore in Huntington Beach Saturday, breaking the Guinness World Record for "Most People Riding a Surfboard at Once."

"It was crowded, it was scary, but we had to focus," said Tim Stamps, a participant. "We were all happy, everyone was screaming and yelling. It was a good time."

The record hadn't been broken in over a decade, since 47 people clambered onto a board on March 5, 2005, according to the city of Huntington Beach. To break the record, the surfers had to successfully surf unassisted for 10 seconds.

The surfers in Huntington Beach were also hoping to claim the title of riding the "World's Largest Surfboard," but that record attempt remained unconfirmed Saturday morning.

The official record-holding surfboard is 39-feet and 4-inches, Huntington Beach said.

The record-breaking event was part of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Newport Beach and Long Beach's celebration of International Surfing Day festivities.

"Nobody fell off and it was the most thrilling ride," said another participant, Debbie Beacham.
"Just the whole camaraderie of it, it was an exciting moment."



Photo Credit: Larry Tenney (Instagram: @ltenney1)]]>
<![CDATA[Cicadas Swarm Reporter Standing on Top of Tank]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:40:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CIcada_KSNT.jpg A Kansas reporter tries to report on top of a tank when swarming cicadas interrupt her.]]> <![CDATA[Peeping Tom Dressed as Woman]]> Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:55:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/060915_walmart.jpg

Police say a man dressed in women's clothing is accused of using a mirror to try to see into a women's restroom stall inside a Wal-Mart store in Woodbridge, Va.

The 53-year-old victim told police the man entered the restroom in the 14000 Worth Ave. store about 10:30 p.m. May 15, stood in front of the stall and tried to use a mirror to see into the stall she was using.

When the victim confronted the man, he immediately fled the store. 

The Prince William County Police are asking anyone with information about this case to call Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700. You can call anonymously and receive a reward up to $1,000 if your tip leads to a conviction.

The victim described the suspect as a white male between 44 and 55 years old who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing a pink top and carrying a large red-and-black handbag.



Photo Credit: Prince William County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Armed Cop Impersonator Arrested]]> Tue, 09 Jun 2015 08:52:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/150607-police-impersonator-ventura.jpg

A cop impersonator armed with a gun was arrested after police officers spotted him dressed in a full Los Angeles Police Department uniform next to a fake squad car in a Ventura parking lot Sunday, police said.

Officers responding to a report of four suspicious males at Capri Avenue east of Johnson Drive found the suspect wearing a full LAPD uniform, including a badge, name plate, duty belt and gun, according to Ventura Police Department news release.

Oliver James, a 44-year-old Glendale resident, allegedly identified himself an off-duty LAPD officer, police said. He was standing next to a black and white patrol car that had "Police" written on the side and a siren on the roof.

Investigators learned that James was neither an LAPD employee nor a sworn police officer, the release said. The car was sold by the LAPD in 2012 and had been unregistered since then.

James was arrested and booked on suspicion of impersonation of a police officer and carrying a firearm.

The car was impounded and the three other males were released at the scene.



Photo Credit: Ventura Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bison Escape Take Over NY Freeway]]> Sat, 06 Jun 2015 21:44:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ULSTER+COUNTY+BISON_6.jpg

Four bison escaped from a farm Upstate and took to the New York State Thruway to evade their owner and police on Saturday.

The bison could be seen running on and along the sides of the heavily-traveled toll road. The animals were eventually captured and taken back to their farm in Saugerties.

Police said the bison's joy ride didn't result in any accidents or injuries.


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<![CDATA[Dog Swallows Pacifiers & Lives]]> Fri, 05 Jun 2015 10:55:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/dog+swallows+pacifier.jpg

After swallowing not one, but three pacifiers, a 6-year-old British bulldog named Elvis was able to make a full recovery.

Owner Lisa Marie Cainas rushed Elvis to the Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Levittown, Pennsylvania, after she witnessed her dog swallow a pacifier on May 23, the veterinary office said.

Doctors performed an initial examination, took X-rays and completed an endoscopy and found Elvis had actually swallowed three of the suckers. The dates of the second two ingestions are unknown, but Cainas noticed that multiple pacifiers had gone missing from her home.

Getting the pacifiers out of Elvis was not an easy task. Due to their large size, the veterinarian had to use an endoscope to thread tape through the pacifiers to make it easy for him to pull them out, doctors said.

Thankfully, since the pacifiers had not yet traveled to the small intestine, Elvis did not need a more extensive surgical procedure.

Even though doctors say he tried to get away with swallowing a puzzle piece since his operation, Elvis is back on his feet under the watchful eyes of his owners.



Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center (VSEC) of Levittown, Pa.
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<![CDATA[Man Dances on Patrol Car: Officials]]> Thu, 04 Jun 2015 12:00:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/060415+man+dances+on+patrol+car.jpg

A southwest Florida man, who claimed to fear vampires, was arrested earlier this year after a bizarre incident in which he danced on top of a patrol car before summoning the fictional Sheriff of Nottingham, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office has released a YouTube video of the strange incident. In it, the man pulls up behind a patrol SUV parked outside a Cape Coral home. With the music blasting from his own car, the man climbs on top of the car and engages in a few minutes of dancing before ripping the windshield wipers off of the vehicle.

According to information obtained by NBC affiliate WBBH, a witness says the man then stole a flag from a neighbor's yard and began waving it around and yelling.

When deputies arrived, the man was still in the neighbor's yard with the stolen flag. As they questioned the man, he reportedly told officers that a woman with fangs was threatening him, and that a human sacrifice was about to occur involving vampires.

Apparently, the man then said he made the "conscious decision" to notify the "Sheriff of Nottingham to help him stop the slaughter of small children."

The Sheriff of Nottingham is, of course, a fictional character from the Robin Hood stories.

The man has been identified as 45-year-old Christian Radecki. He claimed to not have taken any alcohol or drugs, and that he was not diagnosed with any medical health conditions.

Radecki was transported to the hospital for medical clearance, and was later arrested and charged with criminal mischief and disturbing the peace.

It is not known if Radecki has hired an attorney.



Photo Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Artist Covers Fla. Home in Aluminum Foil]]> Tue, 02 Jun 2015 11:41:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_foilhouse0601001_700x394.jpg

An artist in Florida decided to take his art-making out of the garage and onto light of day. 

Piotr Janowski covered his home — including lamps, the mail box and electric meters — in aluminum foil, and he said because he wanted to push the boundaries of art. 

"I just want to do something which will interest people, which will create a different perspective on how to look to the world or contemporary art," said Janowski. He also said he wanted to “make a contrast to this powerful nature around me,” reported NBC affiliate WFLA.

Not all of his neighbors appreciated the new perspective. 

“To me, he is defacing the property,” said one neighbor. “He’s got a piece of art in the garage…that he’s been painting and that should be the canvas.” 

The foil will remain on his home for only a few weeks before the home reverts back to a regular house on the block.

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<![CDATA[Bacon Arrested in Sausage Fight]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 15:34:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Sausage-generic.jpg

A New Jersey man whose last name is Bacon was arrested after a dispute over sausage, according to police.

Thomas Bacon, 19, allegedly attacked another person at a Madison home on May 12 for eating the last piece of sausage, NJ.com reports.

Bacon was charged with simple assault and released pending a court appearance, according to NJ.com.

It was not clear if Bacon had an attorney.


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<![CDATA[Man in Fla. Reels in 552-Pound Fish]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 10:24:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/052715+massive+grouper+chew+on+this+tv.jpg

A video showing a southwest Florida man reeling in a massive Goliath Grouper from a small Kayak is making headlines nationwide.

As reported by NBC affiliate WBBH, Jon Black of the Crazy Lure Tackle shop in Cape Coral says he's reeled in "the largest bottom fish ever from a Kayak" off Sanibel Island, which is just under a 20 mile drive from Fort Myers.

Black was filming a spot for Chew On This Fishing Charters with Capt. Ben Chancey when the fish was pulled in.

In the video, the cameraman is heard screaming "that's a big boy!" as Black reels in the huge fish.

Since it was published on Tuesday, the video has been viewed more than 66,000 times.

According to the video's description, the fish measured at 83 inches long and over 73 inches in girth, putting it at an estimated weight of 552 pounds.



Photo Credit: Chewonthis.tv]]>
<![CDATA["Petite" Inmate Slips Off Handcuffs, Escapes Jail]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 19:45:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/5-13-15+Kelly+Smith+Prisoner.JPG

A prisoner slipped out of her handcuffs Tuesday evening and ran out of sight from authorities at the Ventura Police Department in Southern California.

Kelly Smith, 23, of Ventura, was being booked Tuesday night on charges of a stolen vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon when she managed to escape custody, authorities said.

Her arrest stemmed from an attempt to flee from officers when she nearly struck one of them with a stolen truck loaded with guns and ammo.

While she was seated in the booking area, she slipped her handcuffs off and ran out of the downstairs door. Once officers realized she had fled, they went after her.

She was last seen in the area of Walker Street and Glacier Avenue near some of the commercial businesses.

Smith was last seen wearing a blue shirt and bluejeans. Her hair is dyed red. She is wanted for escaping custody, possession of a stolen vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon and two unrelated misdemeanor warrants.

"Anytime you have someone in custody you want to keep them in custody," said Cmdr. Ryan Weeks, of the Ventura Police Department.

"The car backed up and took off nearly striking one of the officers, they jumped out of the way."

Weeks said Smith and a passenger stole the truck they were in and tried to take off when police spotted them.

Weeks said the stolen truck had guns, ammunition, and gun powder.

Neighbors said Smith nearly escaped twice during the arrest, once after she was pulled from the vehicle and held on the ground and then again from the patrol cruiser.

Neighbors credit a member of the homeowners association for tackling her and holding her for police.

She complained of pain in her back and neck and was taken to the hospital, Weeks said.

After about 11 hours, she was cleared to be booked into the Ventura jail when she escaped.

"She was handcuffed, sitting down on a bench and cuffed to the bench," Weeks said.

She sat alone in a hallway facing what police describe as a glass window.

They think she squatted low enough out of view and then crawled out the door.

"Very skinny. Very petite wrists ... She was able to get both of her hands out from the cuffs and was able to sneak out," Weeks said.

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<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Wild Boar Walks Into Shopping Mall]]> Tue, 12 May 2015 07:13:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000012356638_1200x675_443805251539.jpg A wild boar wandered inside a shopping mall in Hong Kong.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Goats Gone Wild]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 09:38:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/5-6-15-Goats+Agoura+Hills.JPG

Dozens of grazing goats were on the loose in Southern California on Wednesday after roaming down their hillside job site and into the street.

Video footage captured in Agoura Hills by NBC4 viewer Joe Cascio shows the group of at least 50 goats descending the hillside and eating the green grass in the center divider of the city's street.

"There's goats everywhere!" Cascio exclaimed while recording cellphone video of the goats.

Video showed cars stopped in the street as goats — and spectators — filled the roadway.

He described the goat sighting as "bizarre" and as something that would happen "only in Ventura County."

Community members in the Morrison Ranch area of Agoura Hills hired the herd of goats to eat brush for two weeks, according to the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station. Morrison Ranch residents wanted an environmentally friendly way to clear the weeds, brush and other invasive plants.

The weed eaters somehow got loose around 10 a.m. Wednesday on Grey Rock Road and East Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Agoura Hills, officials said.

The two officers on scene were "severely outnumbered" and unable to wrangle the herd of goats, Cascio said.

Passers-by pulled over on the side of the road to catch a glimpse of the goats, which Cascio said were "intent on eating."

The eco-goats ran back up the hillside after a while, Cascio said.



Photo Credit: Joe Cascio]]>
<![CDATA[Snorkeler Finds Plastic Skeletons Having Underwater Tea Party]]> Wed, 06 May 2015 14:04:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/f_skeleton_partay_150506_6a819ada04e4d948f980d79e51334ebb.nbcnews-ux-640-360.jpg

A pair of sunglass-clad skeletons were caught lounging in lawnchairs beneath the Colorado River on Monday.

Divers discovered the duo 40 feet beneath the river near the Arizona-California border on Monday morning, after a snorkeler spotted the bones and reported them to police, thinking they were real.

"When firefighter Foerstner located the alleged remains, he found it to be an underwater tea party with two fake skeletons sitting in lawn chairs," the sheriff's department said in a statement.

Divers plan to recover the skeletons later this week, and some officials are considering placing them outside the sheriff's office as a joke, according to the sherriff's office.

Officials say they don't plan to locate the person responsible for the skeletons.

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<![CDATA[Urns End Up on Thrift Store Shelf]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 06:41:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/urn+bonnie+throp.jpg

Authorities are trying to figure out how urns containing what could be human ashes ended up on the shelf of a thrift store in Connecticut.

Angela Dupree, of Shelton, said she found them by chance while shopping at the Savers store on Route 1 last Thursday.

"I was actually looking for bakery pans for my friend's bakery," she said.

Dupree said she spotted the urns on a shelf in the housewares department. Both containers were sealed and marked with $3.99 price tags.

"I went down the home decor aisle and I noticed two marble – they looked like urns to me," Dupree said. "I tried to even pull the top off, because this can't be what I think it is."

But, she said, it was. One of the urns had a name on it – Bonnie Throp – and the dates 1966-1983.

Dupree brought the urns to store employees and explained what she had found.

"They were totally surprised too," Dupree said. "They had no idea that's what it was."

Store management in turn alerted the Orange Police Department and the local health department.

The urns and their contents are now being held in a secure vault at a nearby cemetery until someone can explain what – or who – might be inside.

"Because we are no longer in possession of the urns, I'm hoping the cemetery can help. I'm sure they will do whatever they can to help find the owner," Savers communications director Sarah Gaugl said, adding that she will "make sure they are handled in a respectful manner."

The urns lack the metal markings that cremation experts say are typically used to identify urns. One expert said families often divide ashes into various containers to be dispersed among family members.

It's not clear how the urns ended up at Savers. A spokesperson for the company said it's possible the urns were mistakenly donated, then listed for sale by someone who didn't realize what they were.

"I'm sure that was not done intentionally," Dupree said. "I'm sure the family wants it back."

So far, NBC Connecticut has not been able to locate death or cremation records for Bonnie Throp from any of the state's 19 certified crematories.

There are no immediate plans to test the contents of the urns, according to the manager of the cemetery where they're being held.

EDITORS NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated the location of the thrift store as Southern California. It is located in Orange, Conn.

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<![CDATA[Launching Moonshine Into Space]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 20:03:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Onyx+Moonshine+Space.jpg

Moonshine is going to the moon. Well, almost.

A Connecticut distillery plans to launch a 750-milliliter bottle of moonshine 22 miles into space next month. It will be the first time a full-sized bottle of liquor leaves the earth’s atmosphere.

“Onyx Moonshine is all about attempting things that haven’t been done before, which is the true essence of the American spirit,” Onyx Spirits Company co-founder Adam von Gootkin said in a statement Tuesday. “It’s amazing to think that 150 years ago our ancestors were arrested for illegally selling moonshine and here we are, legally sending a bottle into space. This is just one small adventure of many more to come.”

Company officials will fasten the bottle of liquor to an aeronautical weather balloon, along with a rock glass and silver platter, and launch it into space May 2.

The apparatus – two years in the making – is equipped with GoPro cameras, GPS technology, a radar deflector, parachute and foam covering to protect the bottle when it lands on Long Island Sound.

Rain dates are slated for May 3, 9 and 10 in case weather gets in the way. The exact time and location of the launch is still to be determined, but the East Hartford distillery said it will take place somewhere in western Connecticut.

Onyx Moonshine, which got its start in 2011, announced the launch in observance of Earth Day and the company’s “commitment to sustainable business practices.” The distillery produces the country’s first ultra-premium moonshine and New England’s first aged whiskey.



Photo Credit: Onyx Moonshine
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<![CDATA[Officers Confiscate Gator While Executing Search Warrant]]> Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:11:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/41815alligator.jpg

It wasn't exactly what they were looking for, but police in New Jersey made a startling discovery Saturday while executing a search warrant: an alligator.

A Long Branch resident apparently was keeping the reptile as a pet, police said. Officers confiscated the beast, which eventually was turned over to the state Division of Fish & Wildlife.

A maximum fine of $25,000 is possible for housing such a reptile, Long Branch police said.

It's likely a new home for the gator will be found in a zoo or aquarium, police said.
 



Photo Credit: Long Branch Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Ben & Jerry's Unveils Ice Cream Burrito]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:38:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ben-jerry-ice-cream-burrito.jpg

Cup, cone or burrito?

Ben & Jerry's is unveiling a new ice cream burrito, its new treat that splits the difference between a sundae and a waffle cone.

The Vermont-based ice cream company will now serve you any two flavors of ice cream tucked into a chewy waffle wrap and topped with fudge and cookie crumbs — just in time for April 20.

The company not-so-subtly timed the treats to the unofficial pothead holiday, promising it will cure "the ultimate case of the munchies."

Thursday, Ben & Jerry's unveiled another new concoction: A special release beer called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale brewed in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing. It's described as a brown ale laden with chocolatey, salted caramel, vanilla goodness. 

Some of the proceeds from sales of the beer will go to an environmental group fighting the effect of climate change on mountains. More details will be released later this year.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ben & Jerry's
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<![CDATA[WATCH: Burglary Caught on Cat Cam]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 23:45:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/hells+kitchen+cat+cam.JPG

A thief broke into a Hell's Kitchen apartment through a window Monday afternoon, and the resident's cat cam caught the burglary on tape.

The video shows the thief climbing up scaffolding to get to the window — which was closed but had a broken lock — and stealing an iPad and laptop. Police say he also took jewelry and a digital camera.

In an interview with NBC 4 New York Tuesday, the victim said she'd installed the home camera to watch her cats while she was at work. 

"People thought I was crazy to spend $200 on a camera, plus another $100 a year to record the video so I could watch my cats," she said. "But it really unexpectedly came in handy." 

The video shows the burglar climb in through the window and acknowledge one of the cats, which watches him warily from its perch on a pillow.

He then rummages through the victim's desk, touching her laptop, picking up cords and stuffing items in his pockets as he looks around the room. The robber, in a black hat and jean jacket, pops in and out of the view of the camera as the cat watches him from a rug — first alone, then with the company of another feline.

The robber stuffs his stolen items in a black bag and eventually leaves through the front door after shutting the window he climbed through.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was terrified watching the video at work. Soon after, she received a notification that an app on her iPad had been disabled. 

"I knew someone had to have my iPad, because I keep it in my apartment," she said. "I had to watch it a couple of times and be like, this guy is in my apartment and looking at my stuff."

The woman said the camera system has proved invaluable: "If I didn't have this, there's no way I would know when it happened, how he came in, what was touched, what was compromised."

She has filed a police report and turned over the video to police. Anyone who recognizes the man in the video is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

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<![CDATA["Better Than Your Average Studio": Apartment Features Shower in Kitchen ]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:47:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Shower-head-generic-7308089.jpg

If you made a move to New York City with hopes of making a meal in the shower like the eccentric “Seinfeld” character Kramer, now’s your chance.

A real estate agent in Manhattan’s Lower East Side is advertising a studio apartment featuring a shower stall in the kitchen. It’s not clear if the shower’s drain comes with a garbage disposal like the one the 1990s sitcom character had installed so he could make salads, but the agent calls the setup “better than your average studio!”

“Although the shower is in the kitchen, YES it's in the kitchen, it has a separate room for your bed, so the kitchen/living area can easily accommodate a sofa and small table & chairs & more!,” the listing for the small apartment reads.

Rent for the apartment, at Orchard and Delancey streets, is $1,795.

The listing went viral after it was first spotted by Gothamist, but Business Insider reports that the arrangement isn’t as strange as it may seem.

Business Insider says that many old tenement buildings were initially built without running water but were forced to add pipes to comply with state law at the turn of the 20th century. Then, when another law was passed requiring tubs, sinks and basins to have running water, some landlords built tubs into the kitchens of apartments to avoid having to install a second set of water pipes.

The site reports that a city law passed in 1969 more or less ended the practice, but a rare apartment may still feature a tub or shower stall in their kitchens.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>