Mad Minute

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man called 911 after going to the bathroom and finding a bright green iguana swimming in his toilet.

Fort Lauderdale Battalion Chief Stephan Gollan tells the Miami Herald the man “freaked out and didn’t know what to do.”

He says firefighter Jeff Kurus put on a sterile glove, reached in and grabbed the iguana. He took it outside and released it into the wild.

Gollan says the department “is the end-all-be-all” when it comes to unique calls.

The department tweeted pictures of the iguana, adding “can you imagine lifting the toilet lid and finding this?”

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SAYRE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma woman was arrested after authorities say she used a T-shirt gun to launch drugs, cellphones and other contraband over a prison fence.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says the incident prompted a lockdown at the North Fork Correctional Unit in Sayre, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City.

The agency says authorities arrested Kerri Jo Hickman after discovering the T-shirt gun and another package in her vehicle.

Tulsa television station KOTV reports that the container that was launched Sunday contained cellphones, ear buds, phone chargers, methamphetamine, digital scales, marijuana and tobacco.

Hickman remained jailed Friday in Beckham County on complaints of introducing contraband into a penal institution, conspiracy and drug trafficking. Jail records don't list an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

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BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) — Two rings lost in the snow at a Connecticut highway rest stop nearly month ago have been found and returned thanks to the sharp eyes of a state trooper.

Kim Reggiannini tells WFSB-TV she and her husband, Peter, were driving on Interstate 95 on a snowy night Feb. 17 when they stopped at the Branford rest stop.

Kim took off her wedding and engagement rings and put them in her lap while she applied lotion to her hands. They apparently fell off her lap and the Boston couple didn't realize they were gone until 90 minutes later.

State police Sgt. Robert Derry combed through surveillance video and saw someone pick them up. He traced that person's license plate, and they turned them over.

The Reggianninis picked up the rings on Wednesday.

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(FOX) Police in New York are searching for a man they say bit off a bar security guard's finger last month because the bar he wanted to visit was closing.

The unidentified male was at El California Sports Bar in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens around 4 a.m. on Feb. 16, WABC-TV reported.

Investigators say he wanted to enter the bar, but the bouncer wouldn't let him into the establishment, which was closing for the night. That, officials say, is when he bit off the guard's pinkie, which doctors were reportedly able to reattach.

The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic man with dark hair and a goatee, according to the news station. Photos released by the New York Police Department showed a man matching that description, wearing black boots and a black jacket with Japanese graphics on it.

Those with information are urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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BANNING, Calif. (AP) — Animal control officers are caring for a french fry-munching ferret abandoned outside City Hall in Banning, California.

Officials say the brown-and-white weasel-like creature was discovered in a crate with a pile of fries early Wednesday.

City workers wrapped the animal in a towel and brought it inside despite its pungent odor.

Video released by Riverside County Department of Animal Services shows the ferret happily munching the fries, which spokesman John Welsh says is its favorite treat.

California law prohibits ownership of ferrets. Welsh says whoever left the ferret could face a misdemeanor charge for abandonment of a pet.

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NEW YORK (AP) — A wayward lamb running around a New York City bridge briefly held up traffic before its rescue.

The animal was first seen trotting eastbound along the shoulder of Gowanus Expressway around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. New York City Police Officer Dominick Gatto says he was on-duty when a motorist informed him about the lamb on the lam.

Gatto and other police officers chased down and caught the animal, taking it to the Animal Care Center in Staten Island.

Animal Care Center employee Jessica Vaccaro says the lamb is young, probably less than a year old.

Officials say the lamb will be transported to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in New Jersey — the same sanctuary that took in a cow that escaped a New York City slaughterhouse last year.

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(FOX) A Bavarian town that accidentally ordered a 12-year supply of toilet paper is officially wiped out.

The mayor of Fuchstal, a small German town of around 4,000 people near Munich, says "the last roll has now been used up."

The toilet roll tale started in 2006 when a council employee mistakenly ordered two massive truckloads of the paper product.

When the first vehicle rolled into the town, authorities realized their mistake and were able to successfully cancel the second truck. However, they were still stuck with roll upon roll on the first truck.

Trying to stash that much toilet paper was another headache.

Mayor Erwin Karg told local media that he assembled a 4-person team to find places to tuck the toilet paper around town.

"In primary schools, the secondary school, with us in the town hall -- toilet paper was hidden in the storage rooms everywhere," he said, including the firehouse.

So just how much paper was there? Well, not as much as one would think.

Part of the reason why it took the town more than a decade to use up the toilet paper was because of the condition of the paper itself. Residents complained the gray-colored 1-ply was too flimsy, turned brittle and yellow under exposure to sunlight. Some workers refused outright to use it and opted to bring their own toiled paper from home.

The silver-gray lining in the fiasco is that the botched order saved the city money because the price of wood rose the following year.

"We were able to save up over ($1,130) because the price of wood went up next year, which also made toilet paper more expensive," Karg was quoted by the DPA news agency as saying.

So what now?

Karg says the city will give it another go and buy even more paper - only this time it will be 2-ply.

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She said she was poor and needed money for diapers for her baby -- but she was carrying a $500 purse with an iPhone X and jewelry inside.

Now police in Union Township, New Jersey, are warning motorists to be wary of other out-of-town roadside scammers.

Union police posted a picture of the woman on their Facebook page Monday, saying she was seen walking in and out of traffic at the exit to Route 78, carrying a sign with a picture of a baby and asking for money.

After officers stopped her, the woman claimed to be Romanian, living in Queens and desperate. At that point they confronted her over the thousands of dollars in merchandise she was carrying.

Police in one northern New Jersey town are warning of fake panhandlers being dropped off from out of town to beg.(Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019)

"Their investigation led her to admit that she and several other women got dropped off to panhandle throughout NJ," the Facebook post read.

The woman received a ticket for impeding traffic and a summons for soliciting without a permit, police added.

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DANVILLE, Vt. (AP) — Maple syrup producers have more than the weather to worry about. Frenetic squirrels are chomping on equipment, crimping the flow of sap at some operations.

Damage from wildlife — deer, bear woodpeckers, and squirrels — is not unusual for maple producers, but this year an abundant population of squirrels is disrupting plastic sap tubing and spouts at some sugaring operations in New England.

That means producers must go out into sometimes deep snow to find and replace the damaged lines that transport the sap from the maple trees or other chewed or missing equipment, which producers say can be time-consuming and expensive.

"Occasionally they declare war. And it seems like they have this year," said Ruth Goodrich of Goodrich's Maple Farm in Danville, Vermont, the largest maple producing state.

The business, which also sells maple equipment, thins out other trees so the maples don't have competition and to remove the food source for squirrels. But on a parcel of state land it rents in Groton where other trees are mixed in, the squirrels did a number on the equipment.

The boom in the squirrel population is mostly tied to an increase in food source, such as acorns and other mast from trees, said Mark Isselhardt, maple specialist with the University of Vermont Extension. But the squirrels aren't causing problems for all producers, he said.

The varmints haven't been any worse than normal this year for Bascom Maple Farms in Alstead, New Hampshire.

"We haven't had a lot of snow cover," said Bruce Bascom. "We've only got about a foot of snow here. I think the squirrels are not having that hard a winter."

But Lyle Merrifield of Gorham, Maine, said he's had to fix about 60 spots in his operation damaged by the chomping critters.

The trouble is the squirrels could take one bite of tubing and move another 100 feet (30.5 meters) where they could take another bite, making the damage hard to find, said Merrifield, who is president of the Maine Maple Producers Association.

"I've heard a lot of people talk about squirrel damage so it's probably the worst we've seen, combined with the deep snow, just that combination," he said.

There's no way to completely control the squirrels, Isselhardt said. It's best to wear gloves when handling the tubing so salt and oil from bare hands isn't left behind to attract wildlife. He advises against using any chemical deterrence on the tubing or anywhere near it. Trapping and shooting are also options.

But he said that won't necessarily prevent the problem, because it doesn't take many squirrels to affect the system.

"They're able to cover ground and do some damage, and you can fix a line and they'll be right back to it the next day," Isselhardt said.

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March 15 (UPI) -- A British Columbia library said there was something unusual about a recently returned book -- it was 42 years overdue.

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries said a copy of Wilderness Living by Bernt Berglund was put into the drop box Monday at the Courtenay Library and the pink stamp card inside the cover shows it was last checked out from the Union Bay branch in 1977.

"It's really a mystery as to where the book was for the last 42 years," VIRL spokesman David Carson told the Coast Mountain News.

"The book is in great condition after 42 years. It smells good, its corners are crisp, its pages are nice and sharp," Carson said. "It's in really good shape."

Carson said the book would have incurred a $3,442 late fee if the library didn't cap fines at $7.50.

VIRL is hosting a contest on its Facebook page, inviting commenters to make up their own story about where the book has been for the past 42 years. Three winners will be selected Monday and will win a VIRL book bag.

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