Mad Minute

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman says lightning destroyed her septic tank and caused a toilet in her house to explode.

Marylou Ward tells television station WINK News that the sole toilet in her Port Charlotte home was shattered into hundreds of pieces on Sunday.

Ward says the explosion was the loudest sound she’s ever heard, and that she also smelled smoke. She says a plumber told her lightning hit the methane gas that was built up in the pipes from feces.

Ward says she’ll have to get the toilet and septic system repaired, but she’s thankful no one was injured.

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SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A Florida boy who called 911 to report he was hungry and wanted a pizza got a lesson in proper emergency call etiquette, but he also got a pie.

The Sanford Police Department said in a Facebook post that the hungry 5-year-old called 911 last Friday.

Three officers responded to the home in suburban Orlando for a well-being check. They met with the boy and his older sister, who told them they were fine and that her brother had used the phone without her knowledge.

The officers explained that the 911 system is only for emergencies. Then they went to Pizza Hut and brought a large pizza back to the house.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago isn't quite ready to say see you later, alligator.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that officers serving a search warrant at a northwest side house found a 3-foot alligator along with some guns and drugs. They turned the alligator over to animal control.

The discovery comes about a month after an alligator swimming around a city park lagoon captured the attention of the city for about a week before the alligator, dubbed Chance the Snapper, was captured by a gator hunter who was flown in from Florida.

And a couple weeks ago, two brothers posted a Facebook video in which they claimed to have found another alligator in the lagoon, though police suspect they put the gator in the lagoon themselves.

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WEST PITTSTON, Pa. (AP) — Police in Pennsylvania say someone swapped their old wood chipper for the town's wood chipper.

West Pittston police on Monday posted photos of the chipper that was left behind at the public works department. Police say someone dropped it off and stole the town's wood chipper.

Police in the Luzerne County community want to know if anyone can identify who owned the chipper that was left in the public works lot.

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The nose knows this New Jersey town is a place to avoid — and residents know it too.

The smell in Kearny is so bad it is actually making breathing difficult for some neighbors, and health officials have been forced to close a neighboring soccer field four times within the last 10 days.

New Jersey's Supreme Court temporarily shut down the Keegan Landfill in mid-June. Town officials were in Superior Court Thursday afternoon for a hearing to get the landfill — which takes construction waste, not household garbage — permanently closed.

The cause of the smell has been linked to sheet rock as it breaks down underground. Massive gas collection wells are set to be built underground in an effort to capture the hydrogen sulfide gas that's been driving residents literally indoors for over a year.

One official said that system is not an optimal long-term solution. Kearny Health Director Ken Pincus suggests permanently closing the landfill and putting a cap on it would be the best way to solve the problem.

Heated public meetings and even protests have broken out as a result of the tremendous odor, as residents and officials say it's not just about the smell. For those with asthma and respiratory problems, the stench represents a potential health issue.

Residents say the smell gets better at times, but is powerfully bad when it returns — which they dealt with Wednesday night, the stench of rotten eggs permeating the town. State officials have warned it is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Even residents of other towns, such as nearby Harrison, can smell it as well.

The state agency that operates the landfill, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, took the first steps this past week to getting rid of the odor that so many have complained about. The installation of the gas collection system and the increased odor are expected to go on for about another 10 days, and the system should be operational in September.

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(FOX) A Louisiana woman allegedly caught with meth hidden inside her vagina said she didn't know where the drugs came from, police said.

Ashley Beth Rolland, 23, was accused on July 31 of stealing $5,000 from the apartment of a man she'd been staying with for about a week, according to documents published by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.

The man told the West Monroe Police Department that while he was showering, Rolland swiped his cash and left. Rolland allegedly confessed to police she did take the man's money and left his apartment.

The documents said a female correctional officer later searched Rolland and, inside of Rolland's vagina, discovered $6,233 along with "a clear plastic bag" of roughly one gram of meth — which Rolland denied was hers.

Rolland was arrested and charged with theft and narcotics possession, online records from the sheriff's office state. As of Tuesday, she remained behind bars in lieu of $8,000 bond.

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(FOX) Two Florida police officers, with no connection to one another, were united after a DNA test determined the men were half-brothers.

David Stull, of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, and Eric Reynolds, of the Boynton Beach Police Department, first met last month after Stull reached out to Reynolds in an email, revealing the pair's connection.

"Good morning, my name is David Stull. According to 23andMe, we are half-brothers. I was adopted as an infant and have very little knowledge of my family history, so I have no way of knowing the validity of this," Stull wrote in the email, according to a Facebook post from the police department.

Reynolds had submitted his DNA to 23andMe three years before learning about Stull, police said. He wanted to know about his family's history and health, and "was curious about the possibility of unknown relatives, but never imagined this."

The two, who live just a few hours away from each other in central Florida, met for the first time on July 20. They told the Palm Beach Post they "hugged it out" and took a "shot of vodka" to calm their nerves.

The brothers shared the same biological father who didn't know of Stull until recently, according to the news outlet. Stull was born in New Jersey by a mother who he says was in her late teens when she gave birth to him. He was adopted and raised by a "loving" military family, he said.

Reynolds said meeting Stull "was like meeting a clone of me."

"It was overwhelming and exciting and bit of sadness at the same time," he said. "We've been texting all the time. We're alike in so many ways. I have someone I can talk to, trust as brothers and cops. It feels great."

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MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (AP) — Southern California authorities are looking for a thief who used a stolen car to smash through the doors of a liquor store and make off with trays of lottery tickets.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department says the crimes occurred early Saturday in Mission Viejo.

Video shows the silver Mercedes crash through the store's doors and security gates, then back out and park.

A figure clad in dark clothing crawled through the mangled entryway, disappeared from view and then emerged with trays and fled.

The Sheriff's Department says the total loss and damage are unknown.

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(FOX) A man who tossed a refrigerator down a hillside in Spain in an effort to mock recycling was reportedly fined — and ordered to bring it back up.

Spain's Guardia Civil posted video of the incident to Twitter on July 31. Officials identified the man — who joked that he was "recycling" when he threw the appliance — from the vehicle license plate captured in the footage, according to The Local.

In another video, the man is seen throwing a washing machine down the same area.

Investigators traced the fridge to a company in the Almeria region, and he was terminated from the company. He was also reportedly ordered to pay a more than $50,000 fine.

The man was also ordered to drag the refrigerator back up the ravine he threw it down — of which Guardia Civil also posted video.

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Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A Chicago highway was covered in wine early Tuesday when two semi trucks collided, spilling hundreds of bottles out onto the roadway.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said the two trucks crashed about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday on Interstate 94, near 130th Street on the Far South Side.

One of the trucks, which was carrying about 40,000 pounds of wine bottles, had its trailer break open during the crash, spilling cases of wine across the road.

Illinois State Police said one person was treated for minor injuries as a result of the crash.

Crews worked to clean up the broken glass and spilled wine for several hours. Lanes reopened about 6 a.m., officials said.