<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Weird News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:55:44 -0400 Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:55:44 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Monk Relaxing Atop Wind Turbine Spotted by Drone ]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:17:34 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/wind+turbines0507.jpg

A Benedictine monk at a private Rhode Island school has discovered that finding solitude is no easy feat, even 175 feet in the air.

A drone camera took video of Brother Joseph Byron hanging out on top of a wind turbine at the Portsmouth Abbey School, a private catholic boarding school.

That video has now gone viral.

Brother Byron said he went up on top of the turbine to relax during a heatwave on Aug. 16.

That's when he got quite the surprise.

"It's beautiful up there, absolutely gorgeous," he said. "You never know what's hovering around."

Brother Byron said he's the de facto keeper of turbine, which has been there for 10 years. He said the blades only turn with wind at 12 miles per hour, and that day, there wasn't any wind, so he climbed up.

He said he's not afraid of heights.

"The next thing I heard was the buzzing," he said. "And at first, I was kind of - I had never seen one before so, that's kind of cool."

The drone, which the Daily Mail reported was remotely operated by a visiting tourist from California, hovered for a bit and went away, only to come back.

He later noticed the video was published.

Byron tells the Providence Journal he's never seen a drone before and wasn't thrilled by the encounter. He added that, because of all the attention he's getting, he's going to wait a little while before going back on the turbine again.



Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Man Accused of Cutting Wife's Throat Acquitted]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:59:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Howard+Skibinsky.jpg

A man accused of cutting his wife's throat with a bread knife in 2013 has been aquitted

Howard Skibinsky had been accused of stabbing his wife of 17 years after they argued about finances. She told police that she was certain her husband wanted to kill her, according to the police report issued at the time.

On Feb. 25, 2015, a jury acquitted Skibinsky and he was released from jail.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff’s Office]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Couple Dives into Marriage]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:16:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Underwater-scuba-wedding-0824.jpg

One San Diego couple's marriage is already underwater and they haven't even been married a week.

Mark and Crystal Vartanian took the plunge at La Jolla Cove Saturday morning, diving 20 feet underwater to get married.

Mark Vartanian certainly didn't have cold feet before the ceremony. In fact, he wore a tuxedo over his wetsuit for the occasion.

"I'm hot," he admitted before the ceremony as his fiancée laughed.

Crystal followed his lead, wearing a dress over her scuba gear.

The entire wedding party, many of whom had never been diving before, also donned wetsuits for the wedding.

"We feel like if you've been to one wedding, you've been to them all," Crystal Vartanian told NBC7 of San Diego. "We really wanted to give our guests something different to take back with them."

Crystal says the couple was just searching the web one day when they came across an ad about scuba diving. They quickly came up with the idea of combining the two. They became certified and began planning for their big day.

After the ceremony, the couple had their reception at San Diego's Birch Aquarium.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Bear Takes an Afternoon Dip in His Neighbor's Hot Tub]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:47:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/150818_hottub_bear_03.jpg

The summer heat can make people—and bears—crazy.

A bear busted down Tony Diering's fence to take a leisurely swim in the man's pool before taking a dip in the hot tub, CTV News Vancouver reported.

"He's just relaxing and having a little cool down," Diering told CTV News Vancouver.

"It's just amazing, to see funny things on YouTube then to have it happen in your own backyard," he said. 

Last month, Diering said a bear came to help himself to the bird seed. Diering removed the feeder to deter more unwanted guests, but the bear—which, Diering he believes is the same one—knocked down the fence to get inside. 



Photo Credit: Tony Deiring]]>
<![CDATA[Man Says Siri Made the Call That Saved His Life ]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:23:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_111010073653_Siri.jpg

A Tennessee teen is alive today thanks to Siri, he says.

Eighteen-year-old Sam Ray says the voice recognition service on his iPhone — famously named Siri — called emergency dispatchers after his truck fell on him while he tried to make repairs.

Ray told media outlets that a jack collapsed, pinning him under nearly 5,000 pounds of metal in a location where he couldn't be easily seen or heard. He says he was trying to get free when he heard Siri activate.

"I said 'Call 911,' and that was all it said," he said.

Rutherford County dispatcher Christina Lee says she first thought it was a mistaken pocket-dial, but then she heard his screams for help and sent crews, who rescued him.

She said she knew his general location from the cellphone signal, but Ray helped them pinpoint his exact whereabouts.

"The map got to his street. ... It got pretty close," Lee said. "But he was yelling his address, and that was the best thing he could have done."

When volunteer firefighters arrived, they raised the truck back up with a jack and pulled Ray out. He was under the truck for about 40 minutes.

"I could feel myself slipping," he said. "I was starting to accept that I wouldn't get out."

Ray and Lee met Friday for the first time after the July 2 incident.

Rick Miller, who is chief of trauma and surgical care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said Ray suffered broken ribs, a bruised kidney, cuts and a concussion, and he had burns on one arm. Miller said Ray is lucky his wounds weren't worse.

"Sometimes these crush injuries can be devastating and can kill you," Miller said. "I've never heard of a story where you can figure out a way to use Siri to call 911 and get yourself rescued."

Sam Ray said he is thankful to be alive.

"I guess I'm stuck with an iPhone for the rest of my life," he said. "I owe them that."



Photo Credit: File - AP]]>
<![CDATA[26-Year-Old Cat Makes the Record Books (Again)]]> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:03:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/corduroy_oldest_cat.jpg

Corduroy the cat has given his owner a lifetime of purrs and love.

At 26 years old, the green-eyed feline was recognized by the Guinness World Records for a second time. 

On Thursday, Guinness World Records announced Corduroy broke the record for oldest living cat again. He had held the record last year but was bested by another cat named Tiffany Two that recently died at the age of 27 years, 2 months and 20 days. 

Corduroy has been a lifelong companion of his owner Ashley Reed Okura. She got the cat when she was just 7 years old. The average life span of a cat is 15 years.

Guinness World Records says that although Corduroy now holds the record for the oldest living cat, he's the not the oldest cat to ever live.

Creme Puff, born in 1965, lived 38 years and 3 days. 



Photo Credit: Guinness World Records
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<![CDATA[Man Who Complained About Stolen Pot Arrested]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 12:18:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081315+boyd+gene+wiley.jpg

The search for the owner of dozens of marijuana plants found on a Florida property ended when a man went to a sheriff's office to complain that detectives had stolen the plants.

Boyd Gene Wiley, 47, was arrested Monday when he showed up at the Putnam County Sheriff's Office to complain to a supervisor, officials said.

Wiley, of Interlachen, said he was growing medical marijuana and complained that it had been removed without his permission, officials said.

The 91 marijuana plants had been discovered last week when a code enforcement officer was inspecting the property. Drug and vice unit detectives spent several hours eradicating the plants, officials said.

An investigation into who owned the property ended when Wiley showed up at the sheriff's office. He was booked into jail and later released on $1004 bond. It was unknown if he's hired and attorney.



Photo Credit: Putnam County Sheriff]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Chocolate Lobster]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:58:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/IMG_34201.jpg

A Maine candy company is seeking to break a Guinness World Record with a gigantic chocolate lobster.

To commemorate 100 years in business, Haven's Candies of Westbrook has unveiled "Shelby."

The extremely large crustacean, made of solid milk chocolate, is in honor of Shelby Putnam, who owned Haven's with his wife, Harris, from 1970 to 1990. He still works at the company as chief engineer.

"Shelby" is 418.1 pounds of mouth-watering goodness. The sculpture measures 90.5 inches from tip to tail and 47.75 inches claw to claw.

ACME Scale Company of Windham completed the official weigh-in, required by Guinness to certify the entry as a potential record holder.

"Shelby," who will be on display through Oct. 22 at the store, is hoping to claim fame as the "World's Largest Chocolate Sculpture." You can also see "Shelby" on display on Oct. 24 at the Maine Marketplace.



Photo Credit: Haven’s Candies]]>
<![CDATA['Tarzan' Arrested at SoCal Zo]]> Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:10:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/207*120/08-05-2015-zoo-santa-ana-tarzan-1.jpg

One of the wildest attractions at the Santa Ana Zoo Tuesday morning had nothing to do with the animals.

A shirtless, mud-covered man caused an uproar when he climbed trees and attempted to elude officers, according to Santa Ana Police. The man claimed he was the fictional Lord of the Jungle, Tarzan, as he ran around the property, zoo staff members told police.

Zoo director Kent Yamaguchi discovered the man and explained the bizarre scene to a 911 operator.

"We have a gentleman who appears to be under the influence of something and is climbing into trees and jumping in animal exhibits," Yamaguchi said.

"Oh, ok, wow. Has he said anything to anybody?" the 911 operator asked.

"Um, he's shouting at people that he's Tarzan," Yamaguchi responded.

Santa Ana officers briefly chased the man, 36-year-old John William Rodenborn, who was arrested and later tested positive for methamphetamine. Methamphetamine was also found in the Rodenborn's car, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

"He more than likely will be cited and released." Bertagna said. "Hopefully he won't come back again."

Rodenborn was allegedly trying to climb into several monkey enclosures, but didn't get anywhere near the zoo's 59 primates, police said.

"He didn't make any animal sounds," said Yamaguchi. "He was just sort of enjoying himself in the trees.

"He kept telling me that he just wanted to play, and that I needed to play."

It was not immediately clear how Rodenborn got into the zoo. Staff members said he was not a paying customer and did not enter the zoo through the main entrance or employee access.



Photo Credit: Santa Ana PD]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Upside Down Over Illinois, Skydivers Break Record]]> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:38:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/SkyDiveThumb1.jpg Traveling at speeds of up to 240 mph, 164 skydivers flying head-down have built the largest ever vertical skydiving formation on July 31, 2015 over central Illinois, smashing the previous record. ]]> <![CDATA[Meth Pills Were in In-n-Out Drink, Man Claims in Lawsuit]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 16:27:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/168*120/innoutmeth.jpg

In-n-Out Burger has been sued by a man who alleges he found meth in the bottom of his drink, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. 

The incident allegedly occurred on the night of March 9, 2014, when Fred Maldonado, of Carlsbad, ordered a burger and drink from a Southern California In-n-Out. An executive for the restaurant chain has called the claim "baseless."

Maldonado then returned to his nearby motel, where he drank half the beverage and went to sleep. When he awoke the next morning, he emptied the rest of the drink and allegedly found two pills and a napkin at the bottom of the cup, according to the lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

When Maldonado returned the cup and its contents to the In-n-Out location, located at 8767 Firestone Blvd. in Downey, the manager apologized and offered him a gift certificate for a free burger, according to the lawsuit.

Though Maldonado was unaware of what the blue gelatin capsules were at the time, later testing found that they contained methamphetamine, according to toxicology findings from last August submitted by Maldonado's lawyer, G. Patrick Connors III. The napkin and the cup both tested negative for methamphetamine in a test conducted by Utica Toxicology Service.

"The beverage served by defendants to plaintiff was not clean, wholesome, and free from harmful or injurious foreign substances but instead, unknown to plaintiff, contained hazardous and unhealthful foreign substances, namely two capsules of methampetamine and a napkin that was unfit for human consumption," the lawsuit stated.

A picture of the capsules and napkin allegedly found in the drink were provided by Connors.

Maldonado did not ingest the pills, but did suffer nausea and serious injuries to his health, as well as mental distress, as a result of consuming the drink, according to his lawyer.

In-n-Out has denied the allegations.

“At In-N-Out Burger, we have always served the freshest, highest quality burgers, fries, and drinks and customer safety is one of our highest priorities. We will vigorously defend these baseless claims. Due to the fact that this matter involves ongoing litigation, we will unfortunately not be able to comment any further,” In-n-Out Executive Vice-President Arnie Wensinger said.

Maldonado has sued for unspecified damages.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of G. Patrick Connors III]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders' Candidacy Inspires Merch]]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:15:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2015-07-21-19h30m41s117.png

As the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attracts more and more interest from around the country, it’s also inspiring a surge of support in surprising ways. Those include pro-Sanders displays on the bottoms of beer cans and on the sides of purses.

At the Burlington Beer Company in Williston, Vermont, brew master Joe Lemnah recently printed a message saying #FeelTheBern, a reference to Sanders, on the bottoms of cans of his Light in the Window IPA.

“It’s kind of like a little Easter egg, if you will,” Lemnah said, describing how a beer drinker may discover the slogan on the bottom of a can. “Politics and religion were always the things you don’t do with business, but I feel like those days are changing a little bit; where it’s safer to show how you actually feel.”

The support from the craft beer producer, who said he admires how Sanders has long championed agricultural concerns, comes as the candidate is drawing huge crowds at rallies nationwide. In those appearances, Sanders often decries what he calls the outrage of income inequality, and pushes for a political revolution to strengthen the working class.

The enthusiasm level and size of the crowds at Sanders events has led some political observers to describe his candidacy as one that challenges the sense it’s inevitable that Hillary Clinton will walk away with the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Along with that surge of interest from rally attendees, Flashbags, an accessories line, has seen a surge in business. The company, as did Sanders’ political career, launched in Burlington.

“I just sent some out to Wyoming,” said Erin Cain of Flashbags, showing necn several designs of Sanders purses, which she said are hot sellers with liberal customers. “I can’t actually seem to make them fast enough right now.”

Burlington graphic designer Dave Barron, who has a side business called The Bernie Shirt said he has shipped hundreds of the garments to nearly all 50 states. “Bernie brings an electricity to the race you don’t often see,” Barron said.

Barron told necn he is donating a tenth of his sales to Bernie 2016, noting that buyers seem energized by how the sometimes wild-haired senator focuses on the little guy. “Bernie fights for everybody, which you don’t see in every candidate.”

Barron also noted the shirts are printed by New Duds in Winooski, another small Vermont business.

In response to an inquiry from necn regarding the support from the Burlington Beer Company, Flashbags, The Bernie Shirt, and other independent businesses around Vermont, the Sanders campaign issued the following statement:

“These are all examples of the many ways that Bernie's message is resonating. This is part of the grassroots movement that is growing in Vermont and all over the country. People in different, creative ways are sending a message to the billionaire class that they can't have it all.”

Joe Lemnah said he did receive a complaint about his beer cans, from someone backing Hillary Clinton. But Lemnah said that will not stop him from “feeling the Bern.” 



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Tooth-Shaped Balloon Mascot Gets Loose, Flies Away]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:13:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mickey+balloon+2.JPG

A Chicago-area dental practice is asking for help finding a loose tooth. 

“Mickey the Molar,” a 10-foot by 10-foot balloon, has disappeared up into the sky.

The balloon, which has been a staple at Algonquin’s Founders’ Day Parade for 17 years, is the mascot for Dr. Timothy Stirneman’s All Smiles Dental practice.

A spokesperson for the practice said the flying tooth seems to have just “flown away on its own.” With the Founders’ Day Parade beginning on Sunday, the practice said they’re desperate to get the balloon back.

Anyone who spots the “loose tooth” can call All Smiles Dental at (847) 854-7645. 



Photo Credit: All Smiles Dental
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<![CDATA[Alligator Taken Into Police Custody on NYC Street Dies]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:11:25 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/alligator+manhattan.jpg

A 3-foot alligator NYPD officers took into custody after they spotted it walking across a Manhattan street has died, authorities say.

The reptilian scofflaw startled residents near Ninth Avenue and 205th Street in Inwood Thursday afternoon and was picked up by the NYPD's emergency services team, authorities said.

The reptile, which the NYPD's 34th precinct joked was having trouble hailing a trip out of town, was taken to Animal Care Centers of NYC, where workers removed the duct tape police had put on its snout and put it in an aquarium-type setting that had heat and a shallow pool of water.

The alligator died Friday morning, Animal Care Centers of NYC said. The group said it had named it CockadoodleQ.

"We have no knowledge of the conditions CockadoodleQ had lived in prior to his arrival that contributed to his death," Animal Care Centers of NYC said in a statement.

Exotic animals are illegal to have as pets in New York City. It's not clear how the gator made it onto the street, nor was it known if police were looking for an owner.



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Bugs Appear as Storm on TX Weather Radar]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 09:00:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/217*120/bug+radar+tx.JPG

Rangers at a state park near the Texas panhandle say flying insects caused a weather radar to light up as if there was a large storm there Wednesday.

The interesting radar image came from the area near Copper Breaks State Park, west of Wichita Falls.

National Weather Service officials say people shouldn't be alarmed by the size of the blob, which spanned for several miles. It wasn't a swarm, they said, rather there were just enough bugs flying around to be seen on the radar.



Photo Credit: National Weather Service
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<![CDATA['Drunk' Squirrel Damages English Club]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:30:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-469038412SQUIRREL72315.jpg

A “drunk” squirrel caused hundreds of dollars of damage at a private members’ club located in England, BBC reported.

The secretary of the Honeybourne Railway Club told BBC that he originally thought that someone had broken into the building, located near Evesham in Worcestershire.

He was mostly right -- except the invader was not a man but a squirrel that was “staggering around” after coming out from behind a box of chips, according to BBC.

"There were bottles scattered around, money scattered around, and he had obviously run across the bar's pumps and managed to turn on the Caffrey's [Irish Ale] tap,” Sam Boulter said. "He must have flung himself on the handle and drank some as he was staggering around all over the place and moving a bit slowly.”

Boutler said he lost £300, or about $465, in the incident. He was able to grab the rowdy rodent in a waste bin and released it out of a window.

"I've never seen a drunk squirrel before,” Boutler said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bombshell Discovery: Bazooka Shell Found in Storm Drain]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:16:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/072115+bazooka+shell+found+in+Fairfax+County.jpg

A Fairfax County, Virginia, worker inspecting a drain made an unusual discovery in a residential neighborhood Tuesday morning -- a round of bazooka ammunition possibly dating back to the Korean War era.

The bazooka shell was found in a drain on the 9300 block of Glenbrook Road in the Mantua neighborhood, Fairfax County Police said. Officers responded about 10:45 a.m. and kept neighbors away as they investigated.

The device was determined to be an inert, "blank" round likely used in training, police said. It wasn't immediately clear how long the shell had been there.

Police and fire officials stayed on the scene near the Mantua Hills Swim Club for almost four hours, leaving about 2:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Fairfax County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Chipotle Anti-Fast Lasts 153 Days and Counting]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:50:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/536073195.jpg

Two men who have never met appear to have in common a similar zest for fast Mexican food. Both men started eating Chipotle every day for the last 100-plus days and have taken to social media to write about their experience on the diet. 

Los Angeles animator Andrew Hawryluk, 23, is documenting his Mexican food habit on his Chipoltlife blog, calling it a "culinary endurance art piece." Hawryluk says he's eaten Chipotle at least once a day for the past 153 days, spending $1,567 and consuming 110,890 calories.

On his blog, he says he typically orders a burrito bowl consisting of white rice, chicken, guacamole, and lettuce with Tabasco chipotle sauce on top. He prefers a bowl so he doesn't have to eat with his hands.

Hawryluk's food project started on Feb. 18, the first day of Lent, as an anti-fast. He's taken a photo of each of his receipts to prove his purchases at the "best restaurant," as he calls it. 

This feat is not so unique, though.

Mark Rantal of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is also chronicling his Chipotle addiction. On July 14, Rantal celebrated his 100th lunch at Chipotle and posted a photo of himself to his Facebook page holding a plate of food with candles outside the restaurant to celebrate the milestone. 

"We are fortunate to have such fiercely loyal and enthusiastic customers. While these guys are taking that farther than most, we have a lot of people who are very loyal and regular customers," said Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle Mexican Grill. 

Neither Hawryluk nor Rantal is a paid spokesperson, according to the food chain. 



Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Foal Born with Patch That Looks Like Its Own Shadow]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 09:03:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Horse+11+AP774176329487_14.jpg

A chestnut foal born in May in England has been gaining a lot of attention around the Internet for his peculiar, self referential birthmark.

The young horse, named Da Vinci or "Vinny" for short, appears to host his own silhouette on his back and shoulder that mingles with his mane. 

Owner Wendy Bulmer told the Daily Mail that she named the horse Da Vinci because of the work of art that adorns his coat.

This horse, she said, is full of surprises. 

[[317616351, C]]

"I bought his mother at a sale and didn't know she was in foal [pregnant] so that was a bit of a surprise," the riding school owner Wendy Bulmer told the Daily Mail in an interview.

While many chestnut horses have patches, most are unrecognizable, Bulmer said, but this one is a work of art. 

Not only does the horse have something of a self portrait on his coat, he's also got a little heart near his hind quarters. 

Maybe that heart is why all the children Bulmer's riding school, Fyling Hall riding school at Robin's Hood Bay love 'Vinny' so much. Or maybe it's because he's such a friendly foal, like Bulmer said. 


 



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Wedding Whopper: Joel Burger, Ashley King Tie the Knot]]> Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:54:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/071915-burger-king-wedding-illinois.jpg

Couples will tell you that every wedding is special in its own way — and that's certainly true for Joel Burger and Ashley King, who married Friday afternoon in Illinois for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, with French fries or with onion rings.

Burger and King have been friends since grade school, Burger told NBC's John Yang for TODAY. Their evening wedding featured gifts from Burger King, which paid for the wedding after their story grabbed international headlines, including the fast-food chain's crowns and custom mason jars (and the groomsmen posed with Burger King shirts under their suits).



Photo Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Burger King]]>
<![CDATA[Doc Accused of Dirt Treatment]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 18:11:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/N11P+FAKE+CANCER+DOCTOR+VO+-+00000411.jpg

A northern California man was arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine unlawfully after authorities say he treated a woman in late stage cancer with a “baggie of dirt.”

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office arrested Vincent Gammill, 69, of El Cerrito, on July 9 at his office in Richmond on charges of practicing medicine without a license, dependent adult abuse and furnishing dangerous drugs without a license. 

Detectives said they found 25,000 prescription pills including morphine, Ambien, steroids, along with Mexican and Russian drugs at both his office and home. Gammill told detectives he offered alternative options to the traditional treatment of cancer. He also initially said he had no formal education beyond high school, but then “remembered” he had obtained a doctor of science degree sometime in the 1990s, according to Ventury County Detective Robert Davidson.

Davidson also told NBC Bay Area that Gammill's bail was set at $10,000 and he was later booked in Contra Costa County jail, but as of Friday, he was out of custody.

When reached by phone on Friday, Gammill denied to NBC Bay Area that he prescribed his patient dirt and denied that any dirt was used at all.

He also said he doesn't "treat" patients. Rather his Natural Oncology Institute is an "instructional program," which patients can choose to follow or not. He used these therapies for his own cancer, he said.

The woman involved, Gammill said, is an actress. "I think she just wants to be in the limelight."

He said he is being represented by a Santa Barbara attorney, who was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

In June, a 49-year-old Thousand Oaks woman reported that she sought Gammill’s treatment after finding his website in 2009. His site touts “alternative and complementary care” for people with cancer. The website also offers a five-day "Mango Retreat Program," in Del Mar, in "walking distance" to the Pacific Ocean. Gammill wrote on his company website that he was diagnosed with cancer, as well, in 2009 and chose both conventional and alternative cancer strategies to help. He saw his last formal oncologist in 2010.

Davidson said that agents started investigating the case after the woman told the Thousand Oaks East County Sheriff’s Office that she had been scammed out of $2,000 and harmed by Gammill’s practices.

Gammill reportedly treated the woman with baggies filled with dirt, powders, liquids and other commercial medicines that were past their expiration dates, authorities said.

During one of her visits to his office, Gammill instructed the woman on how to mix the ingredients into capsules before taking them, the pharmaceutical investigators said. At one point in the visit, authorities said Gammill brought out a large frying pan and told her that one of the compounds could burn a hole through the table. After the woman felt a burning sensation in her stomach, Gammill reportedly told her this was a good because it meant the ingredients were still active.

The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials team was called to Gammill’s office to “render it safe” after investigators reportedly found bottles labeled “corrosive” and “poison” in his laboratory, agents said. Investigators did not find any record of Gammill having any medical training upon his arrest.

In 1989, Drug and Enforcement Agents found more than 1,000 types of dangerous chemicals at a lab that Gammill owned. In court papers, Gammill argued that he ran a legitimate lab, and the chemicals the agents found were used to make fuel additive, naval jelly and dextran sulfate, which was a common underground AIDS treatment.

But DEA agents said that the lab was actually an "operational methamphetamine lab."

Gammill was charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, but he moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing in California's appeals court that the government violated his "due process rights by its bad faith destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence."

Eventually, in 1992, a judge overturned Gammill's conviction.

Gammill is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on Aug. 31.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: The Natrual Oncology Institute]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Japanese Hotel Replaces Staff With Robots]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:51:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/robot-GettyImages-480744956_master.jpg The Henna Hotel, scheduled to open on July 17, features multi-lingual humanoid robots that greet visitors while other robots serve coffee and do the cleaning, as well as room doors that are opened by face-recognition technology.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Man, Nephew Win Meth Lab in Auction ]]> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:20:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-07-12+at+10.20.27+AM.png

A man and his nephew in California got a little more than they expected when they won an auction for an abandoned storage unit.

At Cubesmart in Rancho Cordova, units are auctioned when renters default on them for longer than 45 days, according to NBC affiliate KCRA. Some people buy these units and resell them for a profit.

The two men won one of the units with an $80 bid, according to the station. However, it contained a box full of hazardous, old-fashioned equipment used to make meth.

Narcotics officers told the station that the material was so toxic, hazmat specialists had to be called out.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department detectives are not sure if the lab was operated on site, but they are now looking for the original owners of the unit, according to KCRA.

A message for comment left with Cubesmart was not immediately returned. 

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<![CDATA[Doctor Removes More Than 70 Non-Food Items From Dog's Stomach]]> Sat, 11 Jul 2015 17:15:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+stomach+contents.jpg

Something tells us one lucky dog is about to go on a diet.

Tiki, an 8-year-old black Labrador, visited the Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital this week in Mars, Pennsylvania, a small town about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Hisham Ibrahim, known as ‘Doctor I” examined Tiki’s stomach and made a remarkable discovery: a mass in her stomach.

When Ibrahim operated, he quickly found the mass was comprised of 62 hair bands, eight pairs of underwear and a bandage. It took two hours of surgery to remove all the items, USA Today reported.

"'Doctor I' started pulling handfuls of different items out," Emily Cottle, his head technician, told WTAE's reporter on Wednesday. "It was quite an experience to see."

Ibrahim told NBC Washington that he has found some unusual items in his 12 years working in Pittsburgh, but Tiki wins the award for the strangest taste buds.

"It was just amazing, and it's not easy," Ibrahim, said while doing a follow-up. "But, thank God, we were able to pull through, and Tiki has recovered very well.” 



Photo Credit: Dr. Hisham Ibrahim]]>
<![CDATA[Man Finds This Object in His Skin]]> Sun, 12 Jul 2015 08:42:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/219*120/fish+fin+leg+skier.jpg

Pat Schottler didn’t think much about a large bruise on his leg and five puncture wounds after a day of water skiing, but during a visit to the doctor a few days later, things took an unusual turn.

Schottler, 35, said he assumed he hit a stick while skiing on Medicine Lake in Minnesota, NBC affiliate KARE 11 reports.

It wasn’t until his wife encouraged him to visit an emergency room that he found out what the bruise actually was.

Doctors ordered an X-Ray of his leg, which they thought would show a broken fibula, but instead showed a “foreign object embedded in his leg,” Schottler’s wife Julie Schottler told KARE.

That foreign object was something the couple never expected—fish fin.

Schottler told the station doctors removed four pieces of fish from his leg, the longest one being nearly three-fourths of an inch. He said the fin likely came from a bluegill. 



Photo Credit: Pat Schottler/KARE ]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: U.S. Robot Company to Japan Company: Let's Duel]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 10:34:25 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2015-07-08-at-9.46.41-PM.jpg

A U.S.-based robotics company has thrown down the metallic gauntlet and goaded a Japanese competitor into a heavy metal battle of mechanical proportions. 

"Suidobashi, we have a giant robot, you have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen," said co-founder of MegaBots, Inc Matt Oehrlein—along with his partner Gui Cavalcanti both draped in an American flag—in a YouTube video challenging Suidobashi Heavy Industries' Kuratas. 

Megabot, the U.S.-based company, is confident in its Mark 2 model: a towering 6-ton metal beast. 

"We just finished tightening the last bolts on the Mark 2—America's first fully functional giant piloted robot," Oehrlein says in the video to the Japenese robotics company.

The massive robot is operated by a team of two people and can shoot three pounds paint balls at from its cannon at 100 miles per hour, according to Oehrlein.

"And because we're American, we added really big guns," co-founder Cavalcanti added with dramatic pause. 

Suidobashi's CEO responded to MegaBots' gentlemen's duel in his own video: "Come on guys, make it cooler," Kogoro Kurata said, with shots of him wrapping the Japanese flag around his shoulders.

"Just building something huge and sticking guns on it," Kurata continued. "It's super American."

Suidobashi launched The Kurata, named after the CEO and designer, in 2012. At 4.5 tons, it was a little less than Mark 2, a full heads-up display (HUD), and guns controlled by an advanced targeting system. 

No venue or date for the battle of the death metals, but the challenge has been accepted. 


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<![CDATA[WATCH: 4-Foot Alligator Caught in New Jersey River]]> Wed, 08 Jul 2015 18:46:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Gator-Caught-NJ-0708.jpg

Authorities captured an alligator in a New Jersey river after a fisherman and police both spotted one of the reptiles floating in the Passaic River on Wednesday.

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Elmwood Park Police Chief Mike Foligno said officers saw a 4-foot-long alligator in the water off of River Drive after being called to the scene by a fisherman. After the sighting, they called state wildlife officials to hunt down the creature.

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Authorities tracked the reptile for nearly two hours before corralling it. Chopper 4 footage from the scene showed one searcher stirred a rod in the water before another can be seeing pulling the gator out with a catch pole. 

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“I think it was probably someone’s pet that got too big so they released it into the wild,” Foligno said.

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The fisherman who spotted the gator, Luis Acosta, said that at first he thought it was a snapping turtle. But, he said, he saw a long tail and called police.

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He said he was shocked to see the gator in the chilly northern waters of New Jersey.

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“It was cool to watch, ya know, but it don’t belong around here,” he said.

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<![CDATA[Feral Cat Attacks NY Town Residents]]> Wed, 08 Jul 2015 12:18:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/feral+cat+orangetown.jpg

A sickly feral cat has been terrorizing a suburban New York town, attacking unsuspecting residents and small pets, authorities and neighbors say.

Police in Orangetown say a black cat has been on the attack since the weekend and are asking residents to be on the lookout. 

Chris McKiernan was one of the cat's victims. He told NBC 4 New York Monday he and his family had just returned home from watching the Fourth of July fireworks in town when "out of nowhere, out of the darkness, came this black cat that just jumped and attached itself to me."

"I looked down and it was all over me," he said. "It was a little surreal." 

The cat started scratching and biting him, and when McKiernan manged to pry the ferocious feline off him, the cat simply sat there and looked at him, growling and hissing. 

"It was wobbling around and it was looking at me and had blood in his mouth. It wasn't a pretty scene," he said 

The cat then "jumped back on me, tried to climb up me. And then I finally ripped it off again, and I was able to get the garbage can over it, and it was making all sorts of strange noises," he said. 

McKiernan said he tried to keep the garbage can lid over the cat to hold it for rabies testing, but the lid kept moving with the cat inside it. When he lifted the lid for a brief moment, the cat shot out and beelined straight for the woods. 

McKiernan received a series of rabies shots after the encounter. 

The same night, the cat attacked resident Joe Soldano.

"All of a sudden, I turned and he was right in front of me," he told NBC 4 New York. 

"He leaped at me, and I kicked him. And he came again, I couldn't believe it. I kicked him again, like 10 feet," he said. "Then again he came. I kicked him across the patio three times." 

Soldano snapped a photo of the cat sitting on the welcome mat at his door once he was safely inside his home. He said the cat waited there for 10 minutes. 

On Sunday morning, neighbor Patricia McGowan's family was on the deck for breakfast when they heard "this commotion of cats screaming at each other."

McGowan saw the feral cat attacking her own pet cat. 

"We started yelling for it to stop, and our cat ran under the deck and the other cat just followed her," she said. 

McGowan said her daughter had seen the feral cat in the driveway and it appeared very thin and was wobbling. 

McGown took her cat to the vet, and it appeared to be fine but was administered extra medication as a precaution. 

Incidents have been reported in the areas of Edsall Terrace, Lark Street, Bocket Road and Hawk Street in Pearl River.

Animal control and local police are searching the area for the animal. Officials say residents should avoid the animal if they see it and contact Orangetown Police at 845-359-3700.



Photo Credit: Joe Soldano]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Pulls 4-inch Long Centipede out of his Ear]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 11:39:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/texas-centipede.jpg

A teenager in Arkansas who was suffering from a severe earache was left stunned when he pulled out a 4-inch centipede. Can you say gross?

According to New York Daily News, Grant Botti woke up at his home in Saline County last week in excruciating pain. The 14 year old then felt something wiggling around.

He then grabbed onto the mystery intruder’s tail and slowly pulled it out. It goes without saying he was shocked when he came face-to-face with the creepy crawler.

His mom Angela put the critter into a plastic bag, and took her son to the hospital.
Doctors found small abrasions in his ear drum, but he was later released and is expected to make a full recovery.

It’s still not clear how the centipede ended up in the teen’s ear. However, the family does believe it could have happened when he was swimming.

Nurses at the hospital say it was the first time they have ever had someone come in with a centipede in their ear.

In case you’re wondering, the centipede's condition is unknown.



Photo Credit: Furryscaly/Flickr]]>
<![CDATA['Pirate' Fired Pistols on Florida Keys Bridge: Deputies]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:16:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/063015+jamie+don+spering.jpg

A man dressed in full pirate costume was arrested after firing his guns on the old Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys Monday night, authorities said.

Jamie Don Spering, 58, is charged with disorderly conduct following his arrest in Marathon, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. It was unknown if he has a private attorney.

Deputies responding to a shots fired call found Spering in costume with operational black powder pistols on each hip, a sword and two knives, authorities said.

Spering, who said he is an entertainer, was on the bridge with friends watching the sunset when the incident happened. He admitted to firing the pistols, which had no projectiles loaded, just the powder, authorities said.

Spering claimed he shot them safely toward the water but witnesses said he fired one at the water and one at cars traveling on the bridge, authorities said.



Photo Credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Move Over Vanilla, Burger Chain Adds Bug-Flavored Shake]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:12:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.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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