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Weird News

    A street in a western German town got a repaving worthy of fictional candy maker Willy Wonka when a ton of chocolate flowed out of a factory and solidified. The German newspaper Soester Anzeiger reported Tuesday that a 'small technical defect' involving a storage tank caused the sweet and sticky spill from the DreiMeister chocolate factory in Westoennen. After hitting the chilly pavement, the milk chocolate quickly hardened. About 25 firefighters got the job of prying the coating off with shovels and using hot water and torches to remove remaining bits from cracks and holes. Company boss Markus Luckey told the Anzeiger the factory would be back in action on Wednesday. Luckey said if the spill had happened closer to Christmas, 'that would have been a catastrophe.
  • An apparent Grinch was spotted on surveillance video plowing through a Christmas display outside a suburban Indianapolis home and tips are being sought to find the man. WRTV broadcast the video recorded Sunday night by a neighbor's camera in Greenwood. The video starts with a man getting out of a black SUV and then walking up to take a closer look at the front yard where Casie Arnold says her family had a 12-foot-tall (3.7-meter-tall) inflatable snowman. The man gets back into the vehicle, backs up and drives through the family's yard and over the decoration. Arnold says they heard a pop while watching a Christmas movie. Tire tracks were in the yard. Arnold says she wonders if the driver was possibly a Grinch who doesn't like Christmas. ___ Information from: WRTV-TV, http://www.theindychannel.com/index.html
  • Students at a Florida high school found an unwelcome surprise in a vending machine: a rat climbing the rows of packaged snacks and drinks. Video of the rat shot by an 11th-grader quickly spread on social media among students at Atlantic Community High school in Delray Beach. In the video aired by news station WPTV, the brown rat appears as large as a snack-size bag of chips. A Palm Beach County Schools statement says the vending machine was quickly locked Tuesday to keep students from using it. The district says the vending machine company was alerted and an exterminator was called to the school. Student Kael Williams said the incident was particularly disgusting because students eat from that machine throughout the day. ___ Information from: WPTV-TV, http://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/wptv
  • A California high school teacher pleaded not guilty to several charges of child cruelty and battery after she allegedly forced a haircut on one of her students, authorities said. Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said in a news release Friday that Margaret Gieszinger, 52, faces up to 3 years and 6 months in jail if convicted of all six counts. Gieszinger pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released, said Stuart F. Anderson, a spokesman for the district attorney's office. The science and chemistry teacher was arrested Wednesday after video posted to social media showed a student at University Preparatory High School in Visalia sitting in a chair as she cuts his hair. In a video obtained by KFSN-TV, she is heard belting the 'Star Spangled Banner' while cutting the boy's hair and tossing chunks behind her. After cutting the boy's hair, Gieszinger grabs at a girl's long hair before the students make a run for it out of the classroom, the video shows. Anderson did not know the name of Gieszinger's attorney and it was not listed in electronic court records. The county public defender's office did not return an email from The Associated Press seeking comment. She is due back in court later this month.
  • The Uranus Examiner, a small Missouri newspaper whose name inspired chuckles and groans when it launched a few months ago, is closing. The paper's editors announced the end of publication Friday, after publishing just five editions since September. In statements posted on Facebook, Managing Editor Natalie Sanders and Louie Keen, the paper's owner and publisher, blamed a judgmental 'Fuddy Duddy Squad' for the Examiner's demise. They said many people supported the paper but banks declined to loan it money and many businesses wouldn't advertise in it, in part because Keen once owned a strip club. Uranus is an unincorporated tourist spot along historic Route 66 and is known for quirky attractions, including a fudge shop and the world's largest belt buckle. The decision leaves Pulaski County with no newspaper.
  • It wasn't the Grinch who stole Christmas. It was a man who screamed 'there's no Santa Claus' over and over during a recent holiday festival in Florida. A southwest Florida woman shared cellphone footage with Fort Myers television station NBC-2 of the man yelling during the Cape Coral Festival of Lights on Saturday night. Cape Coral police told the station that officers were at the event but couldn't do anything because the man was exercising his freedom of speech. They added they could have intervened had he used a voice enhancer such as a megaphone, or started a riot. Cindy Menkes of Cape Coral says it's about decency and said she's sad that 'the magic of this time of year' was taken away from some children.
  • A lemur surprised a Florida Highway Patrol trooper when it crawled from a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck that had been stopped for driving erratically and hitting other cars. Dashcam video shows the lemur peeking out of the trailer before hopping to the ground and leaping around the trooper who was talking to the driver along Interstate 4 in Sanford on Saturday night. The video shows the trooper doing a double-take as the lemur runs around and stands on its hind legs. Twenty-seven-year-old driver Shane Taylor warned troopers that the lemur named Miko 'bites.' Taylor was arrested on several charges including DUI. State wildlife officers took custody of the lemur and other exotic animals including a tortoise, a goat, a parrot and a wallaby. Jail records don't list a lawyer for Taylor.
  • A moose used the doorbell to awaken a couple in Alaska. The couple thought maybe it was an aftershock or some kids playing a prank when the doorbell rang in their Anchorage home early Wednesday. Kyle Stultz tells KTVA-TV he looked out the door and found nothing. He assumed it was kids playing 'ding dong ditch.' Stultz decided to check his security camera. The video showed a large moose backing its caboose right into the doorbell. The family was relieved it was nothing else. ___ Information from: KTVA-TV, http://www.ktva.com
  • A Maine restaurant owner is citing feng shui (fung shway) as a reason not to move boulders outside the building that are in the way of a sidewalk project. Annie Huang, co-owner of Lucky Garden in Hallowell, tells members of the city's highway committee on Thursday that the boulders are culturally significant. Huang says in a public meeting the boulders were placed according to feng shui, a belief system about spatial arrangement that relates to flow of energy. The boulders are in the way of the reconstruction of a downtown sidewalk. Some local and state officials have agreed to cut the project short. The Kennebec Journal reports some property owners and a city councilor say the change to the sidewalk plan was made without adequate public notice. The committee's looking into the sidewalk change.
  • A man and woman admit in court they drove from Arizona to Wyoming with two children in the trunk of their car. Sixty-three-year-old Michael J. Fee and 31-year-old Amber L. Freudenstein each pleaded guilty Thursday to two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. The Casper Star-Tribune reports Circuit Judge Steven Brown sentenced each to 30 days in jail. Fee is from Peoria, Arizona, and Freudenstein is from Tempe, Arizona. Sheriff's officials say a third party told them the children reported riding in the trunk for much of the 900-mile drive while two German shepherds sat in the back seat. Fee said in court there was not enough room for everyone so the children were relegated to the trunk. Court documents show the children are about 6 and 10 years old. ___ Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com