Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: March 30, 2011

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NEW NEWS...

Lithuanian customs and postal officials say they have found a fully functional machine gun dating from World War II, complete with ammunition, in a package at Vilnius International Airport.  Officials said Tuesday that the German-made MG-42 machine gun was found after scanning a suspicious 20-kilogram (44-pound) package posted in Lithuania and bound for Germany.  Customs spokeswoman Asta Mikeleviciute says it was the first time that customs authorities had ever uncovered such a parcel and an investigation has been launched.  No evacuation of the capital's airport was ordered, but authorities were placed on alert.  ***MARLAR: It’s bad enough we have people going postal – now we’re supplying them with the weapons!

Fire officials say a lumbering pet turtle sparked a fast-moving fire in a New York City apartment after crawling out of its tank and knocking over the terrarium's heat lamp which crashed to the floor, igniting a pile of art supplies, including thinner and paint. Within minutes the fire spread through the third floor apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  Giovani, a 6-year-old African tortoise about the size of a basketball, survived. But officials say one firefighter and three police officers suffered smoke inhalation in the fire.  Another turtle that lived in a water tank was killed.  ***MARLAR: So instead of chicken-noodle, they served turtle soup to the injured firefighter and police officers.

A flotilla of yellow rubber ducks intended for a fund-raising event has been stolen from a police academy in suburban Chicago.  The Beacon-News in Aurora says Friday that some 2,500 ducks took flight this week from the Yorkville Citizens Police Academy.  Police say several of the toy ducks have been found on a Yorkville roadway and request that any more found be returned to the academy.  Police plan to use the toy ducks in their annual "Duck Pluck" to raise funds for the academy.  ***MARLAR: But if you think about it, why should you bother taking the time to raise money for a police academy that can’t train its recruits well enough to keep something from being stolen from their own academy?  Are those the kinds of cops you want protecting you?

A Maine plumber has put more than a dozen toilets on his lawn to protest a town decision that he feels led to more parking on the street where he lives.  David Linscott says the 17 toilets of various designs and colors outside his Kittery, Maine home are meant to show his disdain for the closing of an elementary school, which led to more parking near a now-expanded middle school.  Linscott says people now wander onto his properties.  ***MARLAR: Wouldn’t placing toilets in your yard just prompt kids to stop by more often... particularly if they have to tinkle?

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING...

A food fight in Brownsville, Texas has led to a cafe owner facing an aggravated assault charge over a customer allegedly whacked on the head with plate. Police said Maria Del Rayo Cordero was accused of tossing a tray of food and tea at the customer who had complained he ordered a chicken dish, but was served beef. Police said the owner is accused of grabbing a plate and striking the man. ***MARLAR: The owner took the chicken way out to deal with a customer who had a beef with him.

East Tennessee police said a Knoxville woman who was later arrested for cocaine possession initially told an officer that she had been eating a powdered doughnut. The Maryville Daily Times reported that a 21-year-old woman was arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule II substance with intent to sell or deliver. She was also cited for driving on a suspended driver's license, driving without proof of insurance, failure to maintain her lane of traffic and possession of drug paraphernalia.  According to an Alcoa police report, a field test on the substance indicated that the white powder she put in her mouth as an officer approached the car was cocaine, not a sugary pastry.  ***MARLAR: How can anyone expect to fool a police officer when it comes to doughnuts?

An East Tennessee man told police that a woman in a vehicle in front of his jumped on his hood and kicked and punched his windshield as he waited for a traffic light to change. The man, John P. Williamson, 37, said the incident was unprovoked. According to The Daily Times of Maryville, police quoted the woman as saying she was being followed.  ***MARLAR: Oh yeah, I’m sure kicking and punching your so-called stalkers car is going to get them to back off of following you.

One German family has a new ride that makes folks in Hummers look like VW Bugs! For some reason, Joachim Schoeneich bought himself a six-ton tank to use for shopping and day trips. He even fitted the British-built Fox tank with a baby seat for his two-year-old son Paul. The tank is armed with a disabled 30mm gun and has three-inch thick armor plating. Of course the downside is gas mileage as the tank struggles to get five miles per gallon. But Joachim says, "But the driving experience makes up for it!"  ***MARLAR: And it doesn’t matter who gets to the stop sign first, if you’re in a tank YOU get the right of way.

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