Tara Dennis, 21, poses for a photo with a cat after Erie firefighters rescued her after she got stuck while trying to rescue the cat that was stuck in a tree on June 15, 2014.(Photo: AP Photo/Erie Times-News, Jack Hanrahan)CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
ERIE, Pa. – Authorities in northwestern Pennsylvania say a woman who tried to rescue a cat from a tree ended up needing a rescue herself.
Firefighters in Erie say they brought a 28-foot ladder to help Tara Dennis get down from the branches June 15.
Residents tell the Times-News that they've heard the feline crying for the past couple of days. It's not clear who owns the cat.
Dennis says she couldn't stand by and do nothing. So she scaled a fence, got on a roof and climbed onto a branch. She reached the animal, which she put in her shirt.
But the 21-year-old got stuck as she tried to come down. A neighbor called 911.
Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Carroll says firefighters first carried down the cat, then helped Dennis.
Mom: 3-year-old forced to urinate in seat on plane
BOSTON – A Massachusetts woman says she was nearly kicked off a flight after her 3-year-old was forced to urinate in her seat.
Jennifer Deveraux tells WBZ-TV that it happened June 9 on JetBlue Flight 518 from New York to Boston.
Deveraux says the plane was delayed on the tarmac when her daughter, Summers, asked to use the bathroom.
But Deveraux says the flight attendant said, "No, sit down," and Summers urinated in her seat. Deveraux says she got up to clean the mess and the attendant yelled at her again.
Deveraux says the pilot announced that a noncompliant passenger was being taken to security. But Deveraux was allowed to stay onboard.
JetBlue says it's investigating. It later tweeted that "there are very strict FAA regulations when a plane is on the tarmac."
Overturned truck dumps beer cans in highway median
A semi-truck that rolled on Interstate Highway 29 near Summit, S.D., dumping a trailer full of beer cans into the highway’s median, awaits a clean-up crew. (Photo: SOUTH DAKOTA HIGHWAY PATROL/AP)
SUMMIT, S.D. – A semi-truck that rolled on Interstate Highway 29 dumped a trailer full of beer cans into the highway's median.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol tells KELO-TV that the driver fell asleep while heading north on I-29 near Summit early June 11. He woke up and over-corrected, causing the truck to enter the median and roll.
Cases of beer that the semi was hauling spilled through the trailer's broken roof into the median.
The Highway Patrol says the driver had not been drinking. He was wearing a seatbelt but suffered serious, nonlife threatening injuries.
Tony the Tiger stays put at Louisiana truck stop
BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana's governor has signed a law that the owners of a truck stop where Tony the Tiger lives think is grrrrrrr-eat!
Gov. Bobby Jindal's signature grants an exception to Louisiana law that lets the tiger stay in his quarters at a Grosse Tete truck stop.
Animal rights groups had pressured the governor to veto it, saying the environment was not good for Tony. Truck stop owner Michael Sandlin asked Jindal to keep the tiger in the only home he's ever known.
The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Rick Ward III, a Republican from Maringouin, applauded the governor's decision Friday.
Sandlin told Media Times-Picayune that he was relieved the threat of Tony being taken away is gone.
Police: 200 sheep die in truck crash
SCIO, Ore. – About 200 sheep are dead after the rollover crash of a livestock trailer that was hauling more than 300 of the animals, Oregon State Police say.
Lt. Gregg Hastings says most of the dead sheep were killed in the early June 13 crash on Highway 226 near Scio, south of Salem. Other injured animals were euthanized at the direction of the sheep's owner.
Hastings says the driver may have had a medical problem that caused the truck and trailer to leave the road and roll onto its side. The driver was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Firefighters, police and passers-by helped remove sheep from the trailer.
Veterinarians from Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine also headed to the scene.
Cop: Man with gun tattoo had real gun in waistband
MADISON, Maine – A man with a realistic-looking tattoo of a gun on his stomach had the real thing tucked into his waistband when he was arrested, police said.
Michael Smith, bearing a realistic-looking tattoo of a handgun on his stomach, stands outside his home on March 18 in Norridgewock, Maine. (Photo: David Leaming/AP)
Police told the Morning Sentinel that 41-year-old Michael Smith, of Norridgewock, showed up at a sheriff's deputy's home at night June 12. He was crying and had been drinking, authorities said.
Smith told police he had a fight with his ex-girlfriend and had stolen prescription narcotics from her, authorities said.
He was charged with stealing drugs, and his gun was confiscated. He was released from jail on $1,000 bail.
Madison police Officer Eric Bronson said Smith was carrying a .40-caliber Glock but isn't facing any gun charges because Maine is an open-carry state and his weapon was visible.
Smith's next court date is Aug. 6.
Smith made headlines in March when members of a tree removal crew he'd told to clear off his property reported that he had a gun. But the gun turned out to be his tattoo.
He told the newspaper then that the tattoo had never been a problem before. He wasn't charged in that case.
Man run over trying to stop daughter from driving
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A 69-year-old man who was trying to prevent his daughter from driving drunk was run over and killed by the woman in her driveway, authorities in Southern California say.
Soukvilay Barton, 37, ignored her father's pleas not to drive and backed her BMW convertible out of the garage, striking him, Riverside police Sgt. Dan Reeves said June 14.
Bounmy Rajsombath was taken to a Riverside hospital, where he was pronounced dead June 13.
Barton was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Witnesses say Barton had been drinking and arguing with family members. She stopped the car after seeing that her father was injured and sat sobbing before being taken into custody.
Tomato truck overturns on Interstate 8 east of Yuma
YUMA, Ariz. – More than a few rotten tomatoes are stewing on an Arizona highway.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety says a trailer hauling a load of tomatoes overturned early June 14 on Interstate 8, about 50 miles east of Yuma.
The department says the incident occurred shortly after 3:30 a.m. in the eastbound lanes.
No injuries were reported.
Arizona Department of Transportation officials say one lane was blocked by the truck and crews were dispatched to clean up the scene. All lanes are now open.
Cat makes his way back to old home
PORTLAND, Ore. – George knows what he likes — and what the 2-year-old orange tabby cat likes is his family's old rented quarters in Portland's St. Johns area.
When the family moved across town to east Portland in May, George slipped away and made his way back, somehow getting across 12 miles, three interstate highways and neighborhoods where residents often see coyotes.
Amy Campion told The Oregonian that George probably got out through the garage the day the family was moving into the home they'd bought.
That night, they went out to look for him, and "we met a lot of the neighbors that way," Campion said. George has a microchip, and they checked the agencies. No luck anywhere.
Campion, a garden writer, had spent months imagining what she would plant in her new yard. Now, she couldn't bring herself to start without the cat she called her garden buddy.
"I was just broken-hearted," she said.
When George didn't turn up, friends suggested Campion let her old landlord and a few former neighbors know, in case George made one of those journeys cats sometimes make.
Earlier this week, the new renters at her old place called: George was hanging around, begging to be petted.
The Campions rushed over to retrieve him.
"I couldn't believe it was him," Campion said. "He was thinner, but he seemed perfectly fine."
For a few weeks, George isn't going outside without a leash.
"I really want people to learn from my mistake," Campion said. "He shouldn't have gone outside until he was familiar with the new smells and the area."
Small dog, great deed: Maltese finds lost wallet
JUNEAU, Alaska – A 7-month-old Maltese puppy owned by Bonnie and Brad Gruening likes to retrieve. On June 16, Lady Bunny came home with an unexpected prize — a wallet its owner didn't know was lost.
The puppy found and brought home a wallet belonging to Rudy Vonda, a sanitation worker with Pacific Waste Management who drives a route in the Gruenings' North Douglas Island neighborhood, the Juneau Empire reported.
The Gruenings called Vonda to report their pooch had found his property.
"I didn't even know my wallet was missing. I checked my back pocket to make sure," Vonda said. "When the lady said a dog brought my wallet home, I figured it was a Labrador or German Shepherd."
He drove to the Gruenings' home and instead saw a little white dog.
"When I pulled up to her place, she's coming out and she's got her little dog in her arms and my wallet," Vonda said.
The dog's head was barely bigger than his wallet, Vonda said.
Lady Bunny has a good nose. She has brought home other treasures, Bonnie Gruening said. "She particularly likes to take our neighbors' shoes."
The puppy took the wallet directly to Brad Gruening.
"It was really neat because we were able to get it back to the owner," Bonnie Gruening said, "Then to find out he's our sanitation guy, which is so awesome — they work so hard and do such a good job."
Vonda figures his wallet fell as he slid out of his truck cab to adjust a can for pickup. The wallet's drab olive green color could easily have kept it lost.
"That was a real surprise," Vonda said of its return. "It was like a dog from heaven."
Deputy: Florida man hid drugs under 'stomach fat'
DELTONA, Fla. – A central Florida man who weighs about 450 pounds faces multiple charges after sheriff's deputies say he hid cocaine and 23 grams of marijuana under his "stomach fat."
According to a new release, a Volusia County sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle June 13 after noticing that the passenger wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
Officials say 42-year-old Christopher Mitchell told the deputy that he's too big to wear a seatbelt. The deputy says he requested a drug-detecting dog because Mitchell and the driver appeared nervous. The dog detected the presence of drugs in the vehicle.
In addition to the drugs on Mitchell, deputies say they also found a handgun and $7,000 in cash in the vehicle.
Mitchell and the driver were arrested.
Hee-haw! At zoo, donkey pals calm restless rhino
Rhinoceros Manuela and a donkey share an enclosure at the Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. The zoo keepers tried to help Manuela the rhino who was feeling depressed by putting the donkey in the same enclosure. The strategy worked and the animals have been living peacefully together. (Photo: Shakh Aivazov/AP)
TBILISI, Georgia – Animals in the zoo in Georgia's capital are not allowed to be lonely, even if it means they end up with rather unusual companions.
A female rhinoceros called Manuela has made friends with donkeys, after failing to hit it off with either zebras or goats, while a lion cub neglected by his mother has bonded with a puppy.
Tbilisi Zoo spokeswoman Mzia Sharashidze said Manuela got depressed after the death of her mate and became aggressive toward her caretakers. They tried putting zebras in her enclosure, but they only returned the aggression. Then they tried goats, which ran away.
But the donkeys had an instant calming effect.
Nearby, lion cub Shamba lives happily with a puppy. Sharashidze said they "are watching how long the friendship will last."
Man tries to toss drug-filled football into prison
JACKSON, Michigan – Michigan authorities say a man tried to throw a football loaded with drugs and cellphones into the yard of a state prison.
State Trooper Toby Baker says the throw June 15 in Jackson fell short, with the football landing between two fences, not in the yard where prisoners exercise.
An officer at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility saw the man throw the football, and officers arrested the suspect.
The Detroit Free Press and the Jackson Citizen-Patriot say the ball contained heroin, marijuana, tobacco, three cellphones and chargers.
Twenty-two-year-old Christen D. Moore was arraigned Tuesday in Jackson District Court on contraband charges and ordered jailed on a $50,000 bond.
Priest baffled by vestment theft
GARDNER, Mass. – A Massachusetts priest says he's baffled by a theft from his church in which the only things taken were priestly vestments and other nearly valueless items.
WBZ-TV reports that no money, no religious artifacts, and nothing of major value was taken in the theft from St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Gardner.
Police arrested three 22-year-old city men after someone reported seeing someone wearing the vestments inside an abandoned building. They're charged with receiving stolen property, and breaking and entering.
The Rev. Thomas Tokarz says he forgives the men, but still wants to know why they took what they did.
Police say they have a motive, but are not making it public until they finish the investigation. They do say the motive was not anti-religious.
The church's property has been returned.
Some irked by town's 'redneck' theme for parade
SALEM, N.Y. – You might be a redneck if you don't object to a rural upstate New York town's theme for its annual Fourth of July parade.
But some people around Salem aren't amused by parade organizers' decision to go with "Redneck Summer" for this year's theme.
The volunteer fire department stages the annual holiday parade in Salem, a farming community located on the Vermont border 40 miles northeast of Albany.
One organizer tells The Post-Star of Glens Falls that the number of groups participating had decreased, so they decided on the redneck theme to "spice it up a little bit."
A few people have objected, including Mary Greene. She calls the theme "disturbing" and says redneck doesn't have a good connotation. And she's aghast that groups will be vying for the best redneck float.CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORERead or Share this story: Media
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