It’s been a little while since we posted a collection of the day’s oddest news headlines, so we thought we’d catch up, beginning with the story of a 5-year old who took the family car to look for her mother and then called 911 for help . . . Read on for that story and more from the Associated Press!
MANSFIELD, OHIO: Authorities say a 5-year-old looking for her mother in Ohio backed a car out of the driveway, then called 911 for help, the AP reports. Mansfield police say Ameleah Kegley backed the car out Monday evening after returning from school to an empty house. According to the Mansfield News Journal, her mother had gone to the hospital with an emergency and her father never got the message. Worried that her mother wasn’t home, Ameleah decided to look for her, starting her mother’s 1999 Lincoln Navigator. It backed down the sloped driveway and came to a stop on grass across the street. The girl dialed 911, explained the situation and asked for quick help getting the car back home, because she said her mom would be upset with her.
• ROCHESTER HILLS, MICH. — A Jack Russell terrier is heading home to Tennessee after turning up about 500 miles away in a Michigan backyard. The Michigan Humane Society says the dog named Petey recently was found in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills. It’s not known how he ended up in Michigan, but a microchip that had been implanted in the dog with ID information led them to owner Jim Arrighi. The Michigan Humane Society says Petey had been missing since July from his home in the Tennessee community of Erin. The 4-year-old dog was being picked up Wednesday by a Michigan Humane Society volunteer who planned to drive him home. The dog had been brought to the Michigan Humane Society’s Rochester Hills Center for Animal Care, where he was scanned for a microchip.
• FAIRFAX, VA. — A jury in northern Virginia has found a woman not guilty of violating a pooper scooper law in a well-watched case that highlights growing concern over dog waste left behind in suburban neighborhoods. The Washington Post reported that a jury on Tuesday cleared Kimberly Zakrzewski of allegations she failed to clean up after a dog named Baxter she often walks for a friend. The case began in April when a woman complained that her neighbor, Zakrzewski, failed to remove poop deposited by the fluffy, 19-pound pet. Zakrzewski said no pooper scooper violation occurred, noting she carries plastic bags on every walk. The newspaper says she had initially been found guilty of a misdemeanor after missing a lower court date, but was allowed this week’s appeal to a circuit court.
• VALLEJO, CALIF. — A 21-year-old Northern California man was left hanging at a playground swing set overnight after he got stuck in the diaper-like seat for nine hours. Vallejo police say the man made a $100 bet with his friends that he could fit into a child’s swing at Blue Rock Springs Park on Friday night. With the help of liquid laundry detergent, he managed to slide his legs into the seat. Authorities say that’s when he got stuck — and his friends took off. A groundskeeper found the man screaming for help the next morning. Firefighters cut the chains off the swing and took him to the hospital, where a cast cutter was used to remove the seat. The man’s name has not been released.
• FRANKFORT, KY. — Kentucky transportation officials are offering a bridge to any taker who will preserve it. The three-span steel truss bridge over the Kentucky River in the commonwealth’s southeastern corner would be free and is available after a new bridge is completed next year to carry Ky. 80. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet would even pay for taking down the 82-year-old, 456-foot bridge and hauling it to the new owner’s location, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. The catch is that whoever takes it has to set it back up in its original form and maintain it. The department said the bridge would be a good entrance to a walking trail or could go to a private owner who just happened to need a good bridge that’s too narrow for state specifications.
• ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico resident has been cited after federal officials say he tried to smuggle 76 pounds of bologna into the U.S. from Mexico by hiding it in a spare tire. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said last week that the eight rolls of Mexican bologna were discovered aboard a truck at an El Paso port of entry on Friday. According to officials, officers detected an anomaly in the appearance of a Ford F-150 as it arrived at the Paso Del Norte international crossing port. Agents scanned the spare tire with a “Buster” density meter. When they opened the spare tire, officials said agents found the bologna hidden inside. The driver was assessed a $1,000 civil penalty and was released.