Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Vegetarians, Rejoice!

Burger King is planning to extend testing of its meatless “Impossible” Whopper and will roll out the vegetarian option nationwide by the end of the year.

Burger King announced its collaboration with Impossible Foods, manufacturer of the plant-based Impossible Burger, in November.

The vegetarian patty is made with mostly soy protein but also contains potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil and heme, according to Impossible Foods. The flame-grilled burger will also be topped with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles and white onions.

The fast food chain began testing the new menu item at dozens of St. Louis locations earlier this month. The test went “exceedingly well,” and testing will extend into additional markets “in the very near future,” a Burger King spokeswoman told ABC News.

Burger King is targeting to make the Impossible Whopper available in its thousands of restaurants in the U.S. by the end of 2019, the spokeswoman said.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day

Sure, you managed to secure Mother’s Day dinner reservations for your mom for at that place she likes, but will you give her what she really wants?  On May 12, she doesn’t want to be looking at the top of your head while you text away over dinner.

According to a newly commissioned OpenTable survey, 85% of adults are guilty of checking their phone at least once during dinner — and 40% of their moms rightfully bust their chops about doing so.

With that in mind, OpenTable is launching #DiningMode to encourage you to put away that phone and reconnect with the one who brought you into this world…after hours of painful labor, according to her.

Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable, noted, “By going into #DiningMode this Mother’s Day, diners will have the opportunity to focus their attention on the mom in their lives and connect over a fabulous meal.”

In case you didn’t know, your texting your friends and uploading food pics to Insta gums up the works for restaurant workers, so they’re more than willing to help you get into #DiningMode.  In fact, nearly 500 restaurant partners have already set up some incentives to leave your phone off on Mother’s Day.

Restaurants like New York City’s 10 Corso Como and Aquagrill, as well as Philadelphia’s Bellini Grill are offering a complimentary dessert for those participating in #DiningMode.

Bodegon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Hotel Madrid is providing complimentary champagne for those who opt into #DiningMode.

Meanwhile, Casa Chapala Mexican Cuisine & Tequila Bar in Austin, Texas says if you put your phone away when you arrive, your mom will get a fresh bouquet of flowers.

A full list of participating restaurants can be found here.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Safety First for Secondhand Sales

Yard sale signs are popping up throughout Wisconsin and there are deals to be had for the bargain-inclined. Whether your chosen “storefront” is in a driveway or in an online classified ad, there are risks to consider for both buyers and sellers in the resale marketplace.

Yard sales

“To prevent risk of injury, buyers should check for recalls on the items they intend to purchase at garage sales,” said Lara Sutherlin, Administrator for the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. “This is an especially important practice when looking for children’s items like cribs, gates, toys, and play yards.”

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls toys and other products for children each year if they have the potential of causing injury or death. Products for any age group can be recalled for a variety of reasons including fire hazards, strangulation hazards, missing warning labels, electrocution hazards, lead levels in paint, loose magnets, choking hazards, fall risks, and more.

The CPSC recently launched a mobile app that shoppers can use to search for product recalls (the app must be downloaded from the CPSC website: https://www.cpsc.gov/data). Having this app or the CPSC website open on your smartphone while you shop is a good practice.

Two other areas where shoppers tend to seek secondhand deals are tools and electronics. If you are shopping for battery-powered items, check the battery compartment for signs of corrosion. For electrical items, keep an eye out for frayed wires or questionable repair jobs on cords. If you are able to test these items on site, run them through their paces before you make a purchase.

Online sales

For buyers and sellers that prefer to use online classified ad sites or apps (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, etc.) for their transactions, scams are a significant risk. The first step to ensuring a safe transaction is to deal locally and meet the other party face-to-face in a public location. Reach out to your local police department to see if you can handle the transaction in the station lobby or if the department has a designated “swap spot” or “safe exchange zone” (such as a parking spot with video coverage) on the station grounds. An inability or refusal to meet in person to complete a transaction, especially at a police station, is a primary sign of a scam.

Additional scam red flags to watch for when using an online classified ad service include:

(For sellers) Vague initial inquiries, e.g. asking about “the item.”

(For buyers) Significant discounts on high-ticket items (vehicles, etc.) with a story about the owner being overseas, in the military, or involved in an accident.

Emails or texts from someone who is not local to your area (especially if they claim to be overseas).

Poor grammar/spelling.

Requests for payment by wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or prepaid debit or gift cards.

If a buyer offers to pay you extra for an item and asks that you return the difference, you are likely facing a check scam. The check the buyer sends you is fake, and you will be responsible for the full amount withdrawn when the bank discovers the fraud. Do not cash the check.

Beware of offers that involve shipping.

For additional information, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wi.gov, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128 or send an e-mail to datcphotline@wi.gov.

News Around the World

And They Call Him “Sewer Man”

So construction crews were working on a street in Allentown, Pennsylvania early Tuesday morning when, according to the Morning Call newspaper, they heard a man calling for help.

From under the street. Specifically, from the sewer.

So construction workers called the fire department and, together, they opened a nearby manhole and storm grates and hollered at the man to follow their voices.

Which he did, appearing at the bottom of the sewer ladder — dirty and bedraggled-looking, but apparently OK, and well enough to climb up the ladder to freedom.

“Evidently the guy had been down there a while,” said fire department Capt. John Christopher said. “Sounded like he was down there for some time, days.”

As for why the thirty-something man was down there in the first place? He was “very reluctant to tell us anything about how he got down there,” said Christopher.

 

News Around the World

If You’re Drunk Enough…

There are many, many ways an experienced police officer can tell if someone’s drunk, but this is probably a new one.

According to a post on the Buxton, Maine police department’s Facebook page, at just after 11:00 last Saturday night, officers noticed a pickup truck that appeared to be towing a vehicle. They also allegedly noticed that neither vehicle appeared to have working taillights, prompting them to pull over the pickup driver.

According to the Facebook account, officers quickly discovered that the pickup was, in fact, unintentionally towing the other vehicle. Turns out the pickup driver, 25-year-old Justin Sproul, had enjoyed some adult beverages earlier that night before climbing behind the wheel of his pickup, backing it up and driving off.

What Sproul didn’t realize is that when he backed up, he backed into a sedan parked behind him, in the process hooking his truck’s trailer hitch onto the sedan’s rear bumper before he drove off — completely unaware that he was now towing the other vehicle behind his. And yes, there are photos on the Facebook page.

Sproul was arrested on various charges, including DUI, and is scheduled to appear in court in June.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

The Best Part of Waking Up

According to a new study, there’s actually some scientific basis for those old Folgers commercials, which showed people perking up when they got a whiff of coffee brewing.

Psychology and business researchers at Toronto University in Canada and Monash University in Australia have discovered that the smell of coffee provides a placebo effect that causes spikes in “ambition, focus, and arousal” — even before you get the stuff in your gullet.

That’s not sexual arousal, mind you — just general alertness.

“As long as individuals see a connection between coffee and arousal, whatever its origin may be, mere exposure to coffee-related cues might trigger arousal in and of themselves, without ingesting any form of caffeine,” says co-author Dr. Eugene Chan, senior lecturer in marketing at the Monash Business School, in a statement.

“This is because the brains of habitual coffee consumers are conditioned to respond to coffee in certain ways, as per the prominent Pavlov’s dog theory,” Chan adds.

“So walking past your favorite café, smelling the odors of coffee grounds, or even witnessing coffee-related cues in the form of advertising can trigger the chemical receptors in our body enough for us to obtain the same arousal sensations without consumption.”

News Around the World

Exotic Cat on the Loose

An exotic African serval cat is on the loose in Washington State. The feline is named Tango, and according to Gig Harbor police the pet escaped on Sunday, reports KING-TV.

Tango’s owner Salan Weier said the six-year-old cat will likely run away if approached, and can reach up to 40 mph for sustained distances. She said, “More than likely, he’s going to run away from everybody. He’s afraid of everything. He’s used to dogs, so dogs don’t bother him. He’s not gonna harm a dog.”

However, it is not the first time he has wandered away. Tango also escaped two years ago.

Tango is 40 pounds, 3 feet long and 2 and a half feet tall. His owners say Tango may hiss and bare his teeth at strangers, but is declawed and does not bite.