News Around the World

Greedy Watermelon Thief

An alleged watermelon thief is sitting behind bars — because his getaway truck got stuck in the field.

The Edgecombe County, NC Sheriff’s Office shared the unusual heist on Facebook, complete with photos of the clearly overloaded truck. The attempted theft occurred on Friday, August 23.

“This morning, Sergeant Jones and Deputy Long responded to a theft of crops on Highway 97 near Rocky Mount. When they arrived on scene, they found the suspect with a truck load of stolen watermelons, stuck in a field,” reads the post, alongside photos of the would-be melon-napper, Michael Anthony Bryant, being handcuffed.

Photos also show the North Carolina officers and farmers rummaging through the bed of the truck, as if trying to count the sheer number of watermelons Bryant tried — and failed — to squeeze in there. It is unknown how much all those watermelons cost.

Bryant is currently at the Edgecombe County Detention Center on $500 bond.


Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Sigh…Pumpkin Spice Season is Back

Summer is winding down, the kids are lamenting going back to school, and, as sure as the leaves will fall, pumpkin spice latte everything will be everywhere.

Earlier than ever before, the Starbucks chain — arguably the Patient Zero of the annual PSL outbreak — will start selling its Pumpkin Spice Lattes and its brand-new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. The latter is made with vanilla and finished with a pumpkin cream cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice topping.

Not to be outdone, Dunkin has a new cinnamon sugar pumpkin latte, made with pumpkin and cinnamon flavors, and topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle and cinnamon sugar — in addition to its pumpkin cake doughnut and Munchkins.

Godiva Cafe-goers will have to wait until September 3 to sample its pumpkin spice lattes and frozen pumpkin chocolixir.

Coffee not your thing? The Fresh Market is selling its spicy Pumpkin Salsa for a sweet and savory blend.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream is being churned out — get it? — by Enlightened Ice Cream starting Sept. 9, and that adorably ticklish Pillsbury Dough Boy is up to some seasonal magic with his Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls.

Even that breakfast staple Cheerios has gotten in on the autumnal madness, with Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.

If you happen to be about that keto life, most of these sweet treats are out of bounds — but you can still get in on the fall fun with Pumpkin Spice deodorant…if you must.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Can Owning a Dog Make Your Healthier?

“Wanna go for a walk?” It’s the question that no doubt gets your dog’s heart pumping, but the act itself gets yours pumping, too, to the benefit of your health.

That’s according to a new study published by Mayo Clinic that revealed that people who own pets — but especially dogs — are more likely to have better heart health.

“It’s very difficult not to increase the level of activity after you get a pet, in particular, a dog … It makes more sense…they move around. They force us to be active,” Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, study author and chair of the Division of Preventative Cardiology at Mayo Clinic, told ABC News in an interview. “Dog-ownership increases the well-being of an individual … It helps improve people’s physical activity, mood, social life, and diet.”

Another author of the study, Dr. José Medina-Inojosa, agrees. “The behavior of that pet [a dog] is what gives the benefit. Can’t walk a fish! And you ride the horse, not walk it,” Medina-Inojosa, research associate of the Division of Preventative Cardiology, Mayo Clinic, told ABC News. “Dogs make us go out more often, at least once or twice a day, if not more. And usually more than a few minutes.”

Another benefit, according to Lopez-Jimenez? “[S]tudies have shown owning a dog actually increases social life. People are more likely to talk to others who have dogs.”

It doesn’t stop there. “Dog owners are more likely to have healthier diets,” Lopez-Jimenez said. “You have someone waiting for you. It increases well-being and improves moods…”

“This study builds on other evidence that shows dog-owners are less likely to be depressed…The [new] heart findings just add that owning a dog may bring a lot of wellness,” Lopez-Jimenez added.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Red Light Running Deaths Hit 10 Year High in Wisconsin

More than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights, according to data analysis performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017 — a 10-year high and a 22% increase over the average from 2008-2016. In Wisconsin, there were 22 such fatalities in 2017, a 150% increase over the 2008-2016 average. With the number of red light running crashes on the rise, AAA calls for drivers to use caution when approaching signalized intersections, and for pedestrians and cyclists to stay alert when crossing the street.

According to the AAA Foundation:

  • 28% of crash deaths that occur at signalized intersections are the result of a driver running through a red light.
  • Nearly half (46%) of those killed in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles and more than 5% were pedestrians or cyclists. Just over 35% of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light.

“Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said Nick Jarmusz, Midwest director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures.”

According to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85% of drivers view red light running as very dangerous, yet nearly one in three say they blew through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely. More than 2 in 5 drivers also say it is unlikely they’ll be stopped by police for running a red light. Nevertheless, it’s against the law and if a driver is involved in a deadly crash, it could send them to jail.

Changes in driver behavior are also critical to reducing the number of red light running crashes on U.S. roads. To prevent red light crashes, AAA recommends that drivers:

  • Prepare to Stop: Lift your foot off the accelerator and “cover the brake” when preparing to enter any intersection by positioning your right foot just above the brake pedal, without touching it.
  • Use Good Judgment: Monitor “stale” green lights, those that have been green a long time as you’ve approached the intersection. They are more likely to turn yellow as you arrive at the intersection.
  • Tap the Brake: Tap your brakes a couple of times before fully applying them to slow down. This will catch the attention of drivers who may be inattentive or distracted behind you.
  • Drive Defensively: Before you enter an intersection after the light has turned green for you, take a second after the light changes and look both ways before proceeding.

Pedestrians and cyclists should also stay safe when traveling near intersections. AAA recommends:

  • Wait: Give yourself a few seconds to make sure all cars have come to a complete stop before moving through the intersection.
  • Stay Alert and Listen: Don’t take chances and don’t wear headphones. Watch what is going on and give your full attention to the environment around you.
  • Be Visible: Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
  • Make Eye Contact: Look at drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before crossing the road in front of them.
Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Something Special’ Companies Live Up to the Name at State Fair Eats & Treats Competition

Member companies in the popular Something Special from Wisconsin™ (SSfW) program won 26 of 42 possible awards at the 2019 Wisconsin State Fair Grand Champion Eats & Treats competition, proving they are indeed “something special.”
This year marked the sixth year for the contest. Open to Wisconsin small professional food businesses with yearly sales under $500,000, the Eats & Treats competition is suited for small- to mid-size players in the food processing industry.

Judging took place in 13 categories: pickles and pickled vegetables; relishes, mustard and dressing; milled grains; barbecue sauces, hot sauces, oils and vinegars; fruits and vegetables; sweets: bakery, candy, cookies, caramels; herb-infused dry mixes; fermented products; snack foods; beverages (non-alcoholic, coffee, tea, soda, etc.); Best Booth Display; Best Something Special from Wisconsin entry; and Best of Show.

SSfW member companies took six 1st place awards; six 2nds; seven 3rds; and five 4ths. Additionally, Garden of Eden Kingdom Living of Milwaukee won Best Booth Display, and Waukesha-based Pop’s Kettle Corn took Best of Something Special from Wisconsin, a category open only to SSfW members.

The 26 awards were won collectively by the following SSfW companies: Always and Forever Design, Fond du Lac; Garden of Eden Kingdom Living, Milwaukee; Dashelito’s Hot Sauces, Madison; Beepa’s, Beloit; Sweet P’s Pantry, Oconomowoc; Pop’s Kettle Corn, Waukesha; Wisconsin Hickory Products, Princeton; Pleasant’s Best Sauces, Minocqua; CJ’s Premium Spices LLC, Oconomowoc; Love Booth Kombucha, Waterford; and Julie’s Country Confections, Kewaskum.

Founded in 1983, Something Special from Wisconsin is a trademarked marketing program administered by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). The easily-recognizable red, white and yellow SSfW logo helps member companies stand out by providing a quick and reliable way to identify genuine Wisconsin products and services at grocery stores, retail outlets, farmers’ markets and restaurants. Any Wisconsin business, no matter how big or small, can apply to use the logo if at least 50 percent of the value of the product or service is attributable to Wisconsin ingredients, production or processing. The program has nearly 500 members.

“We are extremely pleased with the success of our member companies at the Grand Champion Eats and Treats Competition,” said Lois Federman, SSfW director. “The SSfW logo brings instant recognition and credibility, and the results of the competition are testament to the fact that SSfW companies are producing products of truly the highest quality and desirability.”

News Around the World

Dirty Diaper Hits Police Car

It was a bad day all around for one diaper-slinging driver and the officer who had to clean the poo off of his cruiser.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the freak incident happened on I-65 in Indiana, where an unidentified driver lobbed a loaded diaper from his moving vehicle.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles witnessed the entire thing — watching in horror as the diaper bounced on the road a couple of times before striking the front of his cruiser.

The driver claimed, after being pulled over, that he had rolled down the window and the wind somehow managed to blow the diaper out of the car. Obviously, the officer didn’t buy the excuse.

Wheeles wrote on his Twitter that driver received a ticket for their unethical method of disposing a soiled diaper, aka littering.

Several users claim that the driver got off too easy and should have received additional community service — like washing the cruiser.

News Around the World

California Police “Heartbroken” Over Stolen Donut Van

Redding, California police are grappling with one of their worst tragedies of the year — a stolen donut van.

The department posted on their Facebook page that they discovered the stolen vehicle in a parking lot early Thursday morning. However, responding officers were not emotionally prepared for what they would find inside.

The department wrote, “What they found broke their hearts: over 100 discarded donuts without a home.”

They even included photos of the responding officers exhibiting the five stages of grief as donuts cascaded from the open door onto the street. That led to an even worse outcome for the already demoralized policemen.

The tongue-in-cheek post went on to say, “The officers were heartbroken that all these donuts had to be thrown away,”

The van was later identified as belonging to a bakery over 150 miles away in Fairfield. The vehicle was taken — sans donuts — to a nearby storage yard for the owners to claim.

The case of who actually stole the vehicle remains under investigation.


Lakeshore News, News Around the World

“Crazy Cat Ladies” Are Not a Thing

When you hear “crazy cat lady,” you probably think of an old, socially inept spinster who has way too many cats. Well, you thought wrong because a new study says the stereotype is bogus.

Researchers at UCLA claim that cat owners are, emotionally, no different than dog owners. To come to that conclusion, they analyzed the mental health of over 500 young adults and found no link between the crazy cat lady stigma and those who actually own felines.

Researchers would play distress calls from different animals and study each participant’s reaction, specifically which sounds triggered the most anxiety and depression. Then, they would test the mental-health and social abilities of the participants.

The study found that all pet owners felt the animal distress calls were a lot sadder than did the participants who didn’t own an animal, making them more sensitive. Obviously, dog owners reacted more negatively to dog sounds while cat owners reacted more strongly to cat sounds. But the sad dog whines, overall, elicited the most negative reactions, which the study says rivals the response to human baby cries.

Finally, the study concluded that cat owners, specifically, were no more depressed, anxious, or socially inept than the other adults with and without pets.

The study wrote, “We found no evidence to support the ‘cat lady’ stereotype: cat-owners did not differ from others on self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety or their experiences in close relationships. Our findings, therefore, do not fit with the notion of cat-owners as more depressed, anxious or alone.”

The study was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.