WTF?
That probably isn't going to help

Cops: Scratch-off tickets loser makes 'sexually explicit' threats to Pa. Lottery HQ

A woman who repeatedly aired her frustration at failing to win a jackpot by making obscene and violent threats against Pennsylvania Lottery headquarters faces 53 charges, police said Wednesday.

Towanda Shields, 47, made dozens of calls over the past eight months to the agency's offices outside Harrisburg, police in Lower Swatara Township said.

"From the calls and stuff I've listened to, she's basically completely obsessed with the lottery and the fact that she doesn't win upsets her very much," Detective Robert Appleby told the Associated Press. "She would get really sexually explicit with her insults."

Appleby said that in late October, Shields said someone would die at the retail store where she buys tickets. He said she has also told lottery employees she had searched for them online, knew where they lived and had hired someone to hurt their family members.

Shields, of Philadelphia, has defended her right to make the calls on free-speech grounds, Appleby said. She does not appear to have a listed phone number.

"She basically taunted me the one time when I spoke to her as well — 'I switch phones. Y'all will never figure out where I am,'" Appleby said.

Although Shields has used anonymous burner phones, authorities were able to determine her identity.

"Honestly, had she not made some of the comments she made in the messages, it might have been a lot harder," he said.

Police on Tuesday filed 25 counts each of harassment and stalking, as well as three counts of making terroristic threats. She left 21 voicemails at lottery headquarters and reached people eight to 12 times, Appleby said.

"Fifty-three counts is a lot of counts, but I can assure you she's earned them," he said.

The detective said Shields' main interest is in scratch-off tickets.

At the end of some of her threatening calls, he said, she signed off with a lottery advertisement catchphrase: "Keep on scratchin'."

WORLD
Scientists report 'substantial' reduction in methane emissions

Can seaweed make cow farts less potent?

Early indications of a University of California, Davis study show that feeding dairy cows seaweed may reduce methane emissions caused by their defecation, belching and flatulence, the university announced Thursday.

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quite the prank

Missouri student put school for sale on Craigslist; he's banned from graduation

It was supposed to just be a senior prank. But Truman High School officials weren't laughing when they banned the student from his graduation.

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PLAYING WITH FIRE

Man trying to kill weeds with torch ... torches his garage

How's this for second-guessing your decisions?

As if there wasn't a better way to kill weeds — you know, like any one of hundreds of products you can buy at your local home or hardware store or just some elbow grease and gloves — an Ohio man resorted to a blow torch.

He might have killed the weeds.

But the bigger casualty was his detached garage.

The Springfield News-Sun reports firefighters were called to the home about 4 a.m. Thursday to find the garage engulfed in flames.

Officials say losses from the garage, which also was storing tools and appliances, are between $10,000 and $15,000.

The cost of embarrassment? Priceless.

NATION
STREET SMARTS

Man helps wife deliver their own baby on side of highway

Gotta do what you gotta do.

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background check

Pawn shop says they’re not Dick’s in AR-15 sign

A pawn shop in South Carolina is using the backlash against Dick's Sporting Goods recent policy change of not selling guns, to advertise that they sell guns and aren't Dick's.

The Crossroads Pawn and Audio in Little River, S.C., put up the sign last week which reads, "We sell AR-15's because we're not Dick's."

The company also posted a photo of the sign to their Facebook page Tuesday, which was met with mostly supportive comments.



Barbara Davey, a manager of the shop, spoke to local TV station WPDE and said, "It was a simple marketing idea is all it was."

She said that the sign was met with some pushback, but has brought in more business.

"We have a few people, you know, who weren't in favor of the sign but our positive feedback really outweighed that negative feedback," said Davey.

The store posted a statement on Monday explaining their stance on guns: "An AR15 is NOT a combat weapon or a tactical assault rifle. In no way are the horrific massacres happening to our children and in our schools acceptable. This violence must stop."

They also support the NRA.



In February, Dick's, based in Findlay, announced that they would no longer sell assault-style weapons and restrict gun sales to those older than 21.

NATION
What the cluck?

Crash dumps 40,000 pounds of chicken feathers on highway

A semi made a fowl mess when it rolled over on Interstate 5 north of Tacoma: It dumped about 40,000 pounds of chicken feathers across the roadway.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson says the driver told investigators he fell asleep at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and lost control of the truck, which hit a guardrail and overturned.


The truck was hauling the feathers from a Foster Farms poultry facility to West Coast Reduction, a rendering company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company's website says it recycles animal byproducts into ingredients for many items, including pet feed and soap.

The News Tribune newspaper of Tacoma reports that the highway backed up for 11 miles as crews worked to scoop up the feathers. All lanes reopened by about 7:30 a.m.

Johnson said the driver would be cited for negligent driving.

CRIME
Why? Just why?

Florida man arrested for telling playground kids where babies come from

Honestly isn't always the best policy. Well, at least when you're being crude about it.

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Home rule

Parents take 30-year-old son to court — he won't move out

We swear we saw this movie.

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