<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSat, 19 Aug 2017 00:36:58 -0700Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:36:58 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Accused of Spraying Manure on Border Patrol Car]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:30:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/VT+border+patrol+manure-1502830697.jpg

A Vermont man who contracts with farmers to provide agricultural services firmly maintains he is innocent of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer with cow manure. 

On Thursday, the defense attorney for Mark Johnson, 53, of Alburgh, entered not guilty pleas on two misdemeanor counts: one of simple assault on a law enforcement officer with bodily fluids and one of disorderly conduct. 

The Grand Isle County State’s Attorney says Johnson, who provides various services to area farmers, including manure spreading, directed liquid cow manure from his spreader toward a cruiser with a U.S. Border Patrol agent inside. 

“He was definitely targeting that vehicle,” State’s Attorney Doug DiSabito said at Johnson’s arraignment in North Hero Thursday. 

In court paperwork, Sheriff Ray Allen of Grand Isle County said Johnson has long been frustrated with federal authorities, and that was a reason for the alleged manure assault. 

Johnson has often complained, Allen noted, that border patrol and immigration officers aren’t doing enough, in his eyes, about undocumented laborers on Vermont dairy farms. 

Those migrant workers, often from Mexico, are generally considered critical to the state's agriculture sector and to getting food on the tables of people across the Northeast and beyond. 

However, in Johnson’s view, he and his family have lost work and jobs to the migrants, court records show. 

“I'm not guilty,” Johnson told necn shortly after the court hearing, describing the accusation that he targeted the cruiser with liquid manure. “What was said in court today was not the truth. People need to know the truth.” 

Johnson insisted that dirtying the car was unintentional; that some of his load merely sloshed out as he drove past the cruiser. 

The Border Patrol agent acknowledged in a report filed with the court that his parked cruiser had been at least partially blocking an access road to a field where Johnson was working to spread manure. 

Johnson’s rig can hold 5,250 gallons of liquid manure, according to markings on the side of it. 

Because of that capacity, Johnson told necn that if he had truly planned a crime, the cruiser would've been basically black.

Photographs obtained by the Islander newspaper showed that one could still clearly see the markings on the cruiser, despite the splotches of manure. 

In another photo included in paperwork from the sheriff’s department, the front of the Border Patrol vehicle appeared mostly clean. 

In his report filed with the court, Border Patrol Agent Robert Rocheleau described Johnson using swear words while accusing him of not doing enough to address violations of immigration policy. 

Rocheleau said Johnson told the agent that he was being “squeezed” due to work lost to migrants. 

The agent noted in his report that he told Johnson if he is unhappy with the authorities’ handling of immigration issues, he should “write to his congressman.” 

Rocheleau said in the report he filed with the court that he heard Johnson revving the tractor’s engine aggressively and described Johnson operating the tractor “violently” to get a wave of manure to slosh out in his direction. 

Johnson suggested in brief remarks to necn following his arraignment that the agent’s version of events was exaggerated. He firmly maintained he is innocent. 

As the court case proceeds, Judge Michael Harris ordered Johnson to stay away from the Border Patrol agent. 

Stephanie Malin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the northeast, told the Associated Press that prosecutors are handling the case. 

If found guilty of both of the charges, Johnson could face a maximum punishment of six months and 60 days in prison, and a $1,000 fine. 



Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP]]>
<![CDATA['Eclipse Parking Only': Photos From the Path of Totality]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:25:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-833819340.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Weird News]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 12:44:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sea+lion+in+store+2.jpg Enjoy images of LA's most memorable weird moments.

Photo Credit: The Cave Store]]>
<![CDATA[Olympians Share Their Most Embarrassing School Memories]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:23:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+EMBARRASSING+SCHOOL+THUMB2.jpg

From bad school pictures to awkward first day wardrobes, Team USA members can now look back on some of their most embarrassing school moments and laugh.

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<![CDATA[Man Posts Ad Seeking Woman to Make Total Solar Eclipse Baby]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:48:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/EclipseRequests0816_MP4_1280x720_1025841219570.jpg

There are some pretty bizarre requests related to the eclipse popping up on sites like Craigslist.

People are willing to pay top dollar or trade things to get a boat, a plane, a car, really anything, to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Some ads, are simply looking for love when the moon crosses the sun. An ad out of the San Francisco area went viral nationally before it was deleted. It read, "Wanted: Woman who wants to conceive a child during the total eclipse in Oregon."

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<![CDATA[7 Total Eclipse Driving Tips]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:08:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/Screen+Shot+2017-08-16+at+9.31.34+AM.png

Driving while the total solar eclipse is happening on August 21? Here are seven tips that will ensure your safety while driving.

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<![CDATA[Mysterious 'Spaceship' Parked on NYC Street Turns Heads]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:47:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/brooklynspaceship.jpg

Charles Walters' car is out of this world. 

The Brooklyn dad's "spaceship" has been turning heads and filling Brooklynites' Instagram feeds since he parked it on his leafy Prospect Heights block a few days ago. 

On a recent afternoon, a steady stream of pedestrians and drivers stopped when they spotted the futuristic vehicle on the brownstone block. They snapped selfies and photos of the car, a Chevrolet Blazer encased in steel, to give it its extraterrestrial appearance. 

"Is that a spaceship?" one driver yelled before belting out a laugh. 

Walters, a father of two and entrepreneur interested in drones and space travel, revels in the head scratching. 

"People they stop, and they look, and then they think, 'What is this'?" Walters told NBC 4 New York during a short spin around the neighborhood Tuesday. "The number one question we get is, 'What is this?'"

Walters said he and a team of employees constructed the spaceship in Bushwick more than a year ago. It usually stays parked in a garage in the neighborhood, Walters said. But he took it to Prospect Heights over the weekend so he could play with his kids and pique Brooklynites' interest. 

"What's life about if you can't have fun and freak people out?" Walters said.

Passersby are most definitely intrigued.

"What kind of car is that?" a driver who pulled over next to the vehicle asked Walters as he was climbing out of the driver's seat Tuesday. 

"It's a spaceship," he joked. "Want to go to space?"



Photo Credit: Ben Feuerherd
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<![CDATA[Seriously, These Horizontal Lines Are Perfectly Straight]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:33:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_ILLUSION_MURAL_1-150239277226800001.jpg

A mind-bending mural in Georgia will have you distrusting your eyes. Are the horizontal lines in this piece of art straight? Join the debate!

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<![CDATA[Back From Trip, Va. Man Finds Apartment Suspiciously Clean]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:31:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/Generic+Arlington+County+Police+Generic.jpg

An Arlington, Virginia, man returned from a trip this week surprised to find his apartment had been cleaned.

Police received a report of suspicious circumstances at 12:03 a.m. Monday.

In addition to having been cleaned, some items in the apartment were moved, but nothing appears to be missing, police said.

The man told police he does not employ a maid.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington, File]]>
<![CDATA['Hammered' Driver Pulls Into Police Station, Seeking Safety: PD]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:25:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Sean+McCullough+DUI+Upper+Darby+police+composite.jpg

A drunk driver pulled into a Delaware County, Pennsylvania police station early Wednesday morning and told officers he wanted to be in a "safe" place, according to police.

Around 4 a.m., Upper Darby police officers watched on security video as an SUV veered into an exit lane, hopped a curb and clip a security gate while driving into the police station's private parking lot, police superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

The SUV then motored along a sidewalk before parking in a spot around back designated for squad cars, he told NBC10.

Chitwood said an officer ran out of the station and found 44-year-old Sean McCullough, of Havertown, "totally ossified."

McCullough admitted to being "hammered" having consumed 12 to 14 beers in Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey, police said.

Officers tried to perform a field sobriety test on McCullough but he told them "I'm too drunk for that," police said.

He came to the station because "it was the safest place," police said.

Officers took McCullough to the hospital to be checked out.

A district court judge arraigned McCullough on careless driving and driving under the influence charges and set bail at $10,000.

McCullough told NBC10's Steven Fisher Thursday that he is embarrassed and has a problem to address.



Photo Credit: Upper Darby Police Department/NBC10
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<![CDATA[Man Hears Noises For Years, Finds Boa Constrictor in Attic]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:37:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Boa0809_MP4_1280x720_1020784195943.jpg

An Englewood, Florida man had had enough of the pest living in the attic. When he tried to find out what was making noise, he was shocked to find out it was a boa constrictor.

Over the past few months, Bob van der Herchen's son had a feeling something just wasn't right. "He used to complain he'd hear sounds in the attic. I didn't think much of it, I thought maybe it was rats," said van der Herchen.

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<![CDATA[NYC-Scented Luxury Candle Sparks Speculation Online]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:30:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-55921972.jpg

How do you capture the aroma of a city that produces 12,000 tons of trash every day?

Luxury fragrance company Diptyque said on Twitter it is creating an exclusive New York City candle, and that has elicited strong mixed reactions on social media. The 6.5 oz candle is already listed on the company's website for $70.

[[439355283, C]]

The Paris-based company, which also produces perfumes, cosmetics and skin care products, retails its candles from $34 to $295.

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Though Diptyque didn't say exactly what the candle will smell like, users on social media weighed in on the possibilities.

Some customers expressed their enthusiasm over the new candle, hoping it has the essence of iconic New York foods like pizza, bagels, Halal meat or roasted nuts.

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However, the majority of people seemed unimpressed or skeptical about the aroma of New York.

Common guesses about the scent included rats, urine, smoke, sweat, hot garbage and subways in the heat.

Other tweets referred to the quirky sights and smells of the city — the only-in-New-York incidents like the pizza rat or a stray shoe on the street.

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Others had more abstract ideas about the scent, like despair and gentrification.

Diptyque also recently announced a London candle which they specified will smell like flowers.

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“To celebrate Westbourne Grove boutique reopening, diptyque proposes a London exclusive candle; a flower market encapsulated,” the company tweeted.

The company hasn’t confirmed if the London and New York candles are part of a city-themed series in the making, but some people are hoping not.

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Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[OC Sheriffs, Fire Authority Can’t Sync Search-and-Rescues]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 17:39:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/170627-sandra-hutchens.JPG

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and Orange County Fire Authority Chief Jeff Bowman told the Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that despite 40 meetings, they cannot reach an agreement on how to coordinate search-and-rescue efforts.

The supervisors refused their requests to appoint or hire a mediator and advised both sides to keep negotiating for the time being.

Officials believe there was an agreement between the sheriff and firefighters dating to the 1960s, but no one can find the document so the supervisors instead decided to adopt search-and-rescue protocol for the sheriff before a memorandum of understanding with the fire authority, which is a separate agency not answerable to the county board, expires in about a month.

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett implored the board to also recommend the hiring of an outside, third-party negotiator to bring the two sides together on a new agreement. But her motion to appoint a mediator if there's no new MOU within 60 days failed when no one would second it.

Leon Page, the county's general counsel, also recommended hiring some sort of "neutral" negotiator, such as a retired judge, or a panel of experts from outside both agencies to work on a draft agreement the board could consider for adoption. He also offered his office's services to negotiate some sort of peace.

"At the end of the day, this is a battle over documents and that's what us lawyers do," Page said.

Supervisors Andrew Do and Shawn Nelson said they did not want outside help at this time.

Nelson said the firefighters and deputies "have to act like adults, get this organized."

He added, "Both parties have plenty of sin to go around ... But they should knock it off and start working together."

Do argued that he did not want fact-finding to be "delegated to a third party." He said a mediator or any other sort of negotiator could draw a conclusion from different facts that he, or the board, might find on their own.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer disagreed with Do.

"I don't think we should sit as fact-finders," Spitzer said. "We don't have the expertise ... We need someone to write a report and make recommendations to us."

Nelson said the board could intervene and impose arbitration or a mediator on both sides later if the two sides cannot come to an agreement.

"If we need to further address this, there are a variety of ways we can," Nelson said. "Let's just accept now that we all know this needs to be resolved. They've heard our statements. If they can't get it done without us ... then they'll see what it's like to have us help them do their jobs."

Hutchens and Bowman said they wanted the board to hire a mediator for them.

"I'm sorry we haven't been able to reach an agreement," Hutchens told the board. "I thought we had one and it was not approved by the (OCFA). I like the idea of having a mediator. I think we are at an impasse ... I think the idea of some sort of outside mediator is a good one."

Continued negotiations with the fire authority "would be a waste of time at this point," Hutchens said.

Bowman echoed that sentiment.

"Another 60 days to renegotiate what we have been unable to negotiate would be a waste of time," Bowman said.

Without today's ordinance authorizing the sheriff's protocol for search- and-rescue operations, the deputies would be "out of the business of search and rescue," Page told the supervisors.

That would mean deputies could no longer search for "missing kids" or even use "cadaver dogs" at a crime scene, Page said.

Bartlett said there have been "some close calls with the helicopters" from both agencies responding to search-and-rescue incidents.

"We really do have to give some direction," Bartlett said. "If we don't, then we're setting everyone up for failure and we're putting the public at risk, because we have an MOU that will expire in 30 days. And if we have nothing, if there's no resolution here ... we're at fault for putting the public at risk, and I'm not going to have that on my conscience."

The roiling dispute over which agency should take charge in search-and- rescue operations from the air came to a boil in Laguna Beach recently when there was a near-drowning and the sheriff's helicopter got there first.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV ]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Bakery Sends Internet Trolls’ Hate Back on Cakes]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:36:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_BAKERY_FOR_TROLLS_080817_1-150221118860100001.jpg

A New York bakery is trying a sweet new way to combat internet trolls. Troll Cakes is baking cakes that have the same message trolls use online on their victims. The bakery posts photos of the cakes to its Instagram page.

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<![CDATA[Swanky San Francisco Street Sells for $90K, Spurring Suit]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:13:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sf+street+sale-0807.jpg

One of the swankiest streets in San Francisco has been sold to a private real estate agent. That's right: An entire street in the City by the Bay was purchased.

And now residents of Presidio Terrace are being told they may have to pay rent to park in front of their mansions.

The private street is one of 181 in San Francisco, but Presidio Terrace is among the fanciest. Sen. Dianne Feinstein lived in one of the multimillion-dollar homes on the street when she was running for governor.

The land in front of those 35 mega-mansions sold for a paltry $90,000 to Michael Cheng and his partner.

Cheng, speaking via Facetime from Florida on Monday, said he and his partner are thinking about either renting parking spots or possibly putting up meters.

"Our initial goal was just to buy it and hang onto it for a while," Cheng said.

Somehow payment of the $14-a-year property tax on the street was overlooked for decades, and that led the city to sell the street for taxes and a little bit more.

The last time a house went up for sale on Presidio Terrace, the asking price was $16 million.

Most of the homeowners only found out about the sale of their street in the newspaper Monday morning. The city had been sending tax bills to an accounting office at 47 Kearny St., which is now a Pilates studio. An attorney for the homeowners said no one working for the homeowners has been at the address for 30 years.

Peter Michael is a tech mogul turned winemaker who lives on Presidio Terrrace.

"It’s negligence on the city’s part not to post it," he said.

The homeowners have filed a lawsuit against the city Office of Treasurer and Tax Collector for failing to notify the property owners. But a spokeswoman for the office said everything was done according to the law.

"It’s uniform in every county in California, how this happens, and it’s really the property owners' responsibility to be up to date on their taxes," spokeswoman Amanda Kahn Fried said.

The homeowners are appealing to the Board of Supervisors, and a hearing is set for Oct. 31.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Case of Grand Theft Go-Kart ]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 18:10:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/stolengokart.jpg

Police say they encountered a case of grand theft go-kart Sunday night in San Bernardino when they arrested a man who was caught driving a miniature racing car that was stolen from a nearby amusement park.

San Bernardino Police Department's Lt. Vicki Cervantes said that the man was harassing security guards as he raced the go-kart around the parking lot of a downtown San Bernardino movie theater in the light blue cart.

Two hours earlier, the vehicle was reportedly stolen from a fenced area of Splash Kingdom, a water park in Redlands located six miles away.

It was not immediately clear how he removed the cart from the park. 

Jeremiah Gerky, 29, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft. He was booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, with a bail set at $50,000. 



Photo Credit: San Bernardino Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Mystery Solved: Why a Va. Driver Dressed as a Car Seat]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 08:38:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/080717+car+with+hidden+driver.jpg

A van that appeared to have no driver made headlines when it was spotted in Arlington, Virginia, last week. But when News4's Adam Tuss saw the van on Monday and looked inside, he saw that it did have a driver: a man dressed in a costume made to look like just a car seat.

From the road, the unmarked gray van eerily looks like it's moving without a driver. The entire front seat looks empty. But when Tuss looked inside, he saw a man wearing a beige and black costume that covered his entire torso.

His arms poked out of the bottom of the costume to steer. His face was completely covered, like that of a sports mascot who can see out, but no one can see in.

"I looked out and I said, 'Oh my God, there's a guy in a seat costume," Tuss said. "How's that possible? Your brain can't get around it for a second."

Tuss went to the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington on Monday to talk with ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck about the vehicle he saw in Clarendon and Courthouse on Thursday night

As Tuss left the ARLnow.com offices, he saw the 2017 Ford Transit Connect himself. He and a News4 photographer followed the vehicle in Clarendon and Ballston for about 20 minutes. 

Tuss went to knock on the window. At first, he thought he saw an empty seat. Then, when he looked below the wheel, he saw a man's hands and legs.

"Brother, who are you? What are you doing? I'm with the news, dude," Tuss said. "Dude, can you pull over and we can talk for a second?"  

But the driver didn't say a word.

After multiple inquiries by News4, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said Monday afternoon that the van and van driver are part of a study they are conducting on driverless cars. The worker was wearing the uniform he was supposed to wear. 

"The driver's seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings," a statement from the institute says. 

Virginia Tech declined to make the half car seat, half man -- as Tuss put it -- available for an interview. 

Arlington County officials were involved in the planning for the study, a Virginia Tech spokeswoman said. Arlington was selected because "it is representative of the urban areas for which automated vehicles are currently being considered," she said. 

Go here to learn more about the study

The Virginia Department of Transportation was not aware of the vehicle, a representative said. The Arlington Police Department was "shocked" by news of the van, one representative said.

Several "invisible driver" prank videos can be found on YouTube. The drivers are entirely hidden by costumes that look just like car seats.

CORRECTION (Aug. 8, 2017, 9:30 a.m.): An earlier version of this story said the driver ran a red light, in apparent attempt to evade News4. But a spokeswoman for the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute says a thorough review of the in-vehicle camera showed the driver passed through a yellow light. 



Photo Credit: NBC Washington
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Takes Unique Flight Path]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:52:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/flightpath2.jpg

A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner took a unique path as part of an endurance test flight Wednesday. The airline says its passenger jet flew for more than 18 hours and crossed 22 states to form a flight path in the shape of an airplane.

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<![CDATA[Scientists Discover Funniest Word in English Language]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:17:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/Funniest+Word+Thumbnail.png

There are some words that you can’t hear without cracking up. Researchers from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom conducted a study to find the funniest word in the English language. Do you agree with their conclusion? 

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<![CDATA[Man Fights Ticket, Gets $650K From LA]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:11:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAs_Parking_Ticket_Deadbeats_Exposed.jpg

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $650,000 payout for a man who successfully fought how the city of Los Angeles processes challenges to parking tickets.

Cody Weiss, who sued the city in 2014 after he received a parking ticket, argued that the city unlawfully allows a private for-profit company to process challenges to tickets. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled in his favor last year, and the decision was upheld by the Second District Court of Appeal.

City Attorney Mike Feuer petitioned the California Supreme Court to review the appellate decision, but the state's high court denied the petition in November and upheld the lower court's decision ordering Los Angeles to change its practice of allowing the Xerox company to handle reviews of challenges to parking tickets.

Caleb Marker, an attorney for Weiss, and the Los Angeles City Attorney's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Weiss argued that his ticket, which he received for parking longer than the posted time limit, was wrongfully issued. The court found a problem with the fact that the initial review was handled by a company called PRWT, a subcontractor for Xerox. An investigation by NBC4 found that PRWT automatically denied most ticket appeals, even when strong evidence was presented that someone was wrongly ticketed.

In 2014, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant wrote in a tentative ruling, which was eventually upheld, that only the city "as issuing agency" can conduct initial reviews, "and it may not delegate that task to its processing agency, Xerox." Chalfant cited a 1995 change in state law that said only the agency that issues a citation can conduct reviews.

"The judge correctly applied the law," Marker said in 2014 about Chalfant's ruling. "The city and Xerox have been in violation of the law since 1995, when the law changed."



Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[5 Things You Need to Know About the Total Solar Eclipse]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:33:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Eclipse.jpg

A total solar eclipse is going to be visible across parts of the U.S. this August. But what is a total solar eclipse, exactly? When was the last time one happened? What should you look for? Find out all that and more.

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<![CDATA[Man Takes Off Clothes, Does Dishes in Bizarre Home Invasion]]> Fri, 04 Aug 2017 06:18:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/home+invasino+hackensack.JPG

A man allegedly sneaked into a New Jersey home Wednesday, took off his clothes and tried to get into the shower with a woman, then went to the kitchen and started doing dishes, according to the terrified family and police. 

A woman who lives in the home on First Street in Hackensack tells News 4 she was in a bedroom babysitting her baby nephew when her sister burst into the room, wearing only a towel, shortly before 8:30 a.m. The sister fell to the ground, panicking, and said a stranger pulled back the shower curtain as she was inside and started taking off his clothes, according to the woman. 

According to police, the man, identified as James King, of Queens, left the bathroom when the sister threatened to call police. 

But he didn't leave the home. When police arrived, they found King in the kitchen washing dishes. The sisters say King told police he was the family's caretaker, but they say they've never seen him before. 

Neighbors said they had never seen King before either. He was led from the home in handcuffs and charged with burglary and lewdness. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations. 

No injuries were reported. The women say they locked all the doors and think the stranger got in through an open window.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Wanted: Someone to Protect Earth From Space Threats]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:12:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nasa-aurora-iss-29529061813_6797c55422_o.jpg

NASA is looking to hire someone to protect Earth from extraterrestrial threats.

A job listing on usajobs.gov says NASA is hiring a "Planetary Protection Officer" with a salary of $124,406 to $ 187,000 per year.

This person will be responsible for preventing extraterrestrial microbes from polluting Earth, as well as ensuring that human space explorers do not harm other planets, the moon and other objects in space.

"Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration," the listing says.

The position is available to those with "broad engineering expertise" and who is able to travel.

The role of planetary protection officer is one of two full-time positions in the world according to Business Insider and this follows the requirement of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The other position is offered by the European Space Agency.

The application period will close Aug. 14. The position is for an initial period of three years, but may be extended for another two years.



Photo Credit: NASA]]>
<![CDATA[Power Tool Needed to Remove Spinner Stuck On Finger]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:21:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NA31W_1200x675_1015363651831.jpg

When an Arizona boy went to the emergency room with a fidget spinner stuck on his finger, E-R doctors needed a little help... from a maintenance man.

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<![CDATA[European Startup Tests Beach Drink Drone Deliveries]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 06:37:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/beach+drone.jpg

An Estonia-based startup wants to deliver ice-cold drinks to beachgoers with the help of drones. People can text orders to a number, pay automatically and have a drink delivered in five minutes.

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<![CDATA[Stolen Carnival Train, Trailer Found in Walnut Creek]]> Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:12:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/7-31-17_Found_Train.JPG

A popular carnival train and its trailer recently stolen from a Pleasant Hill parking lot were found in Walnut Creek on Monday, according to the owners. 

The trailer and train, which is frequently rolled out at children's events around the Bay Area, were found intact, but the owners said they will have to replace a tire on the trailer.

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The train was resting in its trailer parked in a parking lot at 3381 Vincent Road in Pleasant Hill when they were stolen sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The theft was reported Sunday morning by Eric Sossamon, owner of Fun & Games Experts in Pleasant Hill.

Come Monday, the trailer and train had been found at 2333 Boulevard Circle in Walnut Creek.

After Sossamon's daughter posted the story on Facebook, the search for the stolen trailer carrying the train took on a life of its own and leads starting barreling in.

"There was a hashtag about bring the train back," Sossamon said. "I don't know what that means exactly, but I know it was sweet."

Laura McCollum is among those who shared the train post on Facebook and when she showed up for yoga Monday morning she immediately recognized the stolen rig parked in the lot.

"It's magical I was just the one who happened to see it and find it," she said.

Sossamon said people all over the East Bay would know the train if they’ve been to any number of festivals, including the annual Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival. The train is usually put out to hire for community festivals, parades and picnics as well as other special events throughout the Bay Area much to the delight of youngsters.

"The kids just light up when they see it," Sossamon said. "We drive around in a circle and they have a big smile on their face the whole time. It's such simple fun. The kids just love it."

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The train fits 16 to 20 people and has four cars towed by an engine that runs on electricity, Sossamon said. He said it's worth about $60,000.

Sossamon's company has been around for more than 25 years, he said.

"It just makes me and my family so incredibly happy," Amanda Sossamon said. "This weekend we don't have to disappoint thousands of kids."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Chicago Artist Hoists 'They Live' Trump Billboard in Mexico]]> Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:24:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/trump+billboard+4.jpg

A billboard depicting President Donald Trump as an otherworldly invader, with teeth exposed and eyes bulging through blue and red muscle and tendon, has been hoisted above the streets of Mexico City by a Chicago artist.

The ‘80s cult classic film “They Live,” in which skull-faced aliens are only visible to the protagonist when he wears special sunglasses, is the inspiration behind Mitch O’Connell’s project. In a phone interview, he called it "an appropriate commentary on Trump."

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The billboard appeared above a road known as the Periferico sometime last week.

O’Connell started a GoFundMe page in April to raise cash for the display.

“With a Trump presidency, things just keep getting stranger (and the bar was set pretty high for strange to begin with), and the world of ’They Live’ becomes even more prophetic,” the page reads. “Of course, this isn’t all Trumps fault. No matter what your point of view, most folks feel Washington is a big mess of nonfunctioning nonsense, but since Trump has the best hair, he also wins getting the caricature on the billboard.”

After consulting with advertising companies, O’Connell set a goal of $1,930 for a two-month rental to begin with. As of July 28, the GoFundMe had raised $3,260.

On his website, he explains courting multiple advertisers to host the sign, but says all of them backed out or “got cold feet” when they saw the artwork.

“I contacted over 30 billboard companies,” O'Connell tells NBC 5. “Most of them wouldn’t get back to me and the ones that did just said ‘no.’”

After taking his search for a host international, he said "it was a beautiful ending" that Mexico was where the billboard was raised because of Trump's contentious history with the country.

On the campaign trail, Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals” and said Mexico sends its undesirable citizens or “bad hombres” across the border.

“They are not our friend, believe me,” Trump said of Mexico in his announcement speech.

He also said that Mexico would pay for the building of a border wall.

“I am not going to pay for that f---ing wall,” former Mexican President Vicente Fox said in February.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

O’Connell said the “They Live” Trump design originally started as a poster for a 24-hour horror movie marathon in Chicago called “The Massacre” in 2015. He’s also done versions of the poster depicting Hillary Clinton.

Asked what the president might think about the billboard, O'Connell jokes his taxes might be audited for the next 50 years.

“His plate is so crazy full I might not even make an impression on him," he said. "But ... I would probably have whatever he tweets about me on my tombstone.”



Photo Credit: Mitch O'Connell
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<![CDATA['I Have a Boa Constrictor Stuck to My Face']]> Sat, 29 Jul 2017 03:51:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/boaconstrictor.jpg

Hear an unbelievable 911 call from a woman who had a boa constrictor stuck to her face. When firefighters arrived, they found the woman bleeding on the ground and had to cut the snake's head off to get it off of her face. The incident occurred July 27 in Sheffield Lake, Ohio. Authorities say the woman was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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<![CDATA[Pregnant Doctor Helps Deliver Baby Minutes Before Her Labor]]> Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:18:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_pregnantdoc0728_1500x845.jpg

Dr. Amanda Hess knew she would be working until the last moments of her pregnancy, but she didn't think she would help deliver a patient's baby just minutes before her own contractions started at Frankfort Regional Medical Center.



Photo Credit: WLEX]]>
<![CDATA[Rabbits Go Sheep Surfing to Escape Floodwaters]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:31:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17207087976493.jpg

It was a woolly ride, but three wild rabbits managed to escape rising floodwaters in New Zealand by clambering aboard sheep and surfing to safety on their backs.

Ferg Horne, 64, says he's been farming since he left school at age 15 and has never seen anything quite like it.

He was trudging through pelting rain to rescue a neighbor's 40 sheep from the floodwaters on Saturday at their South Island farm near Dunedin when he spotted some dark shapes from a distance.

He was puzzled because he knew his neighbor, who was away in Russia attending a nephew's wedding, didn't have any black-faced sheep. As he got closer, he thought it might be debris from the storm, which had drenched the area and forced Horne to evacuate his home.

Then he saw the bedraggled rabbits hitching a ride  two on one sheep and a third on another sheep.

"I couldn't believe it for a start," he said.

Nobody else would believe him either without proof, he thought, so he got out his phone to take a photo, an image he figured his grandchildren would enjoy. In fact, he inadvertently shot a short video.

"It's a Samsung or a smartphone or whatever you call it. I swear at it every day," he said. "I'm absolutely useless with technology."

Nevertheless, Horne managed to capture the moment. He said the sheep were huddled together on a high spot on the farm, standing in about 8 centimeters (3 inches) of water.

He said the rabbits looked like they'd gotten wet but seemed quite comfortable and relaxed atop their mounts.

Rabbits are considered a pest to farmers in New Zealand, and Horne said that typically when he sees one, he shoots it.

"But they'd showed so much initiative, I thought they deserved to live, those rabbits," he said.

Horne herded the sheep to a patch of dry ground on the farm about 50 meters (164 feet) away. The sheep didn't like it.

"As they jumped through the water, the rabbits had a jolly good try at staying on," Horne said.

He said the rabbits appeared to cling onto the wool with their paws. As they approached the higher ground, the rabbits fell off but managed to climb a hedge to safety.

Horne returned later that afternoon. The floodwaters were receding, the sheep were all safe and the rabbits were long gone.

Horne said his home had also remained dry.

He then sent his video to his son, who sent images to the local newspaper and posted them on Facebook, as Horne doesn't have his own page.

"From then on it's just gone crazy," he said.



Photo Credit: Ferg Horne via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Smuggling Snakes in Potato Chip Canister]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 06:47:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/cobra-side-by-side.jpg

A Monterey Park man was arrested on federal smuggling charges Tuesday stemming from the seizure of a package that contained three king cobras hidden in potato chip canisters.

Rodrigo Franco, 34, was taken into custody without incident by special agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after he was named in a federal criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles last week, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Franco is charged with one felony count of illegally importing merchandise into the United States, which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, U.S. Customs and Border Protection on March 2 inspected a package sent from Hong Kong and discovered three live king cobra snakes -- a protected and highly venomous reptile -- each of which was nearly 2 feet long.

In addition to the three snakes, the parcel being sent through the mail contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles, prosecutors said.

On the same date, Franco also allegedly mailed six protected turtles -- desert box turtles, three-toed box turtles and ornate box turtles -- from the United States to Hong Kong, but that shipment also was intercepted by the USFWS.

Because of the danger associated with the cobras, the snakes were seized from the package that had come from Hong Kong. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service made a controlled delivery of the soft-shelled turtles to Franco's home. Immediately after the package was delivered, federal agents executed a search warrant at the residence.

While searching the home, agents found the package that originated in Hong Kong in a children's bedroom, in which they also discovered a tank containing a live baby crocodile and tanks containing alligator snapping turtles, a common snapping turtle, and five diamond back terrapins -- all of which are protected species, according to the affidavit.

During a subsequent interview with authorities, Franco allegedly admitted that he had previously received 20 king cobras in two prior shipments -- but he said all of those snakes had died in transit, prosecutors said.

During the ensuing investigation, authorities obtained evidence from Franco's phone, which contained messages in which he and someone in Asia allegedly discussed shipping turtles and snakes between the United States and Asia. According to the complaint, the messages indicate that Franco had previously received live cobras from his contact in Asia and was going to give five of the snakes to a relative of his contact.



Photo Credit: Uniter States Fish and Wildlife Service]]>
<![CDATA[Twins Born Conjoined at the Heart]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:55:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Joined_at_the_heart-150093339088500001.jpg

Twin baby girls Paisleigh and Paislyn Martinez were born conjoined at the chest, with their hearts fused together. Doctors from University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital used groundbreaking technology to separate them.

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<![CDATA[The Costumes of Comic-Con]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:15:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+Costumes+THUMB.jpg

One of the key attractions at any Comic-Con is the fan-made costumes. NBC talked to a few attendees about what inspired their look and how much it cost to put it all together.

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