Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News - 8/14/2010

Stingrays Invade South Padre Island, Texas...100+ People Injured

krgv - Authorities on South Padre Island say they have received reports of at least 100 people being injured by stingrays within the past four days.

The South Padre Island fire chief states calm water brings the stingrays closer to shore.

Burney Baskett says, “When the water gets calm, they tend to come in. This just happens to be the right time of year, the right type of weather conditions. And we just had a lot of people on the beach, and, you know, good season for stingrays apparently.”

Baskett explains the stingrays attack when they're stepped on. He tells us there are simple things you can do to protect yourself. “Instead of walking like you normally walk, you need to shuffle your feet and just scoot them along on the sand," he explains.

The fire chief says this will alert stingrays that someone is approaching, so they can get out of the way.

He adds as long as the waves are calm, stingrays may be hanging out along the shore with the rest of us.


Lightning Strikes 13-Year-Old Boy at 13:13 on Friday the 13th

dailymail - For some people 13 is an unlucky number.

St John Ambulance volunteers improved the luck of a 13-year-old boy when they treated him after he was struck by lightning - at 13:13 on Friday 13.

The boy was struck at Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival today, Firday 13th, and it was only while the ambulance team was treating him that they noticed the time - 1.13pm.

The unnamed buy suffered a minor burn and was taken to James Paget Hospital, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Two other people have been treated at the event today for lightning strikes - they were all holding umbrellas at the time.

Rex Clarke, who leads the team of St John Ambulance volunteers at the event, said: ‘There’d been very heavy rain all day, but this afternoon we saw a big flash of lightning over the sea and a loud clap of thunder.

'We got a call that someone had been struck by lightning so we immediately sent our paramedics to the scene, followed by an ambulance. Lightning strikes can cause cardiac arrest, but when our volunteers arrived the boy was conscious and breathing.

'We treated two more injuries from lightning burns in the space of twenty minutes - all three people were holding umbrellas at the time, which acts as a conductor for electricity.'

Clive James, first aid expert at St John Ambulance, says: ‘The biggest risk of a lightning strike is that it could stop the heart and breathing.

'If this happens, you need to start CPR immediately and call for an ambulance. Other likely effects are burns - which happened in this case - or injuries from being knocked down by the force.

'If the person can walk, move away from the area immediately as lightning can strike in the same place.’


Cancer-Curing Tree Claims Aussie 'Farmer Ray'

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"It has actions that will kill cancer cells. It kills bacteria. It sedates. It's a sedative"


Pennsylvania Woman Receives 21 Years of House Arrest in Order to Repay Theft

townhall - An office manager who admitted stealing $475,000 from her employer has been sentenced to 21 years of house arrest so she can work to repay it.

Lanette Sansoni's unusual sentence came after her ex-boss said he was more interested in restitution than jail time, her lawyer said.

"This was just a creative compromise," defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. said Thursday. "I think it will encourage her to pay it off, so the judge was pretty smart about it."

Peruto, a veteran defense lawyer in the region, guessed the two-decade term may be a record for house arrest in Pennsylvania. State officials could not immediately confirm that.

Sansoni, 40, has repaid about $275,000 after selling her home in Warminster, just north of Philadelphia, and moving in with her mother. She will remain on house arrest until the remaining $200,000 is repaid to Kenneth Slomine, who owned JRS Settlement Services, a title company in Lower Moreland Township.

Montgomery County Judge Joseph A. Smyth on Wednesday set a payment schedule of $750 a month, which works out to about 21 years.

Sansoni can leave home to work but could go to jail if the payments stop. She has a job paying $700 a week, Peruto said, but he wouldn't disclose what it is.

Prosecutors had argued for incarceration for Sansoni, who also served as a title clerk at JRS before it went bust because of her theft.

"This is a case that just cried out for jail time," said Assistant District Attorney Steven Bunn, who called Sansoni's crimes "egregious."

"She's not stealing to make ends meet," Bunn said. "She was buying luxury vacations, designer handbags, designer jewelry, and basically living the high life while this company went under."

Sansoni earned $60,000 a year plus benefits managing Slomine's small family business. About six people lost their jobs when the company closed, including Slomine and his wife and son.

Sansoni began working for the company in 2003 and started skimming from various accounts three years later. She used the proceeds to pay off several credit cards, including nearly $17,000 racked up on her daughter's card and nearly $47,000 on her mother's account, said Slomine's lawyer, Gregg Cotler.

The credit card company raised the first red flags about the possible fraud, said Cotler, who called Sansoni's sentence "unusual."

"He (Slomine) was conflicted by the fact that if she were to serve an extended sentence, that would mean she wasn't working and generating money and wasn't able to pay the money back," Cotler said.

Peruto said he expects Sansoni to pay off the debt early and be released from house arrest.

"I wouldn't be shocked," he said, "if it was paid off in a couple of years."


Rabid Vampire Bats Have Bitten Over 500 People in Peru

Peru's health ministry has sent emergency teams to a remote Amazon region to battle an outbreak of rabies spread by vampire bats. Four children in the Awajun indigenous tribe died after being bitten by the bloodsucking mammals.

Health workers have given rabies vaccine to more than 500 people who have also been attacked. Some experts have linked mass vampire bat attacks on people in the Amazon to deforestation. The rabies outbreak is focused on the community of Urakusa in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, close to the border with Ecuador.

The indigenous community appealed for help after being unable to explain the illness that had killed the children. The health ministry said it had sent three medical teams to treat and vaccinate people who had been bitten.

Most of the affected population had now been vaccinated, it said, although a few had refused treatment. Vampire bats usually feed on wildlife or livestock, but are sometimes known to turn to humans for food, particularly in areas where their rainforest habitat has been destroyed. Some local people have suggested this latest outbreak of attacks may be linked to the unusually low temperatures the Peruvian Amazon in recent years.


Super Cell Storm

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A massive super cell storm quickly closes in over a Helsinki, Finland beach.

Fortean / Oddball News - 8/14/2010
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