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April 28 -May 11
VOL.14 ISSUE. 18

Follow That Tree

Roland Sweet
Published Thursday February 21, 10:56 am
Brazil has a new way to thwart log robbers

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

Hoping to thwart illegal logging in the Amazon, Brazil began fitting trees with wireless tracking devices that alert authorities when they are cut down and moved. The device, called Invisible Tracck, is the size of a deck of cards and powered by a battery that lasts a year. Coming within 20 miles of a cellular network activates its signal. (



Japanese researchers have discovered sea slugs that lose and regrow their penises. The researchers saw captive specimens that had shed their organs copulating 24 hours later with fresh new apparatuses. “I haven't seen anything like this before,” said National Museums Northern Ireland marine invertebrates curator Bernard Picton. (BBC)



Two 24-year-old men were badly injured after an oil storage tank exploded at a Texas facility while the victims were sitting on top of it smoking at 3 a.m. Van Zandt County Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Allen said both victims were hospitalized, one on life support. The blaze destroyed three of the facility’s six oil storage tanks and damaged the other three. (Associated Press)



The power blackout that halted the Super Bowl was caused by an electrical relay installed to prevent a power failure, according to the company that supplied electricity to the Superdome. “The purpose of it was to provide a newer, more advanced type of protection,” Entergy Corp. executive Dennis Dawsey told the New Orleans City Council, explaining the relay was part of an upgrade to the Superdome’s electrical system undertaken in 2011 in anticipation of the championship game. (Associated Press)



The 34-minute delay turned out to be the fourth most-watched television broadcast of all time, according to Nielsen Media. The ratings agency said the 107 million people who sat through the delay, which featured a camera trained at the Superdome ceiling to show that half the overhead lights had gone out, is more than watched the 2009 Super Bowl and the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983. “Super Bowl XLVII Delay” was topped only by Super Bowl XLVII itself (109 million viewers), 2011’s Super Bowl XLV (111.0 million) and last year’s Super Bowl XLVI (111.4 million). (The Washington Post)




Police accused Timothy Tucker and Shequita Cade of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after a YouTube video showed them driving their middle-school daughter to fight with a 14-year-old girl at a school bus stop in Tucker, Georgia.  Taylor can be heard on the video encouraging his daughter to hit the victim while the two struggled on the ground and shouting at witnesses, “Nobody better try to jump in neither.” (Atlanta’s WSB-TV)



After a Seattle city bus hit Carl Gray, 32, shattering its windshield, the victim managed to get up and walk about a block with a bloodied head to a Starbucks and order a cup of coffee. Paramedics followed him and, before he could drink his brew, took him to the hospital. (Seattle Times)



Police who heard gunfire while investigating an attempted robbery at a Las Vegas restaurant reported “the gunshot was a result of a firearm being tossed into a deep fryer and exploding.” Officers arrested Obdulio Gudiel, 44, who pointed the gun at two men but insisted he wasn’t trying to rob them, just collect money they owed him. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)



Army Spc. Patrick Edward Myers, 27, admitted shooting his friend in the face while they were watching a football game at an apartment in Killeen, Texas, but explained he was only trying to scare him to cure his hiccups. Myers, who was sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison, told police he believed the weapon had dummy rounds. (Associated Press)



Having purchased an AK-47 assault rifle because he feared an impending gun ban, Kirill Bartashevitch, 51, pointed the gun at his teenage daughter and threatened her because she was getting two B’s in school instead of straight A’s. The resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, admitted pointing the weapon at the girl and his wife but assured police it wasn’t loaded. (Minneapolis’s Star Tribune)



Washington state lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow private bidders to pay for the right to name publicly owned facilities, from government buildings to schools. “I’m trying to think out of the box and come up with some revenue for our local folks and for our state that isn’t another dollar out of taxpayers’ wallets,” state Rep. Jan Angel, who introduced the plan, said. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Angel’s plan would continue letting governments name memorials after notable people for free. It also bans obscene or offensive names, as well as the names of tobacco or cannabis companies. (Associated Press)



While serving time in the Gwinnett County, Georgia, jail for paying an undercover police officer $3,000 to murder his neighbour and former business partner, Joseph Memar, 65, was caught again trying to have the man killed. Police Cpl. Jake Smith said Memar spread the word among inmates, met with a plainclothes officer during his visitation time, offered the officer $10,000 to kill the man and told him where to go to collect the money. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)



Judge Robert Coleman declared a mistrial in the case of a fight in a Philadelphia parking lot that cost John Huttick his left eye because while the victim was testifying, his prosthetic eye popped out, startling two jurors. “I couldn’t believe it just came out,” Huttick said. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet.

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