Odd news this week: Hitchhiking bears, dumpster pools, redneck Olympics and driving dogs
Dog behind wheel of car that crashed into Virginia Walmart
Pawned pawn: Cops say duo tried to pawn items stolen from pawn shop owner
Authorities say two people who tried to pawn some stolen PlayStations didn't realize that they had burgled the home of the pawn shop owner.
Citing a Clarksville, Tennessee police report, The Leaf-Chronicle says 30-year-old Jeremy A. Watts and 24-year-old Jessica F. Heady tried to sell two PlayStation systems along with controllers, video games and DVDs.
The pawn shop owner, Edward Dial, said he recognized the items and went home to check. Sure enough, his house had been broken into. Watts and Heady were arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated burglary.Both were held on $50,000 bond. It is unclear whether either has an attorney.
Police say the stolen property was valued at more than $1,000.
Maine police officer's takedown of cows gets clicks, laughs
A Maine police officer's intervention in a possible "mad cow" situation is getting guffaws.
Officer Ernest MacVane of the Windham Police Department was responding to two young cows that escaped and wandered onto a road late last week. He says he made a cellphone video of an attempted arrest of the cows for his 10-year-old son and fellow officers, but it went viral after the department posted it on Facebook.
On the video, MacVane warns the bovines after they attempt to flee, "Don't run from me — I'm the police!" He also tells them, "Down on the ground, stop resisting!"
MacVane says he hopes the video gives people a laugh and puts a human face on police officers after unrest caused by fatal police shootings and officers being targeted this summer.
Philadelphia tells residents: Don't swim in dumpster pools
Philadelphia is urging residents not to swim in dumpsters after a rented trash bin was filled with fire hydrant water and transformed into a pool.
The online news site Billy Penn first reported the shenanigans at a weekend block party.
The party's organizers told the site they power-washed the dumpster, lined the bottom with plywood and tarps and cushioned the corners with pool noodles.
However, filling it with hydrant water caused the biggest issue with city officials.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections issued a statement saying the city won't issue permits for block party dumpster pools.
Agency spokeswoman Karen Guss said, "you would think this decision would not require an explanation."
Among the reasons: It takes water that should be available in the event of a fire; the strong water pressure could push someone into harm's way; and the huge amount of water released could cause a main break.
"We are not screwing around, Philly," Guss' statement reads. "The city strongly recommends that residents opt for recreational options that are safer, more sanitary and less likely to deplete the resources firefighters need in an emergency."
Bear hitches ride on top of a garbage truck
A New Mexico bear hitched a ride on top of a garbage truck, traveling at least 5 miles on the vehicle before it was able to make its escape up a tree.
Santa Fe National Forest spokeswoman Julie Anne Overton says the driver was picking up a dumpster last week when he heard a squeal then realized the bear was on top of the truck.
It rode atop the vehicle to a site where the Forest Service keeps a firefighting helicopter.
Helicopter mechanic Evan Welsch, who snapped photos of the bear, said about 30 Forest Service and National Park workers had gathered around to see the spectacle when it was suggested that the driver back up near a tree to give the animal an escape route.
The bear clamored for the tree and stayed up there about an hour or two before scurrying down and running off.
Lawyer: Woman finished 'crossword' art work at Berlin museum
A lawyer for an elderly woman who filled in spaces on an art work depicting part of a crossword at a German museum says she contends that she was completing the piece, not damaging it.
Officials at Nuremberg's Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint after the 90-year-old, who hasn't been identified, last month filled in blank spaces with a ballpoint pen on avant-garde artist Arthur Koepcke's 1965 work, "Reading-work-piece." She apparently took literally the phrase "Insert Words" at the edge of the picture.
Lawyer Heinz-Harro Salloch said Wednesday that the woman argued she hadn't damaged the piece "but only completed it as the artist intended," news agency dpa reported.
She told police that the picture even gained in value, he added.
The museum has since removed her additions.
Heck, yeah! Rednecks hold their blanking Summer Games
There were no world-class athletes or top-notch sporting venues, but there was cold beer, barbecue and a muddy tug-of-war Saturday at the event formerly known as the Redneck Olympics.
The event, now officially known as the "Redneck (Blank)" after the real Olympics threatened to sue, also featured bobbing for pig's feet, a greased watermelon haul and toilet seat horseshoes.
If that's not redneck enough, then there was a wife-hauling contest and free mud runs for big-tired trucks.
Organizer Harold Brooks said it's all about regular folks having fun without airs of pretentiousness.
"For me, a redneck doesn't mean a person who's dumb or lazy. A redneck to me means someone who can laugh at themselves. They're a hard-working group of people who can let loose and have a good time," he said.
On Saturday, a cacophony of loud music and roaring engines were set against a dusty backdrop in the hills of western Maine where several thousand people gathered. People paraded around in every manner of vehicle: pickups, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, go-karts — and even a snowmobile.
Many spectators watching the trucks churning across the mud course ended up covered in mud themselves.
"It's a big, dirty party," said Sara Miller, of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Crowds were encouraged to get into the act during the "competition," but actual athletic skills were not a requirement. For example, one of the events called the "beer trot" featured an obstacle course that participants traversed while carrying a beer in each hand. The goal was to finish quickly — without spilling.
There were faux gold, silver and bronze medals for winners. But these aren't Olympic events. The U.S. Olympic Committee put the kibosh on the "Redneck Olympics" name in 2011, Brooks said.
That doesn't mean rednecks went down without a fight.
On Saturday, T-shirts were emblazoned with "Redneck Olympics" — with "Olympics" crossed out.
Brooks said his event is more fun and affordable than the real Olympic Games, which he believes has grown too big for its britches.
"The average redneck couldn't afford to go the Olympics," he said.
Copyright 2016 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.