Odds and Ends – Friday July 14 – July 20, 2017

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Escaped elephant strolls through Wisconsin neighborhood

Baraboo, Wis. (AP) – The pachyderm was a startling sight for residents of one small Wisconsin neighborhood. A full-grown elephant sauntered through Baraboo early Friday morning on a brief walk of freedom. The mammoth creature more suited for the ‘big top’ clashed with the quiet residential neighborhood. Law enforcement officers quickly got in touch with the nearby Circus World Museum, home to the wandering pachyderm. A trainer arrived and led the elephant back to the circus complex. Circus World spokesman Dave Saloutos says the elephant, named Kelly, was freed by her pachyderm partner, Isla, who used her trunk to disengage a restraint. Saloutos says Kelly lumbered across the shallow Baraboo River and wandered into a neighboring backyard where she unlatched a gate and munched on some marigolds during her couple hours of freedom.

(Jaime Peterson via AP)
(Jaime Peterson via AP)

Surprise! Sailor comes home to find wife 8 months pregnant

San Diego (AP) – A Navy wife greeted her husband returning from six months at sea by revealing she was nearly eight months pregnant with his fourth child. Video posted by Natasha Daugherty to Facebook shows her husband, Petty Officer Chris Daugherty, hugging his three children on the docks in San Diego after getting off the USS Carl Vinson last week. Natasha stood back holding a sign in front of her that read “Welcome Home Baby Daddy” and dropped it to reveal the pregnancy. The video captured his shocked reaction as he poked her belly and asked, “Is that real?” Natasha says she found out she was pregnant soon after Chris deployed on Jan. 5. She tells KSND-TV that keeping the secret “was difficult but totally worth it in the end.”

Landmark ‘Vegas Vickie’ neon cowgirl sign removed

Las Vegas (AP) – The famous neon sign of a cowgirl in downtown Las Vegas has been taken down as part of the construction of a planned casino-resort. After more than two decades on Freemont Street, “Vegas Vickie” was dismantled Tuesday. Casino owner Derek Stevens says his company is looking for a home for the neon sign. It was created in 1980 and originally dubbed “Sassy Sally” after a casino of that name. Stevens’ company is planning to transform the space previously occupied by the Las Vegas Club.

(Steve Marcus /Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(Steve Marcus /Las Vegas Sun via AP)

Man who needed air in tires, bought lottery ticket wins $1M

Ballston, N.Y. (AP) – A New York man who stopped at a convenience store to put air in his tires and ended up buying a lottery ticket has won a $1 million jackpot. State lottery officials on Friday introduced 19-year-old Anthony Iavarone as the winner of the jackpot on a $1 million Cashword scratch-off ticket. Iavarone, of Clifton Park, says he recently stopped at a Stewart’s Shops store in the Saratoga County town of Ballston to put air in his tires. While there, he decided to buy a lottery ticket. Iavarone says he chose the $10 Cashword scratch-off because it’s the one his aunt always plays. He says he at first didn’t believe he won the jackpot, so he had his father double-check. Iavarone will receive a one-time lump sum of $661,800 after taxes.

Norwegians collect money to fix
penis-shaped rock formation

Helsinki (AP) – Activists are collecting money to repair a penis-shaped rock formation in southern Norway after the popular tourist attraction was found badly damaged. Joggers discovered Saturday that the Trollpikken rock formation had cracked and noted drilling holes in the rock – something that experts say strongly suggests the rock was deliberately vandalized. By Sunday, over 500 people had donated nearly 90,000 Norwegian kroner ($10,600) to fix the formation located south of the southern coastal city of Stavanger. Activist Kjetil Bentsen told public broadcaster NRK that he was convinced the Trollpikken “will be rebuilt” with donated money. Police are looking for tips to find the person or persons who did it. They could face a one-year prison sentence for a serious environmental crime.

(Ingve Aalbu/NTB Scanpix via AP)
(Ingve Aalbu/NTB Scanpix via AP)