Odds and Ends – November 1, 2019 – November 14, 2019

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(Michael Cummo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle via AP)
(Michael Cummo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle via AP)

Wyoming man grows 1,491-pound pumpkin, breaks state record

Cheyenne, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials say a Cheyenne man has grown a pumpkin that weighs in at 1,491 pounds (676 kilograms), a new state record. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Thursday that Andy Corbin grew the gourd in his backyard. For perspective, scientists say newborn elephants weigh about 200 pounds (91 kilograms) on average. Corbin says the pumpkins he grows at his east Cheyenne home require a handmade tripod to move them. He says his pumpkins require yearlong maintenance and can gain dozens of pounds a day during growing season. Corbin says he hopes to grow three pumpkins weighing more than 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) combined.

Colorado woman indicted in attempted sale of 1920s fetuses

Canon City, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado woman suspected of trying to sell three human fetuses from the 1920s and a fetal skeleton online has been indicted in California on charges of violating a U.S. law prohibiting the transfer of human fetal tissue. Emily Suzanne Cain, 38, pleaded not guilty to charges Tuesday, KUSA-TV reported. The case has been delayed until Nov. 20 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, according to court records. The fetuses are believed to be from stillborn infants from the 1920s, court records said. Cain attempted in October 2018 to mail a package from Canon City in central Colorado to an address in the United Kingdom, according to a criminal complaint. The package, labeled “school teaching aids and T-shirts,” caught the attention of U.S. Postal Service workers who noticed there was no signature on a customs form certifying the package did not contain dangerous contents, authorities said in the complaint. An X-ray of the package revealed a human-like shape, according to U.S. customs agents at the San Francisco International Airport cited in the complaint. Cain posted on Facebook that she acquired the fetuses from a university lab collection and was selling them for $20,000, the complaint said. The specimens were traced to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, the complaint said. University policy calls for specimens that are no longer needed to be cremated and not sold, university officials told investigators. The university is cooperating with authorities, a spokesperson said. Cain was first arrested in Fort Collins and released on a $5,000 bond with a GPS monitor. A phone number for Cain could not immediately be located.

Iowa man finds 5 inches of animal blood flooding basement

Bagley, Iowa (AP) — Blood may be thicker than water, but it’ll still flood your basement. Nick Lestina found this out the hard way two weeks ago when he discovered 5 inches (13 centimeters) of blood, fat and other animal tissue flooding his family’s basement in Bagley, which is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Des Moines. He told the Des Moines Register that he hasn’t been able to clean it up because it’s still seeping in. The waste is coming from a neighboring meat locker, where blood and tissue from slaughtered animals was washed down a drain. Officials say a clog or break in the pipe sent the waste into Lestina’s basement through a floor drain. A state environmental specialist traced the waste to Dahl’s Custom Meat Locker and says the company is now pumping its into a large tank. The Lestina family has temporarily moved in with a relative.

San Diego woman living in van gives up all 300 of her rats

San Diego (AP) — A woman living in a van in San Diego with her pet rats has agreed to give them up — all 300 of them. The San Diego Union-Tribune says the San Diego Humane Society went to the woman’s van near Del Mar on Oct. 8. Authorities found rats had clawed into upholstery, burrowed into the seats and gnawed the engine wiring. Capt. Danee Cook says the woman wasn’t hoarding the animals — she’d started with just two pet rats. But rats can give birth every four weeks and produce a dozen in a litter. Cook says the woman acknowledged things had gotten out of control. Authorities collected about 320 rats, and more than 100 are currently ready for adoption. The woman, meanwhile, has found a new place to stay.