Wednesday's American Oddities

By: 
The Associated Press

Florida nun dons habit, grabs chain saw to help after Irma

MIAMI (AP) — A Florida nun is pitching in on the cleanup efforts following Hurricane Irma by taking a chain saw to downed trees while dressed in her full habit.

Miami-Dade police posted video of Sister Margaret Ann at work on social media taken by an off-duty officer who came across her.

Police say the nun was cutting trees to clear the roadways around Archbishop Coleman Carrol High School near Miami. Sister Margaret Ann is the school’s principal, according to its website.

Police say “acts of kindness” like Sister Margaret Ann’s remind residents that they’re all part of the same community. The department added in its post, “Thank you Sister and all of our neighbors that are working together to get through this!”

Babies born on back-to-back days outside same Burger King

DENVILLE, N.J. (AP) — Two women have delivered healthy babies on back-to-back days in the parking lot of the same Burger King restaurant in New Jersey.

Denville police say they were called to the restaurant Friday night for a woman going into labor. They say the parents were on the way to the hospital but got stuck in traffic and had to pull over.

Officers and emergency responders then helped the woman deliver a healthy son.

The same patrol officers went back to the restaurant the next night for a report of another woman going into labor. Authorities say the couple was heading to the hospital when the woman started going through severe contractions.

Officers helped deliver another baby boy in the couple’s vehicle.

Vermont police seek thief
wearing panda costume

WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont police department is asking for help identifying a suspect wearing a panda costume believed to have stolen an airsoft rifle from a sports store.

Williston police say the costumed suspect walked into the Dicks Sporting Goods at about 8:20 p.m. Monday, picked up the airsoft rifle and ran out of the store without paying for it.

Police responded, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Store employees told police the suspect had been in the store earlier Monday — sans panda outfit — and looked at the same rifle, but left without buying it. He told employees he’d be back to buy it.

Airsoft firearms shoot pellets and are usually powered by springs or compressed air.

Paramedic truck stolen in Vegas, stopped in California

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities say a woman stole a paramedic truck in Las Vegas and led pursuing police officers on a 50-mile freeway chase that reached California.

Media outlets reported that Clark County firefighters had parked the truck outside a pharmacy on Friday when the truck was stolen. The woman, whose identity wasn’t released, ended the chase on Interstate 15 inside California, apparently realizing officers were going to use tire-puncturing spike strips to stop the vehicle.

Nevada officers had used spike strips that deflated at least two tires but didn’t stop the truck.

Las Vegas police, Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and a police helicopter all tailed the ambulance during the chase. California troopers joined the pursuit at the state line.

No additional information was released.

Bikers in the buff ride through Philadelphia’s streets

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — And they’re off — the bicyclists and their clothes.

Thousands of nude cyclists set off on a trek around Philadelphia on Saturday for the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride.

About 3,000 riders in various stages of undress pedaled a 10-mile course taking in sights including Independence Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Sylvester Stallone sprinted up the steps while training as Rocky.

Participants in the ride can go as bare as they dare. Some were in their birthday suits while others sported underwear or body paint and glitter.

Olivia Neely, who was topless, was riding for the first time, inspired by the recent end of a romantic relationship.

“I just broke up with my boyfriend and wanted to have a sense of freedom,” she said. “I did it for me, not for anyone else.”

The ride is to protest dependence on fossil fuels, advocate for the safety of cyclists and promote positive body image.

Friends Lindsay Meehan and Michelle Astringer rode together and helped each other get painted. Meehan is a first-timer at the PNBR while Astringer is a regular.

Meehan said she decided to take part because eating disorder recovery and body positivity are “a big part of my life.”

Man wanted for ‘74 fatal car crash found by US Marshals

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a man wanted on charges related to a fatal car accident in 1974 has been found in Maryland.

Cleveland.com reports the cold case unit of the U.S. Marshals office in Cleveland arrested 67-year-old Alan Brown on Tuesday in Bladensburg, Maryland.

Brown was indicted 43 years ago on an aggravated vehicular homicide charge for killing a passenger in a car he sideswiped at more than 90 mph while driving the wrong way on Interstate 71.

Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler says Brown was tracked from around Detroit to the area around Washington, D.C.

Siler says Brown worked odd jobs since 1974, moving around and using fake names to avoid detection by authorities.

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