News of the weird compiled by the Associated Press
Smuggler makes the gag reel
Some furniture inspected by customs agents at the Arizona-Mexico border gives new meaning to the term “entertainment centers” — they were allegedly used to hide $2.7 million worth of marijuana.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Brian Levin says officers at the Naco port of entry in southeastern Arizona got suspicious last Tuesdsay after interviewing the truck driver hauling the wooden entertainment centers and examining the driver’s paperwork.
Over several hours, officers disassembled the furniture and found the marijuana, which weighed about 1,600 pounds.
The truck driver was arrested and turned over to immigration authorities.
4-eared cat gets last laugh
The owners of Yoda — a cat with four ears — could use a couple extra hands to answer their telephones.
Ted and Valerie Rock said they’ve been inundated with television offers and media inquiries since their son posted a photo of their smoke-colored cat on a Web site. That turned the four-eared feline from a suburban animal oddity into an instant Internet celebrity.
The Rocks, from the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, have fielded calls from “Good Morning America,” “Fox News” and “The Tyra Banks Show.” The cat’s photo has graced the London Guardian and a British tabloid. The Daily Mail said if Batman had a cat, it would be Yoda.
“It’s amazing,” Ted Rock said. “For the past few days, our phone has just been ringing off the hook.”
Yoda’s extra ears give him a hint of a devilish appearance. The Rocks said they found him in 2006 while watching a Chicago Bears game at a Blue Island bar.
Some in the bar were passing the then-eight-week old kitten around, making fun of his extra set of ears, mocking his appearance and calling him names such as “Devil Cat” and “Beelzebub.”
It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but the Rocks felt sorry for the cat and offered to adopt the kitten from the bar’s owner, who kept the animal caged atop the bar for his customers’ amusement.
Calif. helps the blind to hear
Electric and hybrid vehicles may be better for the environment, but the California Legislature says they’re bad for the blind.
The State Senate passed a bill last Tuesday to ensure that the vehicles make enough noise to be heard by visually impaired people about to cross a street.
The measure would establish a committee to study the issue and recommend ways the vehicles could make more noise.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles says more than 300,000 of the vehicles are on state roads. Officials say they don’t keep statistics on pedestrian accidents involving those vehicles.
The bill has been sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has not taken a position.
Calif. produce war heats up
Two young girls are fighting City Hall after authorities barred the youngsters from selling produce harvested from their backyard garden at a card table set up in front of their house.
But 11-year-old Katie Lewis and her 3-year-old sister Sabrina are not going away quietly.
Clayton, Calif., officials say the girls stand violates a land-use regulation barring roadside stands in residential areas.
The girls father, Mike Lewis, is arguing that his girls are showing entrepreneurial initiative, and that Katie has contributed $500 to her college fund now because of the stand.
The Lewis’ say the girls are essentially running a lemonade stand, and that the city should let it be. But Clayton Mayor Gregg Manning says the girls should not get special treatment because of their age.
The family is circulating a petition it plans to submit to the city’s planning commission.