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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

  |   May 7, 2012 at 5:29 PM
Lost parakeet gives address to police

SAGAMIHARA, Japan, May 7 (UPI) -- Authorities in Japan said a parakeet captured at a hotel was returned to its owners after it was able to give its address to police.

Sagamihara police said the male budgerigar was captured April 29 at a hotel when it perched on a guest's shoulder and was returned to its owner, a 64-year-old woman, after officers heard it repeating an address Tuesday night, Kyodo News reported Monday.

"We never thought that we could find the owner in this manner," a police officer said.


Vibrations traced to Texas landfill

AUSTIN, Texas, May 7 (UPI) -- Firefighters in Texas said reports of sounds and vibrations in a neighborhood turned out to be methane gas escaping from a landfill.

The Austin Fire Department said firefighters responding to 911 calls that began around midnight Sunday said they traced the sounds and vibrations to the Sunset Farms Landfill, KVUE-TV, Austin, reported Monday.

"As trash breaks down, it releases methane gas," fire Lt. Josh Portie said. "That methane gas gets captured. They actually use it in a process to create electricity. Whatever is left that passes through the system, they will burn off through a flare system."

Firefighters said the escaping gas did not pose a threat to the public and they made some adjustments to the facility's damper system around 4 p.m. to address the issue.


Bagel shop cited for dropped seeds

NEW YORK, May 7 (UPI) -- The owner of a New York bagel shop said he was shocked when a health inspector fined him $1,650 for dropping sesame and poppy seeds on the floor.

Alex Gormakh, 59, owner of B&B Empire Bagel Cafe in Brooklyn, said he appealed the fines, stemming from an Oct. 23 inspection and lost at two hearings, the New York Post reported Monday.

Gormakh said he does not understand how the city Health Department expects him to make bagels without some of the seeds dropping to the floor.

"It is impossible to clean up after each and every bagel," he said. "It is impossible. It is a process."

Workers at other bagel businesses in the city agreed with Gormakh.

"No matter how much you sweep during the daytime there's always going to be seeds on the floor," said A.J. Tawfik of Brooklyn Bagel.

Gormakh, who opened the store last June after moving from Russia in 1995, said he and his son, Max, 34, have now spent nearly $900,000 on larger stainless steel preparation tables to cut back on seed dropping and a water-filter vacuum to collect the seeds that do fall on the floor.

"If you want to work you have to pay," he said. "In Russia, they call it corruption. Here they call it something else. Either way, you have to pay."


Bank robber walks off without the cash

CHICAGO, May 7 (UPI) -- A robber who walked into a bank on Chicago's Michigan Avenue and claimed to have a bomb left without the bag of cash, police said.

The Chicago Tribune said police were searching for the suspect.

The Bomb and Arson unit closed off a portion of the busy shopping street in front of the Citibank branch Monday morning while they checked to see if there was bomb in the bag.

No one was injured, police said.

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