Girl Scouts hit by big cookie order hoax
PORTLAND, Ore., March 17 (UPI) -- A $24,000 order for 6,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies turned out to be a hoax, two troops in Oregon say.
"They placed a fake order on us and they didn't know that it hurt our feelings a lot," Girl Scout Erin Donnelly, 8, said of the unknown pranksters.
The fake order appeared to come from a woman at a local company and two troops put aside boxes for the lucrative order only to learn they had been duped when they approached the company for payment, ABC News reported Sunday.
"I contacted the ... company and they said, 'We have no idea what's going on,'" scout mother Jennifer Reed said.
The Girl Scouts regrouped, though, and held an emergency sale at their Portland headquarters Saturday, selling about half of the cookies. Another sale is set for March 23.
Town closes road for salamander crossing
EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J., March 17 (UPI) -- Just like San Juan Capistrano, Calif., has its swallows and Hinckley Township, Ohio, has its buzzards, East Brunswick, N.J., has its salamanders.
Each spring, the salamanders make a pilgrimage out of the woods in search of mates and for the past 11 years the good folks of East Brunswick and neighboring South Brunswick have been doing their part to help make the magic happen by closing Beekman Road to help ensure the 3-inch amphibians' safety on their way to required wetlands. The annual migration by hundreds of salamanders began last Tuesday, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Sunday.
"It was an amazing night, so many salamanders and so many people," David Moskowitz, president of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, told the newspaper. "Reports from the road suggest there were hundreds crossing through the night and there must have been well over 100 people there" to watch.
Billy Horowitz, 11, of East Brunswick, who showed up with his dad to check it, proclaimed the salamanders "cool."
New Yorkers caught with illegal animals
NEW YORK, March 17 (UPI) -- New York City inspectors busted more than 24 people for allegedly keeping, selling or displaying exotic animals that are illegal to own.
Health Department records show that more than 24 people in New York were caught will the illegal exotic animals, including stingrays, scorpions, snakes and a sloth, the New York Post reported.
A man from Long Island was caught with the most impressive collection of animals, which included a king snake, lemur, hedgehog, marmoset, sloth, and a coati, a raccoon-type animal, all of which he brought to a child's birthday party in Manhattan's Upper East Side, New York City records show.
City inspectors also found six stingrays in a Queens pet shop, two in a Lower East Side store and a foot-long blue-spot stingray on Staten Island.
A black scorpion, tarantula and a white-faced capuchin monkey were found in Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood.
And a Washington Heights store was caught selling 10 piranhas.
People caught with the illegal critters faced $500 fines for each animal, the newspaper said.
Swedish city forms giant 'thumbs up'
LULEA, Sweden, March 17 (UPI) -- Residents of Lulea, Sweden, gathered to make a giant Facebook "thumbs up" in an effort to break a Guinness World Record and mark the city's growing population.
A total of 2,493 Lulea residents came together Saturday to form the giant "thumbs up" on the ice the frozen town harbor, The Local.se reported.
The event was created to try and break the Guinness World Record for the biggest human hand on ice, and also to celebrate the city's population growing to over 75,000 residents -- the event took place on the 75th day of the year, March 16th, to recognize the continued growth of the town.
"Today, we gave a thumbs up for Lulea. I'm proud of how we together, through hard teamwork, year after year manage to grow and evolve," said Karl Petersen, Mayor of Lulea.
The "thumbs up" initiative was was also a nod to Facebook, which recently opened up a hub in Lulea -- the first international facility for the company.