Strange but True – not fake news for August 5, 2017


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — No police? No problem — so far. A small, isolated town at the edge of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands had no police oversight for several days after its three officers quit in quick succession and its police chief resigned. Officials say the predicament that befell Sand Point illustrates the persistent challenges of hiring and retaining workers in rural parts of the vast state. Many communities are off Alaska’s limited road system, where cost-of-living expenses can be astronomical and life is far removed from the convenience of urban centers. Just leaving Sand Point, for example, can cost more than $1,000 — the cost of a round-trip ticket to Anchorage, the state’s largest city 600 miles away. One local said no problems needed to be dealt with and the temporary absence of police was no big deal.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida homeowners with citrus trees on their property now have a new tool to fight off deadly citrus greening disease: parasitic wasps. The Gainesville Sun reports that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will give residents small vials of the wasp called tamarixia, which hunt the invasive Asian citrus psyllid that spreads the fatal disease. The state provides more than 1 million tamarixia each year to commercial growers, but this is the first year homeowners have been eligible to receive them. The wasps are only one method of battling citrus greening, which has devastated the state’s citrus industry. But state scientists hope it can work well in a smaller, urban setting where the wasps fly between neighboring properties.


BOSTON (AP) — A new wax museum is asking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for help to improve a wax replica of him that has been ridiculed online. The Dreamland Wax Museum in Boston features a statue of Brady that has drawn criticism from many people who say it looks “creepy” and doesn’t resemble him. A Facebook post from the museum on Wednesday acknowledges the figure isn’t perfect because it’s based on a photo instead of Brady’s actual measurements. The museum has invited Brady to “come by and sit in for a measurement session.” Museum officials say they haven’t received a response yet. This is the same museum that drew attention in July with a figure of President Donald Trump that some said missed the mark.


GENEVA (AP) — This bridge is not for the acrophobic. Switzerland has inaugurated the world’s longest suspension foot bridge along a trail toward the famed Matterhorn. A Swiss tourism official says 1,621-foot bridge can cut hiking time on the Europaweg trail by at least 3 hours between the southwestern towns of Graechen and Zermatt. Before Saturday’s opening, Alpine explorers had to descend into the town of Randa and scale another ascent since a shorter foot bridge was closed in 2010 due to unstable terrain. This new bridge is only 25 inches wide and soars as high as 279 feet above the ground. Swiss media said the structure surpasses Germany’s 1,506-foot “Titan-RT” as the world’s longest suspension bridge.


ORRINGTON, Maine (AP) — The house that inspired Stephen King’s novel “Pet Sematary” is up for sale in Maine. WCSH-TV reports the 113-year-old, four-bedroom Orrington house is being listed for $255,000. The house sits on three acres about 15 minutes south of Bangor. It’s also where King wrote the story. The author’s website says he was renting the home in 1979 when his daughter’s cat was killed by a truck. Local children had created a pet cemetery in the woods behind the house, and King got the idea for the book after burying the cat. The novel came out in 1983 and was adapted into a movie in 1989. “Pet Sematary” is also the name of a Ramones song that plays over the credits of the movie.


NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly two tons of trinkets, statues and jewelry crafted from the tusks of at least 100 slaughtered elephants were fed into a rock crusher in Central Park, yesterday to demonstrate the state’s commitment to smashing the illegal ivory trade. Artifacts placed ceremoniously onto a conveyor belt to be ground into dust. They included piles of golf-ball-sized Japanese sculptures intricately carved into monkeys, rabbits and other fanciful designs. Many of the items were beautiful. Some were extremely valuable. But state environmental officials and Wildlife Conservation Society members, who partnered with Tiffany & Co. for the “Ivory Crush” said no price justifies slaughtering elephants for their tusks. The director of the 96 Elephants Campaign says “By crushing a ton of ivory in the middle of the world’s most famous public park, New Yorkers are sending a message to poachers, traffickers and dealers who try to set up shop right here on our streets. Other experts say it’s important to destroy the ivory artifacts because it shows there is no value owning it because there won’t be a market for it in the future. Figures show that the Central African forest elephant population dropped 65 percent between 2002 and 2013 as a result of poaching. The 96 Elephants Campaign gets its name from data showing wild elephants are killed at rates as high as 96 per day.

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