QUIRKY WORLD ... Firefighters wait for the big bang before manning hoses

USA: Firefighters put out a blaze at an office building in New Jersey — after waiting for 100,000 rounds of ammunition stored inside to explode.

The fire at the building in Toms River burned for two hours and ignited the ammunition. Toms River police spokesman Ralph Stocco said the building’s owner is a competitive shooter.

Toms River fire department district 1 chief John Gonzalez said the ammunition was popping for about 10 minutes, and it took another few hours for the blaze to stop smouldering.

Nobody was in the building at the time of the fire and nobody was hurt. It was not clear how the fire began.

Bad taste in the mouth

ENGLAND:

A farmer has issued a health warning after potatoes recently sprayed with chemicals were stolen from his field.

Police said 12 yards’ worth of Crispin potatoes were stolen from the field in Newent, Gloucestershire.

One set was taken last week and a second load was stolen sometime between August 2 and 4.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: “The farmer says they’ve recently been sprayed with a chemical, which means they could be harmful to eat unless harvested for another three weeks.”

Police appealed for anyone with information about the thefts to come forward.

Lap of luxury

ENGLAND:

A luxury retirement home on a site which has an underground tunnel linking it to Harrods has been given the go-ahead by planners.

The seven-storey, 34-apartment assisted living home in Pavilion Road in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge quarter will be 100m from the department store.

Planners at Kensington and Chelsea Council have given the green light for the site, which has been a car park for 40 years, to be demolished and replaced with an “extra care” home and medical centre. It had previously been used a storage depot for Harrods. There are no plans to reopen the tunnel into Harrods.

To the letter

USA:

The man who led what is known as Shays’ Rebellion is getting a new gravestone to correct an old mistake — his headstone is missing the “s’’ at the end of his surname.

Massachusetts native Daniel Shays was a Revolutionary War veteran who led a protest against the state’s harsh economic policies. His six-month armed rebellion was put down in 1787, but it exposed the weaknesses of the articles of confederation and figured prominently in the drafting of the US constitution.

Shays fled to southern Vermont and was pardoned a year later. He later moved to western New York, where he died in 1825. He is buried in a cemetery in Conesus, 50km south of Rochester.

A descendant, Phil Shays, of Clarence, is dedicating a new stone next week, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle said.

Shed a light on it

USA:

A light that appeared high over St Louis’s Gateway Arch is perplexing officials.

The mystery started when an Illinois man shot video of the light and shared it with KTVI-TV. After seeing the report, an employee at an Illinois park across the river from the arch took a look at footage from a security camera and saw the same light. The video has been posted on the park’s Facebook page.

Mike Buehlhorn, director of the Metro East Parks and Recreation District, said he does not know if he believes in UFOs, but “there’s something weird with that one”.

Spokesmen for nearby Scott Air Force Base and the Federal Aviation Administration said they know nothing about the source of the light.


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