British family treated to a night in Eiffel Tower apartment

The Eiffel Tower is a must-see for many tourists visiting Paris but for one British family this week it also became their home for the night.

Michelle Stevenson won an overnight stay at the famed landmark in a contest organized by vacation rental website HomeAway in which participants were asked: “What would you do if the HomeAway Eiffel Tower apartment was all yours for a night?”

The mother of two autistic sons was among four winners treated to a night in the ephemeral luxury apartment on the structure’s first floor with sweeping views of the French capital and a tour through passages closed to the public.

“It was for them really because they’re fascinated by the Eiffel Tower, the structure and the lights,” Stevenson said, referring to her sons. “Being autistic, I think the lights is just the big wow factor for them…It’s just something that they’ll never do again.”

(Reporting By Reuters Television, writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Escaped Texas inmate found hiding in apartment dishwasher

A Texas county jail inmate who escaped custody while receiving treatment in a hospital was found in the dishwasher of his girlfriend’s apartment in boxer shorts and wearing handcuffs with the chain severed, a sheriff’s department said on Thursday.

“He took out the racks and made himself a nice cubby hole,” said Chief Deputy Glenn Blank of the Jasper County Sheriff’s office in East Texas.

The inmate, Wesley Evans, 20, was captured on Wednesday morning and was taken back into custody after an escape that lasted about 24 hours. He is expected to face charges for the escape attempt.

Evans has been in jail since March 8 on charges of aggravated robbery, auto theft and arson. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of a swollen hand.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Judge evicts man from NYC apartment, citing urine stench

(Reuters) – A 30-year Harlem resident who suffers from incontinence has been evicted from his apartment by a New York City judge who said the stench of his urine jeopardized the safety of other tenants.

Civil Court Judge Sabrina Kraus in Manhattan said on Friday that while she had empathy for Michael Edmonds, the other tenants were entitled to live in a building that did not smell of urine or expose them to bio hazards in the common areas.

According to the court, not only did the smell of urine emanate from Edmonds’ apartment, but he also sometimes urinated in public areas of the building, and was also fired from his job because of his incontinence.

Edmonds claimed he had suffered from the condition since 2011 and was seeing new doctors and taking medication, but Kraus said he appeared to be unable to handle the condition on his own. Furthermore, three cleanings by a city agency had been unable to get rid of the stench.

Edmonds did not have an attorney. His court-appointed guardian, Roger Moore, did not return a request for comment. Nor did a lawyer for the landlord.

Kraus based her decision in part on a 2007 ruling in which the Appellate Division, First Department, said that a woman who used a bucket to transport her urine to a communal bathroom 90 feet from her apartment had created a nuisance warranting her eviction.

The case is West 141 Street LP v. Michael Edmonds, New York City Civil Court, No. 80375-13.

For the landlord: Peter Rose of Rose & Rose.

For Edmonds: Pro se.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner; Editing by Ted Botha and Richard Chang)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Owl kills canary during high-rise apartment raid in Idaho

(Reuters) – An owl killed a canary after swooping into a 10th-floor apartment in Idaho, the canary’s owner said on Monday.

Sue Sausser said she came face-to-beak with the smallish brown-gray predator. It entered through an open door and sprung open the pet’s cage, killing one canary and injuring another before rapidly flapping away.

The second canary was not singing, she said, “but it’s chirping and it’s eating and drinking so I think it is almost over the trauma.”

Toni Ruth of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said a 10th-floor apartment would sit high above trees where an owl normally might roost. But she said young birds can range far when exploring new areas or when unfamiliar with landscapes, and that is when they fly into trouble.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Howard Goller)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Hundreds of pet rats removed from small Ohio apartment

(Reuters) – Animal control officers were working on Friday to remove approximately 300 rats from an Ohio studio apartment and will put them up for adoption around the country, a humane society officer said.

Some of the rats were in cages but others roamed free and were living in holes in the walls and inside a mattress, said animal control officer Sheila Marquis, who said they have been placed with rat rescue groups who will find them new homes.

The rodents’ owner contacted the Humane Society of Greater Dayton after he was evicted from his apartment in Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, and was unable to care for the Dumbo and Fancy breed pet rats, which begin breeding at three months old and have litters of 13 or more several times a year.

“It doesn’t take long. It can get out of hand quite quickly,” Marquis said.

She said no charges are expected because the owner reached out for help and the rodents appeared to be generally well fed.

(Editing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

U.K. heroin junkie says pot growers took over his apartment for grow op and held him captive


Note to would-be cannabis growers: Taking over the apartment of a known heroin junkie for your grow op is not a good way to start. Forcing him into captivity for three days in said junkie pad grow op? Even worse idea.

He’s a heroin junkie–he’s going to get out and get his fix.

Jason Huskisson of Manchester, England says that after years of being addicted to heroin he’s run afoul of many known drug dealers in the area. He says that a few recently threatened him and his family into using Huskisson’s apartment for their pot operation.

The grow operation apparently went along fine until clearly something went south and Huskisson was locked in his own apartment by the growers so that he wouldn’t escape and (presumably) rat out the 23-plant operation, according to the Manchester Evening News.

But Huskisson wasn’t to be held captive. No. The gangly man opened up a window from the second floor apartment and jumped to safety. Relatively speaking, that is. Huskisson actually broke his foot and arm in the fall. Thankfully a neighbor heard the thud and looked out the window before calling 999 (UK’s version of 911).

Huskisson, meanwhile, had run off to a nearby pawn shop clearly not wanting to stick around the area. But cops managed to track the hobbled man down and get him to a hospital where he told his strange saga.

Nobody else was arrested in relation to the case.

Huskisson was shown some mercy and given 12 months of supervised probation and drug counseling.

More links from around the web!

Email Print

Toke of the Town

Chinese man dismantles villa perched atop apartment block

Workers demolish parts of a privately built villa, surrounded by imitation rocks, on the rooftop of a 26-storey residential building in Beijing, August 15, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

Workers demolish parts of a privately built villa, surrounded by imitation rocks, on the rooftop of a 26-storey residential building in Beijing, August 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/China Daily

BEIJING | Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:49am EDT

(Reuters) – A Chinese property owner has started dismantling an elaborate villa built illegally, complete with a garden, on top of a Beijing apartment block after complaints from his neighbors and a government warning to tear it down.

Aerial photos of the structure, perched on the roof of the 26-story block, near a lake and a busy highway, have been circulating on the Internet for the past week, causing an outcry from the block’s residents and amazement at the audacious flouting of planning rules and norms.

On Monday, authorities demanded that Zhang Biqing, the villa’s builder, demolish it within 15 days, calling it an illegal structure after residents complained to the local government.

Zhang, a wealthy medicine practitioner who also owns a penthouse in the building, pledged to dismantle the 800-square-metre structure after he was informed of the risks to the public by police and urban management authorities, state news agency Xinhua said.

The brazen structure was the latest example of the blatant disregard for the law among the rich, a source of discontent among many Chinese.

Residents living in the block told Reuters Television on Tuesday they were worried about the extra weight accumulating above their heads.

“Perhaps originally it was designed to withstand a certain weight, but now he has added so many things, it’s not a question of a blade of grass,” said Wen Tingshu, who lives on the 22nd floor. “If it collapses, nobody knows how many casualties it would cause.”

Chen Yu, an official from Beijing’s Haidian district city administration and law enforcement bureau, said on Tuesday the authorities would demolish the villa if Zhang did not take action.

“If Beijing experiences bad or extreme weather, it could be blown down or hit by lightning,” Chen told reporters. “More importantly, it has infringed the rights of other residents who disliked having a building constructed on their rooftop.”

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee and Sabrina Mao; Editing by Alison Williams)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Secondhand Smoke Permeates Many Apartment Buildings: Study

SUNDAY April 29, 2012 — A new survey of American apartment dwellers reveals that upwards of a third of nonsmoking residents sniff the stench of secondhand smoke in their building’s public spaces, while almost half smell it within their own homes.

“As a pediatrician, I have had a lot of feedback from parents who have been telling me that this is really a significant issue for them,” said study author Dr. Karen Wilson. “But I do think for many people this is a relatively new concept to think about, in terms of looking at the situation and the potential impact, and then being able to do something about it.”

Wilson is the section head of pediatric hospital medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The findings are set for Sunday presentation at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, in Boston.

The survey focused on the experiences of 323 nationally representative respondents, and was conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence, an advocacy group aimed at safeguarding children from cigarettes and secondhand smoke.

The researchers surveyed apartment residents whose own homes had been smoke-free for a minimum of three months. All the participants were drawn from a larger 2011 Social Climate Survey.

They were asked about their building’s smoking restrictions; family composition; where they smelled secondhand smoke and how often.

Among those who reported smelling secondhand smoke, 38 percent said it happened weekly and 12 percent said they noticed the smell daily.

Nonsmoking residents were more likely to indicate that the smell of secondhand smoke was an issue in common areas if they had children: 41 percent of respondents with children reported some degree of public area smoke incursion, compared with 26 percent of childless residents.

Households with children were less likely to report such smoke incursions within their own unit: 34 percent vs. 60 percent among childless residents.

The survey found that those whose housing costs were underwritten to some degree by government subsidies were also more likely to report smoke incursion.

Building regulations only seemed to have an appreciable impact on secondhand smoke if they involved total bans, the survey found. Smoke-free buildings had lower rates of common-area smoking incursion than those with no restrictions. By contrast, secondhand smoke smells in public spaces was as much of a problem in buildings featuring common-area-only bans as they were in buildings featuring no restrictions whatsoever.

“We clearly saw that a total ban is much more effective than a partial ban,” Wilson noted. “And with that I would say that while I absolutely support moves to ban smoking in the workplace, at the very least adults have some choice in the matter in terms of their being able to leave a job or go somewhere else if they come into a work environment where smoking is still allowed. Children in the home, however, do not have that choice.”

“Parents need to advocate and speak up, and say ‘I don’t want my children to be exposed while they’re sleeping, doing their homework or playing at home,'” she added. “And they should ask their landlord about smoking regulations in any apartment building they’re considering before they move in.”

For her part, one advocate said that the issue of smoking incursion in apartment dwellings complements her organization’s prime focus “to get smoke-free indoor air everywhere we can.”

“We certainly think that residents have an absolutely legitimate right to at least know whether they are going to be exposed to this kind of health risk when they are considering moving into an apartment,” said Marie Cocco, a spokeswoman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Because we know that secondhand smoke is a deadly substance that contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which, at least, cause cancer.”

Cocco said her organization has publicly endorsed measures, such as the one recently unveiled by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which would require multi-dwelling apartment buildings to fully disclose their smoking policy to all prospective renters and buyers.

“The Surgeon General has clearly [described secondhand smoke risks such as] lung cancer and heart disease among adults, and respiratory and ear infections and asthma among babies and children,” she added.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more on secondhand smoke, visit the American Cancer Society.

Posted: April 2012

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. – Daily MedNews