Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The skinny

The Skinny: Mich. firefighter rescues 6-foot-long python

'Happy ending'

Firefighter in Mich. rescues 6-foot python

A firefighter put his reptile-handling experience to good use when he rescued a snake from a burning home in western Michigan. Firefighter Scott Hemmelsbach told the Muskegon Chronicle that he reluctantly agreed to enter the two-story, smoke-filled house Sunday night to retrieve the python. He says he cradled the "weighty" snake before carrying it to safety. "It was trying to crawl up the side of his terrarium and get out," he said. "His face was pushed up on the screen and trying to get out. There was a lot of smoke and he was trapped." The firefighter said he learned how to handle snakes while in high school. "I would do it for any creature," he said. "I'm just glad it had a happy ending."

It's cub-proofed

Panda baby may venture outside

The National Zoo in Washington says giant panda cub Bao Bao may soon go outside for the first time with her mother. The zoo said Monday that Bao Bao will have access to her mother Mei Xiang's yard this week beginning each day about 8 a.m. Zookeepers say she'll have the option of going outside if the temperature is at least 35 degrees and it's not raining or snowing. Animal keepers have "cub-proofed" the panda yards. They placed collars on trees to prevent Bao Bao from climbing too high. Some tree limbs have been trimmed, and the keepers spread out bales of hay to cushion any falls.

Parody attack ads

Toronto mayor mocked by 'rivals'

A series of campaign signs have been posted in Toronto featuring phony mayoral candidates with slogans that mock current Mayor Rob Ford, infamous for admitting that he smoked crack cocaine — and still running for re-election. The signs were posted by the "No Ford Nation" political group started by Christina Robins. "We want to get back to a mayor who doesn't embarrass us," Robins said. Among the phony slogans: "He promises to just smoke pot as mayor. Not crack." And: "When I urinate in public, I never get caught on camera."

Road kill caesarean

C-section on dead animal saves baby

A Maine man in search of a valuable mineral cut open a dead porcupine on the side of the road and unexpectedly pulled out its baby. Jared Buzzell of Lisbon says he was searching for wild mushrooms recently when he saw a porcupine get hit by a car in Minot. Buzzell says he'd heard that a valuable mineral deposit used in Chinese medicine formed in the stomachs of porcupines. When he cut open the dead animal he instead found the baby. He tells WMTW-TV he cut the umbilical cord and thought the baby was dead until he started massaging it and it began breathing. Buzzell plans to give it to a licensed wildlife caregiver.

Compiled from wire services and other sources.

The Skinny: Mich. firefighter rescues 6-foot-long python 03/31/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 31, 2014 11:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.

  2. Police: Man tries to lure child with puppy in Polk County


    Times staff

    HAINES CITY — A man was arrested Sunday after he tried to entice a young girl into his camper to view a puppy, according to police.

    Dale Collins, 63, faces a charge of luring or enticing a child under the age of 12. [Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts


    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.

  4. Editorial: Floridians' health care now at risk in Washington


    The health care for millions of Floridians is now at risk. The U.S. Senate's dramatic vote Tuesday to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with no idea what will happen is a dangerous gamble with American lives and the national economy. Barring an unexpected bipartisan compromise, a handful of …

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dramatically returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer was diagnosed and cast the key vote that enabled Vice President Mike Pence to break the 50-50 tie and allow the health care debate to proceed.
  5. Former Marine from Florida dies fighting for Kurdish militia

    ORLANDO — A former Marine who secretly traveled to Syria earlier this year to battle the Islamic State was killed while fighting for a Kurdish militia, his father said Tuesday.

    David Taylor, with his father David Taylor Sr., was killed earlier this month in Syria while fighting for a Kurdish militia.