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Good Samaritans shell out $210 to save 22-pound lobster

Twins Chris and David Schmidt’s joke about buying and setting free a 22-pound lobster became reality Thursday.

The brothers saw the crustacean which is estimated to be 150 years old at the Chatham Pier Fish Market and decided to split the $210 cost, according to the Cape Cod Times.

They named the lobster Big Lobi in honor of Boston Red Sox player Big Papi David Ortiz. They took the lobster north of the pier to Ryder’s Cove to set it free away from seals.

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Although it is inexact, experts estimate a lobster’s age at seven years for every pound.

However, their valiant effort was for naught.

Big Lobi was found dead just a couple days after his release.

“I think they had the best of intentions,” Catherine Macort, executive assistant at the Center for Coastal Studies, told the Times.

He likely did not survive the shock of the new environment after spending three weeks in a tank. Where he was released is also much warmer than the cooler, deeper water where lobster’s typically live.

 However, Big Lobi will live on. His body was donated to an artist who creates prints from dead sea creatures.

3 injured in bar bus crash

A bus owned by a bar that typically takes passengers to Tigers games crashed into multiple vehicles Sunday before coming to a stop after hitting the side of an apartment building. >> Read more trending stories A Nemo’s bar bus was carrying passengers when it crashed into the side of the Leland Hotel apartments in downtown, according to WDIV. At least three people were injured when the bus was cut off by another vehicle causing it to strike three vehicles, according to WJBK. Detroit police are investigating the accident. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

 

Drug kingpin's hippos cause problems in wild

In another round of things we didn't think we had to say out loud, a note to exotic-pet owners: Don't let your pets loose in the wild.

A herd of hippos formerly owned by the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar has been on the loose since his death in 1993.

And over the past two decades, those hippos have multiplied and become an invasive species in northern Colombia.

Escobar, who has an entire Netflix series based off his life, was known for his exotic pets. Aside from hippos, the kingpin reportedly kept giraffes, elephants and ostriches at his compound.

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But hippos aren't native to this part of Colombia. In fact, they're not native to South America at all.

And if the herd isn't controlled soon, authorities fear the animals could pose a threat to people and native ecosystems.

If we move north on the globe, the problem of invasive animals doesn't get any better. Florida has had problems with several species invading the state — and no, we're not talking about pythons.

Capybaras, which basically look like overgrown guinea pigs, have found their way from South America to northern Florida. They're legal to own as pets, but it appears people are setting them free.

And those massive rodents eat a lot of plants, which isn't great for vegetation in the area they've inhabited. Granted, the animals  aren't considered an invasive species yet, but they're well on their way.

And if oversized guinea pigs aren't bad enough, Florida is also battling parasite-carrying giant African snails.

So, from the Asian carp to zebra mussels and the European starling, it appears we're already dealing with a lot of animals that shouldn't be around. Maybe keep the hippos penned up next time.

Two people stranded on desert island rescued

Two people stranded on a desert island were rescued after creating an SOS message in the sand.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported Friday the stranded pair were safely rescued after a seven-day search.

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Back in April, three people were rescued in the same region — Micronesia — after spelling the word "help" in the sand with palm fronds.

In the most recent rescue, the pair had "limited supplies and no emergency equipment on board" while attempting to travel to a nearby island. Authorities had searched more than 16,000 square miles before finding them.

Shootings by Chicago police declining

New data show a decline in recent years in the number of incidents in which Chicago police fired their weapons.

The data was compiled and released by the Chicago Tribune, which submitted multiple requests for the information before eventually threatening to sue for its release.

The Tribune found that in 2010, 102 officers fired shots during 74 incidents. In 2015, both the number of officers and the number of incidents decreased by at least 40 percent. 

In general, those numbers suggest a downward trend, though there have been a few spikes along the way. Out of the six years covered, the second year (2011) saw the most gunfire from police. 2013 through 2015 had the three lowest number of incidents, with a small spike in shots fired by police in 2014. 

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But the figures only represent the total number of incidents and say nothing about the situational factors that may or may not have led to police firing their weapons. 

The release comes as Chicago's police force is under increased scrutiny. 2016 has been marked by numerous protests against police brutality. 

In response, the city's department has tried to increase its transparency. One plan has been to expand the number of body cameras worn by officers.  

And in June, the department released hundreds of clips from police incidents. The department has historically kept its videos of open investigations sealed. 

While the data could help the department's image when it comes to use of force, it might not quell accusations of racial bias. The data shows the majority of individuals shot by police since 2010 were black men.

Down the drain? Bar soap sales (and use) are down

A negative perception of bar soap is one of the reasons market intelligence agency Mintel cites for declining sales and use.

Despite a study that shows its unlikely even a germ-covered bar of soap could transfer harmful bacteria, nearly half of U.S. consumers think it's possible.

According to Mintel research, 48 percent of U.S. consumers think bar soap is full of germs after it's used. Sixty percent of 18- to 24-year-olds think that way. Older generations seem to be more accustomed to bar soap, with only 31 percent of people 65 and older saying bars are covered in germs after use.

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Bar soap sales dropped 2.2 percent between 2014 and 2015. And the number of households using bar soap dropped from 89 percent to 84 percent between 2010 and 2015. 

Mintel also cites in-shower moisturizers as a reason for declining sales.

A beauty analyst with the firm says people who use in-shower moisturizers are less inclined to use moisturizing bar soaps.

"This can result in consumers using more basic, lower-priced bar soap options in order to splurge on in-shower moisturizers," the analyst said.

So how can bar soap companies turn sales around? Mintel says new bars should "incorporate a wider variety of claims, especially for more luxury and premium bar soap offerings."

And they definitely shouldn't lose hope, because between 2010 and 2015, sales for soap, shower and bath products grew 15 percent.

Devastating earthquake brings up legal questions in Italy

Officials have begun investigating building code violations in central Italy where an earthquake turned structures into rubble this past week.

The 6.2-magnitude quake killed at least 290 people, most of them in the small city of Amatrice. Citizens and authorities are still searching the ruins for victims.

But the fact that the earthquake caused so many structures to collapse has many questioning whether the area's buildings were up to code. 

Buildings in Italy are sometimes more than 100 years old and not always up to seismic standards.

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But prosecutors are also looking into the possibility that some property owners altered the structures of their homes without bringing them up to code. Special attention will reportedly be paid to a bell tower restored in 2009 and an elementary school renovated to withstand earthquakes in 2012.

And while Italy might have the physical resources to renovate the century-old buildings, the holdup often comes down to money.

Voice of America quoted one man saying its "impossible or prohibitively expensive to make changes within the regulations that are drawn up by the government in Rome."

Those that did recently renovate and violate building codes could reportedly face criminal charges. The timing of the investigation has angered some survivors and families still mourning those killed by the quake.

Money isn't the only pillar the towns have to overcome. Corruption also plays a role in a city's ability to move forward.

More specifically, Italian authorities are now tasked with keeping the mafia out of rebuilding efforts.

Italy's national anti-mafia prosecutor told a local newspaper "earthquake reconstruction is a tasty morsel for criminal organizations and committees."

Victor Cruz criticizes Kaepernick's decision to sit during anthem

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was asked at a press conference Saturday what he thinks about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the national anthem.

"I'm not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said about the choice. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

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But Cruz said that certain political issues are "bigger than" Kaepernick.

Here are Cruz's full remarks:

I think, personally, the flag is the flag. Regardless of how you feel about the things that are going on in America today and the things that are going on across the world with gun violence and things like that. You’ve got to respect the flag and stand up with your teammates. It’s bigger than just you, in my opinion. I think you go up there. You’re with your team, and you pledge your allegiance to the flag and the national anthem as a team, and then you go about your business, whatever your beliefs are. Colin is his own man. He decided to sit down and sit out and that’s his prerogative. But from a personal standpoint, I think you have to stand out there with your team and understand that this is a game and understand that what’s going on in the country.

Louisiana bus crash kills 2, injures firefighters, passengers

Louisiana State Police confirmed two people were killed when a bus and firetruck collided on a highway Sunday. 

Among the dead was St. John the Baptist Parish district fire chief, Spencer Chauvin.

Several dozen people were injured, including two other firefighters, when the charter bus and firetruck collided, The Times-Picayune reported.

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St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom said in a statement that Chauvin was "one of the bravest and most dedicated firefighters that I know."

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as well as to the families of the other two firefighters involved in the accident," Robottom said. "This type of loss will affect the entire department, and they will have our full support as they deal with the grief of losing a comrade. It is heartbreaking, especially after this same group of individuals helped to guide St. John the Baptist Parish safely through Hurricane Isaac."

Fire personnel were responding to an incident on Interstate 10 when a tour bus of volunteers going to assist flood victims in Baton Rouge hit the firetruck, The Times-Picayune reported. 

Chauvin and two other firefighters who were standing on the side of the road at the time of the collision, were injured when they were thrown over the guardrail, Trooper Melissa Matey told The New Orleans Advocate. Forty-one people were taken from the scene with various injuries.

One firefighter is in critical but stable condition and the other has moderate injuries, the Advocate reported.

A second person died while driving a Toyota Camry that was also hit by the bus, Matey said.

Criminal charges are pending for the driver of the bus, identified as Denis Rodriguez, 37, of Honduras.

State police said he is an undocumented immigrant, does not have a driver's license and was not authorized to drive a commercial vehicle, WDSU reported.

Rodriguez remains in a hospital, where he is being treated for injuries.

Read more at the Advocate.

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