ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — When the coronavirus pandemic began last year, Carolina Tolladay Vidal’s pinata business in Alaska went to pieces — and not in a good way for a pinata maker.

“Many of the projects I had were moved to other dates,” she told Alaska Public Media last Friday. “Many were canceled.”

Tolladay Vidal had to find fresh ideas to rejuvenate her business and settled on making large, coronavirus shaped pinatas.

After Tolladay Vidal posted a photograph of a homemade coronavirus pinata on social media, the orders started piling up, she said.

“I think you really smash them and break them and hit them with meaning,” she said. “Because it has been tough for everybody.”

Rose Consenstein, age 8, said she felt like “beating the heck” out of a coronavirus pinata at her outdoor birthday party.

“I couldn’t see it, since I had a blindfold,” Consenstein said. “But I was just like, ‘I want to get you!’ ”

Tolladay Vidal started her pinata business about four years ago, after one of her daughters requested a pinata shaped like the character “Cloud Guy” from the film “Trolls.”

“I had looked in the stores in town. I looked online, and I didn’t find anything,” Tolladay Vidal said. “And I thought, ‘Well, you know, it shouldn’t be so hard to make up a pinata.’ ”

Tolladay Vidal had grown up in Mexico, spending years creating pinatas with her family.

“I have a memory of my grandma setting up all the grandchildren and helping her make a couple star pinatas with the seven points,” she said.

Rose Consenstein’s mom, Kate Consenstein, said the coronavirus pinatas were the perfect addition to her daughter’s outdoor, socially distanced birthday party.

“Coronavirus is the perfect villain for children,” Consenstein said. “They can really just simply understand that that is the thing that we want to defeat. There was so much cheering when it exploded.”


April 20 (UPI) -- A Kentucky woman who found some baby photos in a cookbook she found at a thrift store used Facebook to find the girl from the photos and return them to her.

Robyn Filley said she was shopping at a thrift store with her husband, Chris, when she found some old photographs inside a cookbook for sale.

Filley got permission from the store to take the photos, which showed a baby girl with family members, and try to find the family who might be missing them.

"I was like I want to post them online and try to find the family, because pictures are just everything to people. And the little girl looked so loved, so I was like I have to find the family," Filley told WNKY-TV.

She posted the pictures to Facebook with a plea for locals to help her identify the family.

Filley said the post had been up for a little over a day when she received a message from Haley London, the girl from the 20-year-old photos.

London said the handwriting on the back of the photos appeared to match her grandmother's writing.

"I immediately called my nana and I was like, 'Did you donate a cookbook?' And she was like, 'Yeah, I did, why?' And I was like, 'I'm pretty sure you left some of our pictures in there and someone found them.' She just started laughing, she was like, 'There's no way.' And I was like, 'No, it really did happen,'" London recalled.

Filley and London met up in person to exchange the photos.

"She said as soon as she found them she immediately knew that she wanted to find who they belonged to, and I just thought that was so thoughtful and generous to take the time to put a picture on Facebook and see what's gonna happen," London said.


April 20 (UPI) -- Police in California said they ended up in an unusual chase when a loose llama or alpaca was spotted running on the highway.

The California Highway Patrol's Sonora station said troopers responded Monday to a report of a loose animal on Highway 49 in Tuolumne County.

The CHP said in a Facebook post that officials aren't sure if the animal is a llama or an alpaca.

"Luckily, a local resident with knowledge of these animals was able to assist us by corralling it into a fenced area and prevent it from getting hit by a vehicle on the highway," the post said.

The animal is being cared for by Tuolumne County Animal Control while officials attempt to identify its owner.


April 20 (UPI) -- A group of magnet fishermen pulling up metal from a Michigan river made a surprising discovery -- a World War II-era artillery shell.

Ryan McCollum, of the Rustic Treasure Hunters, said he was magnet fishing in Grand Rapids with his son, Lochlan, 8, and his cousin, Chris Hample, when Hample pulled a 2-foot-long metal object out of the Grand River.

"I'm like, 'What is that? There's no way,'" McCollum told WOOD-TV. "And then as I got closer, I saw it was an artillery shell, so that was very surprising for what you can find in the river."

The fishermen alerted the authorities and police cleared the Sixth Street Bridge, where the men had been casting their lines, while the captain of the bomb squad examined the find.

"It was a 75-millimeter armor piercing artillery shell. The bomb squad confirmed this, too," McCollum said. "It was actually used in Sherman tanks in WWII."

The bomb squad determined the shell was safe to transport and it was taken away for further investigation and disposal.

McCollum said the bomb squad captain was unsure of how the shell ended up in the river. The captain hypothesized the object may have been brought home as a souvenir of the war and was disposed of in the river at some point.


April 20 (UPI) -- Police responding to a report of an intruder at a California home broke down the front door and stormed the house to find the suspected burglar was actually the owner's robot vacuum.

Yana Sydnor said she and her 2-year-old daughter were sleeping at their Natomas home when she was awakened by a sound she thought was an intruder in her home.

"Say about 1 a.m., I hear over my meditation music, 'Boom, boom, boom,'" Sydnor told KOVR-TV.

Sydnor said she texted friends to tell them there was a burglar in her home.

"I was like, 'Hey, someone is in my house,' and they were like, 'Call the police.' I was like, 'Oh yeah, yeah, call the police.'"

Sydnor called 911 and hid in the bathroom with her daughter.

She said she heard police break down her front door moments later, followed by the sound of laughter.

The police discovered the suspected intruder was the family's robot vacuum.

"My son turned on the vacuum cleaner because he didn't want to do chores before he left for the weekend. We hadn't used this vacuum in almost two years. It went down the stairs," Sydnor said.

A North Carolina couple ended up in a similar situation in December 2019 when they heard what they believed to be an intruder in their home.

Thomas Milam of Forsyth County said he and his partner had only had their robot vacuum for three days when they heard the noise inside their home and hid in a closet until police arrived and identified the tool as the cause of the noise.


April 20 (UPI) -- A Turkish musician who was nervous about going paragliding for the first time brought his violin to distract himself from his fear and played a midair concert.

Fikret Eren, who teaches violin, said his longtime friend Semih Er, a professional paraglider, encouraged him to visit the skies for the first time in a tandem paragliding session.

Eren said he was nervous about taking his first flight, and Er suggested he find a way to distract himself during his initial outing.

Eren took the advice and brought his violin along to play the instrument high over the province of Kayseri.

Er said Eren overcame his fear and is now enrolled in a class to get his own paragliding license.


April 20 (UPI) -- Customers and employees at a New Jersey diner said an aggressive goose is protecting his brood in the parking lot and has been attacking humans who get too close.

Witnesses said the male goose has frequently been spotted in the parking lot at the Park West Diner in Woodland Park and has been acting threatening toward customers and employees.

At least one man has been knocked over by the goose and left with bruises on his face from the bird's pecking.

Experts said male geese are known to be aggressive this time of year because they are protecting their eggs. Canada geese are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

"If you go near their nest, they will come after you, they don't bite, but they'll clam on you and you'll have a black or blue mark that will last a month or so," Paterson Animal Control Officer John DeCanto told WABC-TV.

He said male geese usually stay close to the nests where their mates are tending the eggs.

"Just like us, you know we're here to protect our little ones and we would do anything in our power to protect them, it's the same thing," DeCanto said.


(TodayOnline) KUALA LUMPUR — A Taiwanese man has taken the extreme measure of marrying his wife four times and divorcing her three times just to enjoy a total of 32 days of marriage leave.

Taiwan's Apple Daily reported that the man, who works in a bank, initially got married on April 6 last year and applied for eight days of leave.

At the end of the leave, he divorced his wife before remarrying her the next day.

The man continued with the arrangement where he remarried her four times after three divorces, allowing him to enjoy a total of 32 days of leave.

The man's employer, however, only approved his first marriage leave.

Unhappy that only the first marriage leave was approved, the man filed a complaint against his employer for not abiding with Taiwan's labour laws.

Under Article 2 of Taiwan's Regulations of Leave-Taking for Workers, "a worker shall be entitled to eight days of wedding leave with pay".

Investigations by Taipei City Labour Bureau later found the bank had indeed violated the rule and fined them TWD$20,000 (S$940).

Unhappy with the fine, the bank submitted an appeal and pointed out the man was manipulating the system as he married the same woman in succession.

Despite agreeing what the man did was unethical, the Taipei Labour Bureau upheld the previous ruling and maintained the fine.


(ITV) A pensioner ended up being tucked into a stranger's bed after an ambulance crew took her home to the wrong address.

Elizabeth Mahoney, 89, had been recovering from Covid-19 at County Hospital in Pontypool for 10 long weeks, and her family were relieved to hear she'd finally been given a discharge date of Friday, March 12.

But they began to get concerned when she failed to show up at her home in nearby New Inn at the scheduled time.

It was only after a few hours that it transpired she'd instead been taken by ambulance to an address in Newport - more than eight miles away from where she lived - and left in the bed of a total stranger.

"The whole thing was a catalogue of errors from start to finish," said her son Brian Mahoney, from Cwmbran.

"We'd originally been called at about 1pm on that day and told mum was on her way home, so my wife went over there to greet her.

"About an hour later I rang to see what was happening and was told she still hadn't turned up."

The pensioner was being treated for coronavirus at County Hospital in Pontypool.

Brian then phoned the hospital, only to be informed there'd been 'a bit of a problem'.

"Mum had suffered a stroke not so long back, so naturally we were concerned something bad had happened to her. At about 3.40pm I eventually got a call saying she'd been taken to a house in Newport, but that the details weren't really clear."

The 65-year-old warehouse manager added that a subsequent conversation with someone from the ambulance service revealed that Elizabeth had been put to bed at the property.

"They apologised and told me they were on their way to pick her back up. I just went, 'What do you mean? Please don't tell me you've left her there', at which point my sister burst into tears - we were all worried sick."

Brian said that, while he was still awaiting an official explanation, he believed his mum's details were confused with those of a female patient with dementia who was also due to go home from the hospital on that same day.

"As far as I can tell, mum was taken to this other lady's house by mistake and, somehow, whoever answered the door told the ambulance staff to take her into the bedroom and make her comfortable.

"How they failed to notice it wasn't their relative, I can't say. But apparently they went to check on her a little while later and that's when the penny finally dropped and the alarm was raised."

Elizabeth was then readmitted to hospital.

"Mum initially wanted to come straight home but we insisted she go back in to get checked out, especially after having just had coronavirus.

Elizabeth was taken by ambulance to an address in Newport - eight miles away from her home.

Brian blamed his mother's 'frightened and confused' state for her failure to point out the mix-up as it was happening.

"Mum's a very quiet woman anyway and has been on her own since Dad died in 2019," he said.

"However, she did later tell us that she couldn't work out why she was being called by a different name.

"Also, given the woman she'd been mistaken for has dementia, my guess is any attempt to point out it wasn't her house was possibly put down to her being a bit muddled.

"Who knows, she may have even looked at the unfamiliar surroundings and thought we'd decided to put her in a care home. It's heartbreaking.

"All we want is to find out how this occurred and ensure no one else ever has to go through a similar experience."

The family have since been involved in meetings with the health board and the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

An investigation has since been launched into the incident and Brian added that he and the family had taken part in a meeting with representatives from County Hospital, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, and the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

The latter's assistant director of operations, Mark Harris, is reported as saying: "On March 12, our non-emergency patient transport service undertook a routine home transfer from County Hospital, Pontypool, which regrettably saw a patient discharged to the wrong address for a short period of time.

"We are working closely with colleagues at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to fully understand the chain of events and establish exactly what happened.

"We have extended a sincere apology to both families concerned for the distress caused, and will continue to liaise directly with those families as the investigation progresses."


(KTVU) Calling all "herb" lovers., one of the largest global vaporizer websites, has a job opening for a full-time marijuana vaporizer tester."As our business grows, the founder no longer has time to do full reviews of every product. We need some help," according to the job description.

Each vaporizer sold on the website is tested and analyzed before being advertised on the website, the description continued.

For those who land the job, it won't be as simple as testing the vaporizer and sending it back with a green checkmark. Testers will need to analyze the functionality of the product such as its size, vapor production and temperature.

Testers must also keep track of the product's battery life and describe how to clean and maintain it.

New vaporizers must be tested and compared to similar ones in order for avid consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing.

Testers will also be allowed to give their own personal opinions about the products.

All of these factors must be compiled into a video with an accompanying write-up and photos of the vaporizer, according to the description.

The job pays $42,000 annually with three weeks of paid vacation.

Some benefits of a vaporizer tester for include getting paid to do something "you love," free vaporizers and equipment during employment, a $250-a-month expense account, remote work and flexible work hours.

"I need someone who is confident to take over reviews, someone who knows the difference between a Volcano and an Xmax Starry. Who understands what each customer is looking for. So if you are someone who is passionate about vaporizers and has the ability to create well-produced, helpful videos and write-ups on the vaporizers. I want to hear from you. I think it's an amazing opportunity for somebody, and I look forward to us working together," said Christian Sculthorp, founder of

Applications will be accepted through the end of April 2021. The company has already had over 100 applicants so far, according to an emailed statement.

To apply for this job, go to

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