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Ryan Beltram

Ryan Beltram

Passionate about movies, sports and writing, Ryan hails from Bend but lives in Springfield now. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to one day write a novel. He also enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.
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Where Did The Week Go… Falcons on a Plane

Falcons Get First-Class Treatment

I thought if I was going to be writing about falcons this week, it would involve football. But instead my focus is on Middle Eastern airlines and their birds.

This week, a photograph surfaced of a cabin full of birds flying in an unusual way. The falcons were traveling to Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia according to passenger Ahmet Yasar.

The dozens of falcons were each given their own seat as well as boxes to sit on. But don’t you have to have photo I.D. to fly? Not a problem for these birds. They each have their own passports courtesy of the Ministry of Environment and Water. The passports are issued to deter smuggling of birds (Okay?).

Birds on a plane. | (Ahmet Yasar)

Flying falcons in the cabin of an airplane is quite common in the Middle East. Between 2002 and 2013, the government issued more than 28,000 falcon passports.

Qatar Airways allows a passenger to travel with one falcon as an economy class passenger and a maximum of six falcons are permitted within the entire cabin. But I guess this passenger knew a guy in order to get far more onto this flight.

The falcons remain calm during the flight thanks to their practical wooden stands and little hoods over their heads.

We usually have to deal with crying babies, sick people and impatient passengers when flying as well as the occasional snake. But falcons? That’s a new one.

 

Gambler Leaves Casino to Rob Bank, Comes Back to Gamble More

You know you have a gambling problem when….

Kerry Johnson, 52, pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery on Wednesday for an August 2 robbery of a bank in Charleston, West Virginia, according to the Charleston Gazette-Journal.

Johnson was gambling at the Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro when he got up from the blackjack table and left a $25 chip to hold his spot.

Johnson then went to the bank and gave a note to the teller saying he had a bomb and a weapon. He left the bank with $5,000 and instead of fleeing, he returned to the casino to resume his blackjack game.

Kerry Johnson had quite a night. | (WCHS)

He was arrested the next day after police received an anonymous tip. After searching his residence, investigators found a yellow legal pad matching paper used for the robbery note.

Detectives also found a large amount of money stuffed into Johnson’s couch. I usually find a quarter between mine.

At the hearing, Johnson told the judge he’d taken a few drugs the day of the robbery. I hope that’s the same excuse he used to explain his weak cover-up.

Side note: Does anyone actually get away with a bank robbery these days? It’s impossible. Between the bills being tracked and security cameras, there’s no way. This isn’t John Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde during the Depression performing stick-ups.

 

Dying Teen Fulfills Bucket list Item in Stunning Fashion

Alyssa Elkins, a 16-year-old from McConnelsville, Ohio, was diagnosed with leukemia. Doctors told her she had only four months to live, so she made a list of things to do in her final months.

Among the items were your typical things: getting a puppy and going to Disney World. But another unusual request on her list was using a stun gun on someone.

She got the idea after watching a video of her uncle, Ohio State Highway Patrolman Josh Barry, being hit with a Taser during his training.

She loved it so much, she added it to the list.

Alyssa Elkins’ bucket list item was stunningly original. | (YouTube)

Elkins fulfilled her dream last Sunday after eight employees of the Newark Police Department volunteered to be hit with a Taser by the teen.

She stunned them one at a time in front of a group of 50 people. To make sure it was a safe environment, each volunteer was held by two spotters and Tased in the back instead of IN THE FACE!

“It is unpleasant to say the least,” Sgt. Doug Bline to WBNS TV. “But if for five seconds it makes somebody’s dream come true, especially someone in her situation, I think it was well worth it no matter what.”

Next on Elkins’ list is a family trip to Disney World in February. Hopefully she leaves Mickey Mouse alone.

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