Dateline: Australia—Zookeepers at the Australian Reptile Park in Gosford say the country’s largest reticulated python went on a crash diet in 2011 and has emerged as a svelte snake. Atomic Betty, who is believed to be the biggest snake in Australia, hit 298 pounds early last year. Worried about the still-growing reptile’s weight, caretakers started monitoring her diet. “This year she only had about three or four goats as opposed to maybe 10 because she was getting a little bit too round rather than getting longer,” Tim Faulkner, the park’s operations manager, told reporters. Atomic Betty got weighed-in earlier this month. It took six reptile keepers half an hour to wrangle the 21 1/2-foot python onto the scales. After some calculations, it turned out she gained less than five pounds over the last 12 months thanks to her four-goat diet.
Dateline: Canada—A woman refused medical assistance after being shot in the eye on New Year’s Eve—at least until she finished her celebratory beer. Police and paramedics arrived at a home in Winnipeg in the early morning hours of Dec. 31 to find the unnamed 30-year-old woman sitting calmly in a chair. “It was like she was oblivious to what had happened,” a source told the Winnipeg Free Press. “She didn’t want treatment until after she finished her beer.” The woman was allegedly “severely impaired,” either by drugs or alcohol or both, and showed no signs of discomfort from her injury. Paramedics on scene said it was a miracle she didn’t become the city’s 40th homicide victim of 2011. The body of 46-year-old Michael Warren Sinclair—Winnipeg’s 39th and final murder victim of the year—was found inside the same room as the injured woman. Police say as many as 10 other people in various stages of impairment were scattered throughout the house. So far, no arrests have been made. According to a neighbor who spoke to the Winnipeg Sun, the home where the shootings took place was a hive of illegal activity. “There’s always troubles down there,” the neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told the daily. “Cars are coming and going like goddamn flies down there. It’s been like that for years.” The female victim remains in the hospital and is listed in stable condition.
Dateline: Illinois—A drunk driving suspect made it easy on law enforcement when he passed out in the parking lot of the county jail on New Year’s Day. St. Clair County deputies arrested 32-year-old Casey Crane on the morning of Jan. 1 and dragged him all of 20 feet to the facility where he was booked. Arresting officers said Crane was unconscious behind the wheel of his running Chevrolet Blazer with an open, 12-ounce bottle of Coors Light nearby. A slurring Crane admitted to having a couple of drinks but refused to take a field sobriety test or a breath test. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, Crane had dropped someone off at the jail for a visit before nodding off at the wheel.
Dateline: Illinois—A 34-year-old man gave an audience a glimpse of The Full Alvin after stripping naked at a screening of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked in Chicago. According to North Riverside Police, 96 people, most of them children, witnessed Edward Brown take off his clothes during a Thursday evening screening of the G-rated family film. Investigators say Brown entered the Classic Cinemas at the North Riverside mall, sat in the front row and watched the film quietly for about 30 minutes. At that point, he removed his clothing, stood up on his chair and turned around to face the crowd, exposing his genitals to children as young as 4 years old. Mall security officers arrived moments later and removed Brown. He told police that he was invited into the theater by a woman who promised to have sex and smoke crack with him if he got naked. Brown was booked into the Cook County Jail and charged with three counts of felony sexual exploitation of children, one count of sexual exploitation and one count of disorderly conduct.