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The Nooz: Calling all cars — duck on the loose

A weekly roundup of odd news stories as reported by NBC’s local affiliates across the nation:  Washington police are on the lookout for a 10-foot inflatable duck, flies take over a S.C. town, and more.
/ Source: NBC News and

KENNEWICK, Wash. — It’s all ducks to the rescue — the Great Mid-Columbia Duck is on the loose.

The inflatable fowl was stolen from the Joe’s Sporting Goods store in Kennewick last week. The duck stands 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide, wearing sunglasses. But it didn’t look like that on the night of the crime.

“It wasn’t inflated,” said Loy Hibbs, the store manager. “It was flat and stuck in a small space, so it [had to be] someone who knew it was here and came specifically to get it.”

Knowing the icon for the yearly Mid-Columbia Duck Race has gone missing has people quacking.

“Oh, I think it’s sad. My daughter comes here and hug it,” said Lucy Sauter of Kennewick.

“They can have it chillin’ on their pool or something,” said Steve Swoboda of Richland.

Authorities have offered a $1,000 reward for the duck, which shouldn’t be too hard to spot.

“You can’t exactly inflate it and not have people notice you have a big giant duck in your back yard,” said Anthony Davis of Kennewick.

— KNDU of Kennewick, Wash.

Swarms of flies invade small town
BETHUNE, S.C. — Jeremy and Erin Crenshaw say flies have invaded their home in Bethune.

“You open a door and 30 or 40 flies come in,” Jeremy Crenshaw said. The Crenshaws’ cat, Cloey, does what she can, and bug spray can go only so far.

“No spray or poison can keep up with this many,” Crenshaw said.

The Crenshaws’ trailer is under attack from thousands of the flying pests. It’s been happening since they moved in two years ago.

But it’s nothing compared to the horror at the new house Erin Crenshaw’s brother, Brandon Smothers, is building just a few hundred yards away. The flies have taken over, and they’ve actually kept the house from getting finished.

“We can’t paint the house because the flies stick to it. We’ve got to get ’em out first,” Smother said.

Smothers says he fogged the house, but by the next morning, several fly strips were covered.

Residents said the flies were the result of a nearby field, where a company called Terra Renewal Services has been using rendered chicken parts to fertilize the land. State officials say that the company has a permit but that the flies shouldn’t be that bad. 

TRS says it’s in the process of spraying the field to control the fly population.

“We can’t go on like this,” Jeremy Crenshaw said.

— WIS, Columbia, S.C.

Seattle restaurant accused of being copycat
SEATTLE – A friendship gone bad has resulted in a restaurant war for two popular Seattle night spots — a war that now heads to the courtroom.

The owner of Peso’s claims the owner of Matador stole Peso’s recipes, copied its décor and is now luring away its customers.

A wrought-iron-wrapped festive exterior draws 20-somethings into Peso’s in the Queen Anne neighborhood, with its extensive bar and tapas.

At the nearby Matador in the Ballard neighborhood, a wrought-iron-wrapped festive exterior entices young professionals in for its extensive bar and contemporary Tex-Mex cuisine.

“I thought they were a chain. I thought they were related,” a patron said.

They’re not.

Peso’s owner has filed a lawsuit, accusing his former bartender and friend of leaving his restaurant, taking his secrets and opening up shop of his own, tempting away customers.

A King County judge ruled that Peso’s freely gave away some of its recipes, but it did agree to hear a case accusing Matador of violating trade secrecy laws. The case goes to trial next week.

— KING, Seattle