San Diego Zoo, Prison Merge

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Your Horoscopes – Week of May 1, 2012

ARIES: You will experience unbounded happiness and success in every area of your life this week, unless of course there is something fundamentally and irreversibly wrong with you.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 18, 2015

ARIES: Your feeling of impending doom shall come to nothing again this week as the world continues to turn and your life goes on as normal. Perhaps you should consider feeling useless and stupid instead.

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of January 6, 2015

ARIES: One of the worst moments of a person's life is when they finally realize that they're mortal and are going to die, especially when it's a person like you who only sees the cement truck at the last second.

A Timeline Of Upcoming Superhero Movies

Following the massive successes of the Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers, and X-Men franchises, studios Marvel and DC Entertainment have announced as many as 40 upcoming superhero movies to be released over the next six years ...
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Special Coverage

House and Home

Deadline For Prior User To Remove Clothes From Dryer Extended 5 Minutes

JOHNSON CITY, TN—Upon finding the machine in her apartment building’s laundry room completely untouched since she last stopped by, exasperated local woman Sandra Hermus reportedly mounted all her magnanimity Monday and extended the deadline for the previous user to remove their clothing from the dryer by five minutes.

Good Times

San Diego Zoo, Prison Merge

Newer inmates report having a difficult time making friends.
Newer inmates report having a difficult time making friends.

SAN DIEGO—Plagued by a lack of funding and growing staff shortages, the San Diego Zoo and Ironwood State Prison were combined earlier this week, bringing local inmates and wildlife together for the first time under the same roof.

The new state-of-the-art facility—which will house 12 separate cell blocks, a reptile house, two weight rooms, and a primate sanctuary—is expected to save the state of California up to $5 million in operation costs over the next year.

"It is with great pride that I announce the opening of the San Diego Maximum Security Zoological & Convict Reserve," director David Hennessey said at an opening ceremony Tuesday. "From southern white rhinos to repeat offenders serving 20 years for drug trafficking—you'll find them all here at our amazing new facility."

Construction on the resource-sharing project concluded last Wednesday, after which felons and fauna were carefully transferred to their new joint living space. According to Hennessey, the 40-acre facility features one of the largest collections of migratory birds, hoofed mammals, and hardened inmates in all of North America.

"This is, without a doubt, the only facility of its kind," said warden Jeff Thurston, noting the zoo-prison's authentic natural environments and thick bullet-proof glass. "At any given time, visitors may be able to spot as many as three parole violators and up to five adult black bears in the same holding cell. During scheduled feedings, that number may be even higher."

The San Diego complex is open to schoolchildren on field trips, family members of convicted felons and state-appointed defense lawyers, and is expected to help boost the city's struggling tourism industry. Thurston said that visitors have so far responded favorably to the new facility, with many citing the "Emperor Penguin And Death Row" exhibit as their personal favorite.

The complex will reportedly also feature a number of "Scared Straight" talks each week, during which young visitors will simultaneously learn about the dangers of breaking the law, as well as what happens when a male lowland gorilla suddenly feels threatened.

"I got to see the little baby pandas, and the monkeys, and the zebras," said 8-year-old Michael Nayman, who was taken by his mother to the part-zoo, part-prison compound. "And then I went and saw Daddy. But he wasn't as much fun as the pandas. He just sat in his cage and cried a little."

Despite a positive opening day, officials admitted that the San Diego facility has experienced a number of setbacks. On Tuesday, a scuffle in the shared cafeteria forced officials to fire a series of elephant-tranquilizer shots, leaving three inmates unconscious for days. In addition, a red-tailed Indonesian peacock was found stabbed to death on Thursday, after a group of prisoners accused the three-foot-tall bird of flashing colors of a rival gang in their direction.

"We've been forced to expand our infirmary unit nearly tenfold in the last week," chief nurse Margaret Hodge said. "Unfortunately, the arrival of rhinoceros mating season has made things worse, leading to the gruesome deaths of almost 50 inmates in our communal showers."

According to officials, the institution has also suffered from three recent breakout attempts, including an ill-fated effort last Friday by Enrique Gonzalez, 36, to scale a reticulated giraffe up and over the compound's barbed-wire perimeter fencing. In addition, a 280-pound Bengal tiger was accidentally granted parole after its file was confused with that of mail-fraud convict Cole Bucholz, 47.

Since the merger, officials at San Diego Zoological & Convict Reserve have received a record 600 requests from inmates wishing to be transferred to another maximum-security facility. In addition, officials have received 20 requests from inmates begging to have the dates of their execution pushed forward.

"I've been in a number of prisons in my life, but nothing compares to this," said inmate Casey Ingersoll, who despite previously committing violent murders was still horrified after witnessing a fellow convict ambushed by three Komodo dragons. "If I stay here much longer, I'll have to join up with either the Anteaters or White Supremacists for protection."

While many local residents support the new facility, particularly due to the large number of jobs it has created, some have recently spoken out against the Zoological & Convict Reserve.

"To see all those poor souls forced to live in confined living quarters, with little to no sunlight, and no hope of freedom, it's just so inhumane," San Diego housewife Carol Wurster said. "Those otters deserve better."

The San Diego Zoological & Convict Reserve's formation has been the most controvercial merger since Orlando's SeaWorld and the Ryan E. Puttnam Mental Asylum were hastily consolidated earlier this year.