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News Quirks (7/7/15) 

Curses, Foiled Again

Police arrested gunman Christopher Trail for holding six people hostage at a pharmacy in Red Bay, Ala. He let five of them go but kept pharmacist Donna Weatherford, who said he forced her to supply him with drugs. After an hour, he asked for a recliner. Told there was none, he pulled some chairs together and dozed off. Weatherford picked up the shotgun and fled to safety. (

Pizza delivery driver Richard Dennany, 43, pleaded guilty to drunk driving in Murphysboro, Ill., after he delivered a pizza to the county courthouse while visibly intoxicated. He was found to be three times over the legal limit. (Illinois's Carbondale Times)


Swiss police arrested a robot that bought 10 ecstasy pills on the internet. The drugs were included in a shopping list given to it by the art group that designed it: !Mediengruppe Bitnik. The robot, part of the group's exhibit in St. Gallen, was allowed a weekly budget of $100 in bitcoins to order merchandise randomly online and also purchased fake Diesel jeans, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, a stash can, Nike trainers, 200 Chesterfield cigarettes, a set of fire-department master keys, a fake Louis Vuitton handbag and Lord of the Rings ebooks. Police released the robot after determining that Bitnik never intended selling or consuming the ecstasy. (Britain's Guardian)

Surprisingly, No Extra Charge

When a tornado warning prompted ground crews at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport to seek shelter underground, passengers on Delta Air Lines flights from Minneapolis and Salt Lake City were left stranded on the tarmac. Airport official Karen Carney blamed a miscommunication and insisted the passengers "were never in any imminent danger." Ground crews returned after about 15 minutes to help passengers disembark. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Sex on Wheels

Toronto has scheduled an accessible orgy for disabled people, with space for 20 wheelchairs, an interpreter for the deaf and free admission for caretakers. The August 14 event is the brainchild of Stella Palikarova, 35, who is in a wheelchair because of spinal muscular atrophy but declared nothing is wrong with her libido and is tired of people assuming there must be. "The naysayers are just subconsciously hating the fact that people in wheelchairs are having great sex, better sex than a lot of people are having," she explained. Fellow organizer Andrew Morrison-Gurza, 31, agreed, declaring, "A wheelchair can become just a big sex toy." Palikarova noted that the Deliciously Disabled sex night coincides with the Parapan Am Games and hoped some of the competitors will attend her event to unwind. (Toronto Sun)

Litigation Nation

Anna Goldshmidt and Elan Stratiyevsky demanded that New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel return the money they paid for their wedding there or risk a lawsuit. The couple contends that the hotel cut short the event because a guest at the reception accidentally fired a gun, grazing a woman in the head. Lawyer Benjamin Brafman said the couple is also considering suing the guest. A hotel official said the reception was canceled immediately after the shooting due to safety concerns. (Associated Press)

Gregory Reddick, 54, said he's suing New York City for arresting him after he charged two tourists $400 for a ride on the landmark Staten Island Ferry. The ferry has been free since 1997. Reddick, who police said has "at least five aliases, six Social Security numbers," and a history of burglary and credit-card fraud convictions, acknowledged his rap sheet is real but insisted that selling tickets is legal and has turned his life around. "It's better than McDonald's money," he said. "It's better than Burger King money." (New York Post and Gothamist)

A Colorado judge ordered the parents of Aurora shooting victim Jessica Ghawi to pay $220,000 to the companies that sold ammo and body armor to gunman James Holmes. Sandy and Lonnie Phillips sued the four online businesses but lost. Under state law, plaintiffs who sue gun makers or dealers and lose have to pay the defendants' legal fees. (Huffington Post)


The Internal Revenue Service notified Bill Levin, founder of the First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis, that it has recognized the church as a tax-exempt religious organization. More than 600 members have paid between $4.20 and $1,000 to join the church, whose mission, Levin said, is to "proselytize the wonderfulness of the gift that this plant is to our human nature." (Newsweek)

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Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet is the author of the syndicated column "News Quirks," which appears weekly in Seven Days.


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