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Curses, Foiled Again

Shortly after receiving a call about a robbery, Ottawa police said they got a second call reporting a stabbing. Responding officers found a man in his twenties outside a store that they suspect he robbed before tripping on his way out and stabbing himself with the knife used in the robbery. (CBC News)

A man who tried to hold up a doughnut shop with a knife stabbed himself while committing the crime, according to Vancouver police. Constable Jana McGuinness said the 22-year-old suspect was so drunk that he fell down, landing on the butcher knife he was wielding and stabbing himself in the abdomen. Officers found the suspect slumped on the floor, took him to the hospital to treat his wound and then arrested him. (CBC News)

Darrell Fudge, 54, relied on his global positioning system to get him from British Columbia to his home in Newfoundland, but the GPS’s shortest route led through northern Maine. When he arrived at a remote U.S. border crossing, agents searched his car and found a half-kilogram of marijuana in a cooler. (Lewiston, Maine’s The Sun Journal)

Born to Be Wild

New York state officials announced plans to implement an emergency birth-control program because a flock of wild turkeys, estimated at 72 birds, won’t stop pestering families living in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze section. “It’s frustrating,” said Christopher Decicco, speaking for Councilman James Oddo, who represents the area. “We want to do something for the residents in Ocean Breeze who keep calling and complaining their houses are surrounded by wild turkeys.” Oddo recently suggested birth control for pigeons nesting at the Staten Island Ferry but denied he is anti-bird. “I have nothing against fowl,” he said. “I have nothing against birds.”

Even though the New York City Parks and Recreation Department said that wild turkeys citywide have gone from near extinction in the 1950s to 65,000 in the 1990s, it’s illegal to hunt them. Instead, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said its program would coat the turkeys’ eggs with vegetable oil during the breeding season to prevent them from hatching. (Staten Island’s The Epoch Times and SILive.com)

Mensa Reject of the Week

German authorities reported that a 64-year-old man in Gumperda tried to seal off the entrance to his cellar with bricks but trapped himself inside. He didn’t realize his mistake until he’d finished the work, then waited a few days to see if anyone would rescue him before deciding to free himself by knocking down a wall. Neighbors who heard drilling noise called police, who were waiting for the man. A police official noted that instead of escaping through the wall he’d just built, the senior citizen demolished a neighbor’s wall. (Reuters)

Second-Chance Follies

Britain’s National Health Service is so short of organ donations that transplant patients are being given the lungs of chain smokers. “In an ideal world, you would rather have lungs from 20-year-old healthy people who have never smoked,” said James Neuberger, associate medical director of the NHS Blood and Transplant. “But this isn’t a luxury we have.” The NHSBT said it’s also resorting to transplanting hearts from elderly and obese donors. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Reasonable Explanation

After receiving three anonymous 911 calls reporting a murder and stabbing in Clarksville, Tenn., city police responded with county and state reinforcements, including a K-9 unit and a helicopter, to aid in searching for the victims. After coming up empty-handed, investigators, noting the third call mentioned that Alex Baker killed his girlfriend, traced all three calls to a phone owned by Alex Lee Baker, 20. Baker denied making the calls but under further questioning admitted reporting the false crimes. He explained he was bored and anxious because he hadn’t had a cigarette in two days. (Clarksville’s The Leaf Chronicle)

Prepositional Justice

John G. Mendez, 45, beat the charge of passing a stopped school bus in Fairfax, Va., because of a missing, two-letter word in the state law. The statute states that a driver is guilty of reckless driving “who fails to stop, approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway,” omitting “at” before “any school bus.” Lawmakers removed the preposition when they amended the law in 1970. “He can only be guilty if he failed to stop any school bus,” Judge Marcus D. Williams said when pronouncing Mendez not guilty. Mendez gave extra credit for finding the loophole to his lawyer, Eric E. Clingan, who said he took a look at the law, and “it just sort of jumped off the page at me.” (The Washington Post)

Slightest Provocation

Police in Safety Harbor, Fla., arrested Joe Harland Capes, 44, after he punched his neighbor, Ronald Richards, during a shoving match that started, according to the arrest report, while the two men were “arguing over Conway Twitty’s sexual orientation.” The country singer died in 1993. (St. Petersburg Times)

When Guns Are Outlawed

A man wearing a black bandana across his face tried to rob a convenience store in La Mesa, Calif., by threatening the clerk with a glove scrunched up into the shape of a gun. Police said that when the clerk realized it wasn’t really a gun, he pulled out a screwdriver and ordered the man to leave. He did. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Downsizing

Washington state’s corrections department said it expects to save $22,000 a year by providing inmates with shorter socks. (Seattle Times)

Make and Break

Oklahoma Rep. Terry Harrison was so proud of killing a piebald, white-tailed deer that he summoned the media to boast about his feat. When game warden Shane Fields read about the hunt, he called his friend Harrison and suggested the lawmaker research hunting regulations. Harrison said his heart “just sunk” when he realized he had shot the animal illegally because he didn’t have a permit. Facing a $296 fine, Harrison admitted he should have known better because he helped write some of the state’s hunting laws. (McAlester News-Capital)

Rocket Science

James McGovern, 22, died instantly while mixing rocket fuel in the yard of his home in Kennett, Pa. Fire officials noted that McGovern was a chemical engineer with experience handling volatile materials and a passion for launching high-elevation rockets. “It was his hobby,” said A.J. McCarthy, assistant fire chief at Longwood Fire Company, “and he won awards doing it.” (Pottstown’s The Mercury)

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Roland Sweet

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

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