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News Quirks (11/05/14) 

Published November 5, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

After police seeking Monica Hargrove, 34, for aggravated robbery in Columbus, Ohio, posted her photo on the department's Facebook page, the suspect called and demanded the photo be removed because she considered it unflattering. "Come on in and we'll talk about it," the detective she spoke with told her. She did, public information officer Denise Alex-Bouzounis said, and was arrested. (Columbus Dispatch)

Authorities in Northern Ireland charged Kevin Clarence, 20, with attempted robbery after he waited in line at a supermarket with a black trash bag over his head and then demanded money. An employee who heard the demand approached the suspect, who said, "I'll be back," and fled. Two witnesses identified Clarence as the would-be robber, and a police officer at his subsequent trial in County Londonderry pointed out that Clarence had just been released from prison for a similar offense. (BBC News)


After finding a Nigerian traveler shivering on the floor of Spain's Madrid-Barajas airport, officials activated an emergency Ebola alert and declined to help him. An hour later, they summoned a team of infectious disease specialists, who examined the now-unconscious man and concluded he was a drug mule suffering from a cocaine overdose after several bags of the drug in his stomach burst. He was finally taken to a hospital but died. The man's wife said he hadn't visited Nigeria in at least four years. (Spain's Local)

Vehicular Follies

While Megan Campbell was driving a city supply van in St. Paul, Minn., she hit a parked Nissan Pathfinder, seriously damaging its bumper. It happened to be her personal vehicle, and Campbell filed a claim against the city seeking $1,600 to $1,900. "Because I was working for the city and driving the city vehicle, I feel they are responsible for paying for the damage done to my car," she explained in her claim form. (St. Paul's Pioneer Press)

A man backing out of his driveway in Aurora, Colo., jumped out of his van to avoid being burned by a cigarette he dropped on himself. The vehicle kept moving, knocked him down and ran over his head. He was hospitalized in critical condition. (Denver's KUSA-TV)

Drinking-Class Heroes

After complying with a municipal liquor ban dating back to the 19th century, residents of Hanover, Manitoba, learned that no such ban exists. "I didn't know any better," Stan Toews, 63, the rural community's reeve, said. "We went back to 1880, and we could not find a bylaw that said Hanover is dry." Toews invited local establishments interested in selling alcohol to apply for a provincial liquor license. (Canadian Press)

Minneapolis ad agency Colle & McVoy reported that since it began offering workers a free glass of beer for filling out their timecards properly, time-sheet completion has improved by 90 percent. (United Press International)

Reasonable Explanation

Sheriff's deputies who arrested Lisa Carol Roche, 41, after they caught her taking items from cars parked at a high school in Jackson County, Miss., said she claimed she was looking for members of the terrorist group ISIS. (Gulfport's Sun Herald)

Slightest Provocation

Tammy Hiser, 34, attacked her boyfriend with an ax in Daytona Beach, Fla., because he wouldn't talk to her. Andrew Whitaker, 28, told police he ignored her because he was mad that she was drunk. He said she punched him repeatedly and then got the ax and swung it at him, but he was able to take it away from her because "her coordination was terrible." After her arrest, Whitaker said he'd try to get the felony charge dropped, explaining, "I see spending the rest of my life with her." (Huffington Post)

William Rogers, the mayor of Hawkins, Texas, was charged with official oppression for threatening a homeowner because her grass was too tall. The woman told police Rogers blocked her in with his car and threatened her with a ticket and a $500-a-day fine because her grass was higher than 18 inches. Hawkins code enforcement officer Eileen Frazier measured the woman's grass and found it wasn't over 18 inches and said Rogers illegally mistreated the woman. (Tyler's KLTV-TV)

Flames of Love

Dim Xiong Chien, 22, planned to propose to his girlfriend at China's Liaoning Advertisement Vocational College in Shenyang by setting off fireworks as he kneeled, but she forgot their meeting. He set off the fireworks anyway, hoping to attract her attention, and went to look for her. While he was gone, the fireworks sparked a grass fire that burned down the college's sports hall. (New York Post)

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About The Author

Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet was the author of a syndicated column called "News Quirks," which appeared weekly in Seven Days.


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