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News Quirks 

Published May 25, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Matthew Dale Hudleston, 33, handed a bank teller in Foley, Ala., a note announcing, “I have a gun,” and detailing his demands. He left with $9945 but returned awhile later for his holdup note, which he’d left behind. A Baldwin County sheriff’s deputy spotted Hudleston in a stolen vehicle, chased it until it overturned, and recovered the stolen money, the holdup note and Hudleston. (Mobile’s Press-Register)

A convenience store clerk in Minneola, Fla., identified the masked gunman who robbed him of $500 and several packs of cigarettes because the man returned the next day to buy cigarettes. The clerk told Lake County sheriff’s investigators he caught a glimpse of the robber when he lowered his mask during the holdup and the next day recognized him as the same man, a regular customer named Brandon Tyler Walker, 18, who pleaded guilty. (Orlando Sentinel)

Chick Magnet

After being charged with possessing a dangerous animal at his home in Ford Heights, Ill., Dewayne Yarbrough, 43, told Cook County sheriff’s investigators he bought the 4-foot alligator to impress women. He explained he kept the alligator in a small tank and fed it only 10 live mice a month so it wouldn’t grow too large. (Associated Press)

Downwardly Mobile

Albuquerque authorities arrested Charles Mader for failing to notify them that he’d moved out of the Dumpster he’d given as his address. Mader, a convicted sex offender, is required to provide the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department with a current physical address. Deputies who noticed Mader was no longer residing at the Dumpster tracked him to a homeless shelter. He told them he moved to an abandoned building. (Albuquerque’s KOB-TV)

Butter Fingers

As soccer fans cheered, Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos carried Spain’s treasured King’s Cup above his head on an open-top bus to celebrate his team’s victory over Barcelona. Suddenly, he dropped the 33-pound silver trophy, which fell under the team bus and was crushed. Emergency services workers picked up at least 10 pieces of the trophy. (Agence France-Presse)

After cruise ship passenger Janet Richardson, 73, took ill off the coast of Norway, the captain ordered her to shore for treatment. While she was being transferred to a Norwegian Sea Rescue lifeboat, the six men holding the stretcher dropped it and Richardson into the 26-degree water. Paramedics took eight minutes to rescue her. She was taken to a British hospital but died. (MSNBC and Associated Press)

Second-Amendment Follies

Sharon Edwards Newling, 58, told authorities in Rowan County, N.C., that she fired a .22 caliber rifle at her stepson to make him stop working on his truck. (Salisbury Post)

There’s an App for That

A new iPhone application calculates the calories in food by matching a photo of the meal with its database of some 500,000 food items. “The database can quickly help identify the food, how many calories there are, proteins, fat, carbs, vitamins, whatever you may want to know,” said Andy Smith, CEO of DailyBurn, a fitness social network that developed the MealSnap app. “Users can then choose to share what they’ve eaten on Twitter or FourSquare, leading to social accountability.” (Reuters)

When animal control officers found a mother duck and ducklings near an empty fountain in Washington, D.C., and determined that two other ducklings had fallen into the fountain’s drain, an officer downloaded to his phone an app that mimics the call of a mother duck. The sound lured one of the missing ducklings to the surface. (Washington Post)

A Well-Regulated Militia

Los Angeles authorities accused Yupeng Deng, 51, of creating a fake U.S. Army unit and charging more than 100 fellow Chinese nationals between $300 and $450 each to join. Prosecutors said Deng told the recruits that belonging to the squad was a path to U.S. citizenship. He gave them fake documents and military uniforms, had them parade in a Los Angeles suburb and took them to the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Midway, which is now a museum. (Reuters)

Cash Diet

Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state said termites ate 10 million rupees ($222,000) being stored at a bank in Barabanki. The manager discovered the damage in April when he opened the reinforced room in an old bank building where the money had been kept since January. “It’s a matter of investigation how termites attacked bundles of currency notes stacked in a steel chest,” police officer Navneet Rana said. (Associated Press)

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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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