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News Quirks (4/8/15) 

Published April 8, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Joey Patterson, 22, eluded Idaho authorities for several months, but then he posted his whereabouts on Facebook. He invited friends to play softball at Armory Softball Field in Caldwell. That's where police found him. Monitoring social media has led officers to suspects before, Sgt. Joey Hoadley noted, explaining, "Surprisingly, even fugitives can't keep from updating their Facebook status." (Associated Press)

Police arrested three suspects in a tailgate-stealing spree in Volusia County, Fla., after one of them tried to return one of the nine stolen tailgates to claim a reward. The victim paid the reward but called deputies, who located the trio. (Orlando's WESH-TV)

Sarah Palin Toll Bridge

Russia unveiled plans to build a high-speed railway and freeway link between London and the United States — via Siberia. State railway boss Vladimir Yakunin, who helped develop the plan, dubbed Trans-Eurasian Belt Development (TERP), promised that the proposed 12,400-mile route would "supercharge" global economic growth by connecting Russia's oil and gas pipelines to the rest of the world. (Britain's Independent)

Missing the Point

A speaker at Australia's sixth annual National Disability Summit had to be lifted onto the stage because there was no ramp for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. In addition, disabled participants, who each paid $2,000 to attend the privately organized event, were all seated at one table in the back of the room. A blog post by participant Jax Jacki Brown noted that the "accessible toilet was filled with chairs and used as a storage space," and "the food provided was up on really tall tables" so wheelchair users couldn't reach it. (Australia's ABC News)

Slightest Provocation

Police said Phyllis D. Jefferson, 50, stabbed her 61-year-old boyfriend while the two were eating chips and salsa at home in Akron, Ohio, after they got into an argument over who was eating all the salsa. (Cleveland's WKYC-TV)

Jerome Clemons, 44, set fire to his house in Boynton Beach, Fla., authorities there said, after his niece refused to give him a ride to a liquor store. (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

When Guns Are Outlawed

Australian authorities charged Erica Leeder, 26, with assaulting a police officer with breast milk. While being searched after her arrest on an unspecified warrant, Leeder was nude from the waist up when she grabbed her own breast and squirted milk onto the forehead, arms and clothes of a female officer conducting the search. The Western Australia Police Union said the assault charge was partially due to the possibility of the breast milk's spreading disease. (United Press International)

When Patricia Leece, 61, answered a knock at her door in Lexington, Ky., stranger Ashley Sies, 31, pushed her way in and began choking Leece with a bra. After a 20-minute struggle, Leece said she managed to knock Sies unconscious by hitting her on the head with a ceramic chicken. (Lexington's WKYT-TV)

Bottoms Are Tops

Luxury toilet seats topped the list of souvenirs brought home by the record number of Chinese tourists who celebrated this lunar new-year holiday in Japan.  Costing around $540, the heated seats feature pulsating water jets, deodorizers and even music to cover up the sound of nature's call. Many offer hands-free lid opening; some are portable and battery-operated. China's state-run media reported that many of the toilet seats sold in Japan were made in China. (Economist)

Border Dispute

Roseanne Di Guilio, who has lived in a house that straddles the New York-Connecticut line since 1997, was surprised to learn that she no longer owns the half of her house on the New York side because her mortgage servicer failed to pay property taxes. Di Guilio said she was never notified, nor did she know that Putnam County foreclosed on the property. Her neighbor, Althea Jacob, bought the 0.2 acres at county auction in 2010 for $275 and now owns Di Guilio's living room, kitchen and sun porch and part of her bathroom. Jacob never told Di Guilio, who continued paying upkeep and insurance until she found out the truth. Jacob then offered to sell her back the property for $150,000. She lowered her asking price to $35,000, but Di Guilio sought to have the New York Supreme Court overturn the foreclosure. The outcome is uncertain because she didn't bring the action within the two-year statute of limitations. (Westchester County's Journal News)

Way to Go

Stephan Woytack, 74, died while attaching a cross to a grave marker at a family plot in Scranton, Pa. The tombstone unexpectedly tilted off its base, toppled and crushed him to death, according to police Officer Andy Kerecman, who called the accident "freaky." (New York Daily News)

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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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