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News Quirks (8/27/14) 

Published August 27, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Roger Beasley Jr., 30, abandoned his car at a routine traffic stop in Biloxi, Miss., but didn't get far because he ran into a building where police academy training was under way. Police Chief John Miller said Beasley was quickly arrested on multiple charges. (Biloxi's Sun Herald)

We're All Homos, Not All Sapiens

A blogger for a Utah English-language learning center was fired after he posted an explanation of homophones — words that sound the same but have different meanings. "Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality," Tim Torkildson said his boss, Clarke Woodger, told him. Noting that most students at Provo's Nomen Global Language Center are foreigners with only a basic understanding of English, Woodger explained that they "may see the 'homo' side and think it has something to do with gay sex." (Salt Lake Tribune)

Capitalizing on the Past

AOL reported that it still has 2.4 million dial-up internet subscribers, paying an average of $20.86 a month. The company said its dial-up business costs little to operate, so 70 percent of its revenue is profit, amounting to $138 million in this year's first quarter. (

When Guns Are Outlawed

State police charged Stacy Varner, 47, and Glenda Snyder, 64, with attacking each other with a stuffed deer head during an argument in Cromwell Township, Pa. Troopers said Snyder was injured during the fight when she was hit with an antler. (Harrisburg's Patriot-News)

A police officer in Seattle, Wash., stopped a one-legged man who was attacking a two-legged man with his prosthetic limb. The two-legged man started walking away when a third man, undeterred by the officer's presence, clobbered him over the head with an aluminum baseball bat and fled, but was arrested. (Seattle's KOMO-TV)

Ensurance Policy

Since March 2013, U.S. taxpayers have paid roughly $300,000 to provide 161,352 cans of liquid nutritional supplements, including $142,345 worth of vanilla Ensure, for hunger-striking terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. The government purchases were made while military officials denied claims by the detainees' attorneys that a mass hunger strike was under way. (Vice News)

Slightest Provocation

State police charged golfers Roger Lee Harris, 63, and Bryan Bandes, 42, with assault after they came to blows at a course near Uniontown, Pa., during an argument about rules involving "casual water" (puddles) on the course following a brief shower. Trooper George Mrosko reported that Bandes suffered a mild concussion after Harris hit him "in the left forearm and the top of the head" with a 3-wood. (Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV)

College Debt Never Forgets

Older Americans applying for Social Security benefits risk having some of that retirement income withheld to repay college student loans dating back as long ago as four decades. Eldercare lawyers say lingering student debt is part of a devastating accumulation of debt among older Americans, and government debt collectors have the power to garnish Social Security income, block benefits and withhold tax rebates. Particularly vulnerable are people who borrowed for a college education that did not lead to high-income jobs. People 50 and older hold only 17 percent of all U.S. student debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but this group has nearly three times the debt it had in 2005. The numbers don't distinguish between older American who financed their own educations and those who borrowed to put their children through college. (Business Week)

Second-Amendment Follies

Travelers continue showing up at U.S. airport security checkpoints with guns. The Transportation Security Administration said the number of passengers trying to bring guns onto planes in their carry-on bags rose from 976 in 2009 to 1,813 last year. Eighty-four percent of the guns were loaded. TSA agents caught the most gun-toting travelers, 111, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport. "More than a dozen years after 9/11, you'd think people's awareness would be raised," TSA official Lisa Farbstein said. "But they continue to bring firearms and weapons to checkpoints every day. The numbers just keep going up." (The Boston Globe)

A 60-year-old Pennsylvania man died after an automobile hit his motorcycle in Black Hawk, Colo. Police said the collision caused a handgun the motorcyclist was carrying to fire, shooting him in the chest. (Denver's KMGH-TV)

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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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