News Quirks (11/26/14) | News Quirks | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
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News Quirks (11/26/14) 

Curses, Foiled Again

After John Franklin Forbis, 72, was convicted of possessing 850 pounds of marijuana in Columbia County, N.Y., in 1992, he jumped bail and eluded police for 22 years. Authorities finally caught up with him in Lane County, Ore., because he applied for Social Security benefits in his real name. (New York Daily News)

Police arrested a 50-year-old man in Folehill, England, after observing him steal the license plates from a parked van that was actually an unmarked police vehicle on assignment. (United Press International)

Not Your Father's KKK

The Ku Klux Klan is campaigning to boost membership by recruiting Jews, African Americans, gays and Hispanics. "White supremacy is the old Klan," Klan organizer John Abarr insisted. "This is the new Klan." Despite the rebranding, applicants to join the Klan, whose membership is estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000 members, will still have to wear the traditional white robes, masks and conical hats. (International Business Times)

Bargain Shoppers

When office-supply retailer Staples bid to become the exclusive vendor for the State of New York, it offered to sell 219 popular items for a penny apiece, expecting to profit on thousands of items not discounted. But procurement officials for qualifying organizations (state and city agencies, schools, police departments, and many charities) went "hog wild," said Ken Morton, purchasing manager for the Tonawanda school district. "It was like a gold rush." In the first 15 months of the contract, Staples delivered penny items whose list prices totaled $22.3 million for only $9,300. (Wall Street Journal)

Second-Amendment Follies

Police arrested Ashtoni Kidd for having a gun in a baby stroller in Jackson, Tenn. Investigators, who found a bullet hole in the stroller, said Kidd told them she was holding the 1-year-old infant when the gun went off while she rearranged items in the buggy. (Jackson's WBBJ-TV)

A 13-year-old boy sleeping at a hotel in Raleigh, N.C., died after a bullet fired from a 9mm Springfield handgun in the room next door pierced the wall and hit him in the head. Police identified Randall Louis Vater, 42, as the shooter and charged him with involuntary manslaughter, noting that he didn't know the victim. (Raleigh's News & Observer)

Slightest Provocation

Billy Wall, 61, told police in Fellsmere, Fla., he was forced to stab his nephew in the stomach after the two argued over the number of pork chops each had for dinner. Wall said Charles Williams ate three pork chops, leaving him only one. Wall claimed Williams attacked him with a machete after the argument turned physical; he retaliated with a butcher knife. (United Press International)

Two groups of people were bowling in adjacent lanes in Owasso, Okla., when a woman in one group spilled a drink on the table they were sharing. The other group objected, sparking an argument. That group left but returned and got into a shoving match with the first group, during which police said James Thomas Foster, 40, bit off the ear of the husband of the woman who spilled the drink. (Tulsa's KOTV-TV)

Up the Creek

A 20-year-old man stole a 10-foot canoe in Seahurst, Wash., and tried to make his escape on Puget Sound, according to police. Lacking a paddle, he used a shovel. Once on the water, however, he encountered high winds and lost the shovel. He called 911 for help, was rescued by the Coast Guard and arrested. (Seattle Times)

Stink of the Week

London's Heathrow Airport installed a "Scent Globe" to give travelers "an exclusive preview of destinations" awaiting them, said Normand Boivin, the airport's chief operating officer. The globe, located in Terminal 2, features complex odor infusions, created by Design in Scent, representing Brazil ("embraces the scents of its rich rainforest fauna with a palette of coffee, tobacco and jasmine"), China ("mystical temple incense and subtle Osmanthus Fragrans flower"), Japan ("cool, oceanic tones with a mix of seaweed and shell extracts, green tea and Ambergris, capturing the essence of small coastal villages"), South Africa ("captures the adventure of safari with notes of tribal incense, wild grass and musky animalics through the scent of Hyraceum") and Thailand ("an appetizing mix of lemongrass, ginger and coconut"). (CNN)

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Roland Sweet

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

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