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News Quirks 

Published June 15, 2011 at 10:07 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

After Eric Ford, 26, reported the theft of $2300 worth of audio gear from his girlfriend’s vehicle in Lincoln, Neb., police told him it was unlikely to be recovered. Hours later, Ford, who works at a business that installs car stereos, said a customer asked him to hook up a piece of equipment that Ford recognized as his girlfriend’s. “I was kind of upset, but I was kind of laughing about it,” Ford said after calling police, who arrested Anthony Trang, 21, and recovered assorted stolen audio equipment, tools and a rifle. (Lincoln Journal Star)

Police Officer Tony Ferro reported that when he detained Daniel Augustus Jones Jr., 22, after finding him standing in the middle of an intersection in Gainesville, Fla., one afternoon, smelling of marijuana, Jones volunteered, “I don’t have any drugs on me.” To prove it, he emptied his backpack onto the street, whereupon Ferro and another officer spotted a quarter-pound bag of marijuana. After his arrest, Jones told Ferro he “forgot he had a bag of weed.” (Gainesville Sun)

Perfect Pitch

Laurel Gordon, 18, competing to become Washington state’s dairy ambassador, has been Grays Harbor County’s dairy ambassador for the past two years. Gordon is lactose intolerant. (Aberdeen’s Daily World)

Kids Today

Oklahoma authorities warned the latest fad in Del City and Shawnee is teenagers spraying themselves with a highly flammable body spray, setting themselves and their friends on fire, and then posting the incidents on YouTube. Sometimes, they use the spray to make fireballs, which they throw at each other. “What can you say?” said Del City teen Nat Palmer, who tried it out of curiosity. “We’re just kids.” (Tulsa’s KOTV-TV)

Paper or Plastic?

Chinese families in Malaysia caused a shortage of paper replicas of Apple’s iPad 2 by buying them to burn at this year’s Qingming festival. The centuries-old rite honors ancestors by burning fake money or replicas of expensive merchandise. “Some of my customers have dreams where their departed relatives will ask for luxury items, including the iPad 2,” said Jeffrey Te, a prayer-item shopkeeper outside Kuala Lumpur. “I can only offer them the first iPad model.” First- and second-generation paper iPads sell for $1 for models with 888 gigabyte capacity, an auspicious number in Chinese culture. (Reuters)

Rules Are Rules

When tornadoes devastated central Alabama, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offered trailers to displaced residents of Cordova who were living in tents. Mayor Jack Scott rejected the offer, citing a 1957 ordinance that banning manufactured homes. He insisted it’s “what’s best for the town,” explaining he doesn’t want people living in rundown mobile homes parked all over town in a few years. “Once they put that trailer there, they squat, that’s it,” Scott said. Meanwhile, the city is using mobile homes for its police headquarters and city hall. (Birmingham’s WVTM-TV)

Ballot Initiatives

San Francisco voters this November will consider whether to ban parents from having their male children circumcised. The measure would amend the city’s police code “to make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicles or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18.” Likening circumcision to tattooing a child, which is a felony, Lloyd Schofield, who spearheaded the petition drive to place the measure on the ballot, insisted that parents are guardians, “not owners of children.” (San Francisco Examiner)

Two seats were open for a district school board in Burton, Mich., but only incumbent board member Sofia M. Boulton was on the ballot. The only other valid candidate was Lisa Osborn, who had filed a declaration of intent as a write-in candidate and as such needed just one vote to win. She failed to get it. Osborn said she didn’t vote because she and her husband were at their son’s baseball game. Calling it “a dumb move,” Osborn said, “I should probably have come to more meetings and know more about what’s going on.” When the board announced it would appoint someone to fill the open seat after interviewing applicants, Osborn said she planned to apply. (Flint Journal)

Water Torture

After rescuers in Ohio spent hours looking for Grace Nash, 20, and Bruce Crawford, 22, who were spotted rafting on a flood-swollen river without life preservers, the couple made it to land but denied ever being on the water. When they later admitted having lied and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor misconduct during an emergency, a judge sentenced them to stand in a tiny swimming pool at a festival in Painesville while wearing life jackets and handing out water safety brochures. (Willoughby’s News-Herald)

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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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