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News Quirks 

Published August 17, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of someone breaking into a home in Effingham County, Ga., at 4 a.m. found no intruders but then realized the two men at the home who reported the break-in were hallucinating. “They were so high,” sheriff’s official David Ehsanipoor said, “they called 911 on themselves.” Authorities did discover a methamphetamine lab at the home and arrested Brian Austin, 25, and Brian Johnson, 28. (Savannah Morning News)

Google This

Searching the Internet is polluting the planet and contributing to global warming, according to scientists who blame the server industry’s dependence on coal-fired electricity to support its fast-growing network of data centers. The Internet already consumes 2 to 3 percent of the world’s electricity, mostly to operate and cool banks of computers that conduct data searches. This figure is expected to double by 2020. Already, Apple, Google and Facebook are opening new “server farms” in North Carolina, whose electricity rates are among the nation’s lowest. Their combined estimated use is 200 to 240 megawatts, all of it provided by coal-burning plants. “We have to move from this fossil fuel fiesta,” Ottawa engineer and green information technology consultant Bill St. Arnaud warned. (Montreal Gazette)

Foot Patrol

The Army banned soldiers from wearing “toe shoes” while training. The glove-like footwear, made by Vibram, is intended to simulate going barefoot, but “shoes that feature five separate, individual compartments for toes,” the Army’s statement declared, “detract from a professional military image and are prohibited for wear” while training. “Only those shoes that accommodate all five toes in one compartment are authorized.” (Washington Post)

Cowabungle, Dude

Police said a 57-year-old man became so frustrated while using his pickup truck to try herding six cows that escaped from his farm in Prosser, Wash., that he ran over a city-owned fence and two of the cows. Officer Mark Cole said both animals suffered broken legs and had to be killed. (Associated Press)

The Wicked Man Flees Though No One Pursues

Authorities searching for a suspect in Mercer County, W.Va., spotted a man running into a store when they drove by and stopped to investigate the suspicious behavior. “He thought he had warrants and he ran, but he didn’t have them,” state police Sgt. W.A. Pendleton said after apprehending Arlis Cecil Dempsey Jr., 32. “This idiot sees the cruiser, leaves his kids and goes to hide in the ceiling.” Even though Dempsey hadn’t been wanted, because he left three little girls in his pickup truck when he fled, police charged him with three counts of child neglect creating a substantial risk of injury or death and turned over the children to child protective services. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)

Dental Follies

Phyllis Manis obtained a court order to exhume her husband’s body after learning he had been buried with the wrong false teeth. “I knew he wouldn’t rest in peace with this happening,” Manis said, explaining she noticed the mix-up after the funeral when recovering her husband’s belongings from a Chattanooga, Tenn., hospital, which gave the teeth belonging to Kenneth Ray Manis, 76, to the 83-year-old patient who shared his room. “My husband is laying in his grave with this other man’s teeth, and I just couldn’t let it be that way,” Manis said. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Too Big to Care

A year after Warren and Maureen Nyerges paid Bank of America cash for a home in Naples, Fla., the bank notified the couple it was foreclosing on the home, even though a mortgage was never issued. Warren Nyerges, 46, fought the mistaken foreclosure attempt by phone and in court for two months before its dismissal. He then spent the next five months trying to make the bank reimburse him for $2500 in attorney’s fees, which the court had awarded him. “They refused to pay,” Nyerges said. He hired attorney Todd Allen, who tried several times to collect the debt before obtaining a writ to seize assets to satisfy a judgment and took it to the Collier Sheriff’s Office. Then Allen, the Nyergeses and two deputies showed up at a Bank of American branch with a moving van and threatened to haul away furniture and cash. The branch manager notified his supervisor, and within an hour, the Nyergeses had their $2500. Allen now wants the bank to cover his fees, noting, “If Bank of America doesn’t pay it, we’ll be back doing this again.” (Naples Daily News)

Wireless Service

Employees at the Department of Agriculture Office in Guthrie, W.Va., arrived for work to find they had no phone service. State police investigated and reported someone had stolen the copper phone line serving the office compound. The phone-line theft was the office’s second in two months. (Charleston Daily Mail)

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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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