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News Quirks 

Published November 30, 2011 at 7:45 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Police in Portland, Ore., found it worth their while to raid a residence for suspected drug activity after they received fliers advertising “Heroin for sale” that listed the dealers’ names and address. Lt. Robert King said officers who searched the home found nearly 20 grams of marijuana, more than 10 grams of heroin, a sawed-off shotgun, thousands of dollars in cash and materials for a methamphetamine lab. They arrested six adults inside the home during the raid. (Portland’s KGW-TV)

Sean Faulkner, 38, ordered a Reuben sandwich at a Pittsburgh, Pa., tavern and then ran off without paying, according to police, who were able to apprehend him when he tried to make his getaway on a stolen forklift. Noting that Faulkner never made it out of the parking lot, officers said part of his trouble was not being able to put the forklift in reverse gear. (Associated Press)

Forgotten Memories

Eight years after his wedding photos were delivered, minus the last 15 minutes, New Yorker Todd J. Remis wants H & H Photography to return the $4,100 he paid, plus pay him another $48,000 to restage the entire wedding and fly the participants to New York so another photographer can reshoot the missing scenes, including the bouquet toss. Since filing his suit in 2009, he and his bride, Milena Grzibovska, have divorced, and she is thought to have returned to Latvia. “It was unfortunate in its circumstances,” Remis said, “but we are very much happy with the wedding event, and we would like to have it documented for eternity, for us and our families.”

When the case finally was heard in October, Justice Doris Ling-Cohan of State Supreme Court in Manhattan dismissed most of the grounds, such as “infliction of emotional distress,” but allowed it to proceed to determine whether there was a breach of contract. (New York Times)

Deflated Pleasure

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that former Creek County District Judge Donald D. Thompson, who was caught using a penis pump to gratify himself while presiding over jury trials and served 20 months in prison for indecent exposure, isn’t entitled to his $7789-a-month pension. “Court reporters observed the felonious exposure of Mr. Thompson’s private parts, and testified to the fact during the criminal trial,” the court wrote. “Those felonies violated Mr. Thompson’s oath of office.” (Oklahoma City’s Oklahoman)

When Guns Are Outlawed

Having stabbed two previous defense attorneys with pencils, Joshua Monson, 28, was assigned a third one — and promptly stabbed him with a pen while listening to the prosecutor’s opening statement. Refusing to declare a second mistrial, Snohomish County (Wash.) Superior Court Judge David Kurtz told Monson he had forfeited his right to an attorney and would have to defend himself. He ordered Monson strapped to a chair and denied him access to any writing implements. The judge then instructed the jury to ignore Monson’s restraints, the attack and the defense attorney’s sudden absence from the court. (Everett’s Herald)

The Big O

A traditional football cheer at the University of Oregon has taken on new meaning for varsity players who elected to fulfill their foreign language requirement by learning sign language. Fans in the stands often show their support by using their hands to form the letter “O,” for Oregon. But in their American Sign Language class, the players learned that the two-handed, spade-shaped sign represents the word vagina. “I did the ‘O’ once, and I never did it again,” running back LaMichael James said. (New York Times)

Slightest Provocation

Police in Des Moines, Iowa, charged Jennifer Christine Harris, 30, with arson after they said she set fire to the garage of a former friend. The friend, Nikki Rasmussen, told investigators “the two are no longer friends due to a dispute over Facebook.” Detective Jack Kamerick said, “Jen asked Nikki to create an event on Facebook for a party. Nikki did that. As the date for the part approached, there were a lot of ‘declines’ on Facebook. It was looking like the party might be a bust. The dispute apparently blossomed.” (Des Moines Register)

Charitable Giving

After a woman was murdered by her husband, her brother, Peter Harris, began a 150-mile walk to Edinburgh, Scotland, to honor her memory by advocating better treatment for crime victims and their families. He injured his foot during the trek and had to be hospitalized. He was released and finished the journey, but after returning home to Kent, his wound became infected. Doctors had to amputate his leg below the knee. Afterward, he declared that if his walk helped win support for victims’ rights, “It means that, forever and a day, people will benefit from this, and that’s more important than my right leg.” (BBC 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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