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News Quirks 

Published December 7, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

After crashing his car into a utility pole in Albany, N.Y., Miguel Medina fled, according to police, who’d already been alerted because the vehicle was equipped with OnStar. Officers arrived in time to nab Medina, and charged him with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. (Albany’s Times Union)

After Kevin Dalky, 23, crashed into a police car in Suffolk County, N.Y., injuring the driver, responding officers saw he was wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed, “I’m a drunk (Alcoholics go to meetings).” They tested him and charged him with a DWI. (Associated Press)

Aero Dynamics

Twice in one week, passengers on Comtel Air charter flights from India to Britain were asked to contribute additional money to cover the cost of fuel and airport fees. In the first incident, 180 passengers were told during a stop in Vienna that the cabin crew needed $32,000 to continue the flight. Passengers who lacked enough cash were allowed to leave the plane one at a time to use cash machines. Later that week, passengers were stranded at the airport in Amritsar, India, because they refused to chip in $200 each. “I understand very well that there are passengers in Amritsar,” Bhupinder Kandra, managing director of the charter line, acknowledged. “But nobody is ready to pay.” (New York Times)

Jealous Love

Driven by rage after her estranged husband started dating another woman, Laura Jean Wenke, 50, dressed in coveralls, rubber boots and bubble wrap, then drove to his office in Redwood City, Calif. There, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, she found him at his computer, shot a stun gun into his side and stabbed him in the neck. The husband survived the attack and called police, who found Wenke still in his office wearing her blood-streaked bubble-wrap outfit. (Salinas’s KSBW-TV)

A British court convicted Dalwara Singh of secretly feeding steroids to his wife of 17 years so she would gain weight and become unattractive to other men. “He constantly accused her of infidelity and having affairs,” prosecutor Caroline Bray told Leicester Crown Court. Victim Jaspreet Singh Gill said the tainted food tasted bitter, but he made her eat it out of guilt by telling her he made it especially for her. She grew hair on her chin, cheeks and back, developed spotty, constantly itchy skin, and some scalp hair fell out. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Trash to Treasure

A Utah company has begun turning garbage into building materials intended to replace wood. At its prototype plant in Kearns, Better World Materials can convert up to 20 tons a day of milk jugs, cereal boxes and other trash that recycling centers have rejected into railroad ties. Better World president Dalyn Judd said the company just signed a contract to produce 2-by-6 planks for shed foundations and is negotiating to expand to plants in 15 states, each able to process up to 2000 tons of rejected recyclables a day and employ 360 people. “Are we going to run out of garbage?” Judd said. “I don’t think so.” (Salt Lake Tribune)

When Spell-Check Isn’t Enough

When Democrats in Derby, Conn., nominated James R. Butler, 72, as their candidate for the 10-member Board of Apportionment and Taxation, his name was mistakenly listed on the ballot as “James J. Butler.” Butler received the most votes, but there’s a real James J. Butler, 46, who happens to be James R. Butler’s son. Av Harris of the secretary of state’s office said James J. Butler should be sworn in because he was the one elected. (Associated Press)

Temptation Eyes

Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice affirmed its right to order women whose eyes seem “tempting” to cover them immediately. Saudi women already must wear a loose black dress and cover their hair and sometimes their face when they appear in public. Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet of the Ha’eal district announced the CPVPV’s authority after a Saudi man fought with a member of the committee who ordered the man’s wife to cover her eyes. The husband was stabbed twice in the hand. (Egypt’s Bikya Masr news agency)

Comfy Ending

Firefighters who found a 74-year-old woman at her home in Independence, Mo., said she had been in her reclining chair so long that her skin had fused to it and remained with the chair when she was pried from it. A fire captain described the woman as a “rotting corpse that was still breathing.” She died shortly after. (Associated Press)

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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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