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News Quirks 

Published August 22, 2012 at 6:46 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again!

After a two-car crash in Williamsport, Pa., injured one driver, the other sped from the scene. Before he’d gone a block, his car broke down, so he fled on foot. Investigating Patrolman Dustin Reeder found the car and discovered a wallet in the center console with a driver’s license belonging to Scott Lee Applegate, 50. Just then, Applegate returned to retrieve a case of beer he’d forgotten. Reeder spotted him with the beer and, after a brief chase, detained him. Drunk driving was one of several charges filed. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette)

When managers of a jewelry store at a shopping mall in Naples, Fla., discovered items missing, they identified Andrew Alexander Roberts, 26, who’d been working at the store only five days, as the culprit. Surveillance cameras caught him taking cash and jewelry, some of which he then sold to another store in the mall. When confronted, according to the arrest report, Roberts told management to “discount it from his paycheck.” (Naples Daily News)

Ideal Candidate

Republicans filed a federal lawsuit to stop Nevada from listing “none of these candidates” on ballots. It’s the only state that lets voters actively choose none of the above instead of passively just not voting. GOP officials acknowledged that “none” could attract enough votes from disgruntled anti-Obama voters who might otherwise vote for Mitt Romney to give Nevada’s six hotly contested electoral votes to the president. “None” has won some primary elections and siphoned off votes that might have benefited candidates, notably Sen. Harry Reid, who in 1998 beat his Republican challenger by 400 votes, with “none” capturing 8000. (National Journal)

Joyful Noise Unto the Lord

When neighbors complained that Betty Jones, 54, was playing music too loudly, police in Bristol, Tenn., said she told them she spends five hours every Sunday praising the Lord by listening to the music of Johnny Cash, the Judds, Alan Jackson, Elvis Presley and others, and that she would continue to listen to it how she wanted. The officers cited her and left but returned after more complaints and arrested her for disorderly conduct and violating the city’s noise ordinance. She admitted that on the second police visit, “I was going off and cussing.” (Bristol’s WCYB-TV)

More Than Its Cheese Has Holes

Referendum-happy Swiss voters held a referendum to decide whether there should be a referendum to limit referendums. Switzerland holds half a dozen national referendums a year and many more local ones. The proposal, which would’ve required a national vote whether to endorse or reject every important international agreement the government signs, was rejected by 75.2 percent of the voters. One anti-referendum poster declared, “Too much democracy kills democracy.” (Associated Press)

Blinded by Delight

Modesty patrols in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community began selling special spectacles that prevent men from having to glimpse women. The glasses, which cost $8, have lenses that let men see clearly for a few yards ahead of them so they can walk. Everything beyond that, however, is a blur, including women who flout the ultra-Orthodox interpretation of religious law that dictates women appearing in public wear closed-neck, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts. Besides the blur-inducing glasses, the insular community’s unofficial modesty patrols offer hoods and shields that block peripheral vision. (Associated Press)

When Guns Are Outlawed

When two men entered a family grocery store in New Bedford, Mass., showed the clerk a gun and reached for cash from the register, the owner’s 80-year-old mother-in-law grabbed a box of mangoes and lobbed at least five of them at the men before one of them hit her in the head with the gun. The men fled with cash, but owner Manuel Nogueira gave chase and captured one of them. Police caught the other one. (Boston’s WHDH-TV)

Nehemiah Winters, 35, pleaded no contest to stealing a can of beer from a woman sitting on her front porch in Lincoln, Neb. The 21-year-old victim said Winters walked up to her twice and asked for her beer. She refused, but when he returned a third time, he revealed something in his waistband that she thought was a knife and gave him the beer. She then called police, who arrested Winters with a partial can of beer and what turned out to be a fork. (Lincoln Journal Star)

Distracted Driver

A tow-truck operator notified police in Fort Pierce, Fla., that he pulled alongside a Jeep Cherokee and observed that the driver was naked and masturbating. A police officer who stopped the vehicle reported that when he asked Robert Casey, 49, why he was driving naked, “Casey stated he has problems with this and he is getting therapy.” The officer then found a toy pistol tied to Casey’s leg, part of which was hidden in his rectum and part tied around his genitals. (West Palm Beach’s WPBF-TV)

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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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