News and Blues
by Roland Sweet - Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Compiled from the nation’s press.

CURSES, FOILED AGAINAfter being told that a man ordered to stay away from an address in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., had returned, police got permission from the female occupant to search the apartment. An officer spotted a large ottoman in front of the couch and observed several items that might be stored in an ottoman sitting on the couch. The officer then removed a glass of freshly poured chocolate milk and other items from the top of the ottoman and lifted the lid to discover the trespasser hiding inside. (Northwest Florida Daily News)POOPER TROOPERSNew York City’s latest parenting trend is diaper-free child rearing, known as “elimination communication.” The idea is that parents listen to the noises or observe the expressions that their babies make when they go or need to go to the bathroom, then make the same noises or expressions while holding them over the toilet, a sink or even a bowl to encourage them to go on cue.

Caribou Baby, which describes itself as an “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store,” has been drawing capacity crowds for its diaper-free “Meetups,” where parents exchange tips on such matters as how to get babies to urinate on the street between parked cars. “I think for a lot of parents, the motivation is just to be more in tune with what their kids’ needs are,” Caribou Baby’s owner, Adriane Stare, said. The diaper-free parents said they do put diapers on their babies at night and for trips to stores and restaurants, but not necessarily for naps or visits to the park, where they can go on the ground or behind a tree. (The New York Times)


Nebraska authorities fined Sutton Police Chief Tracey Landenberger $750 for buying too much snack food. Many of the snacks were consumed during training exercises by police officers working late hours, and some was candy thrown to a crowd during a parade in the town of around 1,500 people, according to state Auditor Mike Foley, who also found that Landenberger had used the police department to store campaign signs. “This is my fault,” Landenberger acknowledged but added, “A lot of the things we were doing wrong were going on long before I was here.” (Omaha World-Herald) After police Officer Jonathon Bond lost control of his car while chasing a suspect in Memphis, Tenn., and crashed his car halfway up a utility pole, officers on the scene handed out tickets to passing motorists who slowed to take a closer look. (Memphis’ WREG-TV)


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford to join leading restaurants and Whole Foods Market in treating lobsters to death with dignity. “There is a new device available called the Crustastun that eliminates the questionable practice of boiling lobsters alive, thereby preventing their suffering,” David Byer, PETA’s manager of corporate affairs, wrote in a letter to the chef. “We hope that the White House will start using it immediately. The device is essentially a stun gun that kills lobsters instantly.” (The Washington Times) Vegetables continue responding to their environment long after they’ve been picked, according to researchers, who exposed supermarket cabbages to periods of light and dark. Cabbages kept on a regular day-night cycle produced three times as many glucosinolates as cabbages kept in all dark or all light. These organic compounds help fend off pests and are anticarcinogenic. (Science)


Unfounded complaints about water quality could constitute an “act of terrorism,” according to Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director Sherwin Smith. “We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously,” Smith told Maury County residents attending a meeting organized by state Rep. Sheila Butt in response to their concerns that some children had become ill drinking the water. Smith warned that water-quality complaints need to “have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.” When a member of the flabbergasted audience asked Smith to repeat his claim, he did so almost verbatim. (Nashville’s The Tennessean)


Susan Dawn Seibert, 49, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $545,000 from a California pizza chain while she was its bookkeeper. She aroused suspicion when she quit her job after learning that the Leucadia Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant planned to audit the books. San Diego County prosecutor Anna Winn said Seibert explained that she took the money to repay a previous employer who had sued her for embezzlement. (San Diego’s KSWB-TV)


An alliance of Chinese Internet companies announced it’s looking to hire someone to monitor and remove obscenity and pornography from China’s Web. The “chief porn appraiser” would be responsible for sorting through “not safe for work” websites and identifying content that should be disabled. Yang Jilong, human resources chief of the Beijing-based Safety Alliance, told the China Daily newspaper that within days of posting the job opening, it received about 300,000 requests for more information and more than 5,000 resumes. The position pays $32,400 a year. (The Washington Times)

Submit original clippings, citing date and source, to Roland Sweet in care of The New Times.