News & Blues
by Roland Sweet - Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

News of the Strange, Funny and Weird compiled from the nation’s press

Naveena Shine, 65, announced that she was giving up food to live only on sunlight. Shine lives in Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Times)

Boston police accused Zachary Tentoni, 26, of snatching a woman’s purse because when he grabbed the purse, he dropped two bags he was holding and fled without them. One bag contained his birth certificate; the other, a letter from his mother. Officers stopped a man fitting the robber’s description and learned that he was Tentoni. (The Boston Globe)

Police identified Edward McNeill Jr., 40, as one of three men who attacked two other men in Jersey City, N.J., because when he walked into a hospital for treatment for wounds he received during the attack, the victims were there being treated at the same time and recognized him as their attacker. (Hudson County’s The Jersey Journal)

Authorities charged Evelyn Mills Moore, 57, of Kings Mountain, N.C., with inflicting serious injury after beating another woman with a Bible. (Cleveland County’s The Shelby Star)

Authorities in Oakland County, Mich., charged Glenn Steven Lott, 59, with assault with a deadly weapon after they said he stabbed a golfing companion with the shaft of a Callaway five-iron he had broken on the victim’s arm during an argument that reportedly began when the victim questioned Lott about how many strokes he took on the 12th hole. (The Macomb Daily)

More people on earth have access to cell phones than to toilets, according to the United Nations. Of the 2.5 billion people lacking access to proper sanitation, 60 percent of whom live in India, the U.N. study reported that 1.1 billion defecate in the open. (Time)

After the military’s F-35 Lightning—the most expensive weapons system in history—went into production before the Pentagon had the opportunity to conduct test flights to detect and correct problems, the Pentagon’s top buyer, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Frank Kendall, accused the George W. Bush administration of “acquisition malpractice” and noted necessary changes would add even more to the cost.

The $397 billion joint-force stealth fighter also received criticism from test pilots, who complained of limited cockpit visibility. “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned every time,” the test report quoted one flier as saying, noting that “enhanced cockpit visibility was not designed into the F-35.” The report added there is no quick (or cheap) fix to the aircraft’s limitations because the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps versions required a common pilot ejection system that met the tougher requirements of the Marines’ version. Air Force pilots proposed that the Marines abandon their version’s costly helicopter-style landing feature, arguing that it’s useful only at air shows. (The Washington Times)

Federal prosecutors accused Mai Nhu Nguyen, 47, an immigration officer in Santa Ana, Calif., of accepting 200 egg rolls as a bribe from an applicant for citizenship. (Associated Press)

Dozens of birdwatchers traveled to Scotland’s Isle of Harris to glimpse a rarely seen white-throated needletail swift, the world’s fastest flying bird, only to watch it fly straight into the blades of a wind turbine. “It had a blow to the head,” ornithologist John Marchant, 62, said, “and was stone dead.” (Britain’s The Telegraph)

Roughly a third of the children responding to a survey reported in Pediatrics said they had been bullied for their food allergies. Pediatricians and educators explained that classmates sometimes switched a victim’s lunch, spit milk or smeared peanut butter on a child’s face, causing a swift anaphylactic shock.

“Food allergy bullying is really not a joke because someone can be taken to the emergency room,” said John Lehr, chief executive of the nonprofit group Food Allergy Research and Education, which labeled school cafeterias a “scary place.” (The New York Times)

Someone called 911 to report a man with a history of frog gigging was missing after he spotted the man’s unoccupied parked car on family property in Hawkins County, Tenn., and thought he heard someone calling for help. Fearing the worst, more than 30 rescuers searched for the missing frog gigger for nearly three hours, according to Emergency Management Agency director Gary Murrell, before “somebody thought to ‘ping’ his cell phone, and we found out he wasn’t even in the county.” The frog gigger explained he had left his car to ride with a friend for a covert romantic liaison. After the search was called off, the 911 caller admitted that the call for help could have been coyotes yelping. (The Kingsport Times-News)

Oregon State University received permission to use drones to fly over its potato fields looking for unhealthy plants. The two drones are equipped with small infrared cameras that can detect plants that aren’t getting enough water or fertilizer. “When plants aren’t happy, they look different, but not necessarily different to our eyes,” Phil Hamm, director of the OSU extension center at Hermiston. “We want to recognize plants that aren’t happy before there’’s a reduction in yield.” (Pendleton’s East Oregonian)

Volunteer firefighters in Dundee, Ky., could only watch as their firehouse burned to the ground. “Of course, there was nothing we could do,” fire chief Danny Pogue said. “All of our equipment was inside.” (Evansville, Ind.’s WFIE-TV)

When Circuit Judge Michael N. Cook, 43, appeared on the other side of the bar in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Ill., to answer federal charges of using cocaine while carrying a firearm and possessing heroin, he wore cut-off jeans and a blue T-shirt declaring, “Bad is my middle name.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

News and Blues is compiled from the nation’s press. To contribute, submit original clippings, citing date and source, to Roland Sweet in care of The New Times.

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