Curses, Foiled Again
When a woman reported that a man exposed himself to her and her children, police in Mesa, Ariz., knocked on the apartment door of upstairs neighbor Michael Polley, 55. He answered with his pants still around his ankles. Court records noted he became “immediately angry” at being interrupted and began cursing at the officers, who arrested him. (Phoenix’s The Arizona Republic) Police said Jerome Taylor, 20, entered a restaurant in Hartford, Conn., wearing a mask, pulled what looked like a gun on the cooks and demanded money. The cooks refused and grabbed their knives. Taylor promptly apologized and insisted it was all just a joke, and anyway, the “gun” was only an iPhone. (Hartford’s WVIT-TV) Police alerted to the theft of a 50-inch television off a delivery truck in Auburn, Wash., arrested Johnathon Barnes, 22, whom they spotted right outside the police station pushing a shopping cart containing the stolen set. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Man Purse of the Week
Corrections officials said that during a “clothed pat-down search” of Antoine Banks, 25, after his arrest on drug charges in Louisville, Ky., they found a small bag of suspected crack cocaine tied to the waistband of his underpants. They proceeded with a strip search and found “another small baggie” containing crack rocks in the foreskin of his penis. (Louisville’s WLKY-TV)
Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, died shortly after being stabbed in the leg by a razor-sharp blade attached to the leg of a rooster that attacked him at a cockfight in Lamont, Calif. Noting roosters are drugged, mutilated and have knives and razor blades attached to their legs to make them better fighters, Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine said that for rescued birds, rehabilitation is “a real challenge.” (Bakersfield Californian) A fighting rooster with razor blades attached to its legs slashed its owner’s throat in India after owner Singrai Soren tried to force it back into the ring too soon. Roosters are usually given at least an hour’s break between fights, “but Soren wanted the rooster to go to the ring within a few minutes of its first fight,” said a witness, identified as Dasai. “The rooster tried to get away from the ring several times, but Soren pushed it into the ring repeatedly. This upset it, and it attacked Soren.” (Britain’s Daily Mail)
Alexander Lawrence Jay, 40, committed suicide while alone in his cell at Oregon’s Washington County Jail, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Vance Stimler, by using a jail-issued pencil to stab himself in the arm and hit an artery.
(Portland’s The Oregonian) British tree surgeon Adam Baldock, 27, died while trimming a tree that turned on him in Mitcham, Surrey. “It seems he was trying to cut a branch,” a police official said, “and it pushed the chain saw back at him.” The industrial saw cut into his neck and shoulder. (Britain’s Daily Mail)
Utah Rep. Carl Wimmer introduced a bill to designate a semiautomatic pistol as the state’s official gun, joining the state’s official cooking pot and 23 other state symbols. Wimmer told the House Political Subdivisions Committee that the Browning M1911 would honor its inventor, Utah native John Browning. He explained he chose the M1911 instead of another Browning gun because it’s widely used by the military, police officers and private citizens and “has defended American values and the traditions of this country for 100 years.” (Associated Press) A cash-strapped British council proposed heating a community swimming pool by using furnaces at a nearby crematorium. Instead of heat from the incinerators at the Borough of Redditch Cemeteries & Crematorium going up the chimney, Carole Gandy, head of the Redditch Borough Council, declared that the measure “will save the authority money and, in the long-term, save energy, which is what we’re all being told we should do.” (Britain’s The Telegraph)
Fox in the Henhouse
Police who arrested Courtney Bowles, 31, for having sex with a 16-year-old male student in Loveland, Colo., noted that Bowles was an “instructional coach” at Mountain View High School whose role was teaching teachers at the school about keeping a professional distance between them and their students. (Denver’s KDVR-TV)
End of an Error
The government of Alberta, Canada, announced it’s issuing refunds to motorists ticketed for speeding by Edmonton’s 47 speed cameras because it can’t verify their accuracy. The action follows a motorist’s objection to a ticket, denying that he was going 89 mph. Prosecutors found that every other vehicle traveling along that same road was also clocked at exactly 89 mph. (The Newspaper. com: A Journal of the Politics of Driving)
Change of Plans
After convicted killer Tracy Province, 42, escaped from an Arizona prison, he decided to end what he called the fear and panic he experienced while on the lam by overdosing on heroin at Yellowstone National Park and letting bears eat him. He told Mohave County Detective Larry Matthews after his capture that as he was preparing the drug, a voice told him to abandon his suicide plan. “He called it divine intervention,” Matthews reported. Province also told Matthews he’d been in prison so long he’d forgotten how to drive. “Everyone drives too fast now,” Matthews quoted Province as saying. “When he went to prison, the speed limit was 55.” (Associated Press)
Police locked down a Wal-Mart store in Kirksville, Mo., after receiving a report of a man in a truck in the store’s parking lot holding a gun to his head. The gun turned out to be a cell phone the man was talking on. (Kirksville Daily Express)
What, Me Worry?
Many reusable grocery bags contain high levels of lead, according to the Center for Consumer Freedom. Of the 44 retailers whose bags the consumer group tested, 16 contained lead in amounts higher than the limit many states set for heavy metals in packaging. The bags are made from “non-woven polypropylene,” which comes from China. Noting that lawmakers nationwide are proposing to ban or tax paper and plastic bags, CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson said consumers “should have the option of using lead-free plastic and paper bags when they’re bringing home their groceries.” (United Press International) Plastic trays used at shopping mall food courts contain as many germs as a gas station toilet seat, according to a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. investigation. Bob Hancock, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia, where swab samples from trays were analyzed, said that two of the trays were contaminated with “a fairly large number” of acinetobacter bacteria, which cause gastrointestinal illness and are highly resistant to antibiotics. The CBC said various officials at the three Vancouver shopping malls sampled pointed out the trays aren’t intended to come into direct contact with food. (United Press International)
Police who charged three teenage boys with residential burglary in Arlington Heights, Ill., also charged one of them with cruelty to animals after he admitted poisoning and killing three goldfish. “According to the police report,” police Sgt. Mike Hernandez said, the 16-year-old boy “looked at the fish tank and said, ‘We can’t leave any witnesses.’” (suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald) Chinese animal rights groups objected to a television appearance by magician Fu Yandong, who performs a trick where six goldfish swim in formation. The protesters insisted the trick might involve the use of magnets and thus could injure the fish. The magician denied harming the fish, pointing out, “If I used magnets, the fish would stick together.” (BBC News) Fish swimming around big cities could be subjected to doses of anti-depressants, according to Canadian researchers, who discovered that significant quantities of Prozac are finding their way into the water around Montreal and into the brains of fish. Noting that a quarter of Montreal’s human population consumes some type of anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drug, lead researcher Sebastian Sauve said his team observed that the pharmaceuticals reduced brain activity in brook trout exposed to Montreal’s wastewater over a three-month period. Sauve warned that fish in other big cities could show similar effects. (The Canadian Press)
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.
Leave Ill Enough Alone
When an unrecognizable woman became an Internet sensation after surveillance video at a shopping mall in Berks County, Pa., showed her falling into a fountain while texting, Cathy A. Cruz Marrero, 49, willingly identified herself to news reporters as the klutz. She also demanded an apology from mall security officers for releasing the video. Reporters recognized Marrero when she showed up days later in Berks County Court on an earlier criminal charge for unauthorized credit-card use. They checked court records and learned Marrero has multiple charges for retail theft and one for hit-andrun. After her rap sheet became public, Marrero insisted she only came forward in the first place to remind the public of the dangers of texting while walking. (Reading Eagle)