Curses, Foiled Again
Dexter White, 41, called 911 in North Charleston, S.C., complaining that he paid $60 to a drug dealer for crack cocaine but received only $20 worth of drugs and that the dealer refused to give him his $40 change. White said he smoked his crack before calling the cops, who arrested him anyway, for disorderly conduct. (Charleston’s WCSC-TV) When Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton received a text message from a Helena, Mont., teenager asking to buy marijuana, Dutton realized the boy had misdialed his drug dealer’s number. He directed the texter to meet a detective posing as the dealer. When the texter arrived with a friend, the detective identified himself. One of the boys fainted. No citations were issued, but Dutton said they faced worse punishment from their parents. (Helena Independent Record)
It’s Now or Never
Budapest’s City Council declared Elvis Presley an honorary citizen of the Hungarian capital and named a small park after him in gratitude for his support of Hungary’s 1956 anti-Soviet uprising. During an appearance on TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show, Presley sang a gospel song, “Peace in the Valley,” which Sullivan said reflected Presley’s concern for Hungarians after the short-lived, quickly crushed rebellion. (Associated Press)
Dan Reeves spent nine years and $40,000 building a two-seater, singleengine airplane in the basement of his home in Cumberland County, Pa., assembling pieces as they arrived. When it was finally ready to fly, he had to spend another $5,000 to knock down a basement wall — the only way he could get the full-size plane out. (Harrisburg’s The Patriot-News)
Rules Are Rules
When tornadoes devastated central Alabama, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offered trailers to displaced residents of Cordova who were living in tents.
Mayor Jack Scott rejected the offer, citing a 1957 ordinance that bans manufactured homes. He insisted it’s “what’s best for the town,” explaining he doesn’t want people living in run-down mobile homes parked all over town in a few years. “Once they put that trailer there, they squat, that’s it,” Scott said. Meanwhile, the city is using mobile homes for its police headquarters and city hall. (Birmingham’s WVTM-TV)
The Benton Franklin Health District in Kennewick, Wash., voted to endorse a colorectal cancer awareness campaign but then voted to withdraw its endorsement after receiving complaints that its billboards were in bad taste. The billboards announced, “What’s up your butt?” (Kennewick’s The Tri-City Herald)
Paper or Plastic?
Chinese families in Malaysia caused a shortage of paper replicas of Apple’s iPad 2 by buying them to burn at this year’s Qingming festival. The centuries-old rite honors ancestors by burning fake money or replicas of expensive merchandise. “Some of my customers have dreams where their departed relatives will ask for luxury items, including the iPad 2,” said Jeffrey Te, a prayer-item shopkeeper outside Kuala Lumpur. “I can only offer them the first iPad model.” First- and second-generation paper iPads sell for $1 for models with 888 gigabyte capacity, an auspicious number in Chinese culture. (Reuters)
Arizona State University’s Flexible Display Center is spending at least $100 mil lion to develop a plastic screen that rolls up and doesn’t crack when dropped. “Flexible. . . black-and-white screens for e-readers are very close to commercialization,” said Nick Colaneri, director of the center, which opened in 2004 under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army. He predicted color flex screens are three to five years away. The military is interested in flexible screens for their portability, durability and low power usage. As for consumer applications, DisplaySearch, an industry research company, predicts the market for flexible screens, which use the same technology as digital book readers and can even be sewn to fabric, could surpass $1 billion this year and reach $8.2 billion by 2018. (The Arizona Republic)
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.