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News and Blues

Your weekly recap of weird and funny news

Curses, Foiled Again
Police thought Luis Moreno Jr., 26, was driving solo in a carpool lane in Fort Lee. N.J., but when they stopped him, he showed he was legal by pointing out two men in the back of the SUV. The men said they were kidnap victims. Moreno tried to flee, but rush-hour traffic stalled his getaway, and he was arrested. (New York Daily News)

Stand-Your-Ground State
When Joseph Carannante, 21, built a gun range in his yard in a St. Petersburg, Fla., community, neighbors complained that he was putting everyone, especially children, in danger. Police said it’s legal. “I don’t want to hurt anybody,” Carannante explained. “I just want to use this as my enjoyment. I don’t want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door.” He promised to alert neighbors whenever he intends firing his 9 mm pistol. (Tampa’s WFLA-TV)

Look Out Below
Investigators concluded that the crash of a single-engine aircraft near Watkins, Colo., was caused by the pilot photographing himself and his passenger and becoming disoriented by the camera flash. “It is likely that cellphone use during the accident flight distracted the pilot and contributed to the development of spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control,” the National Transportation Safety Board report said. Explaining the NTSB is seeing “more and more” distractions from personal devices in all forms of transportation, board official Keith Holloway said, “But the self-photographs in an airplane, that’s something new for us.” (The New York Times)

Banner Headlines
Moving beyond social media, people are taking grievances to the skies by hiring airplanes to tow banners announcing their stance. Recent targets in New York City have been the mayor, including one calling for his resignation, and the general manager of the New York Jets (“Jets: Rebuilding Since 1969”). A banner costs $1,000 for a 2 1/2-hour ride over the Hudson River. Ashley Chalmers, whose Jersey Shore Aerial Advertising flew the anti-mayor and anti-Jets banners, said he never takes sides: “I’m just the messenger.” (The New York Times)

Drone On
Air traffic control officials received reports of 193 incidents of “drone misbehavior” in 2014, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Several were close calls involving aircraft with people on board, including one pilot who had to take evasive action above Oklahoma City when a 2-foot-wide drone came within 10 feet of his plane at 4,800 feet. Some incidents involved drones flying as high as 15,000 feet. (Mother Jones)

Thwarted Determination
Dwayne Jackson, 48, forced his way into a home in Ewing, N.J., found a spatula in a kitchen drawer and tried to slit his throat with it. When that failed, police Capt. Rocco Maruca said, Jackson used a butcher’s knife to stab himself in the stomach. At that point, the 76-year-old homeowner appeared with a loaded .357 handgun, which Jackson wrestled away from him and shot himself in the face. Jackson survived and was hospitalized in stable condition. (The Times of Trenton)

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