A police officer spotted a man at a convenience store in Lebanon, Pa., holding his cap and eyeing the sweatband with a puzzled look. The Lebanon Daily News said that as the man got closer, the officer noticed a small plastic bag stuck to the man’s forehead, pulled it off and asked him, “Is this what you’re looking for?” Police who booked Cesar Lopez, 29, for possession said sweatbands are common hiding places for drugs.
Boom Boxes on Wheels
Fearing plug-in hybrid and electric automobiles could endanger pedestrians and children, who can’t hear them coming, safety experts asked automakers to supply digitally amplified engine sound to warn walkers. A 2008 University of California Riverside study, financed by the National Federation of the Blind, found that a gas-powered car going 5 mph could be heard 28 feet away, whereas a hybrid in silent battery mode could be detected only seven feet away.
The upside, The New York Times reported, is that car owners will be able to customize the sound their vehicle emits, much like cell-phone ring tones. Several automakers are even working with Hollywood sound studios to customize engine noises. The most ambitious comes with the Fisker Karma, an $87,900 plug-in hybrid going on sale next year. Speakers in the bumpers will pump out a sound that company founder Henrik Fisker calls “a cross between a starship and a Formula One car.”
Costly Corporate Bureaucracy
A Wisconsin state court awarded $1.26 billion to two state residents who charged PepsiCo Inc. with stealing their idea to bottle and sell purified water. Charles Joyce and James Voigt won the case by default when the soft drink company failed to appear in court. Even though the plaintiffs served the papers nearly four months before the trial, lawyers for the company explained after Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Jacqueline Erwin’s default judgment that the paperwork got lost in its corporate bureaucracy and asked the judge to reconsider the decision.
Why They Call It Dope
Police arrested Anthony Carrazco, 19, for trying to sell marijuana door-to-door in Brownsville, Texas, after he knocked on the apartment door of an off-duty police officer. Noting that Carrazco appeared to be intoxicated and was carrying three ounces of pot, police official Jimmy Manrrique said the officer told Carrazco “he would be right back and went to get his badge and handcuffs.”
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.