Curses, Foiled Again
Police were able to identify two people who snatched a purse from an 82-year-old woman in New Castle, Pa., because the victim’s 89-year-old friend banged the getaway car with her cane as it pulled away.
Police Chief Thomas Sansone said officers found the car by matching the dent to the cane and arrested Jerry Brown Jr., 27, and Tatiana Vargas, 21. (Associated Press) While Pittsburgh police Detective Robert DiGiacomo was looking for an assault suspect, a man climbed into his unmarked car and ordered him to get out. DiGiacomo reported he pulled his gun and identified himself to Micah Calamosca, 21, who explained “he was filming the movie Batman, and that him taking my vehicle was part of the script.” DiGiacomo added, “At no point did I think that was the truth.” In addition, DiGiacomo noted Calamosca fit the assault suspect’s description. (Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV)
Police responding to a call of an infant child in the back seat of a hot car parked outside a strip club in Louisville, Ky., found both parents inside the club and arrested them. The father, Thomas W. Lee, 28, was wearing an ankle bracelet that was supposed to ensure he stayed at home as a condition of his probation. Police said that while being taken to jail, Lee complained about the heat in the back of the police car. (Louisville’s WDRB-TV)
Despite “overwhelming evidence” that smoking during pregnancy is harmful to a developing child, researchers at England’s Southampton University reported that some pregnant women smoke because they want smaller babies for easier deliveries. Babies born to smoking mothers weigh an average of 11 ounces less than babies with non-smoking mothers. (Britain’s The Telegraph) A member of the Royal Australian Air Force taking part in a joint Australian- American military exercise suffered burns to his head, face, arms, chest and breathing passages after a portable toilet he was using exploded. “It’s believed the man was lighting a cigarette at the time,” a Department of Community Safety official reported. (Britain’s The Telegraph) Fire investigators determined that John Blanchard, 65, started a fire at a storage yard in Princeton, Calif., while smoking methamphetamine with a propane blowtorch next to a container of gunpowder. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Searching the Internet is polluting the planet and contributing to global warming, according to scientists who blame the server industry’s dependence on coal-fired electricity to support its fast-growing network of data centers. The Internet already consumes 2 percent to 3 percent of the world’s electricity, mostly to operate and cool banks of computers that conduct data searches. This figure is expected to double by 2020. Already, Apple, Google and Facebook are opening new “server farms” in North Carolina, whose electricity rates are among the nation’s lowest. Their combined estimated use is 200 to 240 megawatts, all of it provided by coal-burning plants. “We have to move from this fossil fuel fiesta,” Ottawa engineer and green information technology consultant Bill St. Arnaud warned. (The Montreal Gazette)
The Army banned soldiers from wearing “toe shoes” while training. The glove-like footwear, made by Vibram, is intended to simulate going barefoot, but “shoes that feature five separate, individual compartments for toes,” the Army’s statement declared, “detract from a professional military image and are prohibited for wear” while training. “Only those shoes that accommodate all five toes in one compartment are authorized.” (The Washington Post)
Police said a 57-year-old man became so frustrated while using his pickup truck to try herding six cows that escaped from his farm in Prosser, Wash., that he ran over a city-owned fence and two of the cows. Officer Mark Cole said both animals suffered broken legs and had to be killed.(Associated Press)
Too Big to Care
A year after Warren and Maureen Nyerges paid Bank of America cash for a home in Naples, Fla., the bank notified the couple it was foreclosing on the home, even though a mortgage was never issued. Warren Nyerges, 46, fought the mistaken foreclosure attempt by phone and in court for two months before its dismissal. He then spent the next five months trying to make the bank reimburse him for $2,500 in attorney’s fees, which the court had awarded him. “They refused to pay,” Nyerges said. He hired attorney Todd Allen, who tried several times to collect the debt before obtaining a writ to seize assets to satisfy a judgment and took it to the Collier Sheriff’s Office. Then Allen, the Nyergeses and two deputies showed up at a Bank of America branch with a moving van and threatened to haul away furniture and cash. The branch manager notified his supervisor, and within an hour, the Nyergeses had their $2,500. Allen now wants the bank to cover his fees, noting, “If Bank of America doesn’t pay it, we’ll be back doing this again.” (Naples Daily News)
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.
In the annual League of Women Voters Election Guide (New Times, Oct. 26), the name of a candidate for state Supreme Court justice was misspelled. The correct spelling is Thomas Buckel. The New Times apologizes for the error.