News and Blues

05/28/14 – 06/03/14

Curses, Foiled Again
Police investigating a burglary at a church in Chula Vista, Calif., found a cellphone at the crime scene with a photo that the thief apparently took of himself. After identifying Adam Howe, 26, from the “selfie,” they arrested him and recovered some of the stolen property. (U-T San Diego)

Slightest Provocation
Retired police officer Curtis Reeves, 71, asked Chad Oulson, 43, to stop texting during the previews at a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Fla. When Oulson objected, an argument ensued, and at some point Reeves said Oulson threw popcorn at him. Claiming self-defense, Reeves fatally shot him. (Associated Press)

Below Zero Tolerance
Administrators at a high school in suburban Chicago objected to a state law requiring that 4-by-6-inch stickers warning guns are not allowed be posted in schools, as well as in churches, government agencies and liquor stores. But officials at Tinley Park High School oppose the notices banning guns because an image of a gun appears on them. “You can’t look at this and not think of Sandy Hook,” principal Theresa Nolan said, adding that she would prefer “something more subtle.” (Southtown Star)

How Inconvenient
Dr. Daniel Ubani admitted killing an English patient by overprescribing drugs but moved to Germany, made a plea deal to pay a fine for “gross negligence” and continued practicing. While Ubani was delivering a presentation at a conference in Lindau, Germany, the victim’s two sons interrupted him and called him a “charlatan and killer,” Ubani sued the sons, demanding they pay him £2,800 ($4,690) because their disruption caused him to miss a post-conference dinner for which he had already paid. (Britain’s Express)

Deadbeat Dining
A child-nutrition manager dispatched to a Salt Lake City elementary school, to investigate reports of parents owing money to the school lunch program, ordered cafeteria workers to seize lunches from as many as 40 students. District official Jason Olsen said officials tried to alert parents with overdue balances that the child-nutrition manager was coming but couldn’t reach everyone in time. The students had already received their lunches before they were singled out, leaving workers no choice but to throw out the uneaten food because school rules forbid serving already served food to other students. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

Second-Amendment Follies
Clint Galentine, 37, was practicing turkey calls while walking with a friend in a wildlife management area in Tampa, Fla., when a hunter shot him twice with a high-powered rifle. Michael Trott, 43, told Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials that he mistook Galentine for a deer. (The New York Times)

Authorities accused David Charles, 21, of breaking into the Indiana Medical History Museum numerous times last year and stealing human brain tissue, then selling it on eBay. A San Diego man who bought six jars of the brain tissue for $600, plus $70 shipping, called the museum after noticing labels on the containers. After Indianapolis police investigators set up a sting to nab Charles, the museum’s executive director, Mary Ellen Hennessey Nottage, said the stolen material had been returned and that she had spoken to the San Diego man. “He just said he liked to collect odd things,” she explained. (The Indianapolis Star)

Going George Costanza One Better
Robert McKevitt, 27, deposited $1 in a vending machine at his warehouse job in Milford, Iowa, and selected a Twix candy bar, but it snagged on the spiral hook. “I was, like, ‘Oh, man.’ So I put in another dollar, and then it wouldn’t do anything,” he said. He tried banging on the machine and rocking it back and forth, but the candy bar wouldn’t budge. Determined to get the snack he paid for, McKevitt commandeered a 4-ton forklift, lifted the vending machine 2 feet and let it drop on the concrete floor. He repeated the maneuver six times; three candy bars fell into the chute to be retrieved. A supervisor confronted him, and five days later he was fired. After his claim for jobless benefits was denied, McKevitt acknowledged, “That machine was trouble.” (Des Moines Register)

Didn’t See It Coming
British fire investigators blamed a blaze at a home in Romford on a crystal ball the homeowners kept in their bedroom. Its rays were refracted through the ball, setting fire to the curtains, before spreading to the rest of the room, Fire Investigation Officer Mick Boyle said, reminding people to keep glass ornaments, mirrors and bottles out of direct sunlight. (London24)

Virtual Solution
After Los Angeles County passed a law requiring porn actors to use condoms, adult-film production companies fled to Las Vegas, Miami and other less restrictive locations. Some remaining companies responded by turning to technology, specifically computer-generated imagery (CGI), to digitize the flesh over the condoms. Gay porn company Falcon Studios released the first digitally enhanced film, California Dreamin’ 1. “I wanted to give the impression of a pre-condom movie,” director Tony DiMarco said, “but use condoms as we do in every scene we film.” (Slate)

Sheriff’s deputies responding to reports of a shooting in Jefferson Parish, La., found Akili Bailey, 20, with gunshot wounds to his buttock, leg and foot. When paramedics tried to help Bailey, he refused to get up and appeared to be “clenching his buttocks together,” according to the police report. Authorities attributed his behavior to his injury, but a doctor who treated Bailey at the hospital retrieved a small bag containing 2.5 grams of cocaine from his buttocks. (New Orleans’s The Times-Picayune)

Everything You Know Is Wrong
A textbook used by more than 50,000 students in India’s Gujarat state contains more than 120 factual, spelling and grammatical mistakes, including that “Japan dropped a nuclear bomb on the United States during World War II.” The Gujarat government hasn’t withdrawn the books but did “set up a two-member committee to look into these errors and make changes immediately,” according to State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama. (BBC News)

When Weight Watchers Isn’t Enough
An alternative to liposuction lets people lose fat through urination. The treatment, called Aqualyx, involves injecting a water solution into specific areas of the body. It liquefies fat cells, which are then eliminated over a three-week period. “Aqualyx isn’t an injection for weight loss,” its British supplier, Mills Medical Services, said. “It is used for contouring the body and slimming down those stubborn fat areas.” One session, which is sufficient for chin areas, costs $417, Mills Medical said; larger areas require several treatments. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

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 Syracuse New Times.


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