Monday, February 21, 2011

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: a steak slap and fun with fire.

Curses, Foiled Again
After breaking into the same house he’d broken into eight months earlier, John Finch, 44, found himself trapped, according to police in New Castle County, Del., because the homeowner had changed the locks in the meantime so that a key was required to open the door, even from the inside. Finch entered through a rear window and helped himself to liquor but couldn’t let himself out the door without the key and was too drunk to climb back out the window. So he called 911 for help and was arrested. (Associated Press)

Leonard Baskerville, 29, tried to carjack a van stopped at an intersection in Adelanto, Calif., but was arrested by the driver, a uniformed San Bernadino County sheriff’s deputy. (Victorville’s Daily Press)

Improbable Causes
Fire investigators concluded that a house fire, which caused $30,000 worth of damage in Portland, Ore., was started by tenants using a hole in the floor as an ashtray. “That’s not careless smoking,” fire official Paul Corah said, “that’s stupid smoking.” (Portland’s KPTV-TV)

Workers at a landfill in Summit County, Colo., tried to start a tractor-trailer in below-zero weather by putting a pan with lit charcoal under the tractor’s oil pan to warm the engine. The tractor caught fire. “They clearly didn’t mean to torch the truck,” fire official Steve Lipsher said, noting that firefighters needed an hour to extinguish the blaze. (The Denver Post)

Authorities arrested Gary Lee Albertson, 33, for causing at least four fires in McClain County, Okla., while towing a truck without any tires. Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Huff said the metal on the road sparked the fires, which burned about 60 acres, heavily damaged one home and damaged several other structures. (Oklahoma City’s KWTV-TV)

Fire officials said a house fire in Medina, Ohio, started accidentally when a 19-year-old boy used a lighter to look for a remote control under his bed. “Up went the mattress,” said the boy’s mother, Karen Rhine. “He tried to flip over the mattress to get it and put it out, and everything just went up.” Fire Chief Bob Painter said the situation worsened when the family panicked while trying to escape and tried to limit smoke damage to the house by opening windows and doors. “It just turned the whole house into a chimney, feeding the fire with oxygen, and it just continued to grow,” Painter said, estimating the damage at $180,000. (Cleveland’s WJW-TV)

A van exploded in Bellevue, Wash., when the three people inside tried to keep the motor running by pouring gasoline directly into the carburetor while driving. One of them told police they’d bought two gallons of gas from a station minutes earlier but didn’t have a gas can, so they kept it in an open bucket. After removing the engine cowling, located between the two front seats, they used a water bottle to transfer gas from the bucket to the carburetor. The explosion occurred after the vehicle stalled and the driver tried to restart it. All three were on fire when they jumped from the van but survived. (Bellevue Reporter)

Static-Cling Art
Laura Bell created a 14-by-4-foot replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” out of laundry lint. Bell, of Roscommon, Mich., said she spent 800 hours doing enough laundry to get the lint—buying towels of the colors she wanted and washing them separately to get the right shades of lint—and another 200 hours to reproduce the Italian Renaissance painter’s masterpiece. (Associated Press)

Second-Amendment Follies
While shooting at a bird in the rafters of a cookie factory in River Falls, Wis., the 29-year-old plant manager missed the bird but accidentally shot an employee in the back of the head. The manager didn’t realize he’d hit anyone and went about his business. Meanwhile, the injured employee, a 28-year-old man who’d just started working at the Best Maid Cookie plant, said he remained at his workstation for almost another hour after he was shot because he wasn’t allowed to leave the cookie machine unattended. He waited until his scheduled break to drive to the police station and report the incident. (River Falls Journal)

Fool for a Client
Representing himself against first-degree murder charges in DuPage County, Ill., Joshua Matthews, 25, threatened to turn over courtroom tables and became involved in a physical altercation that resulted in his being Tasered before the jury entered. Insisting on wearing a bright orange prisoner outfit with the legs rolled up to his knees, a pair of white socks and metal shackles around his ankles, Matthews stammered and swore throughout his 45-minute opening statement, at one point shouting to the jury, “Y’all must think I’m crazy.” He told the jurors he intended to prove “everyone they [prosecutors] put on the stand is lying,” adding, “They ain’t got (expletive) on me.” (Suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald)

Slightest Provocation
Authorities charged Edna Elizabeth Verdin, 47, with hitting her boyfriend in the face with a frozen steak in Terrebonne Parish, La., after she became upset because she couldn’t find room in the freezer to chill a bottle of tequila. (Houma’s The Courier)

Donna Ambrosio-Ruglio, 45, was charged with hitting a 9-year-old boy with a frying pan in Randolph, N.J., when he dropped a bagel with cream cheese on the floor and a dog began licking it up. The boy told police that Ambrosio-Ruglio, who was caring for him, yelled at him that the cream cheese would kill the dog and whacked him on the head with the pan. (Parsippany’s Daily Record)

Ancestry-Community Follies
The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission said it would review a policy by Waikiki restaurant Keoni by Keo’s that adds a mandatory 15 percent tip to the checks of customers who don’t speak English. A restaurant representative explained that its many international visitors customarily don’t tip, so it’s merely trying to help its wait staff. The workers not only rely on tips for income, but also must pay taxes on a percentage of the restaurant’s total sales that Internal Revenue Service rules consider to be tips, even if they aren’t. Bill Hoshijo, executive director of the Civil Rights Commission, acknowledged the commission hasn’t received any complaints, but said it’s looking into the restaurant’s practice anyway because “discrimination based on language is ancestry discrimination.” (Honolulu’s KITV-TV)

  • Email
  • Print

© 2015 Missoula News/Independent Publishing | Powered by Foundation