Monday, November 7, 2011

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: attack of the frozen armadillos, turning cremated ashes of hunters into ammo, and Topeka, Kan., repeals an ordinance banning domestic battery.

Curses, Foiled Again
Police charged Johnny Lee Walker, 21, with shooting another man in Orange Park, Fla., after he left his cellphone at the scene of the crime. Investigators said the phone contained text messages about a $300 marijuana deal believed to be the motive for the shooting. “Sometimes it helps when the bad guys aren’t very smart,” Police Chief James Bolvin said. (Jacksonville’s The Florida Times-Union)

Police arrested Judy Weible, 61, after she called a sheriff’s deputy in Hinds County, Miss., and tried to sell him prescription painkillers. The deputy, thinking the call was a prank, hung up. The woman called back several times, and when the deputy ignored her calls, she started texting, offering to sell 30 pills for “$60 and some green.” Finally, the deputy alerted investigators, who set up a meeting. Explaining that Weible apparently reached the deputy by misdialing a number, sheriff’s official Jeff Scott said, “I cannot recall a situation where someone has called a narcotics officer and offered to sell them narcotics.” (Jackson’s The Clarion-Ledger)

Revenge of the Dead
When bow hunter Edward Garcia came across a bear lying still on the ground north of Gardiner, Mont., he poked it with a knife to see if it was dead. It was, but the carcass was resting on some live electrical wires, which, when Garcia’s knife touched them, caused a shock that badly burned Garcia’s torso, head and hands. The Park County Sheriff’s Office reported that Garcia walked two miles to find help and was flown to a burn center in Salt Lake City. (Associated Press)

Antisocial Media
Police arrested Benito Apolinar, 36, after they said he punched his wife in the face. The attack occurred during an argument that began when he posted a comment on his Facebook page about the anniversary of his mother’s death, but Dolores Apolinar didn’t click on the “like” button beneath the update. “That’s amazing,” he reportedly told her. “Everyone ‘likes’ my status but you. You’re my wife. You should be the first one to ‘like’ my status.” (Carlsbad’s Current-Argus)

Legislative Follies
The city council in Topeka, Kan., voted 7-3 to repeal an ordinance banning domestic battery. Assistant city attorney Catherine Walter insisted the repeal wouldn’t decriminalize domestic violence, which remains a state crime. The council acted to shift responsibility for prosecuting offenders to Shawnee County. (The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Louisiana lawmakers voted to make it illegal to buy or sell second-hand goods for cash. State Rep. Rickey Hardy, a co-author of the measure, explained it’s aimed at criminals who steal anything from copper to televisions and sell them for a quick buck. Having a paper trail will make it easier for law enforcement to track stolen goods. (Lafayette’s KLFY-TV)

The U.S. Senate voted to allow school cafeterias to serve unlimited potatoes. The move blocked a Department of Agriculture proposal to limit school lunches to two servings of potatoes a week. “The proposed rule would have imposed significant and needless costs on our nation’s school districts at a time when they can least afford it,” said Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from potato-growing Maine, who introduced an amendment to a USDA funding bill to prevent any limits on serving potatoes or other vegetables. The measure does allow the USDA to regulate how the potatoes are prepared. (Associated Press)

When Guns Are Outlawed
An unidentified man attacked a 57-year-old woman with a frozen armadillo, according to Dallas police, who said the attack occurred when the man tried to sell the armadillo to the woman. The two argued about the price, and the man threw the carcass at the woman twice, causing bruises to her leg and chest. (United Press International)

End with a Bang
An Alabama company is offering to turn the cremated ashes of hunters and gun enthusiasts into ammunition. “We know how strange it sounds to people who aren’t comfortable around guns, but for those who are, it’s not weird at all,” Thad Holmes, co-founder of Holy Smoke LLC, said, noting that a pound of ashes fills about 250 shotgun shells. “People take ashes and spread them across lakes or forests or throw them in rivers, and nobody thinks twice about that. This is no different.” The service starts at $850. (Reuters)

Hands-Down Favorite
A British school that previously tried getting students to attract teachers’ attention by using colored signs instead of raising hands switched to having them raise their thumbs. Insisting the policy helps make the class environment “calmer and encourages quieter pupils to share ideas,” Cheryle Adams, head teacher at the Burlington Junior School in Bridlington, England, said it was no big deal and “something all the children have accepted.” Parent Dave Campleman disagreed, declaring, “Kids are used to putting their hands up. Being told to do something different just confuses them.” (United Press International)

His and Her Cars
Women are more likely to sustain injuries in a car accident because safety features are designed more with men in mind, according to a study based on a decade of data. Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers Dipan Bose and Jeff Crandall of the University of Virginia and Maria Segui-Gomez of Spain’s Navarra University found, for example, that female drivers wearing seat belts were 47 percent likelier than men to suffer serious injury and that the positioning of head restraints fails to take into account how women’s necks differ from men’s in size and strength. The authors recommended that health policies and vehicle regulations tailor safety designs to women to assure “equity in injury reduction.” (Agence France-Presse)

How Socialized Medicine Works
When Doreen Wallace, 82, fell and broke her hip in the lobby of Ontario’s Greater Niagara General Hospital, she lay bleeding for almost 30 minutes before anyone from the hospital came to her aid. Even though she was only 50 yards from the emergency room, according to her son, two nurses came over and told her she would have to call an ambulance. One was dispatched from nearby St. Catherines. Before it arrived, an orthopedic surgeon noticed Wallace and, with the help of an assistant, moved her into a wheelchair. “It was horrible, it really was,” she said. Last April, at the same hospital, 39-year-old Jennifer James died from a “catastrophic heart event” a few days after emergency room staff refused to help her in the parking lot when she lost consciousness and stopped breathing. They told her boyfriend to call 911 instead. (Toronto Star)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet.

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