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News Quirks 01.24.07


Published January 24, 2007 at 5:00 p.m.

Curses, Foiled Again When a convenience store clerk in Des Moines, Iowa, called police because customer James Clay tried to sneak a second hot dog into his bun, covering up the deception with a pile of condiments, officers discovered that Clay was wanted on a warrant for failing to pay child support and arrested him.

* Police said that Sudan Provost, 40, walked into a bank in Sacramento, Calif., and announced a robbery, then handed a teller his driver's license and a money order, which he said he needed cashed. According to police Officer Michelle Lazark, when the teller asked if he had an account at the bank, Provost reportedly replied, "This is not a joke. I have a gun. I do this for a living." Provost then opened his bag, which contained no gun, and asked for a tissue for his runny nose. When the teller said she did not have one, Provost announced he would be right back, then left the bank and crossed the street to a drug store. Bank employees called the police, who were reviewing surveillance footage before searching for the suspect, when Provost walked back across the street and headed toward the bank. Officers met and arrested him.

There Is Justice After waiting nearly two weeks for their paychecks, postal workers in Owensboro, Ky., were told that the checks had apparently been lost in the mail. Postmaster Kristine Fox told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that she called several postal centers to try to track down the missing checks, which were supposed to have been mailed from Egan, Minn., but had no success.

Slightest Provocation Police in Atmore, Ala., charged Dan Gulley Jr., 70, with shooting David James Brooks Jr., 62, during an argument over how tall the late James Brown was. The "Godfather of Soul," who died of heart failure Dec. 25, was known to wear lifts, and accounts of his height vary.

Dinner To Go A duck that had been shot by a hunter and then kept in the refrigerator for two days survived both episodes. Laina Whipple, a receptionist at Killearn Animal Hospital in Tallahassee, Fla., said that the hunter's wife "was going to check on the refrigerator because it hadn't been working right, and when she opened the door, it looked up at her." The woman "freaked out," Whipple said, and told her daughter to take the 1-pound female ringneck to the animal hospital, which treated it for wounds to its wing and leg. Veterinarian David Hale said the bird has about a 75 percent chance of survival.

Abstinence Pays South Korea's Ministry for Gender Equality stepped up its campaign to end the practice of men getting drunk at office parties and then having sex with prostitutes, by offering cash rewards to companies whose male employees pledge not to pay for sex after parties.

Two of a Kind Authorities in Sumter County, S.C., fired deputy sheriff Jay Follin, 27, after learning that he was married to two women at the same time. An internal investigation found that Follin's second wife was married to another man.

Wrong Rites On the first day of the Muslim feast of Eid-al-Adha, Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported that hospitals treated at least 1413 Turks for hand and leg injuries they received after stabbing themselves while trying to sacrifice cows, sheep, goats and bulls. Four other people were severely injured when large animals fell on top of them, and one person was hurt when a crane used to lift an animal tumbled onto him. CNN-Turk television added that three people died from heart attacks suffered while trying to restrain animals.

NIMBY Nightmare Neighbors in Happy Valley, Calif., complained to officials that their community has 17 convicted sex offenders all living together under one roof, a pink stucco former mansion known as Happy Valley Villa, which now houses 25 to 30 low-income tenants, including the 17 registered offenders. "You want one here and one there and one somewhere else," community resident Paul Bradshaw said, "but as we all know, as you get a group of people of like mind together, it gets more dangerous." Officials defended the arrangement. "By law these parolees have a right to be in a community like everyone else," said Carolyn Graham, assistant regional administrator in the parole office that oversees Santa Cruz County, who pointed out that finding housing for sex offenders is "extremely difficult."

Second-Amendment Follies Security guard Paul Melendez, 36, was working at La Mexicana supermarket in Fort Myers, Fla., when sheriff's deputy David Scozzafava, who was shopping at the store, asked why the guard's gun was in its holster with the hammer cocked. Melendez told Scozzafava it was OK because the safety was on, then began pulling the gun from its holster to show him. The weapon fired, wounding Melendez in the hand.

* Police in Oklahoma City said Anna Herrera-Gomez, 23, was firing a 9mm pistol at the H&H Gun Range when it ejected a shell casing that fell down the front of her blouse. As the hot metal touched her skin, she was startled and accidentally shot herself in the leg. Another shooter, a paramedic, treated her wound.

Death Warrant Declaring a species to be endangered hastens its extinction, according to French researchers, because of people's willingness to pay exorbitant prices for rare specimens. This, Franck Courchamp and his colleagues at the University of Paris-South in Orsay reported, is just the incentive unscrupulous hunters need to track down the remaining members of the species.

See No Evil Hotel guests in Myrtle Beach, S.C., witnessed a middle-aged couple having sex on a third-floor balcony for more than an hour, starting around 11 a.m. When someone finally called police, officers who went to the couple's room said the couple yelled that "they did nothing wrong and that the people outside were 'jealous.'"

Anti-American Measure U.S. adoption agencies reported that China has imposed new restrictions on foreign adoptions, barring applicants who are unmarried, obese, over 50 or who take antidepressants.