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News Quirks 02.22.06


Published February 22, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Police in Springfield, Ore., arrested Clayton Everett Teman, 22, after they said that he held up a diner, then returned two days later to rob the same diner and the same cashier again. This time, he shot himself in the foot. "He was a little upset due to the amount of money he got the first time, so he went back hoping to get more," Detective Tom Rappe said, adding that the robber was fleeing when he inexplicably fired several rounds from a handgun. One hit him, ending his getaway.

Irony Illustrated

After DNA evidence proved that Steven Avery, 43, was wrongly convicted of sexual assault, he was released from the Wisconsin prison where he had served 18 years and became a spokesperson for how the criminal-justice system could harm an innocent man. Last November, two years after his release, authorities in Manitowoc County charged Avery in the death of a 25-year-old photographer. They cited DNA evidence linking him to the killing.

Share and Share Alike

To reduce overcrowding in Idaho's prisons, State Sen. Robert Geddes proposed that inmates share beds by sleeping in shifts. "Why does every inmate need his or her own bed?" the Republican lawmaker asked, declaring that taxpayers should not have to pay to transfer prisoners out of state. "The costs are tremendous."

- McDonald's started a job-sharing plan for its workers in Great Britain that lets family members who work at the same outlet substitute for each other. "It may be just the beginning," David Fairhurst, the chain's vice president, said. "In the future, we may even look to extend it beyond the family to include friends and extended family members such as cousins."

Mensa Reject of the Week (Tie)

Artist Trevor Corneliusien, 26, chained his legs together while camping in an abandoned mineshaft so he could draw a picture of what his legs looked like chained together. When he realized that he had lost the key, he spent 12 hours hopping 5 miles through the desert north of Baker, Calif., to a gas station. Reporting that rescuers needed bolt cutters to free Corneliusien, who suffered bruised ankles, sheriff's Deputy Ryan Ford added that the drawing "was a pretty good depiction of how a chain would look wrapped around your legs."

- A woman told sheriff's deputies in Greenville County, S.C., that she was approached in a Wal-Mart parking lot by another woman who said that she had $8000 in cash but didn't like the serial numbers and wanted to exchange it. She offered to let the woman have the money for $6000. The woman withdrew that amount from her bank and gave it to the other woman and a man, who took the woman's money and left without giving her anything.

Least Wanted

American special forces in Iraq making a random raid found British freelance journalist Phil Sands, 28, who informed them that he had been kidnapped and held for five days. He said that the worst aspect of his ordeal had been imagining his family's anguish. The Observer newspaper reported that when Sands called to tell his parents that he was safe, they said they had been vacationing in Morocco and didn't know he'd been missing.

Why They Call It Dope

Sheriff's deputy Ed Johnson of Orange County, Fla., reported that he was parked in his marked patrol car wearing his uniform when a 340-pound man asked him if he wanted to buy some cocaine. Thinking the man was joking, Johnson said yes. The man, identified as Michael Garibay, 34, showed Johnson "several pieces of flat white rocks substances" and asked for cash. Johnson arrested him.

- Kory C. Tippetts, 18, told Salt Lake City police that someone broke into his house and stole a quarter-pound of marijuana. Tippetts identified Richard W. Hight, 23, as the likely culprit. Police went to Hight's address and recovered 6 ounces of marijuana. After booking Hight, police asked Tippetts to drop by the station and identify the drugs. When he did, he was arrested on multiple drug charges.

What Could Go Wrong?

Russia announced plans to begin generating nuclear power with a rare isotope, helium-3, that is powerful but doesn't pollute and produces almost no radioactive byproducts. Nikolai Sevastyanov, head of Russia's Energia space corporation, said that Russia intends to set up mining operations on the moon, where helium-3 abounds, and use a heavy-cargo transport link to begin "industrial-scale delivery" of helium-3 by 2020. Gerald Kulcinski, of Wisconsin University, told Scotland's Daily Record that helium-3 "could be the cash crop for the Moon."

Cure Alls

The nation's candy makers are targeting the fitness market to expand their sales. Several companies unveiled health-related confections at last summer's All Candy Expo in Chicago. Among them are caffeine-rich, vitamin-fortified gum for energy, vitamin-laced jellybeans and energy chews made with caffeine, ginseng and guarana.

Wrong Arm of the Law

After police in Edmonton, Alberta, had an illegally parked car towed to an impound lot, the tow-truck driver and a security guard noticed movement inside. "They accessed the vehicle and, sure enough, there was an elderly man inside," said Lisa Lammi of the Edmonton Police, who added that the 85-year-old driver "was disoriented, but he wasnot unconscious" after spending more than two hours in the vehicle in below-freezing weather.

Freak Injury

A 19-year-old Australian man was airlifted to a hospital in Liverpool, New South Wales, after he broke his right leg in two places kicking a spider.

Second-Amendment Follies

Vice President Dick Cheney shot a lawyer in the face. Accidentally. Allegedly.