News Quirks (4/22/15) | News Quirks | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Arts + Life » News Quirks

News Quirks (4/22/15)

by

comment

Firebuggery

Verlin Sexton, 48, told authorities investigating a fire that destroyed his garage and damaged his house in Fremont, Ohio, that it started while he was using spray paint and a lighter as a torch to kill a mouse. He also said he went to the garage to smoke, noticed black smoke filling the garage and saw flames in the corner, so he ran to get a pan of water; when he returned, the fire was out of control. Then he said he saw flames in boxes and tried to kick the fire out, but it spread. He was charged with intentionally setting the fire. (Fremont's News-Gazette)

Scott Kemery, 44, told authorities investigating a car fire in Eastport, N.Y., that he believed his rental car was filled with bedbugs, so he doused the interior with rubbing alcohol. Confident it worked, he got back in the car and lit a cigarette, igniting the alcohol. He fled the vehicle but suffered first- and second-degree burns. The rental car was destroyed, and intense heat from the fire badly damaged two other cars. (Newsday)

Mohammed Almarri, 21, illegally entered his neighbor's apartment in Tampa, Fla., forced the owner to retreat to his 30th-floor balcony, put the owner's wallet in a microwave oven and turned it on, according to fire officials who responded to a report of a fire and a man trapped on a high-rise balcony. The victim told them Almarri also took the victim's collection of lighters, piled them on the floor next to a small electric heater and turned the heater on. No fire was found, but Almarri was charged with first-degree arson. (Tampa Bay Times)

Tourist Traps

Now that affluent Chinese have become big-spending travelers, the China National Tourist Administration announced it would document "uncivilized" behavior by travelers abroad who have "tarnished" China's image and need to "learn a lesson." Inappropriate behavior includes violating customs, destroying public infrastructure and historic sites, causing disturbances on public transport, and participating in gambling and prostitution. The agency said it would compile reports from local tourism bureaus, media reports and the general public and keep records for up to two years. It didn't specify the nature of any punishment. In February, Thai authorities issued thousands of Chinese-language etiquette manuals after Chinese tourists were caught drying underwear at a temple, kicking a bell at a sacred shrine and washing their feet in a public restroom. (Reuters)

Orthographical Follies

When the Minnesota Department of Transportation replaced signs marking the town of Lindström, it removed the umlaut, twin dots over the "o." It subsequently rejected town officials' request to restore the umlaut, citing a rule that names in road signs contain only standard letters. The town said the umlaut honors its Swedish roots and had been on the signs until 2012, when the state removed them for road construction. Gov. Mark Dayton intervened, calling the rule "nonsensical" and ordering the umlauts restored immediately, "even if I have to drive to Lindström and paint the umlauts on the city limit signs myself." (New York Times)

Profit Center

The Transportation Security Administration last year collected almost $675,000 in loose change left behind by travelers at security checkpoints. According to TSA figures, that amount is up from $638,000 the year before. Travelers at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport left the most change, $43,000. Overall, the agency has collected $3.5 million in loose change since 2008. (Time)

When Guns Are Outlawed

Aaron Anthony Doney, 19, an inmate at Montana's Cascade County Detention Center, was charged with possession of a deadly weapon after he reportedly sharpened a plastic spork. (Great Falls Tribune)

Vehicular Follies

Investigators concluded that Elizabeth Rachel Dove, 23, was using her phone to record a video of her son in the backseat of her vehicle when she hit and injured three high-school students in a crosswalk in Gresham, Ore. "holding the phone with her left hand and was making gestures with her right hand," then there is a six-second video of the phone bouncing on the front passenger seat and "a child crying in the background," Deputy District Attorney Annamarie Shoen wrote in a court document, which added that when the teens entered the crosswalk, Dove "appears to have had no hands on the steering wheel." A police officer determined that Dove hit the victims 1.42 seconds after the video ended. (Portland's KATU-TV)

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.