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News Quirks (4/16/14)

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Curses, Foiled Again

When the police officer who stopped Douglas Glidden, 25, in Livermore Falls, Maine, found marijuana in his vehicle, Glidden insisted the pot couldn't be his because he had stolen the car. Indeed, the car had been reported stolen, according to Lt. Joseph Sage, who said Glidden was charged with felony car theft, plus a civil violation for pot possession. (Franklin Sun Journal)

Acting on a tip that fugitive Michelle Singleton, 66, had been living under an assumed identity for 18 years, authorities tracked her to a houseboat in Key West, Fla. She'd stolen a birth certificate and become Catherine Harris. When sheriff's detectives asked for her identification, she handed them a driver's license for Harris, but it expired in 2012. Detectives then asked for her birth certificate, but while fumbling with her papers, she dropped a birth certificate and Social Security card that the detectives noticed were for Singleton. They promptly arrested her. (New York Daily News)

Foodies

Military researchers working on new ready-to-eat meals for soldiers said they've concocted a pizza that doesn't need freezing or even refrigeration. "You can basically take the pizza, leave it on the counter, packaged, for three years, and it'd still be edible," said food scientist Michelle Richardson of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts. Noting that pizza is among the most requested items soldiers say they want added to their rations, Richardson said she spent two years working on the new recipe. (Associated Press).

Americans waste nearly one-third of the food they buy, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A major reason that 133 billion pounds of food produced for Americans to eat was wasted in 2010, the report said, is that people simply lost interest in food after they bought it. That includes papayas, which, the report noted, many people buy without knowing when they're ripe, how to prepare them or how to use them as an ingredient. The report conceded that there "is a practical limit to how much food loss the United States can prevent or reduce." (Washington Examiner)

Overreaction of the Week

Pang Se Vang, 84, shot his son to death after the son installed cable television in their home in Maplewood, Minn., but then refused to pay the bill. Police arrived to find Vang locked in a bedroom, declaring he had stabbed himself in the chest so he could die and settle the dispute with his son in the afterlife. (Minneapolis's WCCO-TV)

Second-Amendment Follies

After a tree removal crew reported being chased off by a shirtless Michael Smith with a handgun, police armed with assault rifles surrounded the man's home in Norridgewock, Maine. The officers stood down when they learned that the "gun" was actually a tattoo of a handgun on Smith's stomach that looks like a gun tucked into his waistband (Associated Press)

The Honeymoon is Over

A flight from Atlanta to Costa Rica made an unscheduled stop in Grand Cayman to hand over a passenger who had gotten into a drunken argument with his bride on their honeymoon. Royal Cayman Islands Chief Inspector Raymond Christian said the groom was charged with being drunk and disorderly. The bride remained on the Delta Air Lines flight. (Reuters)

Soon after American tourist Erin Willinger, 35, met rickshaw driver Bunty Sharma, 32, outside the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, last September, they wed. The marriage quickly soured because of "differences in their relationship," Police Chief Shalabh Mathur said. Accusing his wife of smoking too much and "talking to other men," Sharma stabbed her to death, then went home and killed himself by igniting a gas canister and causing his house to explode. (CNN)

When Guns Are Outlawed

German authorities announced they're searching for two women who rob "mostly older women" by hypnotizing them. "They seem to be able to get the interest of their victims with a promise to see the future," police official Sandra Mohr said after a 66-year-old Russian woman reported that the women "told her that they would read her fortune, but the next thing she knew she was back home sitting in an armchair, and all her jewelry and valuables had vanished." (Britain's Daily Mail)

Where Else?

Police arrested Michael Schell, 24, and Jessica Briggs, 31, in Minot, N.D., for having sex in the bathroom of a convenience store named Kum & Go. (Minot Daily News)

Better Late Than Never

The New York Times ran a correction to an article it published on Jan. 20, 1853, acknowledging that it misspelled the name of Solomon Northup, whose memoir inspired the movie "12 Years a Slave." The paper spelled Northup's last name as "Northrop" in the article and "Northrup" in the headline. The paper became aware of the errors after they were pointed out on Twitter. (USA Today)

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