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News Quirks (7/1/15)


Published July 1, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Jamie L. Gordon, 30, told police she was "struck in the head with a bowling ball" by a robber, who took $2,100 from the safe at the bowling alley where she worked in Decatur, Ill. When the manager arrived and gave permission to view the surveillance video, officer James Weddle observed Gordon pick up a bowling ball and "strike herself twice in the back, left side of her head," then drop to the floor, where she remained for 13 minutes until another employee found her. Confronted with the evidence, Gordon admitted taking the money and gambling away most of it on the bowling alley's slot machines before conking herself on the head "to make it look like she had been robbed." (Decatur's Herald-Review)

While police searched for drugs at the Akron, Ohio, home of Andrew Palmer, 46, a United Parcel Service driver delivered a package, addressed to Palmer, containing four pounds of marijuana. (

Handyman Follies

Canadian authorities deported Tom Rolfe, 24, for fixing cracks in the wall of his girlfriend's Edmonton apartment. Even though the British man, visiting on a tourist visa, was doing the repairs for free, officials pointed out that immigration rules prohibit tourists from performing any work that a Canadian could be hired to do. (Ottawa Sun)


Warren Jones, a city councilor in Jacksonville, Fla., introduced a bill making it illegal for homeowners to back into their own driveway. Jones said the proposal would crack down on the visual blight caused by owners parking inoperative vehicles backwards so officials can't read license plates, which Florida requires only on the rear. If the vehicle tag isn't visible from the street, the measure requires the owner to write down the information with 2-inch-tall letters and post it where city code enforcement inspectors can easily see it from the street. (Jacksonville's Florida Times-Union)

When Nicotine Patches Aren't Enough

China is resorting to public humiliation to punish smokers. Besides increasing the fine for smoking in public buildings to 200 yuan ($32.20), officials post the names of those who break the law three times on a website to shame them. (Washington Post)

Mensa Reject of the Week

Adam Hirtle, 30, told police in Colorado Springs, Colo., that he removed his boot and shot himself in the foot on purpose because he wanted to see how it felt. After satisfying his curiosity, he "placed his boot back on his foot and then intentionally shot himself in the foot" a second time, police said. (Denver Post)

Every Little Bit Counts

Transit police who nabbed Timothy Chapman, 35, for evading a $2.10 subway fare in Boston found $7,000 in his pocket. (Boston Herald)

Happy Ending

After spending 46 years without knowing her father's identity, Melonie Dodaro, a social media consultant in Kelowna, British Columbia, turned to Facebook and located him in just 72 hours. Cees de Jong, originally from the Netherlands, has been living in Thailand for the past 16 years, performing as an Elvis impersonator, an actor and a musician using the name Colin Young. "I guess he's very, very well-known and a little bit famous in Europe," Dodaro said, adding that she plans to visit her father and his two children, Elvis and Priscilla. (CBC News)

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

A Welsh bus company promoting its new fleet of buses posted ads on the back of them showing an apparently topless woman holding a sign saying, "Ride me all day for £3." Outrage on social media prompted an apology from Cardiff-based New Adventure Travel, which explained the slogan was "a little tongue in cheek" but promised to remove the ads "within the next 24 hours." (Britain's Guardian)

Florida environmental officials announced a two-year, $1.6 million project to remove an estimated 90,000 used tires from the ocean off Fort Lauderdale. The tires, among 700,000 dropped in 1972, were intended to attract fish and provide a foundation for corals. Instead, few corals grew, and the tire bundles broke apart and drifted into natural reefs, killing coral and creating a lifeless vista that stretches 35 miles. "There are just tires for as far as you can see," Broward County biologist Pat Quinn said. "They're piled on top of each other up to five feet deep." (Associated Press)