Curses, Foiled Again
A cashier at a convenience store in Westminster, Md., reported she was robbed by a man wearing an orange bandana but told police she could tell the robber was her boyfriend, Brendon Marshall, 50, by the way he ran from the store. Police who arrested Marshall said he had a large sum of cash equal to the amount taken from the store.
* Police received a call from a hotel clerk in Annapolis, Md., that a woman came to the lobby claiming she'd been sexually assaulted. According to The Washington Post, officers who met with the woman, Catherine Anne Delgado, 35, determined her claim was unfounded but during the interview noticed large slabs of fudge bulging out of her pants pockets and smudges of fudge on her hands and white blouse. On a hunch, an officer walked to the nearby Uncle Bob's Fudge Kitchen and found the front door open and half-eaten cookies on the floor.
Back at the hotel, a female officer who checked the restroom after Delgado used it found that Delgado had tried to flush so much fudge down the toilet that it clogged. A surveillance video at the fudge shop showed Delgado "just falling all over herself" helping herself to the fudge, owner Bob Lawinger said, noting, "she took about 10 pounds of it and ate about a half-pound in the store."
* Indian businessman Amarendra Nath Ghosh, 45, wanted for cheating five Calcutta banks of $6.75 million in 1994 and 1995, eluded capture until 2003, when he was arrested in Germany. When he lost his appeal of the government's decision to extradite him, he swallowed a 4-inch knife. For the next four years, he refused surgery to remove it, and medics said flying with the metal object lodged in his stomach might prove fatal. In August, however, authorities foiled the scheme by putting Ghosh on a private plane staffed with doctors and returned him to India, with the knife still lodged in his stomach, to face criminal charges.
Species in the News
An auction by conservation groups for naming rights to 10 newly discovered fish species in eastern Indonesia raised $2,015,000. The proceeds will fund a floating ranger station and educational trips for the region's children. Prices ranged from $500,000 to name the Hemiscyllium shark from Cendrawasih Bay to $50,000 for the Pseudanthias fairy basslet. Bidders had to pledge they would name the species after people, not corporate entities.
The Washington Post reported that selling naming rights is gaining popularity among environmentalists. Two years ago, for instance, the Wildlife Conservation Society raised $650,000 in a one-week Internet auction to name a newly identified Bolivian monkey.
* Highway police arrested two men after a routine traffic stop turned up 250 endangered parrots and 300 parakeets crammed into their sport utility vehicle in Mexico's Sinaloa state.
* Authorities accused Jereme James, 33, of stealing three endangered iguanas from a nature preserve in Fiji and smuggling them into the United States in his prosthetic leg. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said James hid the neon green iguanas in a special compartment he had constructed in his artificial limb.
Letter of the Law
Austin Perkins, 17, a senior at Golden Gate High School in Naples, Fla., was suspended for violating the school's dress code. The policy requires boys to wear long pants or walking shorts and collared or polo shirts that must be tucked in and must be solid white, gray, green, pink or khaki. Perkins wore a jacket and tie to school. "I thought it was better than a polo shirt," Perkins told the Naples News.
What Could Go Wrong?
A town council in Germany decided the best way to reduce traffic accidents and improve pedestrian safety was to remove all traffic lights and stop signs from the downtown district, which is used by 13,500 cars a day. "Traffic will no longer be dominant," Mayor Klaus Goedejohann of Bohmte told Reuters, pointing out drivers and pedestrians now enjoy equal rights of way.
Holy Moley A convent in southern Italy is being shut down after its three remaining nuns got into a fistfight. Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista, objecting to the authoritarian ways of their mother superior, Sister Liliana, scratched her face and threw her to the ground at Santa Clara convent near Bari. Agence France-Presse reported that Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri tried to make peace but, after deciding the nuns had "clearly lost their religious vocation," he asked the Vatican for permission to close the convent. Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista moved out, but Sister Liliana barricaded herself inside and refused to leave.
Last Laugh While Tina Alberts was under anesthesia having two teeth replaced with implants by her boss, oral surgeon Robert Woo of Auburn, Wash., he first installed temporary bridges he had shaped to look like boar tusks, then took photos of Alberts, some with her eyes propped open. Before she awoke, Woo removed the tusks and put in the proper replacement teeth. He didn't show Alberts the photos, but staffers gave her copies at a birthday party, causing her to feel so humiliated that she quit and sued her boss. Woo's insurance company, Fireman's Fund, refused to cover the claim, so Woo paid Alberts $250,000 and then sued Fireman's Fund. A King County jury ordered Fireman's Fund to pay Woo $750,000, plus the out-of-court settlement. Appeals followed, until the state Supreme Court upheld Woo's award, declaring that the practical joke was an integral, albeit odd, part of the assistant's dental surgery.