News Quirks | News Quirks | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published November 19, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again Authorities charged Lavarr A. Milton, 21, and Guy O. Walker, 18, with robbing a gas station outside Louisville, Ky., after they stopped in mid-getaway to ask a police officer for directions. “The officer noticed some evidence in the vehicle that led him to believe that a robbery had occurred,” police official Alicia Smiley told the Courier-Journal.

• Brian Hoover, 20, attracted the attention of police in Altoona, Pa., by walking downtown after midnight wearing a gorilla suit. After he explained he wore the costume to win a bet with his girlfriend, officers ran a check and learned he was wanted for receiving stolen property.

Lebensraum Wild boars breeding out of control are overrunning Germany, according to the Hanover-based Institute of Wildlife Research. Its study said the boars — three times last year’s population — are destroying crops, killing pets, digging up corpses for food and even attacking people. “It’s impossible for their habitat to adapt to a surge of this degree,” the institute’s Gunter Sodeikat told Reuters. He attributed the 320 percent population surge to better access to food and bigger litters of young — twice the litters of neighboring countries.

Wrong Answer Joshua J. Spaar, 30, told police in Allentown, Pa., that he was walking home from a bar when three young men approached him and tried to go through his pockets. According to Assistant Chief David Howells Jr., one of the men pulled a gun, and Spaar questioned whether it was loaded. The gunman responded by shooting Spaar in the lower body. The three robbers fled.

Never Saw It Coming Norwegian lawmaker Sarah Khaen announced she would not seek re-election to her seat in parliament after admitting she spent “a large part” of her office phone expenses in recent years on “conversations with psychics and fortune-tellers.” In one quarter alone, her phone bill came to 48,000 kroner ($6959), according to the newspaper Verdens Gang, which reported her calls became so frequent that many fortune-tellers told her to stop calling them.

Gang Aft Aglay David Stanifer was at his parents’ house in Brevard County, Fla., with two friends when they decided to let a pet rat loose in the garage. “We didn’t want her running off too far, so we grabbed some twine and some jingle bells so she didn’t get too far,” Stanifer told WFTV News, explaining he didn’t have any scissors to cut the string, so he tried burning through it with a lighter. When the twine caught fire, the rat began running around the garage, setting small fires that got out of hand. Stanifer and friends tried but failed to put out the ensuing blaze before calling firefighters, who estimated the damage at $30,000.

Litigation Nation A Connecticut judge dismissed Charlotte Feeney’s lawsuit accusing L’Oreal of spoiling her social life after she accidentally dyed her blonde hair brunette. Insisting that she made the mistake because L’Oreal put brown hair dye in a box labeled as blonde and that the mix-up prevents her ever returning to her natural blonde color, Feeney said she has needed anti-depressants, suffered headaches and anxiety, missed the attention that blondes receive, and had to stay home and wear hats most of the time.

Mensa Reject of the Week A man notified a sheriff’s deputy in Okaloosa County, Fla., that he was unable to locate his pickup truck after giving his keys to a stranger three weeks earlier. The Northwest Florida Daily News reported the victim said he parked the green Ford F150 to attend the Destin Seafood Festival, but he was wearing swim trunks that had no pockets, so he gave the keys to “an unknown man named Tim” to hold for him. He had not seen the truck or heard from Tim since and knows only that Tim might be from the Tampa area.

Remote Possibilities When Cindy Curry, 66, clicked the remote control to turn on the TV set in her home in Christian County, Mo., the device triggered an explosion that blew the woman completely outside. Noting it was amazing the woman suffered only minor injuries, Fire Chief Henry Bos told KOLR-TV that investigators concluded the remote ignited propane gas that had leaked into the house earlier.

Easy Money After the police department in Framingham, Mass., asked the city to fund laptop computers for cruisers, the police union demanded the city pay officers extra, claiming that using the computers constitutes a change in working conditions.

There She Was Lindsey Evans, 18, wound down her year’s reign as Miss Teen Louisiana by getting arrested for skipping out on the check at a Bossier City restaurant with three companions. City official Mark Natale said the restaurant identified Evans because she left her purse, containing her driver’s license and “a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.” Police nabbed all four when they returned to the restaurant while officers were on the scene so Evans could look for her purse. They found more drugs in the vehicle. The new Miss Teen Louisiana was crowned Nov. 1.

Strange Bedfellow Voters in Silverton, Ore., elected Stu Rasmussen, 60, the nation’s first openly transsexual mayor, unseating incumbent Ken Hector, 1988 votes to 1512. Rasmussen served two previous terms as mayor in conventional male attire before he got breast implants and began wearing dresses and 3-inch heels in public. “I am a dude,” the victor declared. “I am a heterosexual male who appears to be a female.”

Remeasuring Arizona voters, voting on a ballot measure on this year’s ballot to limit ballot measures, voted no. Proposition 105 would have required a majority of registered voters to approve all initiatives to raise taxes or increase spending. The current law requires a majority only of the voters who actually vote.