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

Published August 3, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Responding to reports of a man and a woman slashing tires at an apartment complex, Atlanta police arrested the woman, but the man escaped. A few minutes later, he returned to the scene and approached television news reporter Amanda Cook during her on-air report, claiming to be a witness to the crime. Cook’s photographer recognized him as the suspect, and police arrested him. The man, who is married to the woman, apparently wanted to appear on camera to blame the incident on her. “He did tell us that his wife takes a lot of Xanax,” Cook reported, “and sometimes she gaoes crazy.” (Atlanta’s WSB-TV)

When music teacher Liu Hao, 39, appeared as a contestant on Chinese TV’s popular dating show “Happy League,” police recognized him as Wu Gang, wanted for stabbing a man to death more than 13 years ago. “Liu had become accustomed to his new identity and fooling everyone around him, so he didn’t think twice about going on the show,” police investigator Li Ang said after Liu was apprehended. “He had managed to escape the law for so long, he became overconfident about not being caught.” (Associated Press)

Current Events

Millions of tons of debris washed out to sea by Japan’s March 11 tsunami are moving across the Pacific Ocean and could start washing up on California, Oregon and Washington beaches in 2013 or early 2014. “The area north of Tokyo was basically shredded,” said Seattle oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who estimates the debris — everything from furniture to roofs to pieces of cars, even tractor-trailers — is moving east at roughly 10 miles a day and is spread over an area about 350 miles wide and 1300 miles long. Lots of the flotsam will break up and sink, but some won’t, Ebbesmeyer predicted, pointing out, “Things float a lot longer than you think.” (San Jose Mercury News)

Slightest Provocation

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Lon Allen Groves, 40, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., after he put a gun to his wife’s head while the two were arguing over which granddaughter was her favorite. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Kenneth Charles Stuck, 46, after he smashed a toilet against the front door of a house in Hudson, Fla., because he had given the homeowner money to buy more beer, but the man was taking too long to return. (St. Petersburg Times)

Jason Banks, 29, choked his girlfriend and hit her in the face, according to police in Ambridge, Pa., when she complained that he had never written a song about her. (Associated Press)

Authorities charged three men in connection with the murder of their mother in Alberta, Minn. “She wanted to play Yahtzee, and they didn’t,” Stevens County Sheriff Randy Willis said after criminal charges were filed against Dylan C. Clemens, 25, and his half-brothers, Andrew Q. Cobb, 18, and Jacob S. Cobb, 17. “That seemed to be, in their minds, what expedited her sudden demise.” (Minneapolis’ Star Tribune)

Contrary to Popular Belief

North Dakota has never been a state, according to John Rolczynski, 82. The Grand Forks resident explained North Dakota’s original constitution omits requiring the executive branch and other high-ranking officials to take the oath of office, contradicting the federal Constitution and thus invalidating it. State Sen. Tim Mathern introduced a bill to fix the wording, but residents won’t vote on it until November 2012. Meanwhile, Rolczynski pointed out the constitution states that the Red River forms North Dakota’s entire eastern border, but for 41 miles the Bois De Sioux River marks the boundary. (Fargo’s KVLY-TV)

Freak Accidents

Attempting to save her cancer-stricken dog from being put down, Taylor Mae Stinchcomb, 15, stole the family minivan and fled her home in Gurnee, Ill., with the dog and a friend. When she became too distressed to drive, she let the 15-year-old friend take over. Police said the friend lost control of the van and crashed into several trees and a utility pole, killing Stinchcomb and the dog. (Fox News)

Litigation Nation

Kyle Richards, 21, an inmate at Michigan’s Macomb County jail, filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder and the state, insisting he is being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment because jail rules prevent convicts from possessing erotic and pornographic materials. Declaring that the ban amounts to “psychological warfare,” Richards stated that he suffers from chronic masturbation syndrome and severe sexual discomfort, which he labeled as physical ailments caused by living conditions behind bars. John Cordell of the state Department of Corrections said the suit is misdirected, explaining that state prison inmates are allowed to possess porn. Macomb County bans porn, but Richards didn’t sue the county. (Detroit News)