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

Published December 18, 2013 at 11:51 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Police investigating 15 home burglaries in and around Lakewood, Colo., identified Brandon Campbell, 27, as their suspect because he was wearing a GPS ankle monitor that placed him at the crime scenes. “I would say it’s a prosecutor’s dream to have GPS,” Arapahoe County Deputy Prosecutor Chelsea Koch said. “That’s an excellent piece of evidence to put him at every single burglary at the time it was burglarized.” Campbell was wearing the ankle monitor after being convicted of trying to steal a GPS navigation device. (Denver’s KCNC-TV)

Police trying to locate Rolando Lozano, who they suspected of burglarizing 17 cars in Rosenburg, Texas, appealed for public help by posting his picture on their Facebook page. He responded with a taunt: “catch me if u can muthasuckas.” Tips from the community led them to Lozano within 15 minutes of his post. (Huffington Post)

Personal Pronouns

Germany became the first European country to allow parents of babies with characteristics of both sexes to leave the gender blank on birth certificates, creating a new category: “indeterminate sex.” The policy change is intended to avoid pressuring parents to decide on a gender quickly to register the new child with the authorities. The interior ministry said German passports, which now list holders as M for male or F for female, will have a third designation: X, for intersex holders. Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan also officially recognize a third gender. (BBC News)

Building Inspection Follies

Sweden’s National Housing Board ordered a hotel made of ice to install fire alarms. The Ice Hotel has been rebuilt every year since 1990 in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, using chunks of ice from the Torne River. Because each year’s building is new, it must abide by the current building code. (Sweden’s Local)

Short Attention Span

People were curious when the letter “A” recently appeared next to the 180-foot-tall “N” that has lasted 100 years on the side of a mountain beside the University of Nevada, Reno, until Brent Wilbur admitted adding the second letter. “I was trying to write a woman’s name, ‘Tina,’” he explained, noting that was the name of a woman he dated four years ago but still loved. He started with the “A” but said that after spending five and a half hours to create that he “just ran out of steam” and quit. (Reno’s KOLO-TV)


A Boeing 747 cargo jet heading to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., mistakenly landed eight miles north at Col. James Jabara Airport. McConnell has parallel north-south runways, 12,000 feet long. Jabara has no control tower and a single north-south runway, 6101 feet long, much shorter than is ideal for a 747. After being turned around on the 100-foot-wide runway, the 235-foot-long jumbo jet successfully took off the next day and landed 15 minutes later at its intended destination. (NBC News)

Pay-As-You-Go Getaway

Police pursuing a Car2Go vehicle going 75 mph in a 60 mph zone in Austin, Texas, reported that the driver crashed and fled on foot. Car2Go is a car-sharing service whose members can rent Smartfortwo vehicles by the minute wherever they’re parked. The driver spotted another Car2Go vehicle and took off, but after it turned down a dead-end road, police arrested driver Richard Delarosa, 33. A Car2Go official said the company would “evaluate” his membership status. (Austin’s KXAN-TV)

Drone On

Officials at Georgia’s Calhoun State Prison reported that a small drone flew over the facility and dropped contraband tobacco products inside the gates. Sheriff Josh Hilton said a search of nearby woods turned up a car, which contained the aerial vehicle and two pounds of tobacco, and four individuals who were charged with delivering the contraband. (Washington Times)

Nipping Population Growth in the Bud

Having legalized euthanasia for adults in 2002, Belgium’s government is now considering extending the right to children and adults with early dementia. There were 1432 recorded cases of euthanasia in Belgium in 2012, 25 percent more than in 2011. (Associated Press)

Lest We Forget

Organizers of a parade honoring British military veterans told war hero Albert “Dusty” Miller, 89, that he can no longer serve as parade marshal because he’s too old. Miller, a decorated Royal Navy veteran, had been a parade marshal for the Royal British Legion for nearly 40 years, but said he was told he was being dismissed “because of insurance and that I should have stood down when I was 85.” (Britain’s Daily Express)