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Thursday, May 30, 2013 06:05 am

News Quirks 5/30/13

Curses, foiled again
u  A man ordered coffee at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through in West Haven, Conn., but when he pulled up to the window, he got out of his vehicle, announced a robbery and started to climb through the window. The employee stopped him by throwing his coffee at him. She then threw a whole pot of coffee. “That’s when he started running into his truck and then he left,” she said, “and I said, ‘Go run with Dunkin’.” Police Sgt. David Tammaro said the man fled empty-handed. (West Hartford’s WVIT-TV)

No-man’s land
u  Now that penmanship is rarely practiced, Washington state has replaced the term with “handwriting” as part of its six-year effort to rewrite state laws using gender-neutral vocabulary. The 40-staff Washington Code Reviser’s Office has so far weeded out gender bias in nearly 3,500 of about 40,000 state code sections. “This is a much larger effort than I had envisioned,” state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the 475-page anti-bias bill’s sponsor, said. “There’s no good reason for keeping our legal terms anachronistic and with words that do not respect our current contemporary times.” Left unchanged are “airmen” and “seaman,” because of objections by the state’s military department, and “manhole,” because no common-sense substitute could be found. (Reuters)

Litigation nation
u  Intel employee Harvey Palacio filed a federal lawsuit after fellow workers taped a “Kick Me” sign on his back and then kicked him. According to the complaint filed in Albuquerque, N.M., when Palacio went to senior staffer Randy Lehman to ask if the sign was there, another employee yelled out, “Don’t read it, just do it,” and Lehman kicked him three times in his buttocks. He left work in tears and couldn’t tell his wife about the incident “because he was so embarrassed and ashamed.” Lehman and another employee were later convicted of petty battery and fired. (Associated Press)

Who needs Obamacare?
u  After her 14-year-old son was shot in the upper left thigh by a friend playing with a gun inside the family home in Santa Fe, Texas, Deborah Tagle, 55, turned to WebMD.com for help in treating the wound. She then waited seven hours before deciding she needed to drive the victim to a Texas City hospital. Police arrested the 24-year-old shooter and charged Tagle with injury to a child with intent to commit bodily injury. (Houston’s KHOU-TV)

False alarm
u  After workers at an energy company in Great Falls, Mont., discarded several boxes of scratch-and-sniff cards used to teach customers to recognize the artificial smell added to natural gas to signal a leak, the garbage truck that picked them up compressed the load. “It was the same as if they had scratched them,” Energy West general manager Nick Bohr said after the resulting odor prompted numerous false alarms and building evacuations while the truck traveled through downtown streets. (Associated Press)

Hoarder of the week

u  Authorities investigating a single-family home in Newtown, Conn., said to be “in a state of disrepair” found “200 to 300 one-gallon plastic jugs” filled with urine, according to Department of Energy and Environmental Protection official Dennis Schain. The urine was sent to a sewage-treatment plant while authorities tried to determine whether to charge the homeowner and with what. (Danbury’s The News-Times)
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