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Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 12:01 am

Wearable food or edible footwear

News Quirks 12/5/13

Curses, foiled again
• Authorities thwarted a high school student’s plan to kill a classmate after he warned the intended victim on Facebook that he was bringing a gun to school to “pop” the boy. Several students saw the threat and alerted the school. Police arrested Thomas Braasch, 19, of Alsip, Ill. (Chicago Sun-Times)

• Troy Foster Mitchell, 47, was in the process of robbing a bank in Modesto, Calif., when another teller called out, “Hi, Troy.” The teller recognized Mitchell because he’d been in the bank a month earlier to apply for a car loan. After Mitchell made off with $5,000, bank officials showed Mitchell’s application form to police, who arrested him at the address he’d given. “Most people make more of an effort to hide, wear a mask or have a getaway vehicle,” Lauren Horwood of the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “but he had nothing.” (Stockton’s The Record)

Wearable food or edible footwear
• Police who arrested Rachel Gossett and Frank Lucas for having sex in a Waffle House parking lot in Loganville, Ga., said the woman was so drunk that when she “finally got dressed she attempted to put a cheeseburger on her foot as if it were a sandal.” (The Huffington Post)

Wrong arm of the law
• A 51-year-old police sergeant in Tokyo came under investigation after he tried to catch a bicycle thief by staking out a decoy bike. After camping out nine times, the sergeant at Denchoufu police station failed to make a single arrest. Meanwhile, while he was focused on the decoy, three more bicycles were stolen. (Japan Today)

Avoirdupois follies
• Frenchman Kevin Chenais, 22, who weighs 500 pounds, was stranded in the United States after being denied a seat on his flight home because British Airways officials said he was too heavy. He tried to sail home, but the owners of the cruise ship Queen Mary 2 denied him passage. Chenais finally made it to London’s Heathrow airport when Virgin Atlantic agreed to fly him from New York at no charge, but when he tried to take the Eurostar cross-channel train home, officials refused to let him board. (Agence France-Presse)

• Some soldiers are resorting to liposuction because they’re worried about passing the Defense Department’s body fat test. It relies on neck and waist measurements and can determine soliders’ military futures. The number of Army soldiers discharged for being overweight has jumped tenfold in the past five years to 1,815 last year. Service members who opt for liposuction have to pay for the procedure themselves. Dr. Michael Pasquale of Aloha Plastic Surgery in Honolulu said his military clientele has jumped by 30 percent since 2011, noting, “They have to worry about their careers.” (Associated Press)

One more reason to be bitter
• After working four years as a chicken catcher in Northumberland County, Pa., Joshua Spickler was informed that his bonus was being cut because of a downturn in the chicken-catching business. He reacted to the news by developing a bad attitude, according to his employer, B&B Catching Service, which finally fired him after he failed to heed its warning to change his ways. Unable to find another job catching chickens, he claimed unemployment benefits. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court denied his claim, concluding that his negativity constituted willful misconduct. (Harrisburg’s The Patriot-News)

Homeland insecurity
• Responding to a call of a man carrying a handgun at a shopping mall in Port Charlotte, Fla., sheriff’s deputies locked down the building. They searched for the armed man for an hour before finding him. The weapon turned out to be a folded up apron being carried by a waiter at a local restaurant. (United Press International)

• After a man brought a Thermos-type container that he said he found on his lawn to a police station in Oklahoma City, officers told the man to leave the device outside and then called the bomb squad. X-rays revealed the device contained a burrito, according to Capt. Dexter Nelson, who recommended that people who find suspicious items not take them to police stations: “Call the authorities, and we will investigate it there.” (Oklahoma City’s The Oklahoman)

• Virginia state police compiled license plate numbers of millions of cars at political events, including rallies for President Obama and Sarah Palin in 2008 and Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. After the ACLU charged that this data collection violated attendees’ First Amendment rights, state police official Corinne Geller said the practice was necessary for public safety. “It’s not unusual for a stolen vehicle to be used as a car bomb or as some way to infiltrate,” Geller explained. (The Washington Times)

It happens
• The Food and Drug Administration lifted restrictions on fecal transplants after pooh-poohing them for years. The treatment attacks the intestinal bug Clostridium difficile, which can flourish when a person’s natural intestinal bacteria are diminished, most often by antibiotics, and can cause relentless diarrhea. The procedure, introduced in 2005 and technically known as a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), involves giving fecal matter from a donor to a recipient via colonoscopy. Acknowledging there’s a “yuk” factor, Dr. Francis Riedo, an infectious disease specialist at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Wash., said that by the time patients come to see him, they’re “so miserable, so desperate, they would try anything.” (Seattle Times)

Things that go kaboom
• Police investigating the explosion of an unoccupied truck in Los Angeles learned that it was sparked by a man trying to get high on propane. The driver, who showed up at a police station hours after the blast with a burned scalp and face, explained that he was inhaling propane in the cab and tried to charge his cellphone by plugging the charger into the truck’s auxiliary outlet, creating a spark that ignited the gas. The dazed man wandered away from the truck before police arrived, according to police Sgt. Glenn McNeil, who called him “the luckiest guy in the world.” (Los Angeles Times)

Sex is its own punishment
• Washington state psychologist Sunil Kakar, 46, was suspended after he admitted giving a prostitute his laptop as collateral while he went to an ATM to get cash to pay her. He returned to find the woman had left with the computer, which contained personal and health information of his 652 clients. Police recovered the laptop from a pawnshop, but by then the Department of Health had had to refer Kakar’s clients to new providers. (The Seattle Times)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

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