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Thursday, May 1, 2014 12:01 am

Capitalizing on disaster

 Curses, foiled again
• Police investigating the burglary of a restaurant in San Mateo, Calif., arrested Keveen Quintanilla, 31, after he stopped to flirt with bartender Ashleigh Cullen, 22, who was taking out the recycling. “He said he’d seen me around and wanted to hang out, which was strange since it was already 1 a.m. when he approached me,” Cullen said. After she realized the restaurant had been burglarized, she gave police Quintanilla’s name and phone number. Pretending to be Cullen, officers texted the suspect and arranged a date, then arrested him when he showed up. (San Jose’s KNTV-TV)

• Police investigating the theft of a laptop computer from a home in Dover, N.H., identified Casey Wentworth, 24, as their suspect after he called Apple customer service for help unlocking it. Detectives had already given Apple technical support the computer’s serial number. (Manchester’s WMUR-TV)

Capitalizing on disaster
• Protesting Beijing’s choking air pollution, artist Liang Kegang returned from a business trip to France with a glass jar of clean, mountain air, which he auctioned off for 5,250 yuan ($860). The month before, tourism officials in smog-free Guizhou province announced plans to sell canned air as souvenirs. Tourism authorities in Henan province distributed bags of air from a mountain resort in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, to attract visitors. Finally, recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao began selling fresh air in cans online for $3 each. (Associated Press)

Patient, heal thyself
• When Rose Preston experienced symptoms of a stroke at her home in Washington, D.C., she called 911. An ambulance arrived promptly. Once Preston was inside, however, the two D.C. Fire and EMS responders began “constantly bickering back and forth with one another,” she said. “I didn’t feel safe being transported by the vehicle.” Preston got out of the ambulance and returned to her home, noting that the paramedics didn’t seem to care and didn’t ask her to sign a formal patient refusal. Later that day, she took a subway to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, which requires immediate medical care. Chief Kenneth Ellerbe said D.C. Fire and EMS was investigating the “unacceptable” incident, which occurred two months after the death of a 77-year-old man who collapsed across the street from a fire station. When his daughter pleaded with a firefighter to help the man, she was told to call 911 instead. (Washington’s WRC-TV)

Is there anything bacon can’t do?
• Authorities accused Cameo Adawn Crispi, 31, of trying to set fire to her ex-boyfriend’s home in Naples, Utah, by leaving a pound of bacon burning on a gas stove. A police officer responding to a complaint by the ex-boyfriend discovered the fire in time to stop it from spreading. According to charging documents, Crispi “stated she was attempting to start a fire in the house to get back at (the ex-boyfriend).” (Salt Lake City’s Deseret News)

Sound barriers
• Philadelphia schools eager to keep teenagers from loitering during off hours are counting on high-frequency sonic waves emitted by a device known as “The Mosquito.” Adults over 25 generally cannot hear the sound, but teenagers find it “extremely annoying and will leave an area within a couple of minutes,” said Michael Gibson, president of Moving Sound Technologies, which sells the device. (Philadelphia’s KYW-TV)

• Organizers of the Australian Grand Prix have threatened legal action against Formula One management because the racecars’ new engines aren’t noisy enough. Besides switching from high-pitched 2.4 liter, V-8 engines to fuel-efficient, 1.6-liter, turbocharged V-6 hybrid power plants, Formula One management introduced an energy recovery system that transforms exhaust fumes into extra engine power but with less noise. Addressing fan criticism of this year’s race, Andrew Westacott, head of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, explained that the lack of noise has reduced the spectacle of the event by taking away a visceral element of the fan experience. (Business Insider Australia)

2nd Amendment meets the 21st
• Wilshire Gun, a new state-of-the-art indoor firing range in Oklahoma City, has applied for a liquor license. “We wanted to build a place, the first one in Oklahoma, where you could go in, shoot, enjoy the retail area and then go to the café,” owner Jeff Swanson said, insisting that shooting complexes which offer customers more than just a place for target practice “is where the shooting sport is headed.” Swanson explained that Wilshire Gun’s staff intends to scan the driver’s license of customers who order drinks to assure that none would be allowed to enter any of the shooting facilities as a spectator or shooter for the remainder of the day. (Oklahoma City’s KOKH-TV)

Anti-social media
• When British graphic designer Edd Joseph bought a video game console online but the seller failed to deliver it, Joseph copied the entire works of William Shakespeare and texted them to the seller. Although he sent them as one text, without paying extra because his calling plan allows unlimited texting, the seller can receive them only in 160-character chunks, meaning the 37 works arrive successively in 29,305 individual messages. Despite receiving abusive replies from the seller, who still hasn’t refunded his money, Joseph said he’d continue sending the texts. “I’m not a literary student, and I’m not an avid fan of Shakespeare,” he pointed out, “but I’ve got a new appreciation you could say, especially for the long ones.” (Britain’s The Bristol Post)

Creature of habit
• Christopher M. Miller, 40, spent 15 years in state prison for robbing a Stride Rite shoe store in Toms River, N.J. Immediately after his release, Ocean County police said Miller boarded a bus from the prison to Tom’s River, where he robbed the same Stride Rite store. Police located the suspect a few blocks from the store and recovered the stolen money. (Baltimore’s WBFF-TV)

First step to gun control
• Kentucky Rep. Lesley Combs admitted accidentally firing her Ruger semi-automatic handgun in her Capitol office while unloading it. “I’m a gun owner. It happens,” she explained, adding that she intends to replace the weapon. “It’s an automatic. I need to stick with revolvers.” (Louisville’s WHAS-TV)

Familiarity breeds arrest
• While dining at a high-end restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., a deputy U.S. marshal recognized another patron as Virgil Tillman, 30, a felon who had eluded police in two states since 2011 and whom he’d been hunting for five weeks. “I had been looking at the guy’s picture every day for weeks,” the deputy said after he called city police, who arrested Tillman as he was leaving Fogo de Chao. (Kansas City’s KSHB-TV)

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

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