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Update December 2017


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Odds & Ends  The Associated Press
 

Update Saturday, Dec. 9 - Dec. 15, 2017

Lawsuit: Couple detained after hibiscus mistaken for pot

Sarver, Pa. (AP) - A couple who say they were handcuffed for hours in a police patrol car after their hibiscus plants were confused for marijuana are suing the police and an insurance company. Edward and Audrey Cramer say in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that a Nationwide Insurance Co. agent investigating a fallen tree at their Buffalo Township home sent photos of their flowering plant to police. The lawsuit alleges that Buffalo Township police officers with assault rifles went to their home on Oct. 7 to investigate. Audrey Cramer, 66, said she was partially dressed when she went to the door and police would not let her put on pants before she was handcuffed. “I was not treated as though I was a human being,” she said. “I was just something they were going to push aside.” Edward Cramer, 69, said he returned home a half-hour later to find his wife in the back of a police cruiser and officers pointing guns at him. He also was placed in the cruiser despite trying to convince the officers the plants were hibiscus, not marijuana. “They actually ignored me,” he said. “They wouldn’t even listen. I said, ‘I can show you pictures on the internet.’” The Cramers eventually were released without charges. They are seeking monetary and compensatory damages and court costs. Nationwide Insurance declined to comment on Friday, citing the litigation. Township police also declined to comment.

6 Czechs fined for sporting Borat mankinis in Kazakhstan

(informburo.kz, via AP)

Prague (AP) - Six Czech tourists who dressed up in skimpy swimsuits made famous by Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” have reportedly been detained by authorities in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. Sporting lime green “mankinis” and black wigs, the men had hoped to take a picture in front of the “I Love Astana” sign. But local police took action, detaining them on Friday and fining them 22,500 tenge ($68) each for committing minor hooliganism, according to the Kazakh news website informburo.kz. The swimsuit became popular after Baron Cohen, playing the fictional Kazakh television presenter Borat, sported it in the 2006 movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” That film offended many Kazakhs by portraying the country as backward and degenerate.

Small town Connecticut election
decided by coin toss

Bolton, Conn. (AP) - An election for the governing board of a small Connecticut town has been decided by a coin toss. The Journal-Inquirer reports that Republican Michael Eremita on Tuesday kept his seat on Bolton’s five-member Board of Selectmen with a coin-toss win over Democratic challenger Kim Miller. Both received 718 votes in last week’s election. Under the town charter, tied elections can be decided by a special election or a coin toss. Eremita and Miller agreed on the latter because a special election could have cost up to $3,000. Eremita, Miller, and Town Clerk Elizabeth Waters all flipped coins. Eremita won because he and Waters both tossed tails. Miller came up heads. Eremita’s victory gave the board in the town of about 5,000 residents, located 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Hartford, a 3-2 Republican advantage.

Phoenix man tries turning locomotive
into a runaway train

Phoenix (AP) - A Phoenix man was close to turning a locomotive into his own runaway train. Police say 20-year-old Julio Rodriguez was arrested earlier this month after trying to steal a train from a rail yard just south of downtown Phoenix. Union Pacific Railroad workers say they were alarmed when they heard the train horn Nov. 8 and went to investigate. They discovered Rodriguez, who was actually released from jail earlier that day, sitting in the engineer’s seat. Employees removed him and found he had moved levers and pushed buttons. They say he was one pedal away from actually moving the train. According to court documents, Rodriguez admitted to trying to steal the train. He faces charges of theft of means of transportation and burglary.


Update Saturday, Dec. 2 - Dec. 8, 2017

Billionaire Norwegian given $30,400 drunken driving fine

Copenhagen, Denmark (AP) - A 22-year-old Norwegian student has been handed a 250,000-kroner ($30,400) fine for drunken driving - but can still count herself lucky. Katharina G. Andresen is reportedly Norway’s richest woman, with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $1.23 billion. Fines for drunken driving in Norway are based on the defendant’s income. Newspaper Finansavisen reported that Oslo City Court said the penalty could have been up to 40 million kroner ($4.9 million) if based on Andresen’s assets, but they “have not yielded any dividend yet” and she has no fixed income. The court did increase the fine because of her estimated wealth, however. Andresen was also banned from driving for 13 months. Andresen’s father gave her a 42-percent share in the family-owned investment company in 2007, leading Forbes to declare her the world’s second-youngest billionaire.

Man detained after Danish police crack public bench thefts

Copenhagen, Denmark (AP) - Police in Denmark say a man is suspected of stealing 12 of Copenhagen’s green public benches that Danes instantly associate with the capital city. Investigator Jesper Cederholm says the unidentified Dane, who was briefly detained Aug. 29, had confessed to stealing 12 benches out of a total of 65 benches that have gone missing and selling them online. The benches had been reported stolen since mid-2016. Copenhagen is home to about 3,000 of the green benches, which feature a dark grey painted iron frame with wrought swirls and weigh approximately 35 kilograms (77 pounds). They cost about 8,000 kroner ($1,250) each and were first introduced in the 1880s. Cederholm said Thursday the case would now be brought to court after a three-month investigation.

Navy grounds air crew that made
vulgar drawing in sky

Spokane, Wash. (AP) - The air crew who used their U.S. Navy warplane to create a vulgar sky writing above the town of Okanogan, Washington, this week have been grounded, the U.S. Navy said Friday. An electronic warfare plane from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in western Washington State created sky writings in the shape of male genitals in the skies over the rural community on Thursday. Many residents spotted the contrails in the clear blue skies above the central Washington town of 2,500 people. Witnesses took photos and placed them on social media platforms, where they were widely viewed. “The actions of this aircrew are wholly unacceptable and antithetical to Navy core values” said a statement issued Friday by NAS Whidbey Island. “We have grounded the aircrew and are conducting a thorough investigation,” the statement said, “and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions... The Navy apologizes for this irresponsible and immature act, and anyone who was offended by this unacceptable action.” The aircraft involved was an E/A-18 Growler assigned to Whidbey Island, the Navy said. The carrier-based plane carries a two-person crew. The plane flew over the small town in a pattern “that left a condensed air trail resembling an obscene image to observers on the ground,” the Navy said. The names of the air crew were not released.

Fears squashed: Zucchini mistaken for WWII bomb in Germany

Berlin (AP) - A worried resident in Germany alerted police to what he thought was a World War II bomb in his garden. Officers rushed over - and found a particularly large zucchini. Police were summoned to the scene in Bretten, near the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, on Thursday morning by an 81-year-old man. They said in a statement Friday that officers determined “the object, which really did look very like a bomb” was actually a 40-centimeter (nearly 16-inch) zucchini. The offending vegetable, which was very dark in color, weighed about five kilograms (11 pounds). Police believe someone threw it over a hedge into the garden. Unexploded wartime bombs are unearthed frequently during construction work in Germany, often forcing authorities to evacuate tens of thousands of residents while they are defused.

 

(Karlsruhe Police Photo via AP)
 


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Saturday, Dec. 9 - Dec. 15, 2017

Saturday, Dec. 2 - Dec. 8, 2017


 



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