by Roland Sweet
Curses, Foiled Again
When the police officer who stopped Douglas Glidden, 25, in Livermore Falls, Maine, found marijuana in his vehicle, Glidden insisted the pot couldn’t be his because he had stolen the car. Indeed, the car had been reported stolen, according to Lt. Joseph Sage, who said Glidden was charged with felony car theft, plus a civil violation for pot possession. (Franklin Sun Journal)
Acting on a tip that fugitive Michelle Singleton, 66, had been living under an assumed identity for 18 years, authorities tracked her to a houseboat in Key West, Fla. She’d stolen a birth certificate and become Catherine Harris. When sheriff’s detectives asked for her identification, she handed them a driver’s license for Harris, but it expired in 2012. Detectives then asked for her birth certificate, but while fumbling with her papers, she dropped a birth certificate and Social Security card that the detectives noticed were for Singleton. They promptly arrested her. (New York Daily News)
Military researchers working on new ready-to-eat meals for soldiers said they’ve concocted a pizza that doesn’t need freezing or even refrigeration. “You can basically take the pizza, leave it on the counter, packaged, for three years, and it’d still be edible,” said food scientist Michelle Richardson of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts. Noting that pizza is among the most requested items soldiers say they want added to their rations, Richardson said she spent two years working on the new recipe. (Associated Press).
Americans waste nearly one-third of the food they buy, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A major reason that 133 billion pounds of food produced for American to eat was wasted in 2010, the report said, is that people simply lost interest in food after they bought it. That includes papayas, which, the report noted, many people buy without knowing when they’re ripe, how to prepare them or how to use them as an ingredient. The report conceded that there “is a practical limit to how much food loss the United States can prevent or reduce.” (Washington Examiner)
Massachusetts enacted a ban on commercial food waste disposal, requiring that food waste be diverted to “be converted to clean energy or sent to composting and animal-feed operations.” The disposal ban, which takes effect Oct. 1, 2014, and will, according to state Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, “green up the bottom line,” affects 1,700 businesses and institutions that each disposes of at least one ton of organic material per week. (Devens’ Nashoba Publishing)
Overreaction of the Week
Pang Se Vang, 84, shot his son to death after the son installed cable television in their home in Maplewood, Minn., but then refused to pay the bill. Police arrived to find Vang locked in a bedroom, declaring he had stabbed himself in the chest so he could die and settle the dispute with his son in the afterlife. (Minneapolis’s WCCO-TV)
Nearer My God to Thee
Benito Flores, 43, was swept out to sea while helping his cousin perform a baptism ceremony on the beach in Central Coast, Calif. “A big wave came and took Benito,” said Pastor Maurigro Cervantes. “I tried to take him out, he was heavy and then another big wave came.” (The Washington Times)
After a tree removal crew reported being chased off by a shirtless Michael Smith with a handgun, police armed with assault rifles surrounded the man’s home in Norridgewock, Maine. The officers stood down when they learned that the “gun” was actually a tattoo of a handgun on Smith’s stomach that looks like a gun tucked into his waistband (Associated Press)
The Honeymoon Is Over
A flight from Atlanta to Costa Rica made an unscheduled stop in Grand Cayman to hand over a passenger who had gotten into a drunken argument with his bride on their honeymoon. Royal Cayman Islands Chief Inspector Raymond Christian said the groom was charged with being drunk and disorderly. The bride remained on the Delta Air Lines flight. (Reuters)
Soon after American tourist Erin Willinger, 35, met rickshaw driver Bunty Sharma, 32, outside the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, last September, they wed. The marriage quickly soured because of “differences in their relationship,” Police Chief Shalabh Mathur said. Accusing his wife of smoking too much and “talking to other men,” Sharma stabbed her to death, then went home and killed himself by igniting a gas canister and causing his house to explode. (CNN)
When Guns Are Outlawed
German authorities announced they’re searching for two women who rob “mostly older women” by hypnotizing them. “They seem to be able to get the interest of their victims with a promise to see the future,” police official Sandra Mohr said after a 66-year-old Russian woman reported that the women “told her that they would read her fortune, but the next thing she knew she was back home sitting in an armchair, and all her jewelry and valuables had vanished.” (Britain’s Daily Mail)
Police arrested Michael Schell, 24, and Jessica Briggs, 31, in Minot, N.D., for having sex in the bathroom of a convenience store named Kum & Go. (Minot Daily News)
Heimlich Mishap or Suicide Attempt?
A 51-year-old man was hospitalized after he entered a restaurant in Wichita, Kan., began stuffing his mouth with “handfuls of pork” and nearly choked to death, police Capt. Doug Nolte said, adding that authorities weren’t sure why anyone would walk into a restaurant and begin eating pork. (The Wichita Eagle)
Adding beer when barbecuing meat reduces the risk of colon cancer, according to Portuguese researchers. Reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the team from the University of Porto explained that beer when it’s roasted is rich in antioxidants, which soak up free radicals in meat that grilling causes to form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). According to author Isabel Ferreira, beef marinated in dark beer has fewer PAHs than pale lagers and better than half the PAHs of beerless beef. (The Economist)
Better Late Than Never
The New York Times ran a correction to an article it published on Jan. 20, 1853, acknowledging that it misspelled the name of Solomon Northup, whose memoir inspired the movie “12 Years a Slave.” The paper spelled Northup’s last name as “Northrop” in the article and “Northrup” in the headline. The paper became aware of the errors after they were pointed out on Twitter. (USA Today)
Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet.