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Stories of the common-sense-challenged's Journal

Monday, September 1, 2008

6:35PM - Just a reminder: privacy is not guaranteed in the UK

Lloyds TSB is the fifth-largest banking group in the UK, but the bank's recent actions prove it still cares about the little guy. When it isn't partnering to sponsor the London Olympics in 2012, or recognizing the contribution of Asians to British society via the Asian Jewel Awards, the banking giant enjoys rooting through customer records and changing passwords it finds offensive, then refusing to change them back.

Steve Jetley of Shrewsbury discovered this firsthand, after he changed his telephone banking password to "Lloyds is pants" ("rubbish" to us American sods on the wrong side of the pond). Upon calling in, Jetley discovered that his "pants" password didn't match what was in the system. Instead, his password had been changed to "no it's not." Initially, this was no big deal.

"I thought it was actually quite a funny response," Jetley told the BBC. "But what really incensed me was when I was told I could not change it back to 'Lloyds is pants' because they said it was not appropriate. I asked if it was 'pants' they didn't like, and would 'Lloyds is rubbish' do? But they didn't think so."

"Barclays is better," didn't meet with approval either, seeing as how Barclays is another, even larger UK bank and a Lloyds competitor. At that point, Jetley was suddenly told that passwords had to be one word. When he offered "censorship" up as an appropriate password, he discovered passwords were required to be just one word, and no more than six letters long (not terribly secure, that). This undoubtedly came as something of a surprise, since his previous password had been accepted by the system, but the staff manager in question was apparently adamant.

Lloyds has since apologized, and told Jetley that the staff member had been let go. The bank also clarified its password policy, stating, "Customers can have any password they choose and it is not our policy to allow staff to change the password without the customer's permission." Lloyds did note that it is "disappointing" that Jetley chose to express his dissatisfaction by changing his password, indicating, perhaps, that he should have expressed his satisfaction by finding a different bank.

There's no word on whether or not Jetley got his "pants" back, but this isn't the first time Lloyds has come under public scrutiny for how it treats its customers. Earlier this year, Lloyds customers mounted a campaign to have certain charges refunded after the bank refused to do so. Oystar, a British group, released a parody of "I Fought the Law," called "I Fought the Lloyds." The song detailed the customers' struggles, and was popular enough to hit number 25 on the UK singles chart. Given these sorts of cases, we'd suggest Lloyds give Jetley back his coveted pants, and perhaps take a Carnegie course or two.

Source: Ars Technica

Friday, June 20, 2008

1:42PM - Victoria Secret mishap

Cross-posted from tripleh_rules

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

4:59PM - Oh, yeah; they're going straight to Hell (emphasis added by me)

They had sex WHERE? [note: that is the actual headline. There's no way I could improve on that]

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian couple who were caught having sex in a church confessional box while morning Mass was being said have repented and made peace with the local bishop.

The couple, in their early 30s, were detained by police earlier this month after they had made love in the confessional box in the cathedral in northern Cesena. They were cautioned for obscene acts in public and disturbing a religious function.

Their lawyer said they had been drinking all night and realized they had gone too far.

The lawyer told the area's local newspaper on Wednesday the couple met with the local bishop on Tuesday night, asked for his forgiveness and that he had given it.

Last week the bishop celebrated a "Mass of reparation" in the cathedral where the confessional box incident took place to make up for the sacrilege.

Source: Yahoo / Reuters

Current mood: dumbfounded

Thursday, May 22, 2008

12:28PM - Wow...just...wow (emphasis added)

Wolf whistle works, woman strips

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) - Road workers in a small New Zealand town got their wish granted when a woman stripped saying she was fed up with their wolf-whistles.

The Israeli tourist was about to use an ATM in the main street of Kerikeri, in the far north of the country, when the men whistled, the New Zealand Press Association reported.

She calmly stripped off, used the cash machine, before getting dressed and walking away.

The woman told police she didn't take too kindly to the whistling from the men repairing the road.

"She said she had thought 'bugger them, I'll show them what I've got'," Police Sergeant Peter Masters told NZPA.

"She gave the explanation that she had been ... pestered by New Zealand men. She's not an unattractive looking lady," Masters said.

"She was taken back to the police station and spoken to and told that was inappropriate in New Zealand."


source: Reuters / Yahoo


Holy Crap! I though this sort of thing only happened in letters to Penthouse.

If she was going to strip, why bother using the ATM?
She probably could have gotten more money by letting the workers tuck a buck.

There must have been a mad rush to whip out their tiny little...cellphone cameras.

I love how the sergeant said that her behavior was "inappropriate in New Zealand."
So much for the tourist trade.

Current mood: amused

Friday, May 16, 2008

8:44AM - It's a white trash dueling match (bolded for emphasis and humor)

Pair say they attacked each other with frying pan

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. - Out of the frying pan and into the fire. That's pretty much what happened to a Cumberland County couple arrested and charged with whacking each other with a frying pan.

Heather and Samuel Newcome are both charged with domestic assault. They told Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Tutor last week that they got into an argument and hit each other with the cookware.

"Both parties had injuries consistent with both of their stories," Tutor says in his report.

Other family members got involved in the fray as well and apparently came to blows, but none decided to file charges.

Tutor took Heather Newcome the Cumberland County Justice Center, where she was charged, then took out a warrant on her husband, who later turned himself in.

The two are scheduled to appear Monday in General Sessions Court.

Source: Yahoo


Anytime you have the words "domestic assault" and "frying pan" in the same paragraph, you can bet on two things: the incident occurred south of the Mason-Dixon line, and you just know there must be some heavy drinking involved.

Current mood: amused

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4:08PM - Now we know where Lorena Bobbit went (edited for length, no pun intended)

Penis theft panic hits city

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread....

[The story] quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims...claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs....

"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala.

Source: Reuters News Service


Oh my, there's just too much to say, I don't know where to start. I'll just leave it to the commenter.


A special thank you to jmpeas2008 for bringing this community back to my attention. The next time a police officer shoots himself after showing off for his buddies, I'll dedicate it to jmpeas2008, my new patron saint of stupidity

Current mood: amused

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

10:21AM - Gives a whole new meaning to the name "Screech" (edited for length and emphasis)

Former Saved By The Bell star Dustin Diamond has been "quarantined" from the rest of the cast of US reality series Celebrity Fit Club after fighting with fellow contestants.
Diamond got into a very public row with former American Idol contestant Kimberley Locke, which caused her and 1980s pop singer Tiffany to storm off the set....

During the heated argument Diamond allegedly said, "Screw Kimberley Locke. I'm going to make a dildo of my c**k and f**k her with it."
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Diamond, who played Screech in the TV series, made headlines last year when he starred in a raunchy sex tape which showed him engaging in sex with two women.

Source: IMDB.com

Current mood: amused

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

11:15AM - OMG! There's boobies in the museum!

Frisco outs art teacher after museum trip

Frisco [Texas] school trustees aren't renewing the contract of a veteran art teacher who was reprimanded because a student saw a nude sculpture during a museum visit.
Sydney McGee has been on paid administrative leave from Fisher Elementary School since Friday.

McGee's contract runs through the end of the school year.

Board members declined to take questions after their closed meeting tonight. They have previously said there were concerns over McGee's performance.

Her attorney, Rogge (ROWG-EE') Dunn says he would wait for written clarification from the school district to decide how to proceed.

McGee's attorney says the teacher's troubles started after taking 89 students on a school field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art in April. The principal later admonished McGee about the trip, telling her a parent complained about a student seeing nude art.

Source: KGBT 4 TV, Texas

Initially, I was incensed by this story. Sometimes I think that parents only care about their kids' education when they are exposed to something which does not conform to their narrow view of "acceptable".

Then I re-read the article. These were elementary school kids. I don't know what grade, but at best, these kids were 10 or 11 years old. At that age, nudity in art is probably not something they would understand, and I'm a little dubious as to whether they have the emotional maturity to appreciate art-in-the-raw. I would probably reserve the art museum for middle school at the earliest, when the teacher can educate them a little bit more about the artist and can try to put the purpose of a nude figure in context.

It's too late to close the barn door now that the horses are out, but instead of pissing and moaning about the teacher, the parents should actually take part in these field trips, and maybe preview the art collection and determine if there may be some troubling images. They should take a role in their kid's education and go back to the museum with them and discuss the painting/sclupture in question.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

8:51AM - A "knockout" performance? (edited for impact)

Uwe Boll Knocks Out Critics

Cult German film director Uwe Boll has knocked out some of his harshest critics in the boxing ring, in revenge for their harsh reviews of his movies. The film-maker challenged journalists to a physical contest after they criticized his movie BloodRayne, which stars Sir Ben Kingsley and Kristanna Loken.

Five people were selected to go fist-to-fist with Boll in a series of boxing matches, ... [and] Boll proceeded to knock out every one of his opponents.

Critic Richard Kyanka of website Something Awful says, "I feel great. I feel like a very angry German man punched me in the head repeatedly. He kept saying it was PR stunt and a joke, but then he comes on just 'murderizing' me. I want to have more kids someday, so I just said, 'I'm not going to stay in here and keep getting punched in the head.'"

And Boll's youngest opponent, 17-year-old Chance Mointer says, "I wasn't a big fan of House Of The Dead or Alone In The Dark, but after what he's shown me of Seed, I think it's fantastic."

A triumphant Boll says, "See what happens when they take a blow to the head? They like my movies."


Source: IMDb.com


...and for the main event, Ben Affleck versus the entire Hollywood Press Corps.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

1:26AM - A redneck moment

Once again, I am convinced I am the world's biggest dumbass.

I was cutting the grass, and went to reach under the side discharge cover to clear something out. I had let go of the throttle handle, but the mower blade had NOT QUITE stopped spinning.

Yep, you guessed it. SLICE!

I managed to mow off a pretty good chunk of skin and muscle tissue on my right middle finger, and also managed to spray blood all over my shirt, jeans, face, and glasses.

The truth is, once I washed off the wound and wrapped it in a towel, the bleeding stopped pretty fast. It didn't hurt very much, just a sort of twinge. If it didn't look so grotesque, I wouldn't have gone to the emergency room...but it did, and so I went.

Four hours later, I have a middle finger wrapped up like a weenie tot in a blanket, a prescription for antibiotics, and a flight to catch in four and a half hours to Nantucket, MA for business. Thank heavens Starbucks is covered by my expense account.

Current mood: embarrassed

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

12:09PM - Your Oregon tax dollars at work (edited for length)

Oregon prison inmates get LCD monitors, cable TV, and video games

Computer games help convicts cope
By Mark Ward, Technology correspondent, BBC News website
Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 08:56 GMT

Oregon's prison system in the US is turning to computer games to help rehabilitate felons.
Inmates who have a clean disciplinary record for 18 months are being given a chance to buy a small handheld game console.
The gadget has 50 simple games onboard that can be played through small TVs fixed in cells.
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The game gadgets...have been introduced to Oregon's correctional system as part of a larger incentive system that starts to help prepare prisoners for life outside jail.
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After six months of clean conduct, inmates get the chance to buy a 7-inch LCD screen with a cable hook-up for their cell. Inmates earn the money for the tiny TV, which costs $300, via the wages they earn doing jobs while in jail.

In 2004-2005, almost 2,400 LCD TVs were bought by inmates of Oregon's jails. The state has a prison population of approximately 13,000 people.

Six months of good conduct also grants the right to buy CD players and discs....

After 18 months, inmates are offered further incentives... [including] the chance to buy ice cream.
They are also given the chance to buy the game gadget which costs $35. The graphics in the 50 games stored on the gadget resemble those seen in mid-1980s consoles.
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Perrin Damon, communications manager for the Oregon Department of Corrections, told the BBC News website that it had sold 809 consoles to inmates that had earned them between November 2005 and January 2006.
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...[T]he TVs, music players and game gadgets were part of a larger programme that tried to modify prisoner behaviour and make rehabilitation easier.

...95% of the state's prisoners will eventually return to the community.

The game gadgets were part of the so-called quality of life incentives that try to make prisoners "gravitate toward the pro-social behaviours critical to successful transition back to the community".

Source: BBC

So, let me get this right. Watching TV and playing video games "prepare prisoners for life outside jail" and is considered "pro-social behaviours."
I guess that means all of those unemployed slackers who sit around in thier mom's basement and watch TV all day are really role models for the Oregon penal system.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

11:32AM - Nothing like a little father-son bonding

Quail hunter, 72, accidentally kills son

Associated Press
LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. -- A 72-year-old Dearborn County man accidentally shot and killed his son during a hunting trip, police said.

James Mikey Watkins, 36, of Dillsboro, was pronounced dead at a Dearborn County Hospital Tuesday.
His father, James J. Watkins, fired the shot that hit his son while they were game bird hunting at the Quail Ridge Sportsman's Club in Manchester, investigators said.
The shooting happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday at the club about 25 miles west of Cincinnati.
Another of James J. Watkins' sons, and a family friend, also were on the family outing.
Indiana conservation officers were investigating the shooting.

Source: Indianapolis Star

See, another example of the private sector succeeding where a government employee failed to get the job done

Friday, January 13, 2006

10:51AM - No comment necessary - article posted verbatim

Steamed about Rice, Russian pol unleashes rant

Russian pol Vladimir Zhirinovsky says what Condi needs is a man.
Condoleezza Rice might want to see if there's room in one of those "black site" terror-suspect prisons for Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

The wacko leader of Russia's Liberal and Democratic Party has surpassed his earlier screeds with a misogynist attack on our secretary of state.

Speaking with Pravda this week, Zhirinovsky chastised Rice for calling on Russia to "act responsibly" in supplying natural gas to Ukraine.

The fascistic pol attributed that "coarse anti-Russian statement" to Rice being "a single woman who has no children."

"If she has no man by her side at her age, he will never appear," Zhirinovsky ranted on. "Condoleezza Rice needs a company of soldiers. She needs to be taken to barracks where she would be satisfied.

"Condoleezza Rice is a very cruel, offended woman who lacks men's attention," he added. "Such women are very rough. … They can be happy only when they are talked and written about everywhere: 'Oh, Condoleezza, what a remarkable woman, what a charming Afro-American lady! How well she can play the piano and speak Russian!'

"Complex-prone women are especially dangerous. They are like malicious mothers-in-law, women that evoke hatred and irritation with everyone. Everybody tries to part with such women as soon as possible. A mother-in-law is better than a single and childless political persona, though."

A State Department spokesman told us Rice would not "dignify the article with a response."

Zhirinovsky has made no secret of his insanity in the past. Besides praising Hitler and encouraging the use of nuclear weapons, he has advocated Russia's invasion and "reacquisition" of Alaska. To eradicate bird flu, he's suggested arming every Russian and ordering them to shoot everything with feathers. Perhaps we could fit him with a Big Bird costume.

Source: New York Daily News

I really have nothing to add. The final two sentences of the column says it all

Current mood: laughing my ass off

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

10:01AM - Fucking right-wing wackos (heavily edited for size and content)

The pain was still in Sandy Doyle's eyes Tuesday as she told Indiana senators why they should vote for a bill that would limit funeral protests even though some consider it a violation of the right to free speech.

Five months ago, an anti-gay church group held signs with slogans such as "God blew up the troops" as they stomped on American flags at the Martinsville funeral of her stepson, Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy Doyle, Indianapolis, who died serving in Iraq. The protesters, members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, have demonstrated at military funerals across the country, saying soldiers are dying because the U.S. supports gays.

That funeral protest inspired Sen. Brent E. Steele, R-Bedford, to introduce a bill that would make disorderly conduct within 500 feet of a funeral a felony. The idea has received criticism by some, including First Amendment experts, who say the proposed law would violate the right of free speech.
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...[T]he Westboro Baptist Church held a demonstration at the funeral of Army Pvt. Jonathan Pfender, 22, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

Steele wants to make disorderly conduct too close to a burial, memorial service, funeral procession or viewing a Class D felony. The offense would carry penalties of up to three years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Rep. Phil Hoy, D-Evansville, has a companion bill before the House. House Bill 1201 has been referred to the Courts and Criminal Code Committee, which meets at 1:30 p.m. today.
"There should be sanctity to a funeral," Sandy Doyle said. "We're not trying to stop anybody from saying how they feel, because that's why we're the land of the free.
"We're just trying to stop it from occurring at the funeral, at the cemetery when people are grieving."

Kansas already has adopted a law addressing funeral protests, and other state legislatures are considering similar bills. The church has protested at five military funerals in Indiana and has demonstrated at about 80 funerals in 30 states since June, said Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of and lawyer for Westboro Baptist.
She has vowed to challenge Steele's bill if it becomes law.
"Since God is punishing this nation by blowing the fruit of America to pieces and sending them home in body bags, our forum of choice must be those funerals, and it doesn't matter what Brent Steele likes," Phelps-Roper said. "He does not get to call our protected right to free speech disorderly conduct. It will never work."
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"This is restricting speech because it is offensive," said [Robert D.] Richards, a founder of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment at Penn State University. "The law is pretty clear in this country that you cannot punish speech because it's offensive.
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The Westboro Baptist Church's protest Tuesday at the funeral for Pfender in Evansville was offensive to plenty.
A handful of protesters, all women, stomped on the American flag in the pouring rain while veterans stood with their backs to the protesters, singing "God Bless America." Among the signs church members held was one that thanked God for improvised explosive devices, one of the leading killers of soldiers in Iraq.

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"Their sign said 'Thank God for IEDs.' That's exactly what killed Jonathan."
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"A neighbor and I were the first ones out there protesting the protesters. They stirred up a lot of anger," said [Christina Drake, 31, Martinsville], whose husband, John, has served in Iraq. "I hope the bill passes, because I don't think it's limiting free speech.
"They can still protest. They just can't protest right in front of families that are grieving."

But Phelps-Roper said her church has the right not to be removed from its "target audience." After Steele announced he would seek a bill, the church blamed him for the Nov. 6 tornado that killed 20 people in Evansville and four in nearby Warrick County.
A posting on the church's Web site proclaims: "Thank God for the Indiana tornado . . . We humbly pray for many more such visitations of God's wrath on Indiana."


Similar bills in other states
In addition to Steele's proposal in Indiana, which a Senate panel approved 11-0 Tuesday, legislatures in Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma are considering similar proposals. David L. Hudson, a research attorney with the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Va., said he would be shocked if at least three to five other states didn't propose similar legislation.
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In the meantime, Sandy Doyle said she hopes her concerns don't fall on deaf ears.
"It's been not quite five months since Jeremy was buried, and it's still very vivid," she said. "One of the protesters held a sign that said, 'Thank God for dead soldiers.' I don't know if I'll ever get that out of my mind.
"I don't want other families to have to deal with that."


Source: Indianapolis Star

These guys must be reading directly from the Pat Robertson playbook: How to Make Friends, Influence People, and Take Extremism to a New Level
These are the same assholes who regularly attend funerals of AIDS victims and hold up banners that read "God Hates Fags."
This would be tentamount to going to the funeral of a woman who was raped and murdered, and waving a sign that said "The Bitch Had It Coming."

Current mood: infuriated

Monday, September 5, 2005

12:18AM

http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4049611,00.html

Friday, July 29, 2005

6:12PM - Man reports stolen marijuana to police

Back to Story - Help
Man reports stolen marijuana to police By Tinuola Awopetu, Court TV
Thu Jul 28, 4:25 PM ET



(Court TV) — When Stephen Ross Knight and his girlfriend called police to report a home invasion, a little housekeeping before detectives arrived at the scene would not have been such a bad idea.

After three gun-wielding men accosted Knight in his home on July 24 and made off with his 42-inch plasma-screen television, his wallet and cell phone, and a stash of marijuana, his girlfriend, who found him tied up in the bedroom, called San Antonio police.

But police at the scene had a hard time concentrating on the crime they were called to investigate. In plain sight were several bongs, loose marijuana, a marijuana plant and an Ecstasy pill, according to an incident report.

"Just because you're a victim doesn't mean [police] can turn a blind eye to contraband in plain view," San Antonio police spokesperson Officer Joe Rios said.

When questioned about the robbery, Knight not only mentioned the stolen television, wallet and cell phone, he also listed the 82 grams of "hydro" marijuana. "Hydro" marijuana, Officer Rios explained, is a potent form of marijuana that sells for at least $5000 per pound, compared to $400-500 per pound for regular marijuana.

The victim-turned-suspect also told officers that the robbers missed a marijuana plant that his girlfriend later hid in a safe. Officer Rios said the couple consented to a search of the safe where detectives found the plant.

Knight was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He posted the $7000 bail and was released.

Rios said detectives were still investigating the home invasion, but have no leads in the case. The three suspects are described as Hispanic men in their early 20s.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

11:33PM - Men test-drive car, then use it in robbery

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Men test-drive car, then use it in robbery
(Sun, Jul/17/2005)


HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Two men took a preowned Lexus out for what was supposed to be a test drive. But instead they used the vehicle as a getaway car for a bank robbery - and returned it to the dealership when they were done.

Mercer County's Hamilton Township police have arrested and charged Ryan Johnson, 33, and James Hodge, 32, of robbing the First Constitution Bank in neighboring Hamilton Square, Lt. Mike Woods said.

One of the men borrowed a white 1990 Lexus LS400 from Acres Auto Complex on Friday, telling dealership manager Johnny Dollar he was considering buying the $4,000 luxury sedan.

But the man sped off before Dollar could give him a copy of the registration and insurance. At first, Dollar wasn't worried, but when he didn't return after an hour and a half, the dealership manager reported the vehicle stolen.

The suspects later returned the Lexus to the dealership and drove off in their red Dodge van. But police were in hot pursuit, arriving at the car dealership after hearing reports that a white Lexus had also been involved in a bank robbery.

Police pursued the van for several miles and across the asbestos-contaminated former W.R. Grace Co. property, capturing them after a chase on foot. One of the suspects, Hodge, was treated at a hospital for chest pains stemming from asthma.

All of the stolen money was recovered, but Woods declined to reveal the amount.

Both men were being held Sunday on $50,000 bail each.

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Information from: The Trentonian, http://www.trentonian.com


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Article's URL:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/104-07172005-515636.html

Friday, July 15, 2005

9:36AM - From Today's Star Ledger

Fake badge lands man in real trouble
Roselle police say suspect showed it to them, leading to his arrest
Friday, July 15, 2005
BY ROBERT E. MISSECK
Star-Ledger Staff
An Essex County man named Christian Dior Hamlet with an unfashionable knockoff police badge in his wardrobe, was recently arrested when he flashed it in front of Roselle police officers, authorities said.

Hamlet, 41, of Pierson Street in Orange, was arrested at 8:50 a.m. Sunday at his girlfriend's home in Roselle, where police had gone in response to a tripped burglar alarm, according to Lt. Gary Riccardelli.

Hamlet had apparently set off the alarm accidentally at the home on the 1100 block of Rivington Street, but when police arrived and asked him for identification, he presented an authentic-looking Newark police badge to the officers, Riccardelli said.

Patrolmen Kevin Tempalsky and Joseph Osty became suspicious when they asked Hamlet for additional identification and he became nervous, Riccardelli said.

"The officers decided to pat the man down as a safety precaution and found him in possession of a 9 millimeter Glock semiautomatic handgun that was fully loaded," Riccardelli said.

The gun was confiscated and Hamlet arrested after Roselle authorities contacted Newark Police and were told they did not have an officer by that name. Newark authorities said the number on the suspect's badge was not assigned to anybody on their force.

Hamlet eventually told the officers he worked as a manager of an auto parts store in South Orange, said Riccardelli.

Hamlet was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and unlawful possession of a weapon. The suspect also had a number of warrants out for his arrest for failing to appear in municipal courts in Denville, Bloomfield, West Orange and Elizabeth.

Hamlet was sent to the Union County jail in Elizabeth, where he was being held on $10,000 bail.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

1:07PM - I have nothing to say

N.C. Counties Say PETA Euthanizes Animals

NORFOLK, Va. - Two North Carolina counties have stopped turning over shelter animals to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, saying they were surprised the group euthanized cats and dogs instead of trying to find them homes.

The Norfolk-based animal-rights group said it tried to have some of the animals adopted, but the condition of some strays and the availability of homes made it impossible.

The Bertie County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to cut all ties to PETA, despite a written apology from its president. County Manager Zee Lamb said he believed euthanasia would be only a last resort for cats and dogs that were not adoptable.

Northampton County health director Sue Gay said she assumed the same. The counties learned that most animals instead had been euthanized after two PETA workers were arrested and charged with dumping dead animals in a shopping center's garbage bins.

Northampton County decided last week to stop working with PETA until the criminal cases against the two are resolved.

Since 2001, PETA has taken animals from shelters in Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties and the town of Windsor.

Documents filed with the state of Virginia showed that PETA euthanized about 6,100 domestic animals from 2001-03. Daphna Nachminovitch, director of PETA's domestic animal and wildlife department, said she didn't know how many were from North Carolina.

"Did we euthanize some animals who could have been adopted? Maybe," Nachminovitch said. "The point is that good homes are few and far between. Our aim here was to stop them from dying an agonizing death."

PETA said it offered to take stray animals and euthanize them by fast-acting injection because it considers that more humane than gassing or shooting them.

The organization has stayed in touch with Bertie and Northampton officials in hopes of mending the relationships, Nachminovitch said.

The two workers arrested last week, Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, Va., and Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va., have a court hearing July 19 on charges of animal cruelty, disposal of dead animals and trespassing.

Source: AP / Yahoo News

I'm sorry, I'm too busy picking my jaw up from the floor to make some snarky comment

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

11:47PM - Walmart + 3yo child + 3am = Whitetrash olympics

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4570201.stm
Houdini babe takes toy initiative
James Manges inside the toy machine
James had a bit of a reputation for this kind of thing
A three-year-old boy became trapped in a toy vending machine, after crawling inside to get a stuffed animal when his mother wasn't looking.

James Manges created a diversion and slid down a chute into the crane vending machine in Elkhart, Indiana, where he played happily with the toys.

His mother was initially amused, and took photographs of her son, but became alarmed when no one could find a key.

Firemen freed the boy, but, his mother said, "he definitely didn't get a toy".

Two-second slip

Danielle Manges took James to the local Wal-Mart store at 0330, when he was unable to sleep.

He wanted money to get a stuffed toy out of a crane vending machine, and when his mother said no, he threw his drink on the floor and took advantage of her momentary distraction to make his move.

"Within two seconds he had climbed through the hole, into the chute and pushed the door shut so we couldn't get him out," she said.

James played happily among the toys and swung from the bars inside the machine.

James Manges inside the toy machine
Passers-by snapped James inside the glass box

His mother even went and bought a disposable camera to record the escapade, and other passers-by stopped to take photos too.

But when Wal-Mart staff found they had no key to open the machine, the fire brigade had to be called to force the vending machine open.

"I pulled him from the back, he came right to me, and then I handed him to mom," said Firefighter Jeff Herman.

"He was in a bit of trouble afterwards," said Danielle Manges.

She added that James had become adept at climbing out of his playpen, doors and even windows.

Now she is wondering whether she might have two little Houdinis to deal with.

"I'm pregnant," she said.

"If I have another one like him that's gonna top it off."

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