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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.19 No.22 | June 3 - 9, 2010

Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary

Dateline: France—A fashion model by the name of Zoe Renault is suing French automaker Renault over its proposed new car model, the Zoe. Zoe Renault, a 23-year-old from Paris who is not connected with the automaker, said she hates the idea of being compared to a car for the rest of her life. “I could not bear to hear ‘Zoe’s broken down’ or ‘We need to get Zoe overhauled,’ ” she was quoted in Le Parisien newspaper as saying. Renault isn’t the only Zoe suing Renault, either. David Koubbi, Zoe Renault’s lawyer, is drafting a class action lawsuit on behalf of several other Zoes. Koubbi said he had sent a letter to Renault’s chief executive arguing that the plans to release a Zoe vehicle were an attack on the rights of his clients. The proposed Renault Zoe ZE would be an all-electric, “zero emission” vehicle with a proposed launch date of 2012. A Renault spokesperson told reporters the company has produced several cars named after women but that Zoe was not a “definitive choice.” The word Zoe, which means “life” in Greek, was chosen to highlight the car’s environmental credentials.

Dateline: New York—According to WHEC-TV 10 in Rochester, four teens were involved in a bizarre driving game that resulted in a single-vehicle crash. Police say 19-year-old driver Bryan Parslow of Caledonia and three other teenagers were trying to hold their breath while driving though the tiny town of Garbutt. Parslow didn’t make it, passing out cold before reaching the city limit. Monroe County Sheriff’s investigators say Parslow’s car veered off the Scottsville-Mumford Road, struck a tree and crashed into a large boulder. The incident took place at around 9:45 p.m. on Monday, May 24. “I’ve heard of some pretty weird games like that, but not while driving,” said homeowner Tim Bayer, who heard the crash. All four teenagers were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment. Family members said Parslow broke his right leg. His brother Sean suffered a possible broken nose. Another passenger had a broken collar bone and ankle while the fourth passenger complained of shoulder pain. Parslow’s grandmother told WHEC that her grandson was not holding his breath and that the car went off the road on its own. Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the accident said the teens admitted to holding their breath while passing through the one-third-mile-long town. Parslow was ticketed for failure to maintain a lane.

Dateline: Ohio—When police found a “fizzing” homemade bomb planted inside a portable toilet near a construction site in Turtle Bay, they quite naturally called the Lorain County Bomb Squad. According to the Sandusky Register, the bomb squad officers determined that the safest way to disarm the explosive device was to start taking potshots at it. After five shots with a .22 caliber rifle, the bomb did what bombs generally do when fired upon—it exploded, spraying the contents of the toilet everywhere. According to the accompanying police report, at least one member of the bomb squad was covered in feces as a result. Huron police later arrested four teens suspected of planting the bomb and setting off another in the same area. The teens were eventually charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing and criminal damaging and unlawful possession of a dangerous ordinance, a fifth-degree felony.

Dateline: Texas—Police in Corpus Christi spent hours digging up and destroying what was described to local news by law enforcement officials as “one of the largest marijuana plant seizures in the police department’s history”—only to discover they were simply weeding a local park of a fairly common prairie flower. Texas officers tagged and removed up to 400 “marijuana” plants after a teenage bike rider reported seeing the suspicious greens growing in Waldron Park in the Corpus Christi suburb of Flour Bluff. After burning several daylight hours removing the plants—and touting their crime-fighting efforts to local reporters—police knocked off their efforts with the intention of returning in the morning to remove more of the offending shrubbery. Unfortunately, testing at the downtown police department proved that the “weed” was an actual weed, commonly known as horse mint—a plant that bears little resemblance to cannabis. No word yet on what police will do with the evidence. KRIS-TV 6 notes that yard waste pickup in the area that includes the police station isn’t scheduled until the end of the month.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.