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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.21 No.9 | March 1 - 7, 2012

Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary

Dateline: Ireland

A 75-year-old golfer is suing a sports club in Dublin for $13.2 million for lowering his handicap. Between 1999 and 2004, the Hermitage Golf Club lowered Thomas Talbot’s handicap by 7.7 strokes. Under Golfing Union of Ireland Rule 19, the club has the right to lower a player’s handicap if they judge that a player’s ability has improved over and above their standing handicap. Talbot says his personal reputation has been harmed and claims he is now branded a cheat for having a better ability than his previous handicap would indicate. He is suing the club and its former handicap secretary in the country’s High Court for defamation. “This case has been going on for the past six years,” Talbot told the Irish Independent. “It has been hugely stressful. I didn’t care so much about the handicap issue, it’s is more the principle of it.” The 21-day trial ended in late February. A ruling is expected in two to three weeks.

Dateline: Wisconsin

We’ve heard of impersonating a police officer, but a man in Madison has been arrested for impersonating a Denny’s employee. According to police, James B. Summers, 52, entered a Denny’s restaurant on Thierer Road around 4:30 p.m. carrying a briefcase and sporting a maroon tie and a long black trench coat. He reportedly told employees that he was the new general manager. The diner’s current manager told Summers she had not heard about any replacement and advised that he probably had the wrong restaurant. As the manager was calling her supervisors, Summers walked into the kitchen and started to make himself a hamburger and fries. After speaking with her supervisors, the manager determined that Summers was not a Denny’s employee and called 911. Having finished his dinner, Summers was walking away from the restaurant when police arrived. Summers tried to tell officers the incident was all a misunderstanding, but he was arrested anyway, charged with defrauding a hotel or restaurant keeper.

Dateline: Ohio

Rabid animal rights advocate Meredith Lowell has been arrested for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill a random person wearing animal fur. According to FBI agents, the 27-year-old Lowell spent months trying to solicit a professional assassin though Facebook. Investigators say Lowell, who lives in Cleveland Heights, posted a request on Facebook, which read, “I would like to create an online community on Facebook which would allow me to find someone who is willing to kill someone wearing fur toward the end of October 2011 or early November 2011 or possibly in January 2012 or February 2012 at the latest.” Lowell, using the alias Anne Lowery, allegedly wrote that she was willing to pay up to $850 for the deed. Undercover agents began communicating with her in November after being alerted to the alleged plot. During email exchanges between Lowell and FBI agents, Lowell reportedly said she wanted to be present at the time of the murder so that she could hand out animal rights “papers” at the scene. According to FBI reports, Lowell told agents that murdering a 12-year-old would be “fine,” but that she would prefer the randomly chosen victim to be at least 14. Lowell offered undercover agents $730 worth of jewelry to pull off the hit, which she insisted be performed with “a gun that has a silencer on it” and “a sharp knife that is (at least) 4 inches long.” Lowell said she wanted “the person to be dead in less than two minutes.” She was booked into jail on charges of solicitation to commit murder.

Dateline: Ohio

Administrators at an elementary school put the facility into lockdown after beloved cartoon character Mickey Mouse was spotted on the premises. Turns out a mother had simply dressed up as Mickey Mouse to surprise her daughter’s class during a Valentine’s Day party at C.H. Campbell Elementary in Canfield. Superintendent Dante Zambrini told the Youngstown Vindicator the woman followed procedure by signing in at the office, but she failed to alert officials she planned to duck into a restroom and change into the Disney character costume before making her appearance. “It was a case of Mickey Mouse was here, and then he was missing,” Zambrini said. “Our building principal called our school resource officer and the building went into lockdown as a precaution.” Police and school officials eventually talked to the mother and determined that Mickey was not some unauthorized stalker. School officials said the lockdown went perfectly and chalked it up as a safety drill.

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