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 V.14 No.2 | January 13 - 19, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: Russia—Russian lawyer Vladimir Osipiv has staked a claim on all the world's clouds. According to reports in the Russian media, Osipiv has now posted a legal claim to the world's clouds in 150 separate nations. The 48-year-old lawyer is hoping that he can sell the clouds to environmentalists, who will then take legal action against governments that allow clouds to be polluted. Osipiv is using the same law that allowed an American man to claim the moon. In 1980, Dennis Hope staked a claim on the moon and has since sold plots of land there to more than two million people. “It is probably incomprehensible for the vast majority of people that clouds can be privatized,” said Osipiv. “However, I am absolutely sure that I will get support both in Russia and in the international community.”

Dateline: Colorado—A man serving a life sentence for murder has been sentenced to three additional years in prison for passing out cheese sandwiches while in jail. Douglas Eugene Wilson, 45, pleaded guilty last Monday to possession of contraband and was sentenced by District Judge Thomas Kane. Prosecutors said Wilson had the sandwiches while in jail awaiting trial on the murder charges and he tried to give them to other inmates, which is a violation of jail rules. A sheriff's deputy testified at a hearing in May that they warned Wilson not to pass food to other inmates, then shocked him with a stun gun when he ignored them. “Why are the taxpayers paying the judiciary to hold this hearing on some contraband sandwiches?” Wilson said in a telephone interview with the Gazette of Colorado Springs. Wilson was convicted last month of first-degree murder in the strangling death of Lisa Chavez, 37.

Dateline: New York—Two Long Island hot dog vendors have been charged with selling sausages with a side of sex out of their camper. Police said the women provided personal services in their mobile wiener wagon parked alongside Sunrise highway in Baldwin, Long Island “We've never seen hot dogs mixed with prostitution before,” Deputy Inspector Rick Capece, commanding officer of Nassau County's narcotics/vice squads, told the New York Daily News. “It's out there, the most unusual thing I've seen.” Catherine Scalia, 38, of Rockville Centre, and Rose Skorgy, 34, of Merrick were charged with prostitution after they propositioned an undercover police officer. Cops said Scalia offered to expose herself to the officer or perform a sex act inside the camper, adorned with advertisements for hot dogs and Fritos brand corn chips. “It was a legitimate business,” Capece said. “We don't know how large the clientele was, though.”

Dateline: Washington—According to the Kitsap Sun, a 22-year-old man from Vancouver held up a local gas station at knifepoint last week. The unnamed robber then sped off in a red Honda, leading police from four towns on a wild 100-mph chase. Thanks to the winding back roads of the area, the robber managed to lose his pursuers. Unfortunately, he became lost on the rural roads and had to pull into a gas station to ask for directions to nearby Seattle. Even more unfortunately, he had gone in circles and ended up at the exact same gas station he had just robbed. Attendants alerted police, who picked up the chase and arrested the man shortly afterward.

Dateline: Rhode Island—Apparently unclear on the concept of “house arrest,” a 21-year-old Woonsocket man was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of an illegal weapon while confined to his home for a previous drug charge. Police told the Woonsocket Call newspaper that they searched Sherron Harris' apartment as part of a “home confinement check” at about 8 a.m. last Wednesday. Police and agents of the state Department of Corrections turned up 39 plastic bags of cocaine, a stolen motorcycle, a half-smoked marijuana cigarette, $5,699 in cash and a 100,000-volt Panther brand stun gun, capable of delivering twice the charge of a similar device issued to Woonsocket police officers. At the time of the search, Harris was on home confinement after pleading no contest in Superior Court to a charge of possession of a controlled substance on July 27, 2004. He was sentenced to four years at the Adult Corrections Institution in Cranston. The judge suspended most of that sentence, allowing Harris to serve eight months house arrest. “Given his alleged conduct on home confinement,” said detective Capt. Luke Gallant, spokesman for the police, “The Woonsocket police department will ask the attorney general's office to seek a violation hearing to have Harris held at the ACI for the term of his original sentence.”

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

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