Jun 2 - 8, 2005 
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Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary
Scott Rickson

Dateline: Australia—A group of drug-sniffing police dogs in Victoria will have to be retrained after it was revealed that the animals were drilled using a packet of talcum power. “I'm sure our dogs have got very soft, nice-smelling noses at the moment,” Victorian Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans told ABC Online. “But they are, in fact, trained in detecting talcum powder, so that means that they will have to be retrained in detecting cocaine.” An investigation is underway to see how the cocaine sample, used for police sniffer dog training, was substituted with talcum power. The Ethical Standards Division of the Australian Federal Police, who supplied the “cocaine,” is trying to determine if the sample was stolen or if an administrative error resulted in the switch.

Dateline: Massachusetts—Indians may no longer be illegal in Boston. Last Thursday, the state Legislature voted to strike down a 330-year-old law forbidding Indians from setting foot in Boston. The law dates back to 1675, when settlers were at war with area tribes. Indians and activists have been working for eight years to strike the law from the books. A spokesman for Gov. Mitt Romney said the governor intends to sign the bill, erasing the archaic law.

Dateline: Arkansas—It was only her second day of work, but tobacco store clerk Ashley Oglesby was pretty sure a customer was trying to pass a stolen check. Her first clue was the fact that the check belonged to one Ashley Oglesby. “I waited on her, I rang it up on the register and she hands me the check,” Oglesby told KTHV-TV of Little Rock. “And I went, ’Oh my God, this is mine.'” Oglesby, who was working the store's drive-thru window warned the alleged check-forger not to leave the premises. “I told her, ’I have your driver's license and your license plate number, and you better not leave.'” Police quickly arrived and arrested Rachael Pitts of Malvern. According to local records, Pitts has a history of forgery. Oglesby believes that Pitts got the checks from a roommate who used to live with the store clerk. “I didn't even know they were stolen,” she told the TV station.

Dateline: Arkansas—He was smart enough not to drink and drive, but not smart enough to avoid drinking and smoking. Late last Saturday night, 38-year-old Jeff Foran of Winthrop showed up at his friend Jerry Glenn Nelson's house in Hawthorn. Foran said he was too drunk to drive home and asked his pal to give him a lift. Nelson, 44, gladly obliged and gave Foran a lift in his 2000 Dodge Stratus. As the two were traveling along the Arkansas-Oklahoma border at about 10 p.m., the cigarette that Foran was smoking blew out the vehicle's front passenger window. Naturally, Foran dived out of the window to retrieve his smoke. According to Arkansas State Police Trooper Jamie Gravier, Foran quickly hit the eastbound lane of Hwy. 234, causing facial trauma. “Nelson said he was driving between 55 and 60 mph when Foran jumped out,” Gravier told the Texarkana Gazette. Foran was lying on the pavement bleeding profusely from the nose, eyes and chin when rescue workers arrived on the scene. “He also had a substantial case of road rash,” noted Gravier. No charges were filed. Foran was transported to CHRISTUS St. Michael Health Care Center in Texarkana. “If anything could make him stop smoking, this would be it,” said Gravier.

Dateline: Texas—Obviously, the psychic wasn't good enough to see the indictment coming. Last Monday, the former mayor and former bookkeeper of La Grulla were each sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for diverting block grant money from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development and using it to pay a personal psychic. Former Mayor Diana Cortez and former bookkeeper Sandra Lopez both pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $54,000 in federal funds and using it to pay for psychic consultations. The money had been earmarked for the development of affordable housing and home ownership.

Dateline: North Carolina—An 86-year-old woman was arrested last weekend after calling 911 dispatchers 20 times in a little more than half an hour to complain about a pizza delivery. Dorothy Densmore was charged with misusing the 911 system. According to Officer Mandy Giannini, Densmore told dispatchers last Sunday that a local pizza shop would not deliver a pizza to her South Charlotte apartment. She also complained that someone at the shop had called her a “crazy old coot.” To disprove the notion, Densmore called 911 almost nonstop for more than 30 minutes, demanding justice and a pizza pie. Officer Giannini admitted it was unusual for someone to face charges for nonemergency calls; but Densmore kept calling 911, even after she was told to stop. When an officer arrived at her apartment, the 5-foot-tall, 98-pound woman attacked him. Densmore allegedly scratched him, kicked him and bit his hand. According to jail records, Densmore was charged with resisting a public officer and two counts of misusing the 911 system.

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

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