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 Oct 27 - Nov 2, 2005 
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Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

Dateline: Belgium—If you are in Belgium, whatever you do, don't take a leek. Belgian police warned thieves last Saturday not to use any of the 500 pounds worth of leeks stolen from a vegetable farm in the West Flanders town of Izegem. Leeks are the primary ingredient in Vichyssoise soup, but police say the recently purloined vegetables should have stayed in the ground another six weeks to be safe after treatment with toxic pesticides. According to the Belga news agency, consumers have been warned not to eat any leeks with a “strange smell.”

Dateline: Florida—According to the Broward County Sheriff's Office, two Walgreens employees got into a bloody knife fight last Wednesday over which one could use the microwave in the employee breakroom first. While arguing over who should get dibs on the appliance, Mellesia Grant grabbed a large kitchen knife off the counter and stabbed Merloze Tilme in the abdomen. “They didn't get along to begin with,” Broward County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jim Leljedal told reporters. “Who could use the microwave first became a major issue. The two women ended up wrestling over the knife, both sustaining several cuts. Eventually, the store manager stepped in to stop the fracas. Tilme, 20, was hospitalized in good conditions, officials said. Grant, 23, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after being treated at a hospital for her wounds.

Dateline: Tennessee—Police in Memphis recently carried out a sting operation in a crime-ridden neighborhood, resulting in the shutdown of a notorious crack house that apparently advertised its services with a sign on the front porch that read, “Crack House.” According to WREG-3 News, the publicity-minded gang members who lived in the house at 3293 Rosamund would flip their address sign over to a side that read “Crack House” whenever they were open for business. The bust was part of the ongoing “Operation Blue Crush,” a high-tech collaboration between law enforcement and researchers at the University of Memphis, which uses mapping and computer data to pinpoint major crime to the day and time that it happens in neighborhoods throughout the city. ... Although, it seems law enforcement officials could have simply looked for the place labeled “Crack House.”

Dateline: Wisconsin—Well, as long as I'm here. ... Last Friday morning, 78-year-old Rouland Steppert drove his car through the glass entryway to a Burger King in downtown Wausau. He then backed up, parked his car and went inside for breakfast. When police arrived, Steppert was sitting at a table eating his food. General manager Kathy Fasse declined to tell reporters what he ordered. By lunchtime, the glass and other debris had been cleared away and customers were able to use the normal entry. Since the accident occurred on private property, local police did not cite the man.

Dateline: Michigan—Willam Kersey, 30, was charged over the weekend with filing a police report about his missing car but failing to mention that his 4-month-old son was inside the vehicle. Porter County police were called around 11 p.m. Saturday night by James O'Rourke of High Point Drive in Jackson Township. He told police he saw a car parked in front of his home with the driver's side door open and the dome light on. Inside, police found a 4-month-old child. Officers told the Northwest Indiana Times that it wasn't until two hours later that the baby's father, William Kersey, called to report the car missing. Police asked Kersey if anything of value was inside the car. He said there was not. When he arrived, police arrested Kersey, who was with his 4-year-old daughter, on two counts of child neglect. Child Protective Services ended up taking Kersey's baby son and daughter. Kersey later told police that he “misplaced” the car, then became lost in the area and was hit or punched by someone. Kersey then, allegedly, decided to chase three attackers into the nearby woods. Kersey told police that he then discovered his daughter was in the woods, but became lost and couldn't find his way back to the car. “His story seems somewhat suspicious,” Sgt. Timothy Emmons, Porter County police spokesperson said.

Dateline: New Mexico—According to the Associated Press, Bob Schwartz, the author of a new state law allowing felony charges against the owners of dangerous dogs was hospitalized last weekend after being attacked by his own dog. Schwartz, who serves as Gov. Bill Richardson's criminal justice policy advisor, was hospitalized at University of New Mexico Hospital last Sunday night with bites on both arms, said Pahl Shipley, a spokesperson for the governor. The hospital declined to comment on Schwartz's condition. Schwartz, a former district attorney and one-time mayoral candidate, was instrumental in getting HB 400 passed this year, a law that would allow felony charges against owners of dogs deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous and that seriously injure or kill another person or animal. No word on whether or not Schwartz will be prosecuted.

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

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