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 V.14 No.48 | December 1 - 7, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: Scotland—A real estate developer in central Scotland has had to scrap plans for a new housing development thanks to an alleged colony of fairies. Marcus Salter, head of Genesis Properties, says that a small group of villagers in St. Fillans, Perthshire, has protested his development plans, saying they would “harm the fairies.” Troubles began when Salter's company sent a bulldozer crew to begin work on the site just outside the village, overlooking the eastern shore of Loch Earn. Salter told The Times, “A neighbor came over shouting, ’Don't move that rock. You'll kill the fairies.'” Genesis Properties later received a series of phone calls saying their work was disturbing the local fairies. Salter tried to appease the locals by working around the disputed rock, upon which many locals believe ancient Pictish kings were crowned, but villagers continued to complain that the fairies would be “upset” by the work. “I went to a meeting of the community council and the concerns cropped up there,” Salter told reporters. The council was even considering lodging a complaint with the planning authority, likely to be the kiss of death for a housing development in a national park. “I do believe in fairies, but I can't be sure they live under that rock,” Council Chairman Jeannie Fox told The Times. Nonetheless, Fox believes the stone should remain unmolested. “There are a lot of superstitions going about up here and people do believe that things like standing stones and large rocks should never be moved.” Salter's new plans are to center the estate around a small park, in the middle of which will stand the disputed rock. He estimates that the fairy dispute has cost him some $30,000.

Dateline: Norway—Tor Martin Johansen fell asleep during his airplane flight from the central Norwegian city of Trondheim to his hometown of Namsos last Thursday. The 21-year-old commuter slept through the entire flight, including the round-trip return. When he awoke, he found himself back in Trondheim. “I was really taken aback when I heard the cabin attendant say, ’Welcome to Trondheim,' when I opened my eyes and thought I had arrived in Namsos,” he was quoted as saying in Friday's edition of the Oslo newspaper Verden Gang. Apparently, none of the flight crew noticed the sleeping passenger when the plane landed in Namsos, or reacted to the extra passenger on the flight count. “It has never happened before,” Richard Kongsteien, spokesperson for Wideroe airline told reporters. “Seen on its own, it's an amusing incident. But it is also a very serious matter.” Kongsteien said the flight crew violated security regulations and vowed that such an incident would never happen again. “Our passengers can rest assured that they can sleep soundly on our flights and be woken up at their destinations.” Johansen was given a free ticket to his original destination by the airline.

Dateline: New York—Police in Albany believed that Corianna Thompson had something to do with the strangulation murder of her mother, 86-year-old Jean Balashek, last March in New Scotland, but they couldn't prove it. So cops turned to Corianna's friends, many of whom are admitted drug addicts, looking for a break in the case. While asking potential witnesses about Corianna's habits and movements around the time of the murder, police left a large reward poster on their desks. The poster promised a $150,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Unfortunately, the poster was a fake. There was even a disclaimer at the bottom that read, “This is not real, you stupid crackhead.” Nonetheless, sources close to the case told the Times Union of Albany that several of the witnesses, including Thompson's own boyfriend, took the bait. Kevin B. Glover, 46, told police that Thompson confessed to killing her mother two days after the slaying. The allegation gave investigators enough to arrest Thompson. Glover, of course, never saw a penny of the fake reward money. Just last week, however, Thompson was let out of jail on $100,000 bail. It has been suggested that sheriff's officials and prosecutors are at odds over the strength of the case, including whether or not the fabricated reward poster could weaken their chances at trial. “It is a good circumstantial case and the arrest is warranted,” Sheriff James L. Campbell assured the newspaper. “We firmly believe that she strangled her mother. ... A lot of the people we're dealing with were involved with crack cocaine. It is what it is.”

Dateline: Florida—Police in Fort Myers Beach “accidentally” hit a naked man in the genitals with a taser after he was caught breaking windows and asking women to touch him. According to authorities, Jeremy J. Miljour, 26, tried to run away when sheriff's deputies approached. One of the deputies fired his taser, but one of the prongs accidentally hit Miljour's genitals and got stuck. “The taser is relatively accurate,” said Cpl. Matt Chitwood. “But when someone is moving like that, it doesn't matter if you have a taser or a pistol. You can't aim.” Miljour was treated at a hospital before being taken to the Lee County jail.

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

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