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 V.16 No.7 | February 15 - 21, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New York--A wallet belonging to a Korean automobile factory worker has been found--in upstate New York. The worker lost his wallet last year while checking out the wiring on a Chevy Aveo that was bound for sale in the U.S. It wasn’t until the car left the GM-Daewoo assembly plant in suburban Seoul that J.W. Joh realized his wallet was missing. Several months and thousands of miles later, the Aveo was delivered to the Fuccillo Chevrolet dealership on Grand Island, outside Buffalo. An employee at the dealership was getting ready to deliver it to a customer when he found the wallet in the backseat. He handed it over to his general manager, complete with credit cards, driver’s license and $43 in cash. The wallet was passed up the company chain until a GM executive delivered the wallet to Joh during a recent business trip to South Korea.

Dateline: New York--According to New York City’s traffic office, Russell Falkena of Westtown in upstate Orange County ran a red light on Manhattan’s West Side in his rowboat. Falkena, 46, recently received a $50 traffic ticket in the mail for allegedly running a red light in December. The ticket came from an automated traffic camera and included a photograph of Falkena’s license plate. Unfortunately, the number on the ticket matches those on the registration for Falkena’s aluminum rowboat. The boat has been sitting in his yard for years, its license plate intact. Plus, Falkena says he was returning from a trip out West on the day in question. A city official investigated Falkena’s story and told the Middletown Times Herald-Record that the ticket will be dismissed.

Dateline: New York--Police in South Glens Falls used equipment that traces cell phone calls to hunt down an 8-year-old girl who had placed 135 prank phone calls to the area’s 911 emergency line in the last couple of months. In one instance, she told dispatchers there was “an accident in front of Sokol’s Market on Aviation Road.” Acting on that very specific information, “we sent out police, fire, ambulance apparatus,” Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland told the Times Union. “We thought it was a real accident. We’re lucky we weren’t delayed going to where someone was actually hurt.” After that incident, dispatchers had the girl’s cell phone number and didn’t send out any other emergency vehicles when she called. Cleveland said that sheriff’s deputies in unmarked cars drove around South Glens Falls every day, waiting for the girl to make a call. Their break came last Wednesday afternoon when the girl placed a 4 p.m. call. Thanks to satellite tracking technology, dispatchers were able to locate the signal within 10 feet. Deputies knocked on the family’s door and found the girl still on the phone with a 911 operator. The girl ran and hid in the bathroom. “She was one scared little dude,” Cleveland said. The girl’s parents, who had given her an old cell phone that only dialed 911 to use in case of an emergency, seemed to be unaware of her activities. Local authorities have not yet decided whether to pursue the case in Family Court.

Dateline: Wisconsin--A truck driver, allegedly distracted by his digital music player, tipped his semitrailer last Thursday, spilling some 40 tons of cow intestines onto a major highway in eastern Wisconsin. Parts of Interstate 43 were closed for two hours while authorities cleaned up beef byproducts such as intestines and bones, said Sgt. Blaine Spicer of the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department. The accident happened in the Town of Mosel around 2:15 a.m. when 25-year-old Ryan Engle's truck veered off the road as he adjusted his MP3 player, Spicer said. Engle, of Kenosha, was cited for inattentive driving and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Dateline: Massachusetts--Joanne Harding is suing the town of Abington for giving her a free piece of candy. Last month, Harding went into the Abington Town Hall to get a license for her dog. Sitting on the counter was a jar of candy. Harding took a Tootsie Roll and allegedly broke her tooth on the sweet. “I took the candy, so it’s partially my fault,” Harding, 40, told the Patriot Ledger of Quincy. But, concluded the woman, “I wouldn’t have taken it if it wasn’t there.” She now wants the town to pay $5,000 toward her dentist bill. Town Manager Phillip Warren Jr. has forwarded Harding’s financial request to the town’s insurance center. In the meantime, the candy jar at the clerk’s office remains.

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

 
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