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 V.16 No.42 | October 18 - 24, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: Nicaragua—Villagers living along Central America’s Mosquito Coast have found a new source of income: fishing for the tons of free cocaine that regularly wash up on the region’s remote shores. According to a report on the guardian.co.uk website, the bags of cocaine are coming from Colombian speedboats on “narco-routes,” which drop the drugs overboard if intercepted by U.S. and Nicaraguan patrols. Currents carry the bags to shore where people living in villages such as Karpwala and Tasbapauni find it. According to the report, locals are offered up to $4,000 a kilo for the lost cocaine—seven times less than the U.S. street value—by Colombian traffickers. “They consider it a blessing from god. You see people all day just walking up and down the beaches keeping a lookout at sea,” Louis Perez, the police chief from Bluefields, the main port on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, was quoted as saying. The local church even has a shiny new floor thanks to a donation from fisherman Ted Hayman, who reportedly found 220 kilograms of cocaine, guardian.co.uk reported. Mr. Hayman has also converted his shack into a three-story mansion with iron gates and a satellite dish from drug fishing money.

Dateline: Germany—A thief in the western city of Duisburg was burned beyond recognition by a 10,000 volt electric shock as he tried to steal a live copper cable. Police found the 32-year-old man’s blackened remains by a set of cable cutters and a pile of non-live cables he had already stolen. Police were only able to identify the man, a German of Kazakh origin, because one of his hands survived the incident. “The force of the shock was so great that the hand was severed from his body,” a local police spokesperson said. Police took fingerprints and found the man already entered into local law enforcement files.

Dateline: Maine—Dog is man’s best friend—cats, not so much. Roland Cote of Greenville is crediting his black Labrador retriever, Thumper, with saving his life in a recent home fire. Cote said his wife and their 7-year-old grandson were away when the blaze started early last Sunday in a converted two-story garage. He said Thumper grabbed him by the arm to wake him, leaving just enough time for him to dial 911 before fleeing the fast-moving fire. The fire marshal investigator believes the blaze was started when Princess, the family cat, tipped over a kerosene lantern. Cote says he and his pets escaped safely, but Princess did get her tail singed by the flames.

Dateline: Pennsylvania—An unidentified man has been arrested in Pittsburgh after walking into a Giant Eagle grocery store, handing a $1 million bill to the cashier and asking for change. Not too surprisingly, the cashier refused and called the store’s manager. The manager told the man the bill was not real, and the man asked for the bill back. When the manger refused—telling the man the store had a policy of not returning counterfeit money—the man became enraged and grabbed an electronic funds transfer machine and slammed it against the counter, police Commander Catherine McNeilly told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The man then allegedly reached for the cashier’s scanning gun, and the manager called police. The man was not carrying identification and refused to give his name to police. He was being held in Allegheny County Jail as John Doe pending a fingerprint ID. The $100 bill is the largest bill in circulation and has been since 1969, according to the U.S. Treasury.

Dateline: Texas—A store clerk, mistaking a deaf customer’s silence for disrespect, beat the man in the head with a crowbar at a Family Dollar store in Fort Worth. Cody Goodnight, 31, told police he went to the discount store several blocks from his home to buy a soft drink for his 5-year-old son. Inside the store, he put the soda on the counter to pay. The cashier, 20-year-old Ricky Benard Young, tried to speak to him, but got angry when Goodnight didn’t respond. The cashier threw Goodnight’s change at him, scattering it on the floor. When Goodnight bent to pick it up, the cashier allegedly hit him in the side of the head with a crowbar. Officers went to the store, where Young immediately asked if they were there about what “happened earlier,” Lt. Dean Sullivan told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. The cashier told officers that he tried to start a friendly conversation with Goodnight but that Goodnight wouldn’t acknowledge him. Young told officers he struck Goodnight because he thought Goodnight was going to assault him. After officers informed Young that his customer was deaf and unable to communicate verbally, Young responded, “Oh,” Sullivan said. Goodnight suffered a “large knot” on his head during the incident. Young faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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

 

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