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 Apr 3 - 9, 2008 
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Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary
Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: India--An airline pilot took his passengers on a 1,200-mile detour after refusing to land at an airport in India because he had never heard of it. The KLM flight was en route from Amsterdam to Hyderabad’s new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport when it was diverted to New Delhi with 233 passengers on board. The pilot was denied permission to land in New Delhi, and the plane eventually touched down, two hours later, in Mumbai. The pilot reportedly claimed he knew nothing about Hyderabad’s new airport. Airport officials insisted all airlines had been notified of its opening on March 14. A report in the Times of India revealed a number of pilots had complained their flight computers did not recognize the new landing spot and issued terrain warnings.

Dateline: The Netherlands--Stoners can breathe easy: A strict new ban on smoking in public in The Netherlands will not apply to marijuana or cannabis. Health minister Ab Klink clarified the restrictions in a speech to the Dutch parliament. The smoking ban will go into effect on July 1 and bans the smoking of tobacco at restaurants and cafés. Cannabis is freely sold in Amsterdam’s many “coffee shops,” but the minister confirmed that the common practice of mixing tobacco with soft drugs will no longer be allowed. Pure marijuana, however, is still perfectly acceptable.

Dateline: Connecticut--A state correction officer who was collecting workman’s compensation because of a back injury has been suspended from his job and arrested after news photographers snapped him running a 40-yard dash in high heels. The Republic-American in Waterbury reports that Garrett A. Dalton, 41, of Naugatuck was arrested last Monday and charged with one count of worker’s compensation fraud. Dalton stopped working after injuring his back on June 11, 2007, while lifting a box of toilet paper at the New Haven Correctional Center. He collected $5,227 in benefits and returned to work on Nov. 14, 2007. On Oct. 17, 2007, while out of work because of the debilitating back injury, Dalton allegedly took part in a contest sponsored by the WPLR-FM radio station in New Haven. In the contest, Dalton donned a woman’s dress, wig and high heels and ran a 40-yard dash while carrying an egg on a spoon in hopes of winning Hannah Montana concert tickets. Dalton didn’t win the race, but a supervisor saw his picture in the local newspaper and reported him. Workers’ compensation fraud is a felony, and Dalton faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Dateline: Illinois--A hungry bandit chose the wrong getaway vehicle when he tried to use a doughnut delivery truck to escape police. According to the Des Moines Register, nine police officers from four jurisdictions ended up converging on the doughnut truck in the parking lot of a Hardee’s Restaurant. Frank Arthur Alvarado, 46, of Moline, was arrested after a chase that wound through two counties and reached speeds of up to 100 mph. Police said the truck had been stolen from Trinity Medical Hospital-West in Rock Island, where Alvarado was a patient. Assistant Tama County Attorney Richard Vander Mey commented on the incident in a press release, saying, “What strikes me as a bit out of the ordinary in this case is the number of officers who were able to respond. I don’t know whether the fact that the stolen vehicle contained doughnuts has anything to do with it.”

Dateline: Missouri--Officials in the rural town of Deepwater are trying to determine whether or not to file charges against a man who fatally shot his wife while trying to install a satellite dish. Investigators on the case said Ronald Long tried unsuccessfully to punch a hole through the exterior wall of his home in order to hook up a new satellite television system and resorted to the use of his trusty .22-caliber handgun. Unfortunately, his wife, 34-year-old Patsy D. Long, was standing outside the residence at the time. Long said he fired two shots through the wall, then called out his wife’s name and the names of their two children. When he got no reply, he ran outside and found his injured wife. She was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the chest early last Saturday evening.

Dateline: Texas--According to the Beaumont Enterprise, a homeowner pulled a gun on two furniture deliverymen for refusing to take off their shoes. Police reports say the female homeowner asked the two deliverymen from Howell’s Furniture Gallery to remove their shoes before entering her house. The deliverymen informed the woman that they were unable to remove the footwear due to safety concerns but were wearing regulation protective covers so as not to damage her carpet. That wasn’t good enough for the unidentified woman, who pulled a handgun on the men. Reports said the woman had expressed other problems with the furniture store for which the deliverymen worked. The employees told police the disgruntled homeowner never pointed the gun directly at them, but they left anyway and called police.

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

 
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