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 V.18 No.4 | January 22 - 28, 2009 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Serbia—An armed robber was arrested after he held up a bank—and then returned minutes later to pay off his overdraft fees with the money he had just acquired. The man ran into the Kredi Bank in the Serbian ski resort Nova Varos wearing a ski mask and brandishing a shotgun. He demanded tellers hand over all the cash they had. The man got away with more than nearly $50,000 in cash. Staff were still recovering from the shock when the man—minus the ski mask—walked back in to settle his overdraft. Sharp-eyed staff recognized the distinctive red tennis shoes he was wearing and called police. The man, aged 33, was arrested and charged with armed robbery.

Dateline: England—Prison officers in Kent say a miniature toy helicopter was used to drop drugs behind the walls of the Elmley Prison. Guards raised the alarm after the remote control toy was seen flying over the prison at night. The 12-inch-long craft was spotted on CCTV screens. A small load was strapped underneath the fuselage. The Sun quoted a prison source as saying, “Using a mini-helicoper to get contraband into jails is unprecedented. It was pitch black and the officers were sweeping the area using special CCTV cameras when they spotted it. They nearly fell off their chairs.” Staff at the Category C jail in Sheerness, Kent, rushed to the facility’s housing blocks but found no sign of the toy or its cargo. The Sun’s source added, “It could have been drugs or a mobile phone in the package. It is possible it was a dummy run.”

Dateline: Alaska—In an excellent example of irony, a registered sex offender has won $500,000 in an Alaskan lottery designed to benefit victims of sexual abuse. Alec Ahsoak, who according to the state sex offender registry was convicted in 1993 and 2000 for sexual abuse of a minor, came forward last Saturday with the jackpot-winning ticket in the Lucky Time Pull Tabs lottery. Proceeds for the lottery help Standing Together Against Rape in Anchorage, a nonprofit group that offers support to sexual assault victims among other services. “It’s not how we envisioned the story going,” Nancy Haag, the group’s executive director, told CNN Radio. Alaska has the highest per capita number of rape cases in the United States according to FBI statistics.

A Salt Lake City man had his handgun seized after he shot and killed a toilet.

Dateline: Washington, D.C.—The Army mistakenly sent 7,000 John Doe letters to family members of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, unleashing calls from troubled relatives and prompting a formal apology from the Army’s top general. The letters, mailed late last month by the Army’s Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operation Center in Alexandria, contained information about private organizations that assist families of the fallen. Rather than doing the work itself, the Army had contracted out the writing of the letters. Due to a “printing error,” all 7,000 letters were addressed “Dear John Doe.” Army spokesperson Paul Boyce said two weeks ago, “Obviously, this is insensitive, and we wanted to apologize.” Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. will be sending out a personal letter of apology to the 7,000 family members. Hopefully, Casey’s letter won’t be outsourced as well.

Dateline: Texas—Producers of the popular “American Idol” television series are suing an Austin strip club over its popular “Stripper Idol” promotion. FremantleMedia North America, which owns the popular singing show, says the contest is a trademark violation that could mislead the public to think the show sponsors the event, the Dallas Morning News reported last week. The company has filed suit in a federal court to stop the weekly contest. Managers of the Palazio Men’s Club say the contest, in which contestants danced topless for 30 seconds, does not resemble the TV show. Club managers say they have no plans to stop the popular Thursday night promotion.

Dateline: Utah—A Salt Lake City man had his handgun seized after he shot and killed a toilet at a popular fast-food restaurant. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the unnamed 26-year-old was doing his dirty business at a Centerville Carl’s Jr. when his gun fell out of his pants, went off and blew up the toilet on which he was sitting. Police said the man received minor injuries to his arm from flying shards of porcelain when the .40-caliber bullet from his gun shattered the toilet bowl. The gun owner did have a concealed-weapons permit but police confiscated the firearm for “safekeeping” while they reviewed the incident. No one else was injured in the incident; however, a woman in the adjacent restroom complained of chest pains after being frightened by the shot.

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

 

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