Jan 21 - 27, 2010 
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Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary

Dateline: SwedenFor a group of dieters in south-central Sweden, the shedding of the pounds didn’t come quick enough. The floor of a Weight Watchers clinic in the town of Växjö collapsed last Wednesday night after a group of about 20 program participants gathered to record their weight loss. “We suddenly heard a huge thud. We almost thought it was an earthquake and everything flew up in the air. The floor collapsed in one corner of the room and along the walls,” one of the participants told the Smålandsposten newspaper. After the initial collapse, the floor started to give way in other parts of the room. The participants quickly evacuated as the smell of sewage started to fill the room. “We’re going to have to find a replacement premises,” Weight Watchers consultant Therese Levin told the newspaper. The dieters, who were unharmed in the incident, ended up weighing themselves in a hallway outside the collapsed room.

Dateline: ScotlandSelf-described “naked rambler” Stephen Gough is prepared to spend the rest of his life behind bars in maximum security HM Prison Perthbecause he can’t keep his pants on. The eccentric ex-truck-driver was found guilty at Perth Sheriff Court last Monday of breaking the peace by walking naked in the street and refusing a request by police to put some clothes on. Gough, 50, has been warned that he will be arrested every time he steps out in public in the buff. The last two times he was in jail on identical charges, officers from Tayside Police were waiting at the jail gates to re-arrest him the second he doffed his garments. Which he did. Last week, the judge offered to set Gough free to visit his elderly mother in Hampshireon the sole condition that he wear some clothes. Gough, who has spent most of the last seven years in jail on public indecency charges, refused. “A number of your recent convictions have arisen in similar circumstances. You have more or less been apprehended when you have been released from prison,” Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Gough in court. “When the day comes for you to be released from a prison establishment, you will be apprehended and the same process gone through again. This is what has happened over the last while; and if I impose a custodial sentence, that is a scenario which is likely to arise again and again and again.” Gough was allowed to conduct his own defense in Sheriff’s Court, a duty he performed stark naked. The sheriff said he would consider whether or not that constituted contempt of court. Gough faces another 18 months in jail. The sheriff has ordered psychological and psychiatric reports.

Dateline: FloridaAccording to the Pensacola News Journal, a 26-year-old man applying for a job at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office admitted during his job interview to having child pornography on his computer. He was not hired. Instead, he was arrested. Clarence W. Burnette, 25, was booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail and charged with one count of possession of child pornography, a third degree felony, state Attorney General Bill McCollum said in a press release. The AG is considering additional charges as well. Burnette, who lives in Sellersville in northern Santa Rosa County, told deputies during his pre-employment polygraph test that he possessed images of child pornography. CyberCrime investigators seized a computer at Burnette’s home and confirmed that it did contain child porn. In August of 2009, a 21-year-old man in Elmore County, Ala., told Montgomery police during a job interview that he possessed child pornography and had also had sex with a 15-year-old girl. He didn’t get the job, either.

Dateline: WashingtonCourt papers filed in Olympia allege that a 33-year-old woman was so angry with her husband that she sabotaged his power tools so that he received a powerful electric shock. Carolyn Paulsen-Riat was booked into the Thurston County Jail last week for investigation of third-degree assault, domestic violence and second-degree malicious mischief. Paulsen-Riat, who told deputies that she was angry over the fact that her husband was leaving her, allegedly reversed the power cords on all his tools, switching the positive and negative wires. The Olympian newspaper reported that on Jan. 1, the woman’s husband was using a 220-volt table saw when he received a shock powerful enough to knock him to the ground. He was not hospitalized.

Dateline: OregonState police arrested a Nehalem-area man last Tuesday after pulling a half-pound of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, hashish and drug paraphernaliaplus two rifles, a machete, a samurai sword, a hatchet and several knivesfrom his vehicle. The Oregonian newspaper reports troopers pulled over a 1991 Acura sedan driven by Gary Mortensen, 25, for a routine traffic stop on Interstate 5 near Eugene at around 1:50 p.m. After unloading the well-stocked carwhich also included a black ski mask imprinted with a large pot leaftroopers arrested Mortensen on charges of possession and distribution of illegal substances.

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

 
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