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 V.19 No.29 | July 22 - 28, 2010 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India—Six factory workers were killed after they fell into a giant vat of tomato sauce and drowned in the Uttar Pradesh region of northeastern India. The industrial accident happened at the Akansha Food Products plant in Lucknow on Wednesday, July 14, when a female worker who was scooping up fermented vegetables slipped off a ladder and fell into the 10-foot-deep tank. “When the woman fell in, the other workers jumped in to help her,” Rajiv Krishna, Lucknow’s Senior Superintendent of Police, told the Indian Express. The five colleagues who jumped into the tank to help the drowning woman were quickly overcome by fumes from the fermented vegetables. All six drowned. Two other workers, overcome by the fumes, were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The factory owner was taken into custody, the Indian Express said.

Dateline: Australia—A study commissioned by the Nature Conservancy and the Pew Environment Group concludes that billions of tons of carbon emissions could be eliminated by culling the millions of burping and farting animals living in Australia’s outback. The study found that 9.7 billion tons of carbon is already stored in the nation’s central forests, grass and wetlands. Through better land management—including the culling of large feral animal populations—another 1.3 billion tons of carbon could be stored by 2050. According to the study’s calculations, that’s the equivalent of taking 7.5 million cars off the road every year for the next 40 years. Pew spokesperson Barry Traill said a program of eliminating wild camels in the outback was already underway but needed to be extended. “When wild animals belch they release methane, a particularly noxious greenhouse gas, and every single camel or water buffalo releases the equivalent of around one ton of carbon dioxide every year,” he told reporters in Canberra. “When you’ve got hundreds of thousands, in some cases millions, of these feral animals, it’s a very large amount of pollution each year.”

Dateline: New Jersey—A man arrested for shoplifting will now spend a little more time in jail after allegedly paying off his bail with counterfeit bills. Police in Cinnaminson say 25-year-old Ronald T. White of Camden was arrested on July 7 on multiple counts of shoplifting after allegedly taking several items from a Burlington Coat Factory and a ShopRite supermarket. At the time of his arrest, White had $900 in cash in his pockets. White got off with a simple court summons for the shoplifting charges, but had to pay $400 cash bail on two outstanding warrants from neighboring Camden. The next day, Cinnaminson police discovered that five of the $20 bills White used to pay his bail money were fake, printed on the wrong paper stock. An arrest warrant on charges of forgery was issued for White. Fortunately for officers, White later showed up to a court hearing in Camden. There, he learned he was only wanted on one outstanding warrant rather than two. He returned to the police station in Cinnaminson the following week and demanded half of his bail money back. Instead, White was given a trip to Burlington County Jail, where he is now held on $5,000 cash bail. “You can’t teach stupid,” Cinnaminson Police Det. Sgt. William Covert told the Courior-Post newspaper.

Dateline: Florida—Raymond Lewis Shepard, 25, allegedly tried to rob 69-year-old Carol J. Costello at gunpoint as she drove her car out of a Wal-Mart parking lot in Daytona Beach. Unfortunately, while smashing a hole in the car’s windshield with the butt of his handgun, the would-be criminal dropped the weapon directly into the woman’s lap. Naturally, the senior picked up the silver semiautomatic and aimed it right back at Shepard, who fled in a black Chevrolet Impala with an accomplice. Costello managed to get the getaway vehicle’s license plate before it drove off. When police arrived at the scene of the crime, they also located Shepard’s cell phone, which the butterfingered robber also dropped. Costello was able to identify her attacker from photos on the cell phone. South Daytona police soon arrested Lewis. The driver of the Impala has yet to be identified.

Dateline: Texas—A federal inmate who escaped from jail by hiding out in a garbage can didn’t get very far. He was found crushed to death in a nearby landfill. Mexico native Carlos Roberto Medina-Bailon, 30, was being held on drug-related charges at a jail in downtown El Paso. Sheriff Richard Wiles told KTSM News that Medina-Bailon was working in the facility’s kitchen and may have sneaked past two guards on duty and dodged monitored security cameras to hide in a large trash dumpster. “We believe he managed to hide in the trash and was able to get into an area which at some point became unsecured when the gates were opened to allow vehicles in and out of the facilities, and that’s how he escaped,” Wiles told reporters. The inmate’s body was found after a dump truck that stopped at the jail was traced back to a dump in Sunland Park, N.M. According to reports, Medina-Bailon’s body appeared to be crushed.

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