Dateline: New Jersey—A state appellate court has ruled that a group of Hindus can sue an Edison eatery for money to travel back to India and purify their souls after the group was accidentally served meat. The lawsuit stems from an August 2009 incident in which 16 Hindus placed an order with the Moghul Express restaurant for a tray of vegetarian samosas for an India Day celebration. After tasting the samosas, the diners became concerned that the pastries contained meat. “If you follow the scriptures, it’s definitely a huge cost,” Mehul Thakkar, a spokesperson for nonprofit socio-religious organization Hinduism Yogi Divine Society, told the Star Ledger. “If they are very strict about it, there definitely is a fee involved.” Eventually, the restaurant admitted to mixing up the orders. The vegetarian diners sued in Superior Court, alleging negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, consumer fraud, products liability and breach of express warranty. In their lawsuit, the Hindu group said they were now required to purify themselves in the waters of India’s Ganges River for the sin of eating meat. Last year, a judge dismissed the allegations. The plaintiffs appealed and, earlier this month, a three-judge panel reinstated the lawsuit.
Dateline: Pennsylvania—Two drunken revelers decided to pretend they had gotten arrested after leaving a party in suburban Radnor by posing for pictures inside an empty police van. Unfortunately, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, 21-year-old Ryan Letchford and 22-year-old Jeffrey Olson—both from Marlton—wound up locking themselves inside the vehicle. Investigators said a friend discovered the men inside the van but couldn’t unlock it and called 911. Letchford and Olson were arrested for public drunkenness and criminal mischief.
Dateline: North Carolina—The residents of tiny Tar Heel may just be heeding the tea party’s call for smaller government. As reported by WECT-TV in Wilmington, no one is registered to run in the Bladen County town’s upcoming election. The position of mayor and three commission seats are open, but no one in the village of 117 has offered up their candidacy. The ballots will be printed with blank spaces and voters will be asked to write in their choices. Current Mayor Ricky Martin says he’s not surprised no one wants his job. He describes the job as hard work with little compensation and points out that the next batch of elected officials will likely have to raise taxes in order to compensate for state budget cuts. Cynthia Shaw, the director of the county’s board of elections, told reporters it’s the first time she has seen an entire town without a candidate.
Dateline: Kansas—Carole Green was sentenced earlier this month on four counts of misdemeanor littering in Leavenworth County Court and fined $1,000. She pleaded guilty in June to tossing iced tea bottles into her neighbor’s yard nearly every afternoon for two years. Neighbor Gary Bukaty explained he called the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department because he was tired of picking up the bottles from his rural Bonner Springs yard. The tea bottles first started appearing about two years ago, quickly increasing in frequency from one or two a week to almost daily, Bukaty said. “I felt like somebody was targeting me,” he explained in court. The homeowner contacted law enforcement after he captured Green on camera tossing bottles into his yard from her passing SUV. Police assumed the bottle-tosser had a grudge against Bukaty and his wife. “That’s what the sheriff’s officers asked when I first talked to them, ‘What did you do to these people?’,” Bukaty was quoted as saying in the Basehor Sentinel newspaper. “I didn’t know. We go out to dinner once a week and to church on Sunday. We don’t do anything.” Prior to her sentencing, Green gave a letter to District Court Judge Gunnar Sundby detailing her history with poor impulse control. She said she had nothing against Bukaty, who lives two miles from her home. According to the defendant, she flung her empties into his yard simply out of habit. “It was nothing personal,” she said in court. “If I had to do it over again, of course, I wouldn’t do it.” Following the sentencing, Bukaty was satisfied, but still confused. “Who throws a bottle out the same place, everyday?” he asked. “Who litters on Earth Day and Easter?”