Dateline: Spain—The Andalusian village of Júzcar has voted to remain blue after the entire town was painted as a promotional stunt to celebrate the release of The Smurfs movie. Júzcar was only supposed to stay blue until September, but residents voted 141 to 33 to keep the trademark color, which covers the town’s 175 buildings, as well as churches, utility poles and gravestones. Some 80,000 tourists have visited the village since its makeover. “It’s given a boost to the local economy, it’s increased our happiness, our dreams and our levels of employment,” mayor David Fernández told Spanish media. The residents of Júzcar plan to continue their role as Smurf central, hosting a Smurf moonlight fun run, Smurf painting competitions and running Smurf collector fairs. Smurf-themed weddings are also available at the town’s blue-hued church.
Dateline: New York—Overcome by the Christmas spirit—and the significant alcohol coursing through his veins—a drunk driver attempted to transport the deer he had just run over to a nearby hospital. Police in the suburban Rochester town of Greece say 29-year-old Andrew Caswell hit a deer in the early morning hours of Dec. 19. Caswell and his three passengers allegedly argued over what to do with the injured animal. Caswell, whose blood-alcohol level later proved to be twice the legal limit, decided that the animal should be taken to a doctor. The animal was placed in the trunk of Caswell’s car, and the men headed for the nearest hospital—which happened to be for humans. Responding to a call from area residents who witnessed the accident and the ensuing argument, a police officer soon pulled the vehicle over and discovered the—now deceased—animal in the trunk. Caswell was ticketed and released on his own recognizance. The deer was turned over to the highway department for disposal. Police Chief Todd Baxter told the Democrat and Chronicle that while he sympathizes with trying to save a deer during the holiday season, “driving while intoxicated will not be tolerated.”
Dateline: Texas—A repeat offender dodged a felony charge for armed robbery after a Harris County judge overturned his conviction. Turns out 36-year-old LaDondrell Montgomery couldn’t have committed the crime—because he was already in jail for another crime. Montgomery, 36, was in jail on Dec. 13, 2009—the day of the alleged robbery—serving time for misdemeanor domestic violence. “We asked him where he was on all the cases he’s been charged with,” Montgomery’s lawyer, Ronald Ray, told the Houston Chronicle. “He just couldn’t remember, for that particular date, where he was.” That’s right, Montgomery has been in jail so often, he couldn’t remember where he was. It wasn’t until after Montgomery was shipped off to jail that the judge presiding in the case noticed Montgomery was incarcerated on Dec. 13. In reversing his decision, the judge called Montgomery’s lawyer “spectacularly incompetent.” To be fair, Ray is representing Montgomery in a half-dozen other alleged robberies, and it’s not easy keeping track.
Dateline: Oklahoma—Alisha Halfmoon, 45, needed to cook up some meth. But she was short on supplies. So, naturally, she went to a Tulsa Wal-Mart to stock up. After spending more than six hours inside the store, she was arrested for shoplifting. And also for cooking her meth right there in the store. Loss prevention specialists alerted police, who confronted Halfmoon around 6 p.m. They allegedly found her mixing a bottle of sulfuric acid with starter fluid in the back of the business. “While speaking with some of the firefighters on the scene, she made statements that that’s what she was doing; that she was attempting to obtain these chemicals and was in the process of trying to manufacture methamphetamine,” police officer David Shelby told KJRH-TV. “However, she said that she was not very good at it.” According to KJRH, store security cameras captured Halfmoon mixing the various stolen ingredients, including lithium and chemical drain cleaner. Halfmoon has several previous arrests for unlawful possession of a controlled drug and endeavoring to manufacture controlled drugs.