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 V.21 No.21 | May 24 - 30, 2012 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Turkey

A dead bird caused a panic in southeastern Turkey when villagers mistook it for an Israeli spy. The migratory bird, a common European bee-eater, was found dead in a field near the city of Gaziantep. The animal had a numbered metal ring around its leg stamped “Israel.” The villagers called police and told them the bird’s nostrils looked unusually large and could have been fitted with a microchip by Israeli intelligence. According to the BBC, a counterterrorism unit checked on the incident. The bird’s corpse was eventually taken to experts in the Turkish agriculture ministry for examination. They found it to be an ordinary, if deceased, bee-eater. Panicky villagers were assured that it is common practice for migratory birds to be fitted with identification tags in order to track their movements. The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel confirmed the band’s serial number as being legitimate. An official at the ministry told reporters it took some effort to persuade the locals that the small, dead bird posed no threat to national security.

Dateline: Washington

A 47-year-old shopper was bitten by a rattlesnake inside a Walmart store in Clarkston. Mica Craig was in the superstore’s gardening section to buy a bag of mulch when he reached down to pick up a stick. The stick turned out to be a reptile, which struck him in the hand. Craig stomped on the snake and was taken to a hospital for antivenom as his hand started to swell. Craig told local news media he was purchasing the mulch for his marijuana plants, which he is licensed to grow for medicinal reasons. Walmart is investigating to see how the snake got into the store. A spokesperson for the chain said, “We are working with a pest management team, which is conducting a sweep of the property to ensure there is no additional rattlesnake activity.”

Dateline: Wisconsin

Bill Wisth is a 6-foot, 6-inch, 350-pound eating machine. But the Thiensville resident was shocked when he was kicked out of an all-you-can-eat buffet for eating too much. “It’s false advertising,” Wisth told TMJ4 News in Wisconsin. “We asked for more fish, and they refused to give us more fish.” According to his calculations, Wisth downed a dozen pieces of fried fish before being cut off by restaurant staff at Chuck’s Place. The still-hungry diner telephoned police to protest the treatment, but got no response. Two days later, Wisth returned to Chuck’s Place with a picket sign. Waitress Elizabeth Roeming told the television station the bottomless eater has been a problem for years. Wisth says he will protest at the restaurant every Sunday night until they allow him to eat all he can eat. Despite the fish flap, Wisth has no hard feelings about the eatery. “They do have some of the best pizza in town, if you like deep dish,” he said.

Dateline: Tennessee

Joy Lounders may be a liar, but she’s a committed liar. Police in Jefferson County say the 48-year-old made up a story about a home invasion on the night of Wednesday, May 16. Fearing that her story about a false intruder might not be believable enough, Lounders allegedly shot herself in the leg and shoulder with a .38 caliber handgun. While waiting for an airlift to the UT Medical Center, Lounders allegedly told police a white male in his 40s broke into her house. Lounders said the two struggled over a gun and the intruder shot the homeowner twice before fleeing. Lounders called her husband and a neighbor, who phoned 911. Evidence gathered at the scene, however, did not appear to match Lounders’ account. According to WATE-6 in Knoxville, when questioned by the sheriff’s office, Lounders confessed to shooting herself. The reason behind Lounder’s story is unclear, although police say it may have had something to do with the fact that she was due to serve time in Jefferson County Jail starting May 21 on a DUI conviction. The district attorney is determining whether to bring additional against Lounders.

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

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