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 Aug 16 - 22, 2012 
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Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary

Dateline: Israel

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem have a new weapon in the war against temptation: fuzzy glasses. Fundamentalist Haredi, who interpret Jewish law to forbid all contact between non-married men and women, have long kept the sexes strictly segregated—on buses, sidewalks and other public spaces—in their own neighborhoods. Unofficial “modesty patrols” scour the areas looking for women with bare arms or uncovered hair. But ultra-Orthodox men have long struggled with the problem of conducting business outside their own neighborhoods and being accosted by the sight of sinful female temptresses. Now comes word that the modesty patrols are hawking a new invention—intentionally blurry eyeglasses that prevent wearers from clearly distinguishing between the sexes. The glasses are reportedly selling for the “modest” price of $6.

Dateline: Vermont

A man accused of flattening an entire fleet of police cars in his home town is quickly becoming something of a local hero—even after pleading “not guilty” to the crime. It began earlier this month when 34-year-old Roger Pion of Newport was arrested for driving a tractor through the parking lot of the Orleans County Sheriff's Office. Pion turned the lot into his own personal monster truck rally, driving over six patrol cruisers and one police van. Pion was allegedly angry over a recent arrest for marijuana possession. On Aug. 8, Pion pleaded not guilty to the 15 criminal charges with which he’s now faced. The Caledonian-Record reports a “Free Roger Pion” shirt with a picture of a tractor on it is a hot-selling item in the Northern Vermont town. A Facebook fan page, titled “Roger Pion, the Magnificent” has been set up, as has an Internet donation campaign to bail him out of jail.

Dateline: Illinois

Police in Rock Island arrested a naked man covered in cooking spray who told them he was “looking for a place to party.” According to the police report, officers found 41-year-old William Forber wandering the downtown area around 3:27 a.m. on the morning of Monday, Aug. 6. Deputy Chief of Police Jeff VenHuizen told the Quad-City Times that Forber “said he had been dropped off somewhere on 11th Street and that he had walked to the area where he was apprehended. He had lathered himself up in Crisco. He was covered in grease and was holding the can under his arm.” Asked why he wasn’t wearing the pair of shorts he was carrying, Forber reportedly told officers they were too big and wouldn’t stay on. When officers searched the shorts, they located a quantity of drugs they believed to be methamphetamines. Forber has been charged with possession of less than 5 grams of methamphetamine, resisting a peace officer and possession of drug paraphernalia. A charge of lewd exposure was dismissed. He could face up to five years in jail.

Dateline: Tennessee

Drunk calls to 911 are a dime a dozen, but a Columbia, Tenn. man gets bonus points for calling emergency services and asking them to take him on a beer run. The Daily Herald reports that, over the course of a 12-hour span, 67-year-old Allen Troy Brooks called the emergency services nine times. His emergency? He was out of alcohol and needed a ride to the liquor store. “I want to go to the store to get me a beer,” Brooks said, according to the 911 call recording. “I’ll pay you.” The unhelpful dispatcher responded in the negative, saying, “Sir, I can’t take you to the store and get you a beer.” Police were eventually sent to Brooks’ residence. The homeowner denied making the calls and told police he didn’t own a telephone. “I tried to tell him that if he cooperated, he would have just been issued a citation,” Officer Seneca Shield told the Herald. “But we knew if he wasn’t arrested, he wasn’t going to stop.” Brooks was charged with aggravated 911 calls in a non-emergency situation. He was released on $1,500 bond.

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