Odds & Ends
The town council of Brunete, located about 20 miles from Madrid, has come up with a novel way of getting back at dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets. England’s Telegraph newspaper reports the town has resorted to mailing discarded dog doo back to the owners. Twenty volunteers have been enlisted at local dog parks to approach dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets and strike up a conversation. The goal of these conversations is to find out the name of the animal in question. “With the name of the dog and the breed, it was possible to identify the owner from the registered pet database held in the town hall,” a spokesperson for the council told the Telegraph. Once the owner’s address was confirmed, the pooch poop was scooped up, placed into a box labeled “Lost Property” and delivered via courier to the owner’s home. So far 147 boxes of excrement have been mailed out. Authorities say unwarranted “dog drops” have declined some 70 percent since the campaign began.
It was either a case of mistaken identity or a shocking miscarriage of justice. Police in Alberta called off a homicide investigation after it was determined that a “snuff film” found in a landfill was nothing more than a clip from a Dan Aykroyd movie. Calgary police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell said the film strip was found in a landfill and turned over to police. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, the clip showed a man holding a knife while standing over what looked like a dead body. “This potentially looks like it could be a homicide, or someone capturing a homicide, or one of these snuff films,” Brookwell said. The investigation ended after less than a day, however, when police recognized the man in the film as actor Dan Aykroyd. Completely ignoring the possibility that Dan Aykroyd made a snuff film, investigators did a Google search and decided the clip came from the 1990 buddy cop comedy Loose Cannons. Contacted about the incident by the website TMZ.com, Aykroyd responded, “The movie should have been left in the landfill where it belongs.”
A golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, is set to host the G8 economic summit later on this month. But local town councils have been racing to cover up the area’s poor economy by building fake store fronts and covering abandoned buildings with billboards. In the one-street town of Belcoo, a former butcher’s shop has had its windows covered in stickers that make it look like a packed meat counter. Across the street, another empty building has been mocked up to look like a busy office supply store. The small towns and villages around Enniskillen have been hit hard by Ireland’s economic downturn. In fact, the five-star hotel in which G8 leaders are scheduled to meet had been in receivership since 2011. Northern Ireland’s government has reportedly spent some £2 million ($3 million) in “dereliction funds” over the past two years. Almost a quarter of that money has been used to prepare for hosting the annual Group of Eight leaders’ summit in mid June. Environmental Minister Alex Attwood defended the cosmetic changes, saying, “We should do everything we can to make these areas as attractive for residents, tourists and consumers. If we want tourists to visit and stay longer, then tackling major eyesores and dereliction will certainly help.” Local residents seem less impressed with the government’s efforts. “In six months’ time how are these shops going to look?” Jim Leonard, a 50-year-old unemployed bricklayer, asked RTÉ News. “They’ll just be pieces of paper blowing around the ground.”
A woman in the rural Clackamas County town of Sandy was hesitant to report an auto burglary. “I can’t believe it,” Chelsey Coutts told KPTV-12 after the trunk of her sedan was broken into. “I’m still in shock.” Missing from Coutts’ trunk was an estimated $500 worth of sex toys. “It was horrible. [The officer] kind of started laughing, but he felt bad so he asked me to describe everything in detail, and it was just horrible,” Coutts said. According to Coutts, she was only storing the stash of sex toys for an upcoming bachelorette party. “I’ve been storing it in my trunk because I have two little ones and didn’t want them to see all the dirty things in there.” According to local police, Coutts’ car was one of several broken into in the Bluff neighborhood. “It broke my heart,” said Haleigh Kirby, the bride-to-be. “Chelsey’s worked so hard for so long on all this, and she’s done a really good job. And it’s just sad to see someone come and take all that away like that. I don’t even know what they could use it for.” Since the sex toy theft, Coutts has received several donations to replace the lost items, described by Coutts as “lots of toys, blow-up items, all kinds of goodies.”