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 V.22 No.48 | November 28 - December 4, 2013 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India

Workers cleaning out the bathroom of an airplane discovered 24 gold bars worth more than $1 million. The plane, belonging to Jet Airways, was being serviced at the Kolkata airport in the eastern Indian city of Patna. Airport director B.P. Mishra told reporters the bars, weighing more than two pounds each, were found inside two lunch boxes that were stashed inside the toilets of the plane. The boxes originally triggered a bomb scare, before the glittering contents were revealed. “They have not been claimed by anyone,” said an airport official. “No arrest has been made as yet.” The bars are believed to have come from Dubai, since the planes usual route is Dubai to Mumbai. Local news media reports India has seen a spike in gold smuggling of late and now rivals China as the world’s biggest consumer of the precious metal.

Dateline: Belgium

Two professors performed toxicology screenings of the 10 most borrowed books at Antwerp Library, testing them for bacteria, microbes and other substances. They discovered traces of cocaine on almost all the books and found out that Fifty Shades of Grey has herpes. The popular erotic novel by E.L. James tested positive for herpes simplex virus type 1. Traces were minimal and did not pose a public health risk. “The levels found won’t have a pharmacological effect,” professor Jan Tygat of the Catholic University of Leuven told Flanders News.

Dateline: Pennsylvania

Police in Philadelphia have charged a Philadelphia man with reckless endangerment for allegedly driving his BMW down the famous Rocky steps. The steps, located in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, became famous when actor Sylvester Stallone ran up them in the 1976 Oscar-winner Rocky. Police say 20-year-old Emin Faki told them his brakes failed and he couldn’t stop his car from traversing the city landmark. The Oct. 24 stunt was recorded by several onlookers, who posted videos online. KYW-TV reports Faki surrendered to police on Nov. 14. He is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on Dec. 18. In the meantime, Faki was ordered to stay away from the museum.

Dateline: Massachusetts

Thieves broke into a storage building at the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society and made off with the shelter’s entire supply of kitty litter. Liz Pease, director of operations, told The Daily News of Newburyport that five of six 40-pound bags of recycled wood pellets were taken in the overnight heist. The value of the kitty litter is estimated at $6 a bag. The no-kill shelter was housing approximately 60 cats at the time of the theft. Once word of the shortage got out, volunteers dropped off more bags of kitty litter, fending off a potentially stinky situation.

Dateline: Utah

Once again, the tiny town of Wallsburg, population 275, has forgotten to hold a municipal election. Two years ago Wallsburg—located about 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City—failed to schedule an election and was forced to appoint its officials. Walsatch County officials were set to go up for election again on Nov. 5. But once again, Wallsburg couldn’t get its act together. Last month the city recorder forgot to open the filing period or schedule the new election. Caught unprepared, the town has had to ask the current mayor and the four city council members—the ones appointed in the last non-election—to serve another two-year term. County Clerk Brent Titcomb apologized for forgetting the elections and promised officials he “will remember them in 2015.”

Dateline: Mississippi

A taekwondo instructor charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other top government officials and then trying to frame an Elvis impersonator has been charged with trying again—while in jail. James Everett Dutschke has been in jail since April, accused of sending ricin-tainted letters and trying to blame his arch-rival, Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis. Now a new indictment has been filed, saying Dutschke, while incarcerated, tried to recruit someone to make more ricin and send it in a letter to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. The indictment filed in US District Court in Oxford says Dutschke, 42, was again attempting to frame Curtis. Cutis was arrested in April on charges of sending the poisoned letters, but the charges were dropped when the investigation shifted to Dutschke. Dutschke is scheduled to go to trial on May 27.

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