Odds & Ends
A Denver-area bookstore has been vandalized five times in the last year because it contains the name “Isis.” Isis Books & Gifts has been around the suburban community of Englewood since 1980, selling spiritual books and gifts. It is named after Isis, the Egyptian goddess of healing and motherhood, and not ISIS, the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Unfortunately, that distinction has eluded vandals who smashed a window and broke the store’s sign earlier this month after terrorist attacks in Paris. Co-owner Jeff Harrison said his wife is intent on keeping the name despite the misguided attacks.
Customs officials in Los Angeles announced last Wednesday that they seized 450 pork tamales from an airline passenger who had tried to smuggle them into the United States from Mexico. The traveler, who was not named, admitted to having food products in his luggage but denied they were pork products. Customs and Border Protection Inspectors at the Los Angeles International Airport searched the luggage and came up with nearly 500 tamales wrapped in plastic bags. “Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases from countries affected by avian influenza, mad cow and swine fever,” Anne Maricich, acting director of field operations for Customs told reporters. The traveler was given a $1,000 fine and, sadly, all 450 tamales were destroyed.
A petulant mayor is being sued for paying off his ethics fine in loose change. Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez was fined $4,000 by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust for lying about collecting $180,000 in interest from a Ponzi schemer named Luis Felipe Perez. But according to the Miami Herald, the mayor, obviously angry over the ruling, sent 360,000 pennies and nickels. “On Nov. 6, the mayor sent 28 buckets of coins in an apparent attempt to pay the fine in disregard of the COE requirement that it be paid by check,” the commission said. “His ploy was deemed commercially unreasonable and contemptuous by the COE staff, and therefore, rejected.” In addition to the lawsuit, the commission has doubled Hernandez’ fine on grounds that Hernandez intentionally broke the commissions regulations. “If they wish, [the commission] can go to court,” Hernandez said in the Miami Herald. “But they will have to explain why a public entity does not accept this country’s currency.”
A college student didn’t let a little thing like the birth of a child stop her from completing a college exam. Tommitrise Collins was hours away from giving birth at a Macon hospital on Nov. 12 when her sister posted online photos of her lying in a hospital bed, wearing a green hospital gown and taking an online test on her laptop. Collins is working on her second degree at Middle Georgia State University and didn’t want to fail the important exam. According to Collins her contractions were about three minutes apart when she started taking the test. The exam had to be turned in by 8pm. Her daughter, Tyler Elise, was born at 9:19pm. Collins wound up getting a B on her test and will be graduating in December. She is studying to be a forensic scientist.
Police say two car thieves turned surprisingly polite after discovering an 8-year-old boy in the vehicle they had just stolen. Norfolk Police spokesperson Daniel Hudson said the boy was sitting in his mother’s car in her employer’s parking lot on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 18, when the men got inside. The keys were in the ignition. The mother called police after she returned to the parking lot and found her car and her son had vanished. According to the boy, the two thieves asked him what school he attended and then dropped him off there. Police say the boy was unharmed and the car was found abandoned three miles from the school.