Alibi V.16 No.9 • March 1-7, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Serbia--A routine appendix operation in the Serbian capital of Belgrade turned into a knockdown, drag-out brawl after two surgeons abandoned a patient on the operating table to settle their dispute outside. Surgeon Spasoje Radulovic was operating when his colleague Dragan Vukanic entered and made a remark that started a quarrel, said the anesthesiologist on duty. “At one moment, Vukanic pulled the ear of the operating doctor, slapped him in the face and walked out,” she told the daily Politika. Radulovic followed Vukanic and an all-out fight ensued, resulting in bruises, a split lip, loose teeth and a fractured finger. The routine appendix operation was eventually completed by the attending assistant doctor.

Dateline: England--The BBC is apologizing after one of its weathermen referred to the Western Isles of Scotland as “nowheresville.” Viewers complained after Tomasz Schafernaker used the term during two weather bulletins. During the forecasts on BBC1 and BBC News 24, the meteorologist said there would be rain in the northwest of Scotland. He then added that it would be “mainly in the Western Isles, mainly in nowheresville.” Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil said he had been contacted by some angry constituents who were offended at how their part of Britain had been portrayed. “My intention was only to convey that very few people were likely to catch a shower on that day,” said Schafernaker in a statement. “It was in no way a comment or opinion on the area or the people that live there. I deeply regret my choice of words and fully understand why it offended viewers.”

Dateline: Wisconsin--An Oconomowoc man says he kicked down his neighbor’s door and rushed in brandishing an antique cavalry sword because he thought a woman was being raped. Turns out his neighbor was actually watching a pornographic DVD. “Now I feel stupid,” said 39-year-old James Van Iveren, who has been charged with criminal trespass, criminal damage and disorderly conduct--all with a deadly weapon. According to a criminal complaint, the neighbor, Bret Stieghorst, told police that Van Iveren pounded on the door of his apartment and kicked it open without warning on Feb. 12, damaging the frame and lock. “Where is she?” Van Iveren demanded, thrusting the sword at his neighbor. Stieghorst told police Van Iveren became increasingly aggressive as he repeated the question, insisting that he had heard a woman screaming for help. According to the complaint, Stieghorst led Van Iveren on a tour of the apartment, opening closet doors to prove he was alone. Stieghorst, a 33-year-old student at Waukesha County Technical College, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal that he did not care about the charges that were filed, except damage to property. He also stated that if Van Iveren was attempting to rescue what he thought was a woman in danger he was “obnoxiously late.” Stieghorst said he was watching the movie between 1 and 2:30 a.m., but Van Iveren did not burst into his apartment until about 11:30 a.m. When he told Van Iveren that he was going to call the police, Van Iveren ran out the door of the apartment and down the stairs, and Stieghorst said he followed him. It was only when they got to the bottom of the stairs, and Van Iveren ducked into the door of the apartment he shares with his mother, that Stieghorst realized Van Iveren was his neighbor. Stieghorst, who said he has lived in his small downtown apartment for five years, told police he was watching an adult DVD in Spanish called Casa de Culo. He said the movie has no screaming that would suggest to someone a woman was in danger. “It’s all in Spanish, and I don’t understand a word of it,” he told the Journal-Sentinel. “I only bought it for the hot chicks.” Van Iveren said the incident was “nothing but a mistake,” and wants the police to return his sword, which he says is a family heirloom.

Dateline: Texas--A printing error is being blamed for the more than 1,300 Weatherford, Texas, residents who received electric bills in excess of a billion dollars. Richard Reddon got a late notice saying his power would be shut off if he did not pay the $24 billion he owed. “I know they raised the rates on kilowatt hours a little bit,” Redden said. “I guess we shouldn't have run the heater quite so much this month.” A Weatherford Electric spokesperson said that customers can expect corrected bills later this month. “Obviously, this is not something we are pleased about,” said Curtis Nelson, vice president and general manager of DataProse, the company that prints customer bills for Weatherford Electric.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to