Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: England

A groom has been sentenced to one year in prison after calling in a fake bomb threat on his wedding day—because he forgot to book the venue. Neil McArdle, 36, was in charge of securing St. George’s Hall in Liverpool for his wedding on April 26. The night before the ceremony, however, McArdle realized he had forgotten to mail in the form. Shortly after his bride, Amy Williams, woke up on the day of the ceremony, McArdle slipped out of the house and called the Liverpool Register Office. Using a disguised voice, he told the secretary, “This is not a hoax call. There is a bomb in St. George’s Hall and it will go off in 45 minutes.” The call, which came 11 days after the Boston Marathon bombing, provoked a full-scale civil emergency, leaving McArdle and Williams stranded outside the venue. Unfortunately the building was cleared in less than an hour, allowing all ceremonies to continue as scheduled—except the McArdle-Williams nuptials, which were not officially booked. McArdle was arrested later that day when police traced the call to his personal cell phone. Earlier this month, a judge at Liverpool Crown Court told McArdle the bride “was getting ready, expecting you were going to be man and wife and a very solemn public event in her life and you knew that was not going to take place. You did not say, ‘We need to talk.’ You tried to weasel your way out by creating a bomb hoax so the wedding wouldn’t take place.” To the man’s credit, McArdle’s fiancee has stood by him, even after his sentencing.

Dateline: England

A pub in the English village of Stilton has been told it’s illegal to market its cheese as “stilton” cheese. Though the blue-veined cheese made at The Bell Inn is technically stilton and comes from Stilton, European Union, regulations restrict use of the word. According to EU rules, the name stilton can only be applied to cheese made in the English counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Stilton lies outside that area. Though Stilton gave its name to the sharp-tasting English cheese, historians are divided on whether the foodstuff was traditionally made there. Local cheese makers have asked the government to amend the Protected Designation of Origin rules to include Stilton. “It’s ridiculous that we can’t make stilton in Stilton,” said Bell Inn landlord Liam McGivern. For the time being, McGivern’s cheese is being sold as “Bells Blue.”

Dateline: Florida

Tampa Bay Times reports a woman was shot in the leg by the same bullet a man used to kill himself. Authorities say Jeane Sams was visiting her cousin’s condo complex in Port Richey on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The family was inside the apartment watching Monsters, Inc. and eating pizza rolls when Sams got a call on her cell phone. She stepped outside to take it, and the family heard a sound “like a firecracker.” Sams came back into the condo, blood gushing from her right knee. “I got shot,” she told her family. According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the bullet had just come from Michael Bruty’s head. Bruty, 28, was arguing with his girlfriend several yards up the road. The argument ended with Bruty putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. Police received two 911 calls that evening and were quickly able to connect the two incidents once the gun was recovered from underneath Bruty’s body. Bruty died at the scene. Sams was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and was released later that week.

Dateline: Tennessee

A small-town police officer has lost his job after shooting up a dollar store in an attempt to kill a squirrel. According to police documents, Officer Jody Putnam was inside the Dollar General Store in Mountain City when employees noticed a squirrel loose in the building. Putnam allegedly fired at least one shot at the animal with his handgun. When that didn’t work, he pulled out a can of pepper spray and went to work. “There were a lot of people that come out and just like me they came out and they were coughing and a-hacking,” property owner Carl Duffield told WJHL-TV. “It was comical, but I’m sure they didn’t feel that way.” Officers in Mountain City are required to file a report whenever they discharge a weapon. Putnam refused to do so and was fired for the violation by the town’s Board of Mayor and Alderman.

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

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