Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

According to the
Salt Lake Tribune, the social media specialist for a private Provo-based English language learning center was fired for writing a blog post about “homophones.” Homophones, being two English words that sound alike but have different meanings and often spellings, would seem like a perfectly appropriate, grammar-based topic. Unfortunately, Tim Torkildson says he was fired by his employer, Nomen Global Language Center, for creating the perception that the school promoted a gay agenda. “Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality,” Nomen owner Clarke Woodger allegedly told Torkildson after the academic blog was posted. Woodger told the Tribune his reaction to Torkildson’s blog had nothing to do with homosexuality and that Torkildson had been fired because he would “go off on tangents” in his blogs that would be confusing and could be considered offensive. “I had to look up the word,” Woodger allegedly told Torkildson, “because I didn’t know what the hell you were talking about.” Nomen is Utah’s largest private English as a Second Language school, catering to mostly foreign students. “People at this level of English,” Woodger said, “may see the ‘homo’ side and think it has something to do with gay sex.” Nomen’s Facebook page has been inundated with angry postings since the story broke.

Dateline: Oklahoma

A 54-year-old Enid woman is facing felony drug charges after police said she called them to complain that her methamphetamine wasn’t pure enough. According to the
Enid News and Eagle, Lynette Rae Sampson was arraigned late last month on a felony charge of possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. On July 21 Sampson called the local police and told them she thought her meth had been “laced” with something. Officer Aaron Barber showed up at Sampson’s home shortly after 5pm. According to the affidavit, the officer knocked on the door, and the homeowner answered, saying, “I’m glad you came.” Sampson led Barber into the kitchen, telling him she thought her “ice”—a slang term for methamphetamine—was laced with something. Inside the kitchen was a tin container with two small bags containing a white, crystalline substance. Sampson said she had purchased the two quarter-ounce bags and admitted to smoking some of the drugs a couple of hours before the officer arrived. A field test of the white substance registered positive for methamphetamine. No word if officers ever tested the substance for any bonus drugs. Sampson faces 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for the felony count of possession.

Dateline: Washington

Chances are if you’ve been cited for possession of marijuana in Seattle, you are familiar with one particular officer. The Seattle Police Department has “reassigned” an unnamed officer after it was learned he issued about 80 percent of the marijuana tickets handed out in the city during the first half of the year. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said staff reviewing data to prepare the department’s first biannual report on marijuana enforcement discovered that 66 out of 83 citations for public pot use were given out by just one officer. Washington state voted to legalize the sale of cannabis back in 2012, but it is still illegal to use the drug in public places. O’Toole said the officer’s actions have been reported to the police’s Office of Professional Accountability and that he will be removed from patrol duties while an investigation takes place.

Dateline: Alabama

A Vietnam vet is claiming that someone broke into his house and smoked his wife’s ashes. Phillip McMullen of Citronelle says the incident happened while he was out of town visiting friends. He returned home to find his house ransacked and his wife’s ashes thrown around the room. McMullen told reporters at FOX10 News the burglars “ransacked my house, tried to break in my gun safe, which there weren’t able to. They even took my wife’s ashes off my headboard, strewed them around. Looked like they tried to smoke some of them or something.” McMullen speculated the burglars might have mistaken the human remains for drugs, since they were kept in a plastic box rather than a metal urn. “I guess they figured out this stuff ain’t worth smoking, so they threw it up underneath one of my toolboxes,” McMullen said. A police report filed in the wake of the break-in says the intruder or intruders got away with 15 items, including a generator, chainsaw, knife and several fishing rods. A spokesperson for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office told reporters that if it can be proven that the burglar(s) tampered with the ashes, “there will be additional charges, such as desecration of a grave.”

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

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