Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Joshua Lee
5 min read
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Dateline: Norway

A flight carrying around 60 plumbers was forced to return to its point of departure due to broken toilets. According to airline officials, a flight leaving from Oslo, Norway, and bound for Munich, Germany, had to turn back to Oslo because “a fault was found with the toilets on board.” Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that the flight happened to be carrying around 85 employees of the Rørkjøp plumbing company—around 60 of which were licensed plumbers. The employees were traveling as part of a work trip. The passengers reportedly took the news in stride and Rørkjøp CEO Frank Olsen told reporters that his company’s employees would have “gladly” fixed the toilets, but that the work would have had to be done from the outside, and a high-altitude fix would have been too risky.

Dateline: Switzerland

A Swiss university has announced the first
yodelling degree program. The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Luasa) will now run a three-year bachelor’s degree and a two-year master’s in the art of yodelling—a form of singing that involves wavering the voice between natural and falsetto tones. The university’s course will be led by prize-winning yodeller Nadja Räss. Students will study musical theory, history, business and vocal techniques. Yodelling is becoming popular once again in Switzerland, appearing in popular music and attracting young musicians. In 2014, the Swiss government made plans to apply for the singing style to receive Unesco World Heritage status. Physical sites or “intangible heritage” recognized in this way are given special attention in matters of preservation and are protected from human interference. The courses begin in the 2018-19 academic year. Applications will be accepted starting Feb. 28, and school authorities expect to accept three or four students.

Dateline: Florida

loaded grenade launcher was discovered in a Goodwill donations pile. Authorities were called out to the Goodwill Manasota Bargain Barn last week to find an air-soft launcher loaded with a live grenade. The grenade launcher had arrived with other donated items in a Jan. 25 shipment from another Goodwill location, where employees presumably were unable to identify the object. Law enforcement officers reportedly collected the active grenade and the grenade launcher and are keeping them under lock and key in the property room at the sheriff’s office. A spokesperson for Goodwill confirmed that the weapon never made its way to the salesfloor at either location.

Dateline: Oregon

Prosecutors say a man upset over not being invited to a wedding
reported his father and brother as terrorists. Sonny Donnie Smith pled guilty to placing calls to security offices at airports in Texas and Nevada to falsely report his father and brother as terrorists in 2016. The two family members were reportedly detained by FBI agents and were unable to fly. Authorities found no threat associated with the two men. According to a plea agreement, Smith made the calls because he was angry at his father and brother for being invited to a wedding that he had been barred from. Smith faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison for making the fraudulent reports, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release. He’s set to be sentenced May 10.

Dateline: California

A “missing” woman was removed from a police database when she was
recognized as a contestant on “The Bachelor”. Last week, North Coast Journal published an article listing 35 people who have been reported missing from Humboldt County on the California Department of Justice’s website in the hopes that readers might be able to offer tips leading to their whereabouts. One reader recognized a photo of 22-year-old Bekah Martinez and contacted Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to tell them that they had seen the “missing” young woman on the reality television series “The Bachelor.” According to police reports, Martinez’ mother reported her missing on Nov. 18, after not hearing from her daughter for almost a week. Her mother claimed that Martinez had gone to Eureka, Calif., to work on a cannabis farm before she went “missing.” The case was forwarded to Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and on Dec. 12, a deputy sheriff contacted Martinez’s mother by email to inquire whether she had heard from Martinez. Martinez’s mother responded, confirming that Martinez had contacted her later in the day on Nov. 18. The deputy sheriff requested that Martinez contact him to confirm her well-being, but never received a response. Subsequently, Martinez was never removed from the list of missing persons. Officers were able to contact Martinez and confirm that she was not missing. Following publicity of the incident, Martinez took to Twitter to comment, saying, “MOM. how many times do I have to tell you I don’t get cell service on The Bachelor??”

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.

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