Odds & Ends: Fake Victim, Perpetually Arm-Broken, Forgotten State, Voting Abstinence, 4-Pound Hairball

Odds & Ends: Fake Victim, Perpetually Arm-Broken, Forgotten State, Voting Abstinence, 4-Pound Hairball

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: Spain

Police in the tiny Mediterranean town of Artana say a 56-year-old woman who was reportedly beaten and robbed at her son’s bar made up the entire story. According to thinkSPAIN, the woman told investigators she was cleaning up the bar when two men broke in, attacked her and took two days’ worth of profits. Inconsistencies in the woman’s story made local police suspicious, and she eventually confessed to fabricating the story. Turns out she stole the $1,032 from the business and promptly lost it all in the bar’s slot machine. The woman was arrested and charged with simulating a crime for financial gain.

Dateline: England

Tim Blackburn, 50, of Stockton-on-Tees spent six years waiting for his broken arm to mend. The day after his final treatment, he tripped over his dog and broke it again. Blackburn originally broke his right arm when he fell off a ladder in 2007. The break was so serious doctors had to remove four inches of bone and attach a metal scaffold around the arm. Earlier this month, Blackburn told England’s
The Sun newspaper his arm was finally healed using a new ultrasound treatment. Unfortunately, the day after his final ultrasound treatment, he tripped over Jackson—his 2-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier—and fell down the stairs. “It snapped like a twig and the pain was excruciating. I couldn’t believe I had done it again,” said Blackburn. “If I didn’t laugh about all of it, I’d cry.” Blackburn is scheduled for a whole new round of surgeries on the newly broken arm.

Dateline: India

An 11-member panel of teachers and professors is under fire for forgetting to include the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in a new geography textbook. The panel was officially disbanded by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education for leaving the state—which borders Bhutan, Myanmar and the People’s Republic of China—off maps. Officials with the education department were deeply embarrassed several weeks ago when it emerged that the crucial border region was missing from new textbooks. By the time the error was caught, around 650,000 copies of the textbooks had already been sold. The education department ordered stickers indicating Arunachal Pradesh’s location added to maps in the nearly 1 million copies of the textbook still unsold. Several former board members admitted their mistake in writing and offered no challenge to their firing. State board chairman Sarjerao Jadhav told the
Mumbai Mirror that those responsible could face stiffer penalties. “The error is an embarrassment to the board. The show cause notice asks the members to provide an explanation as to why they should be spared legal action.” Once all board members have responded, the board’s legal team will look into the responses and recommend further action.

Dateline: Michigan

Three members of the Ypsilanti City Council have abstained from voting on a measure that would have prevented them from abstaining from votes.
AnnArbor.com reports that city council member Pete Murdock proposed a resolution earlier this month that would have required councilors to vote “yes” or “no” on issues presented to them, unless a financial or professional conflict is involved. But Mayor Paul Schreiber and council members Susan Moeller and Brian Robb simply abstained from voting on the abstinence bill. Thanks to their abstinence, the bill failed with one council member voting “yes” and two others voting “no.” Since they abstained from voting for the anti-abstinence bill, the abstaining city council members can continue to abstain.

Dateline: Florida

Veterinarians in the Tampa Bay area operated on a 17-year-old tiger on May 22, removing a 4-pound hairball from the oversized cat’s stomach. The tiger, named Ty, is cared for by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Seminole. When caretakers noticed he wasn’t eating for a couple of weeks, they brought him in for a checkup. Doctors used a scope with a camera and detected a soccer ball-sized obstruction in Ty’s stomach. Though hairballs are common in cats of all sizes, this one was too large for the 400-pound animal to hack up. Vets in the Tampa Bay community of Clearwater safely removed the giant wad of hair and say Ty is recovering well from his surgery.

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

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