Jump to content
The Talon House
Sign in to follow this  
TalonRider

This is True

Recommended Posts

THIS is TRUE: 6 September 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

ONE FELON, TO GO: Alonzo C. Rucker, 18, looked a bit suspicious when he entered the Quotes Bar & Grill in Janesville, Wisc. -- he was wearing a bandana around his face and reaching into his pants as if he had a weapon there. Robbing the place was a bad idea: he had followed four men in the front door, all off-duty police officers, and more than a dozen other off-duty cops were already in the bar. When an officer turned around and noticed Rucker, he quickly tackled him, and was aided by other officers. Rucker was held until on-duty officers arrived to take him to jail. A surveillance video shows the first officer never even put his beer down. (Janesville Gazette) ...Of course not: he knew he'd be thirsty in a minute.

GOT A LIGHT? Police stop to talk to known propane "huffer", who lights a cigarette during their interview and...

GOT ANOTHER LIGHT? Woman fills up gas can that's sitting on the seat INSIDER HER CAR -- and then uses a lighter to see how full it is...

GET ON YOUR KNEES: The Catholic Truth Society, a Roman Catholic publishing company based in London, England, has released a special prayer to help couples "purify their intentions" before they have sex. The prayer is the society's response to "those caught up in a culture that rejects the indissolubility of marriage and openly mocks the commitment of spouses to fidelity." (London Telegraph) ...All the Catholic girls I've ever known always said a prayer AFTER sex.

NEXT TIME, SLEEP IT OFF IN THE CLOSET: Police in Boulder, Colo., are investigating how a drunk 20-year-old woman ended up outside the apartment she was visiting. The unnamed woman had been put to bed by her older sister who "believed her sister was not heavily intoxicated" but, when the older sister came back to check on her, found the 20-year-old was gone. About that time an ambulance arrived on a report of a woman lying in the grass near a window screen. Police say they figure the drunk woman rolled off her bed and out the fifth-storey window of the apartment. Officers said she had drunk "a couple of tequila shots, at least two lemonade vodka drinks and probably a couple of beers" before the incident, and "sustained serious bodily injury." (Colorado Daily) ...Yeah, tequila often makes people hurt all over.

STING OPERATION: Sheriff's deputies in Faulkner County, Ark., responded to a residence on Billy Goat Mountain on a report that a man riding an ATV had stolen various items from a shed. When the resident confronted the burglar, he fled -- and crashed the ATV into a bee hive. The burglar then abandoned the ATV and set off into the woods on foot. Deputies found a stolen tractor nearby: it had apparently been the burglar's first vehicle, but the thief had gotten it stuck between two trees. The ATV also turned out to have been stolen. Deputies found the man nearby, lying unconscious, foaming at the mouth, and barely breathing after being stung by 50-100 bees. After hospital treatment Rickey Dale Ford, 46, who lives on Nanny Goat Lane, was booked on multiple felony theft counts. (Conway Log Cabin Democrat) ...And why did he turn to crime? Because it's so much easier than working for a living.

THE CRY OF A DESPERATE MAN: Bank robber has a desperate plea: get him away from his wife!

HACK ATTACK: Robber chokes cab driver, who then crashes into a church -- and then it gets weird.... You can still read all the stories that are

PUT YOUR HANDS UP, AND PULL YOUR PANTS DOWN! "Police Say Search Dog Found Stolen Meat in Man's Pants" -- Framingham (Mass.) MetroWest Daily News headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 13 September 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

PLUGGED IN: The attempted theft of the giant plastic chili pepper on the roof of the Chili's restaurant in Bennington, Vt., was thwarted -- all police had to do was follow the extension cord. It stretched 470 feet from an electrical outlet in the parking lot of a Home Depot store, across the four traffic lanes of Route 67, across Chili's parking lot, and to the roof. Three woman and a man, all in their 20s, used it to power a hack saw and a drill. "They really didn't plan it," said police Sgt. Camillo Grande. "One of their friends had an eye on the chili and they got together last night and decided they were going to get it for the friend." The squad of four chili-heads, who were all cited for grand theft, hadn't really thought carefully about what to do next, Grande said. They brought an SUV to transport the 5x10-foot pepper, but "I'm not sure how it was going to fit," he said. "It's a pretty large chili." (Rutland Herald) ...And probably about as spicy as the restaurant's food.

SITUATION LEADS TO WRATH: "I was really taken aback because there were people who knew me there," said Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, but the actor was detained at the airport in Newark, N.J., by U.S. immigration officials. Timothy Roemer, the U.S. Ambassador to India, said later that Khan is a "very welcome guest" in the U.S. and a "global icon." But, Khan said, "They kept on telling me that my name is common to some name that has popped up on the computer, so they need to follow procedure." He was not allowed to leave until the Indian embassy intervened to vouch for him. (CNN) ...The problem: the Captain of the Immigration Squad, James T. Kirk, was sure he had exiled Khan to Ceti Alpha V.

FINDERS KEEPERS: "He just said he thought he'd try it," said North Bend, Ore., police Chief Steve Scibelli. "See if he could pull this off. High risk, low reward." The reward: Robert Lloyd Finder, 26, allegedly burgled the police station, taking two Tasers and a police radio, and making his escape in a squad car. Finder was caught when he tried to sell the Tasers, so now he faces the risk: he has been charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools, theft, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, tampering with physical evidence, and -- for leaving the squad car parked on a railroad track, inside a tunnel -- reckless driving. "I'm so upset about it, I can't even find any humor in it," Scibelli said. (Eugene Register-Guard) ...No worries, Chief: you do your job, I'll do mine.

GUN SHOW, TEXAS STYLE: Police in Round Rock, Texas, were called to a restaurant on a report of a waitress out front -- with an assault rifle. When officers arrived, they found that five sheriff's deputies from Midland, 350 miles away, who were in town for training, had given the rifle to the waitress, known as "Bambi", for photos of her sitting on their patrol car. "We take a lot of pictures here, you know what I'm saying," said Sam Baiocco, manager of "Twin Peaks", where waitresses wear halter tops and short-shorts. The county attorney declined to press charges against the officers, but one was fired, three were suspended without pay, and the other was reprimanded. "At no point at any time was anyone in any danger because we took proper precaution," said Vanda "Bambi" Purvis, 25. "Besides, I know how to use that gun." (Austin American Statesman) ...And had the officers gone to the training class, maybe they would have known how too.

SO THAT'S WHERE THE KIDS LEARN IT: "New Mexico Driving Teacher Charged with Drunk Driving" -- AP headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 20 September 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

LIES, FALSEHOODS -- WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? "My campaign is not based on a foundation of lies," said Antwon Womack, 21, a candidate for the Board of Education in Birmingham, Ala. "My values are not lies. It's just the information I provided to the people is false." Many key facts on his campaign web site were li-- ...uh... false: his age (he said he was 23), his bachelor's degree in education and his title of "Dr." (he actually dropped out of high school -- as a freshman), even his address (he didn't actually live in the district where he was running) and phone number. Womack said he was running for the Board "because I seen a lack of leadership," but the revelation of his lies -- er, falsehoods -- "is really going to hurt my political career," he said. Womack announced he would drop out of the race "because when people read this, there's no way I can win." But he reneged on that promise, saying that two local politicians were supportive of him staying in the race. Both denied supporting him and demanded he stop using their names. Womack came in third with just 117 votes. (Birmingham News) ...Knowing area voters, I'd guess that the guy who came in fourth was probably the most qualified.

BAD NANNY: When a woman dropped her Chevy Malibu off at a repair shop in Winona, Minn., she told the mechanic, "Oh, by the way, I have a goat in my trunk." James Prusci figured he didn't hear her right. "A what?" he asked. "Yes, a goat. And it's alive," she said, and left the shop. "We cracked open the trunk, you know, so it could breathe," Prusci said. The goat -- painted purple and gold, the colors for the Minnesota Vikings -- had a number "4" shaved in its sides. The jersey of Brett Favre, who is playing for the Vikings after un-retiring again, bears the number 4. Prusci called animal control for advice, and they sent the police. Prosecutors are considering charges against Janelle Riopel, 21, for animal mistreatment, and a local farmer has adopted the goat. (Winona Daily News) ...Riopel may have made a goat out of Brett Farve, but she made an a** out of herself.

HOW ABOUT A HAIR SHIRT, TOO? A policeman in Helsingborg, Sweden, stopped when he noticed two men tussling on the sidewalk. "We've just swapped trousers," one explained. No way, the other said: he was walking down the street when the 26-year-old jumped him, yanked off his pants, and tossed a pair of sweatpants at him in exchange. The officer determined that the assailant had been refused entry at a nearby pub because he wasn't properly dressed, and apparently decided that the passing victim wore the right size for him. The unnamed man was made to swap the pants back, and then arrested for theft. (Sweden Local) ...If you think that's weird, you should see him AFTER he's had a few drinks.

COMPULSORY FLORIDA STORY: The headline alone is attention-getting: "Woman Arrested for Using Air Freshener". The parties were not named, but a woman called police because a neighbor objected to her smoking, and demonstrated that by spraying the back of her head with air freshener for almost a full minute (Glade Potpourri brand, if you must know). The assailant allegedly said, "I will do it again, and take it to the Supreme Court because I have the right to breathe fresh air," the police report said. Officers arrested her for battery. The town in Florida? Niceville. (Northwest Florida Daily News) ...Next stop: Smackover, Arkansas.

DOGS DON'T GO TO HEAVEN: "Atheists Offer to Care for Christians' Pets after the Rapture" -- London Telegraph headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 27 September 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

YEAH, THAT'LL WORK: Wikler Moran-Mora, 38, sent a middle-of-the-night text message to his wife: he had been kidnaped, he said. "Don't call, take it easy, they said they will let me go," he told her. When the Tampa, Fla., woman said she was calling police, he quickly replied that he had been let go. Too late: the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office tracked down his phone and discovered Moran-Mora, a pastor at the Christ Our Righteousness Chapel, had faked the incident as cover, since he was with another woman, a sheriff's spokesman said. He was arrested and charged with making a false report. "We are fine now," Moran-Mora said the next day. "It was a mistake, and everything is solved between us." (Tampa Tribune, WFTS-TV) ...Mistake: a given. Everything is already "fine" and "solved" with his wife: excessively optimistic.

IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME: "Young urban artists will have a chance to show off their work to their peers and influence the recreational space they use," said the press release by the city of Calgary, Alta., Canada. The Shaw Millennium skateboard park needed "art" to spruce up its bare walls, city administrators thought, and figured it would take three months to complete a mural. They even provided the paint. Two days later, the entire park was covered in paint -- even the insides of the restrooms. "They destroyed the fricking park," said Alderman John Mar. "They graffitied the hell out of it. They tagged the entire fricking park!" It was estimated it will cost C$30,000-60,000 (US$27,500-55,000) to clean it all up. "It did get out of hand, but they should have expected that -- no one was watching or supervising," said a local who uses the park. "What did they think would happen?" (Calgary Sun) ...Local bureaucrats "think"? Funny man!

FREAK OF NOMENCLATURE, NARCOTICS DIVISION: After an 8-month investigation, undercover detectives in Darlington, Fla., arrested a couple allegedly responsible for the manufacture and distribution of a "large supply" of crystal meth in northwest Florida and southeast Alabama. Arrested were Jason Clayborn Hughes, 40, and his girlfriend, Crystal Beth Williams, 21. (Panama City News Herald) ...Hughes called Crystal Beth "uniquely qualified" for the partnership.

HIS HOBBY STINKS: Four years ago, Gary Moody was found wearing waders, hip-deep in the waste pit of a ladies outhouse in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest. Moody said he was searching for his wife's lost wedding ring, but investigators didn't buy it and filed charges. A federal judge spared him jail, ordering him to get psychiatric treatment instead. Recently a camper in Maine, a few miles from the New Hampshire border, said that she went into a pit-toilet restroom and "a man popped up out of the hole leading to the waste vault," according to court papers. "The man [said], 'Sorry about that, I was getting my shirt.'" Sure enough, it was Moody, now 47, who faces three new federal charges. Moody admits he never got the ordered psychiatric treatment and has waded in outhouses "on more than the two occasions when he happened to get caught," an investigator says, but "expressed anger toward society because of how he was treated after he was found in the pit of a national forest outhouse in 2005," causing him to suffer "extreme embarrassment." (New Hampshire Union Leader) ...But apparently not enough to stop doing it. Let's hope he's embarrassed enough this time.

MA'AM, YOU'RE UNDER ARREST: "Woman Didn't Smell like Alcohol, but Car Smelled like Hamburger" -- Northwest Florida Daily News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 4 October 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

ZERO TOLERANCE, CAREGIVER DIVISION: The first Sally Harpold knew there was a problem was when sheriff's deputies showed up at her home in Clinton, Ind., with a warrant for her arrest. But the evidence was clear: four months before, her husband had gotten a cold, and she went to the drugstore and got him some over-the-counter cold medicine. A few days later her daughter caught the cold, so Harpold stopped at another drugstore and got her some medicine too. Once the purchase paperwork was matched up, authorities realized she had committed the crime of buying 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient of crystal meth, but also a common decongestant for runny noses. "The law does not make this distinction," says Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina Alexander. "I'm simply enforcing the law as it was written." State law limits purchases to 3.0 grams in any 7-day period. Harpold was taken away in handcuffs, and her local newspaper ran her mug shot on the front page with the headline, "17 Arrested in Drug Sweep". She faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. "It's unfortunate," said Vigo County Sheriff Jon Marvel, whose deputies made the arrest. "But for the good of everyone, the law was put into effect." (Terre Haute Tribune-Star) ...Not "everyone" agrees, sheriff.

ZERO TOLERANCE, BABYSITTER DIVISION: Lisa Snyder lives near a school bus stop in Middleville, Mich. A couple of neighbors need to head for work before the bus arrives, so Snyder said she would be happy to keep an eye on their kids until the bus arrives. But when the Michigan Department of Human Services heard about it, they ordered her to stop: watching someone else's kids makes her home an "unlicensed daycare facility" in the state's eyes. To comply with its rules, she must apply for a license to watch the kids -- even though she doesn't charge anything. "It's crazy," Snyder said. "I'm just helping out a couple of friends." She asked State Rep. Brian Calley for help, but when he called DHS they told him to bug off. He has promised legislation to deal with the problem. (Kalamazoo Gazette) ...Hopefully he'll make it retroactive to help the hundreds of 16-year-olds who are already doing hard time.

DUHTENTION AGAIN? A bomb threat called in to an answering machine at the Bundaberg State High School in Queensland, Australia, resulted in the evacuation of 75 classrooms full of students. But it was fairly easy for authorities to trace the call: the caller asked school officials to phone him back to confirm they got the message -- and left his number. Aaron James Jackson, 21, a former student at the school, left his real number, but denied making the threat until police played the tape with his voice on it. (Bundaberg News Mail) ...Of course, "former student" is different from "graduate" -- I hope.

BONNE CHANCE: French essayist Francois de Closets has issued a new book, "Zero Faute" ("No Fault"), calling for the French language to be simplified. He said he was so dejected by low marks in school that he nearly didn't attend university. As debate over the book's suggestions raged, the country's new education minister, Luc Chatel, decided to weigh in via press release. Journalists who received the release say it has "dozens" of spelling and grammar errors. When word got out, reporters who weren't on the distribution list called for souvenir copies of their own, but were told there would be a delay because "a few changes" were being made to it first. (London Telegraph) ...C'est la vie.

I THINK SHE HAS HAD ENOUGH: "Fort Pierce Woman Throws Table Leg Through Window, Chokes Boyfriend When He Won't Buy Her More Natural Ice Beer, Police Say" -- Fort Pierce (Fla.) Tribune headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 11 October Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

FREAK OF NOMENCLATURE, DELIVERY DIVISION: A UPS delivery driver was arrested in Daytona Beach, Fla., after allegedly stealing $53,000 worth of expensive sunglasses he was supposed to deliver, selling them to friends because he "needed the money," police said. His name: Brandon Loser, 21. (Daytona Beach News-Journal) ...Add in UPS and their client, and there's nothing but Losers all around.

JOY RIDE: Two San Juan County, N.M., sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a report of a drinking party beside a rural state highway. When they arrived they found cars, a campfire, plenty of empty bottles, but no people. As the deputies headed back to their cars, one pushed the "unlock" button on his key fob as he approached his still-running squad car, and "it was instantaneous from when he hit the remote to the car door opening," Undersheriff Mark McCloskey said. Someone who had been hiding in the bushes jumped into the car and sped off. The car's dash camera shows it was driven at high speeds down dirt roads for about two minutes before being abandoned. Matthew Anderson, 21, who deputies found walking nearby, allegedly admitted he had taken the car because "he thought it would be fun." (Farmington Daily Times) ...If he thinks that two minutes was fun, wait'll he tries 11 months in the county lockup.

HE'S JUST NOT HIMSELF THESE DAYS: Police in Regina, Sask., Canada, had a warrant for the arrest of David William McKay, 28, and went to a house looking for him. The man who answered the door matched McKay's description, but the man insisted he wasn't McKay, but admitted knowing him: McKay was "a badass," he said. The man said his name is Matthew -- but was unable to spell that name. When an officer pointed out that the man had the name "David McKay" tattooed across his back, the man still insisted he wasn't McKay. Officers arrested him anyway. It was McKay, and he was given 45 days in jail for obstructing police. (Regina Leader-Post) ...Of course, he probably can't spell "David" either.

OVERDRIVE: Police in Italy are showing off their special police car: a Lamborghini, which they're driving to Amsterdam for a demonstration for Dutch emergency services. The car is the third of its kind donated by the manufacturer, and is capable of pursuits at speeds of up to 325 kph (202 mph). An onboard camera system can record images of speeders, and a GPS-enabled computer system records speeds second by second. And there's one other special feature: a "cold box" specifically designed for human organs. (AP) ...Because while someone may be able to outrun a Lamborghini, no one can outrun a Beretta.

THERE WERE *NINE* STORIES in this week's Premium edition, including another "Freak of Nomenclature" item (Gun Safety Division). Shoplifter gives such a preposterous excuse that the flabbergasted clerk just watches as she walks out to her car and drives away. Another(!) case of a couple found by police having sex in a trash dumpster! Burglar is fairly easy to track down: he's wearing a high-visibility fluorescent bib. Zero Tolerance in real life: field test of "crystals" in woman's purse DON'T fail drug test, but cop arrests her anyway -- for possession of an "imitation controlled substance". AND the results of the October Tagline Challenge. Quit missing half (or more!) of the best part: the stories. A full year of expanded issues is just $24: http://thisistrue.com/upgrade.html -- or check out the SPECIAL offer below!

MUMPH? "Not Your Garden Variety 'Weedeater': Woman Arrested after Trying to Eat Pot During Traffic Stop" -- Sheboygan (Wisc.) Press headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 18 October 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

SO THERE: Racing fans descending on the Bathurst 1000 four-day auto race in New South Wales, Australia, were getting out of hand, so a strict limit on alcohol was imposed: each attendee was restricted to 24 cans of full-strength beer, or 36 cans of mid-strength or light beer -- per day. Those who don't drink beer could bring either 24 cans of pre-mixed cocktails, or 4 liters of wine, per day. (Australian AP) ...So for once, race fans had a good reason to bring their youngsters along.

CHEESECAKE: Eric Brewer, 55, mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio, was incensed when a local TV station aired photos purportedly of him in various poses wearing women's lingerie and a wig. He was particularly upset that the photos hit just before the election, where he was running to retain his seat, but Brewer would not admit or deny that the photos were of him. After the election -- which he lost by a 2-1 margin -- he admitted in a TV interview, "That is me in those pictures." When the interviewer commented, "No offense, but you weren't the best-looking woman," Brewer replied, "To the lady I was with, I looked great. We had a good time." (Cleveland Plain Dealer) ...Had he had the guts to say that before the election, he might have been re-elected.

THE STATE ALWAYS WINS: During a court appearance, Paul W. Lyle, 63, learned he won the grand prize in the Kansas Lottery "second chance" drawing, with a prize package worth about $90,000. But he won't collect: Lyle was in court in Crawford County, Mo., for a preliminary hearing for embezzlement. Lyle pleaded guilty to stealing $87,750 from his employer to fuel his addiction to state lottery tickets -- his boss found $30,457 worth of losing scratch-off lottery tickets in his desk. Lyle agreed to sign over the prize as part of his restitution for his theft, but the prize won't cover it all, since Kansas withholds part of the money won for taxes. (Joplin Globe) ...Can he take a deduction for the 30,457 losing tickets?

ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD: "Can you hurry this up?" demanded Trammel Bledsoe, 30, interrupting U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel. "I don't have time for this." Bledsoe was in Stengel's Allentown, Penn., courtroom for sentencing after being convicted of two bank robberies. "Just sentence me and let me go [about] my business." Stengel called a brief recess, and then came back and issued his sentence: 41 years in prison. (Allentown Morning Call) ...I'll bet he won't be satisfied, and will be in a hurry to get out, too.

SORRY -- IT MAKES ME A BIT GASSY: "Bag of Cocaine 'Shot Out' of Suspect's Body at St. Lucie County Gas Station When He Relaxed, Deputies Say" -- Fort Pierce (Fla.) Tribune headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 25 October 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

OLIVER TWISTED: Colton Harris-Moore, 18, is suspected in around 50 burglaries around the Seattle, Wash., metropolitan area in the last 18 months. He's also a fugitive after escaping from a halfway house after one of his many convictions. Whenever a burglary victim -- or the police -- spot him, Harris-Moore, who is typically barefoot, runs into the woods and disappears. He grew up in the woods, and apparently knows how to hide in them. Police are especially worried about a new crime trend, which they think is being committed by Harris-Moore: airplane theft. Several small planes have been taken in recent months from hangars, where investigators have found bare footprints; all the planes were found crash-landed. His mother, Pam Kohler, doesn't find much wrong with her boy's activities. In fact, considering he doesn't know how to fly a plane, he's doing pretty well, she says. "I hope to hell he stole those airplanes," she told a reporter. "I would be so proud. But put in there that I want him to wear a parachute next time." Locals seem to think the hoodlum is some sort of folk hero for avoiding capture, but police say they don't have the manpower to hunt him over a huge area for simple property crimes. (Seattle Times) ...Let's see what they all have to say when an empty plane crash-lands in a fireball at a school, while a barefooted felon hanging from a parachute watches.

MR. BUMBLE LIVES: In 2002, attorney Constantine Xinos sued to prevent the building of a new public library in Oak Brook, Ill. The lawsuit failed, and he also lost his bid to be elected to the village board. But he's quite supportive of staff layoffs at the library due to budget shortfalls. During a public meeting, Sydney Sabbagha, 11, spoke against the cutbacks. "I used to go to the library knowing there were people there to help me find a book," the girl told the village board. "It will never be the same without the people you fired." Xinos, 69, spoke for the other side: "Those who come up here with tears in their eyes talking about the library, put your money where your mouth is," he fumed. He characterized the girl's remarks as "whining" punctuated by "crocodile tears," and said the town had to "stop indulging people in their hobbies" and "their little, personal, private wants." When asked later about his gruff treatment of an 11-year-old, Xinos -- who escorted a reporter into his gated community in his Mercedes for the interview -- confirmed he "wanted that kid to lose sleep that night." Xinos was successful in his previous bid to stop a city project: a senior housing complex. "I don't want to live next to poor people," he said at the time. "I don't want poor people in my town." (Arlington Heights Daily Herald) ...Funny, but Xinos sounds like one of the poorest people in the world.

PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME MORE: Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialize in sustainability, are professors at the Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. The title of their new book summarizes their latest thesis: "Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living". The Vales argue that a Toyota Land Cruiser and a medium-size dog have approximately equal "footprints" on the planet's ecology; a typical cat, they say, has an eco-footprint equivalent to a Volkswagen Golf automobile. "Once you see where cats and dogs fit in your overall balance of things," Mr. Vale said, "you might decide to have the cat but not also to have the two cars and the three bathrooms." (Timaru Herald) ...Hey, back off! One of those bathrooms is for the dog!

FREAK OF NOMENCLATURE, LITERARY DIVISION: The Barnes & Noble bookseller chain wants to compete with Amazon.com's Kindle electronic book reader. The newly announced B&N device is called the Nook eBook Reader. (Wall Street Journal) ...And really, no one on the development team said the name out loud before launch?

HOLD YOUR TONGUE! "Man Accused of Biting Neighbor on the Mouth" -- Macomb (Ga.) Daily headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 8 November 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE DIRTY RATS! When flags started going missing from graves at a cemetery in Hampton, N.H., locals -- especially veterans' groups -- expressed outrage at the desecration. But people need to chill, a cemetery official said. "Several years back we had the same situation," said Cemetery Trustee Richard Bateman. The conclusion: "it was the squirrels." The rodents were snatching the flags to line their nests, he said, and that's probably what's going on now, too. "I don't think it's squirrels," said the dubious Commander of the local American Legion Post, Ralph Fatello. "But, if it's squirrels, we are going to prosecute them and I'm going to make an example out of them." And, Fatello added, they need to be more patriotic. "I don't know how I'm going to teach a history lesson to squirrels, but I would be willing to sit them down and try to talk to them." (Portsmouth Herald) ...Squirrels or not, there are clearly nuts involved here.

EATING DISORDER: Trinda Barocas, a teacher at a special education school in Indianapolis, Ind., was getting ready to take her students on a field trip to the zoo, but allegedly didn't want to take one student along -- the 7-year-old is autistic and has a severe peanut allergy. "I wonder what would happen if he had peanuts?" she allegedly said to an aide. "I could touch it, and then touch him." Then, the aide says, she tossed him a peanut-filled candy bar, saying "Maybe he could get sick enough not to attend and we won't have to deal with it." Giving peanuts to someone with a peanut allergy can cause extreme illness, and very often death. The boy didn't eat the candy. The teacher's aides notified school administrators, who called in child welfare officials, who "substantiated" the charges. In a previous teaching position, Barocas was accused of restraining, slapping, and forcing a student to eat. She has denied the allegations, but has resigned again. (Indianapolis Star) ...You know, maybe teaching just isn't the best career for her.

HEY, WHO COULD IT HURT? William Seago, 52, of Paulton, Bath, England, is blind in one eye, and thus not eligible for a large-truck driver's license. He got one anyway by memorizing the chart used for his eye

test, and took a job driving a trash truck. While on his route, his two partners were outside the 26-tonne truck as he was turning around in a cul-de-sac. "Mr. Seago appears not to have seen [co-worker and friend

Keith] Warman in front of his vehicle," prosecutors say, and ran him over, killing him. Seago admitted careless driving and making a false statement, but was found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. (Bath Chronicle) ...Maybe, but he will still be serving a life sentence.

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE, THERE'S OBFUSCATION: Marc Grizzard, the pastor of a church in North Carolina, wants to "light a fire" under the faithful -- by having a good old-fashioned book burning. On top of his list of books to burn: the Bible. According to Grizzard, every version except the King James translation is "satanic" and a "perversion" of God's word. His church is the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C. (AP) ...He definitely has an amazing concept of grace.

WORSE, IT WAS THE WRONG ONE: "One-Legged Suspect Caught with One Stolen Shoe" -- AP headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 15 November 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

WELL PRACTICED: "Dude, I do this every night," Zachary R. Duis, 24, told Indiana State Police officers after being pulled over in Porter County for erratic driving. "I'm straight up and not drunk." Dubious troopers tested him anyway: his blood alcohol registered 0.30 percent, they say -- nearly four times the legal limit for drivers. Duis was arrested for drunk driving. (Indianapolis Star) ...The scary part? The first thing he said is probably true.

NO HONOR AMONG THIEVES: A student at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee was walking home from work when four men pulled him into an alley and forced him to lie face-down with a gun to his neck. They took everything from his pockets, but when the gang leader looked in the victim's wallet and saw an Army Reserve ID card, he told his accomplices to give him his stuff back. "The guy continued to say throughout the situation that he respects what I do and at one point he actually thanked me and he actually apologized," the unidentified 21-year-old victim said. "The leader of the group actually walked back [and] gave me a quick fist bump." Police note that 10 minutes later, the gang robbed another man, who had a Department of Corrections inmate ID in his wallet. They didn't give him his wallet back. (AP) ...Fair enough.

ZERO TOLERANCE IN THE REAL WORLD -- BRITISH DIVISION: Paul Clarke, 27, a former soldier, was on the balcony of his home in Merstham, Surrey, England, when he noticed a bag in his garden that didn't belong to him. "I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges," he said, so he took his find to the police to turn it in -- "I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets," he said. As soon as he handed the gun to authorities he was arrested for "possessing a firearm." Worse, the jury for the Guildford Crown Court found Clarke guilty, and by law he must serve a minimum of five years in prison. Prosecutor Brian Stalk said Clarke's "alleged" honesty was irrelevant, and Judge Christopher Critchlow agreed, saying "The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant." (Surrey Mirror) ...And now we know British jurisprudence is, too.

GODWIN'S LAW: Torkieh Sadagheh, 30, tried crying in court. He tried screaming at the judge, who he declared "worse than Hitler." None of it worked. Sadagheh, who posed as a livery cab driver to find victims for a rape spree, was caught after one victim noted his license plate number as she fled his car. "They have two women defiling my constitutional rights!" he yelled in court. But Manhattan, N.Y., Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber wouldn't have any of it: "I have before me a selfish, manipulative, narcissistic predator," he said. "I see no reason to give him less than 15 years," though "he probably deserves more," the judge said. So Farber tacked on a $1,000 fine and an extra 30 days in jail for contempt of court for Sadagheh's outbursts, including the Syrian's incredulous scream, "In America sex is legal!" (New York Daily News) ...Maybe, but consent is nine-tenths of the law.

SUSPECTS CONSIDERED OUTRAGEOUSLY DANGEROUS: "Half-Million Worth of Feminine Products Stolen" -- Conway (Ark.) Log Cabin-Democrat headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 22 November 2009 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

SMASH HIT: The surveillance video was an instant success on YouTube. Titled "Worst Parking Job Ever!", the video shows a woman trying to park her BMW X5 SUV. She pulls in and bounces over a concrete barrier, which lands her on top of two other vehicles. She then drove off. It happened in front of Extreme Fitness in Thornhill, Ont., Canada. Local police investigated and tracked down the alleged driver, Tripta Kaushal, 62, and arrested her for failing to remain at the scene of an accident. "I've never seen anything quite like that before," said Todd Jamison, who owns one of the smashed cars and works at the gym. "It was like someone had thrown a body through the window." Jamison ran back inside to check out the security camera footage, and found the cause. When contacted for a comment, Kaushal replied, "I have nothing to say." (Toronto Star) ...Right: her driving does all the talking for her.

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION II: An unidentified 30-year-old man driving in Melbourne, Vic., Australia, was pulled over by police after they observed his car swerving. The arresting officer noted that the driver had a mobile phone in each hand, and explained he was moving information from one phone to the other. But, the man told Sgt. Rob Atkinson, there was no problem because he always had one finger on the wheel. Atkinson cited the Fitzroy man with careless driving and for using a handheld mobile while driving. The fines, he said, added up to more than A$500 (US$450), plus six points against his license. (Melbourne Herald Sun) ...Funny, but he was doing something else with one finger as he drove off.

NYAH NYAH: Police in Swansea, Wales, wanted to talk to Matthew Maynard, 24, to question him in a stolen goods case. The local newspaper ran his mug shot to help in the search, but Maynard didn't much like it -- so he sent a better photo of himself, posed next to a police van, to the newspaper. "I will be handing myself in to the police," Maynard told the paper after it obligingly published the better shot. "But it will not be until after Christmas," he said, adding he'd send more photos to "taunt police officers further," the paper reported. Police responded they'd have a Christmas present for him: "full board and lodge at Her Majesty's Prison." Sure enough, Maynard was caught shortly after, getting his hair cut at a barber's shop near a police station. He has already been sentenced to 16 weeks in jail. "With hindsight," his attorney said, "he acknowledges that he could have dealt with matters in a different way." (South Wales Evening Post) ...Yeah: next time he'll send in someone else's photo.

GOT CRABS? When an unnamed man arrived on a ferry from Denmark, officials in Norway were a tad suspicious. "Customs officers quickly realized the man was smuggling animals," said spokeswoman Helge Breilid at Kristiansand customs, "because his whole body was in constant motion." Officers made the 22-year-old Norwegian man take off his shirt, and found 14 socks taped to his torso; each contained a royal python. When he dropped his pants, officers found 10 cans taped to his legs; each contained an albino leopard gecko. The man was fined 12,500 Kroner (US$2,200). (Reuters) ...I don't even want to know what they found in the space in between.

FOR ARREST, OR EMPLOYMENT? "Stroud Area Regional Police Seeks Clumsy, Rude, Bald Thief" -- Pocono (Penn.) Record headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 31 January 2010 Copyright This is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

EXHIBIT A: "I think the record should reflect that the witness is vomiting," said the defense attorney in a murder trial in Winnipeg, Man., Canada. Danny Simao, who was being cross-examined, explained he suffers from irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux, and often vomits when he's under stress. His testimony was expected to take up to five days, but the judge excused court for the day when Simao couldn't stop being sick. (Edmonton Sun) ...Usually it's the jury that pukes during murder trials.

WHY THE BRITISH EMPIRE ISN'T ONE ANYMORE -- ANOTHER IN A LONG SERIES: Nicole Mamo, 48, tried to place a help-wanted advert in Thetford, Norfolk, England. The owner of an employment agency, Mamo said applicants for the 5.80-pound/hour (US$9.35) position of cleaner "must be very reliable and hard-working." But the Thetford Jobcentre refused the ad. "She said it was because they could have cases against them for discriminating against unreliable people," Mamo said. "We supply the [National Health Service] with staff, so it's very important for the patients that we have reliable workers." (London Telegraph) ...And really, isn't the term "worker" discriminatory against the lazy, too?

HARD-HEADED GUY: Travis Copeland, 19, was in court in Lake County, Ill., when he saw an opportunity to escape, sheriff's deputies say. Facing a charge of aggravated battery on a police officer, Copeland ran out of the felony courtroom with bailiffs in hot pursuit. As he ran through a skyway over a street, he saw that deputies were closing on him from both ends, so he turned around and tried to dive through the glass. Bad idea: the glass is "bulletproof", and he bounced right off. Had he made it through, he would have fallen 30 feet to the heavy traffic of the street below. (Arlington Heights Daily Herald) ...Hey, he wasn't facing felony charges because he's smart.

INSULT TO INJURY: A police officer in Portland, Ore., was sitting at a stoplight when she saw a man who was on fire. The unidentified officer grabbed a fire extinguisher out of her patrol car's trunk and doused the man. It wasn't until later that it was discovered she didn't grab a fire extinguisher, but rather a riot-sized can of pepper spray. The spray "didn't have any additional reaction" on the man, said Kim Kosmas of the Portland Fire Bureau, "with him already being on fire." Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer said that "in many, many ways, her acts were heroic," but the mentally ill man, who was committing suicide, died anyway. (Portland Oregonian) ...The officer: not very seasoned. The victim: definitely was.

EXCESSIVE FORCE: "Cops Stop Cyclist with Butcher Knife-Pool Cue Axe" -- AP headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 7 February 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

DEMANDED FREE HEALTH CARE FOR HIS RESULTING PNEUMONIA: "He wasn't yelling or protesting. Just going for a jog," said a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service about an incident outside the White House. Several witnesses described the event: the unnamed man removed all of his clothing, put them in a bag, and then ran toward the White House in the 25-degree weather. The man was quickly taken into custody for psychiatric evaluation, but then they had to deal with the bag of clothing, which had been "left unattended," the report said, "meaning it had to be classified as a suspicious package." But it only contained clothing. (Washington Post) ...This case was just one suspicious package after another.

A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS: A man who broke into as many as nine cars was arrested after he chose the wrong target: an unmarked Ocoee, Fla., police vehicle. Lake County sheriff's deputies say the thief took a Taser, a baton, two pair of handcuffs, a magazine for a police pistol, and other items. Investigators discovered that when the thief found the Taser, he accidentally discharged it, shocking himself. Then, he "locked the handcuffs on himself and had to call the Clermont Police Department to respond to release him," reports say. Shane Thomas Williams-Allen, 19, was arrested before he could accidentally beat himself with the baton. (Orlando Sentinel) ...A pity.

ERASABLE MISTAKE: Alexa Gonzalez, 12, was doodling on her desk with an erasable marker at Junior High School 190 in Queens, N.Y. School officials called in police, who arrested her and took her to the precinct house in handcuffs, detaining her for several hours. "I made two little doodles," she said later. "It could be easily erased. I started crying, like, a lot." Once reporters got on the story, school officials backpedaled. "Based on what we've seen so far, this shouldn't have happened," said City Education Department spokesman David Cantor. "Even when we're asked to make an arrest, common sense should prevail," agreed police spokesman Paul Browne. Still, the girl was suspended from school for several days, and she was sentenced to eight hours of community service. (New York Daily News) ...Give the marker to school officials, and make them write "The punishment should fit the crime" five million times or until they actually understand the concept, whichever comes first.

THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE: Patrick Timoney, 9, was playing with Legos at lunch time at Public School 52 on Staten Island, N.Y. He particularly liked the policeman figure, since his father is a retired cop. But the boy was hauled into the principal's office for possession of a gun -- the tiny plastic one held by the Lego policeman. "They made me sign a statement," the tear-stained fourth-grader said. "She told me to write that I had a gun," he said. "She said, 'A gun is a gun'." The boy's mother had something to say about that. "This principal is a bully and a coward, and needs to be held accountable," said Laura Timoney, 44. "Why didn't anyone step up with an ounce of common sense and put an end to the harassment of my child?" (New York Daily News) ...That's your job now. It's time to sue.

AFTER CONFESSION, BUS TOLD TO SAY TEN HAIL MARYS AND GET AN OIL CHANGE: "Driver Hit by Catholic School Bus: 'All I Thought Was Holy (Expletive)'" -- Northwest Florida Daily News headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 14 February 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE KID WHO NEVER GOT VALENTINES AT SCHOOL: Parents of students attending Ashcombe Primary School in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England, were told their children could not bring each other cards for Valentine's Day. "Any cards found in school will be confiscated," head teacher Peter Turner advised, in writing, because primary school children are too young for such romantic ideas, he explained. "Banning them stops children from having social skills," complained one parent. "How are they going to learn about relationships otherwise?" (London Times) ...They won't, but Mr. Turner made it all the way to head teacher without having any social skills.

GOOD OLD BOYS: A student at St Laurence's College in South Brisbane, Qld., Australia, "has been dealt with" after creating a Facebook group that urged members to kill prostitutes. The student at the Catholic school for boys in grades 5 through 12 wasn't making a theological statement about the sins of the flesh. Rather, the exact name of the group was "Killing Your Hooker So You Don't Have to Pay Her". Prostitution is legal in Australia. Facebook deleted the group after protests from Aussie sex workers; by then it had already gained nearly 18,000 members. (Australian AP) ...The Dead Poet's Society -- the Next Generation.

IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE? Police in Queensland, Australia, have been rocked with a number of scandals, from allegations of accepting bribes, dealing drugs, and more. In the latest escapade, officers in Coomera are accused of staging a fake robbery at a local store -- while on duty. The robbery was allegedly meant as a prank, since they knew the store was being staked out by undercover detectives. The prankster officers ended up at gunpoint before the detectives realized the "joke". Police commanders were satisfied that the Ethical Standards Command could handle the case, and that it didn't rise to the level of a crime, which would be handled by the police Crime and Misconduct Commission. (Brisbane Courier-Mail) ...They're lucky it didn't have to be handled by the Coroner's Office.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS: The government of Chile has decided not to recall a 50-peso (US$0.10) coin with an embarrassing error stamped in it: it identifies the country as "CHIIE". The general manager of the Chilean mint, and several of his employees, have been fired over the blunder. The lack of a recall is probably because coins were in circulation for more than a year before anyone noticed. (BBC) ...That, and the government has found a lot of collectors willing to pay 10,000 times their value on eBay.

GET HER OUT OF THERE BEFORE SHE HAS MORE! "Drunk South African had 49 Children in 16-Seat Taxi" -- Reuters headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 21 February 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

CASE CLOSED: Ft. Worth's Texas Christian University launched an investigation. So did the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and police in Breckenridge, Colo. A TCU student on a ski vacation to Colorado, Amon G. "Chance" Carter IV, the great-grandson of the founder of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper, got the Kappa Sigma insignia branded onto his buttocks with a hot coat hanger. The second- and third-degree burns will need plastic surgery to repair. Carter's family threatened a lawsuit, but after police reviewed 210 photos and seven videos, they announced they would not file charges. "All the evidence suggests that Amon Carter IV was a willing participant" in the mayhem, said a police spokesman, "and the branding was not part of any fraternity initiation, as he is already a full member." (Summit Daily News) ...If you think the plastic surgery is going to be expensive, just imagine the cost of buying up all the photos and videos.

FRICK AND FRACK, MEET...: Two 47-year-old men were fairly easily caught after allegedly stealing a $950 postal check from the Hellertown, Penn., Post Office. The first man took the check, and the second one signed his own name to it and cashed it for the pair, police say. The first man was charged with theft, forgery, tampering with records, and identity theft. The second was charged with receiving stolen property, tampering with records. and identity theft. Their names: Richard Fluck and Bryan Flok. (Allentown Morning Call) ...The crime: a typically flubbed felony.

DEAR PARENTS: Principal Ron Sterr of Litchfield Elementary School in Litchfield Park, Ariz., apparently thought a fake "letter to parents" was funny, so he sent it to teachers. "The math we do is really easy," the letter noted. "If your child is either too lazy or too stupid to finish it in class, I'm sending it home so that you can work with them and judge for yourself whether it is laziness or idiocy that inhibits your child's progress." Making fun of kids with physical problems, the letter notes "one of our students has a nervous tick that causes him to slap himself in [sic] face several times a minute. In order to help this child not feel conspicuous, we ask that your child imitate a crazed masochist for the length of the field trip." A second-grade teacher thought the letter was real and forwarded it to parents. Their outrage has led to Sterr being put on administrative leave. (Arizona Republic) ...Hey: if you think the principal is stupid, how about that teacher?

THE THOUGHT POLICE: Pennsylvania's Lower Merion School District thought they were at the cutting edge when they provided every high school student a laptop computer for "an authentic mobile 21st Century learning environment." That may have seemed like a good idea until student Blake Robbins was called in by Assistant Principal Lindy Matsko at Harriton High School. The boy was reprimanded for "improper behavior in his home," and Matsko showed the proof: a photo taken of him in his home through a camera, which was included in the 2,300 computers. She told Robbins she can activate the camera at will. "Many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of images of minors and their parents ... in various stages of dress or undress," alleges the resulting federal lawsuit against the school. The FBI is assisting local authorities in investigating possible criminal charges. Robbins, 15, says the school accused him of taking drugs, but he was actually eating candy. (Philadelphia Daily News) ...Huh: things are just 26 years behind schedule.

YES, WELL, KEEP PRACTICING: "Cape Man Shoots Himself in the Leg Practicing Quick-Draw Techniques" -- Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 28 February 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

HERE, HOLD THIS: Rachael Greer, a 7th grader at River Valley Middle School in Jeffersonville, Ind., says she was in the locker room before gym class when another girl walked in with a bag full of pills and "she put one in my hand," Greer said. "I was like, 'I don't want this', so I put it back in the bag and I went to gym class." She learned the "Just Say No" response from the school's DARE program. But later that day, she was pulled out of class by the vice principal and suspended for five days for "possession" of drugs under the school's zero tolerance anti-drug policy. Greer "gave the pill back," confirmed district spokeswoman Erin Bojorquez, "but it is in our policy that possession [includes] handling. She was punished because she handled the pill." (Louisville Courier-Journal) ...If school officials have no more ability than the school janitor, how come they're paid more than the janitor?

CAN'T STOP: Within an hour of bailing out on burglary charges, Andrew Bawden, 36, was out committing burglaries again, ripping off cars, houses, and a church, police in Bendigo, Vic., Australia, say. How do they know? Investigators say they found Bawden's police charge sheet at one crime scene where he dropped it. At another break-in, they found a DVD officers had given him with a copy of his police interrogation. Dawden pleaded guilty to 30 counts of burglary, and remains in custody. "We appreciate people who leave this evidence for us," said a police spokesman. "You get crooks sometimes who leave one thing that's stupid. Both things are extraordinary." (Brisbane Courier Mail) ...Yeah, he sounds like an extraordinary citizen.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: An unidentified 21-year-old man told police in Milwaukee, Wisc., that he was just "trying to be funny" when he snuck up behind his mother as she returned from the store at 9:00 p.m. He said he pretended to rob her, but the also-unidentified 37-year-old woman pulled a .357 magnum revolver and fired several shots, hitting him at least twice and wounding him in the groin. He was hospitalized in serious condition. Police are investigating the man, thinking that he was probably really trying to rob his mother, a spokesman said; he has prior drug and weapons arrests. His mother, meanwhile, was arrested

on weapons charges. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) ...Let's just say the cycle of familial violence will probably end here.

SHOCKING! Hookers in Lugano, Switzerland, are being trained how to use defibrillators after heart attacks killed several elderly men as they were ...uh... utilizing their services. There are 38 brothels in Lugano, with more planned to handle the influx of Italian men traveling over the border to visit. "Modern defibrillators are becoming increasingly quick and easy for the lay person to use," says the British Heart Foundation. One brothel owner said the machines are necessary, since "Having customers die on us isn't exactly good publicity." (London Telegraph) ...And when she says "die on us," she means that quite literally.

NEAT TRICK: "Man Shot in Chest, Leg Knocks on Door for Help" -- Dayton (Ohio) Daily News headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 7 March 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

SMOOTH MOVE: Florida Highway Patrol troopers investigating a crash on Cudjoe Key determined the cause: as she drove, a 37-year-old woman was shaving her ...uh... "bikini area" while her ex-husband, in the passenger seat, was steering. After rear-ending another vehicle, they drove another half-mile, and her ex allegedly switched seats with her. As for the unusual distraction, "She said she was meeting her boyfriend in Key West and wanted to be ready for the visit," said Trooper Gary Dunick. "If I wasn't there, I wouldn't have believed it." The day before the crash, driver Megan Mariah Barnes was convicted of drunk driving (not her first offense), and driving with a suspended license. Her license was revoked for five years, and she was ordered to turn in her car for impound. After the crash, Barnes was arrested and charged with hit and run, reckless driving, driving without insurance, and driving with a revoked license. Her ex-husband was not charged. (Key West Citizen) ...Since once the trooper heard the story, he could understand why he wasn't watching the road.

BASES OUT AND THE BATTER IS LOADED: Police in the Washington County, Penn., borough of Charleroi were called to a home on a report of a disturbance. Jeffrey Newstrom, 21, reported that his mother came home "highly intoxicated" and started an argument. As he gathered his things to leave, Linda Lee Newstrom, 49, allegedly swung at him with a baseball bat, but missed (strike one!). She swung again and missed (strike two!), but on her third try she "connected," he said. She admitted hitting him, police say, telling responding officers, "I brought him into this world and I'll take him out of this world." She was arrested and charged with assault, reckless endangerment, harassment and disorderly conduct. (Washington Observer-Reporter) ...And aggravated use of a tired cliche.

VIBRATING WITH FEAR: A woman in Bochum, Germany, called police in a panic: there was a terrible noise in her bedroom, and she had no idea what it could be. Officers were immediately dispatched: dispatchers could even hear it over the phone. "Daringly, and with the occupier's permission, one of the officers opened the drawer of a wardrobe where the noise was coming from," police said in a press release. "Underneath some clothes he found a very personal, battery-operated object which had obviously switched itself on," the report continued. "The tenant's face abruptly changed color," and the officers "wished her a nice evening and left." (AFP) ...You might consider Bochum police to be sensitive, caring, and discreet -- until you consider the fact they issued a press release on the case.

ALL WET: Quan and Angelina Ha wanted to be better citizens, and not use so much water in arid southern California. The couple used 299,221 gallons of water in 2007, and figured their landscaping was using most of it. Paying for the water was bad enough, but municipalities were starting to fine people for using too much water during droughts. "We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future," Quan said, so the couple tore out their lawn and other thirsty plants, replacing it all with bark chips and drought-tolerant plants. In 2009 their water use was down to 58,348 gallons -- more than an 80 percent reduction. No good, the City of Orange said: city law requires that 40 percent of a yard must be landscaped "predominantly with live plants," and officials aren't impressed by the Has' conservation efforts. The city has sued the couple, and filed misdemeanor criminal charges against them. "Compliance, that's all we've ever wanted," said Senior Assistant City Attorney Wayne Winthers. (Los Angeles Times) ...Compliance, control -- what's the difference?

BE ON THE LOOKOUT: "Car with No Wheel Tips off Carroll Township Police to DUI" -- Carlisle (Penn.) Sentinel headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 14 March 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

WE'RE FROM THE GOVERNMENT -- WE'RE HERE TO ANNOY YOU: Businessman Aaron Zeff suffered every American's nightmare. Zeff, the owner of a car wash in Sacramento, Calif., was visited by two agents from the Internal Revenue Service. "They were deadly serious, very aggressive, very condescending," said Zeff, who noted this was the first notice he had of any outstanding balance, and in fact he recently got a letter from the IRS that says he "has filed all required returns and addressed any balances due." Still, the agents were there to demand payment of an outstanding debt on his 2006 taxes totaling 4 cents. With penalties and interest, they wanted $202.35. "It's hilarious," Zeff says, "that two people hopped in a car and came down here for just 4 cents. I think they may have a problem with priorities." (Sacramento Bee) ...They're bureaucrats. Of course they have a problem with priorities!

GASOLINE IS CHEAPER THAN WATER? Johnny Dossey, 43, was upset about how high the water bill was for his trailer home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. So naturally he set his home on fire, according to police. Witnesses say Dossey splashed gasoline around and lit it. Firefighters were able to protect neighboring structures, but the trailer was destroyed. Dossey has been charged with arson. "I guess he got fed up" with the $70 monthly bill, a neighbor said, "and that's the only way he saw out of it." (Miami Herald) ...Maybe the water company can charge him for what the fire department used in the incident, too.

TODAY'S VOCABULARY WORD: Pinellas, Fla., School Board chairwoman Janet Clark is being criticized by other board members for referring to trouble-making students as "hoodlums". In a workshop about chronically disruptive students, Clark said "So much time is taken up with addressing hoodlums, with kids who don't want to be in school," adding "We are talking about a small number of children." Fellow board member Mary Brown said that such students "might be disruptive. They might be in gangs. They might be many things, but they are not hoodlums." The dictionary defines the word as "A gangster; a thug. A tough, often aggressive or violent youth." Clark refuses to apologize. (St. Petersburg Times) ...Perhaps "I'm sorry other board members are incapable of using a dictionary" would suffice.

DAMNED IF THEY DO, AND: An employee at a paper mill in New South Wales, Australia, was "repeatedly" warned by his boss over safety violations. When Paul Quinlivan was fired after he took off his safety glasses four times in one day, he appealed the sacking. A Fair Work Australia tribunal ruled the "relatively serious misconduct" was a legitimate reason for firing him, but because Quinlivan was a "middle-aged man with very poor employment prospects" and being fired had "such serious personal and economic consequences" on him because of his A$70,000 mortgage, being fired was "devastating" to him and he should have been warned first. The tribunal ordered the company to re-hire him, and pay him A$16,000 (US$14,600) in compensation. (Sydney Australian) ...And if he had suffered eye damage, the company would have been fined for that.

YEAH, THAT'LL WORK: "Wichita Man Pays Crack Dealer with Monopoly Money" -- KSDK News (St. Louis, Mo.) headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 21 March 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

EXCELLED: "We're all still getting used to how things are laid out in the new building," explained Adair County, Ky., Sheriff Ralph Curry. The day the new Adair County Judicial Center opened, court security officer Charles Wright stepped outside, and when he came back in, he took a wrong turn and walked into a holding cell for prisoners. When the door closed behind him, he was locked in. He tried using his cell phone to call for help, but couldn't get a signal. Wright suffers from claustrophobia and "just panicked," Curry says. Wright "starting trying to shoot the glass out" of the cell door. "Of course, it's bulletproof, so that didn't work." No one reported hearing any gunshots, but when other employees noticed Wright was missing, they went looking for him, and found him. Curry sent Wright home, and noted he probably won't allow him to return to the job. (Adair Progress) ...OK, but the real question is, will Curry renew his gun permit?

BURNING ANGER: Timothy Flood, 42, wasn't happy about the end of his 14-year marriage. The biggest bone of contention, though, was the house he and his wife owned in Undy, in Monmouthshire, Wales. "The house was both our pride and joy," said his wife, Catherine, 39. "He made it clear that he wasn't going to move out of the house but I expected him to do so." To make sure she wouldn't get the 250,000 pound (US$379,000) house, Timothy poured gasoline around the inside and lit a match. The house exploded in flames -- and so did he, since he had spilled petrol on himself, too. He died two days later, suffering from burns over 90 percent of his body. (London Telegraph) ...So: did he win?

DON'T WANNA LEARN THAT LESSON: Sir James Smith, 27, was being driven home by his wife Sharmainique Royal, 21, and smoking pot in the car, police in Indianapolis, Ind., say. They were pulled over for a minor traffic infraction and the officer noticed the smell from burning marijuana as he approached. The couple's 11-month-old daughter was in the back seat. The couple was charged with possession of marijuana, and neglect of a dependent for smoking it with the baby in the car. The child was taken into protective custody. Smith was on his way home after spending four months in jail, after being convicted of ...yep... dealing marijuana. (Indianapolis Star) ...And another kid goes up in smoke.

DOUBLE STANDARD: A Grand Jury in Houston, Texas, refused to indict criminal defense attorney Lloyd Oliver, after he allegedly broke the law by hiring a homeless man to pass his card to others to solicit business. The homeless man, meanwhile, has been indicted for the crime of directly soliciting business for a lawyer. His name: Perry Mason. (Houston Chronicle) ...He's going to need a good lawyer to beat that rap. I hope he knows someone.

MAYBE NOT THE BEST CHOICE OF WORDS: "Funeral Home Livens Things Up" -- Berkshire Eagle (Mass.) headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 28 March 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

UNTIL DEATH DO THEY PART: After a fight with his wife, a man in Houston, Texas, allegedly fired a shot, which brought police. Gerald Lancaster was apparently upset when his wife decided to walk out during the argument. It was about 1:30 a.m., and a SWAT team was called out when Lancaster wouldn't come out to speak with officers. At 5:30 a.m., police fired teargas into the house, but Lancaster held firm. "It seemed like it didn't even faze him," said a police lieutenant. "He's a pretty tough gentleman." At 7:30 a.m., SWAT officers went in after him -- and apparently woke him up; Lancaster was arrested quietly, police say. Lancaster said the argument started over his drinking. He is 84 years old. He told police he had been married "too damn long." (Houston Chronicle) ...Somehow, I'll bet it has been longer for his wife.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? An unnamed man in Bonita Springs, Fla., got upset at the clerk in a cell phone store; he says the clerk skipped him to help someone who came in after him. The man admits he threw his coffee on the floor and stomped out. But the clerk chased after him, telling the man to "get back inside the store and clean up your mess." The man instead got into his car, and the clerk stood in the way, saying he was going to call police. The clerk told police the man ran into him, but the customer says the clerk jumped on the hood of the car. The man "panicked" and drove off, police say, but he left one thing behind at the store: his wife. (Naples Daily News) ...That could be the best thing that could happen to her.

NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LAUNCH: The NASA Inspector General has criticized the space agency for buying snacks for attendees at a conference in Baltimore, Md. It wasn't really the snacks, but what the agency paid for them: $62,611 to the Hyatt hotel for bagels, cookies and juice for 317 attendees -- about $66 per person per day for what was called "light refreshments." The audit said the agency also didn't bother to price-shop to find cheaper locations for its conferences. A NASA official defended the snacks, saying they keep attendees from "wandering away." The subject of the conference in question: training for procurement agents -- people who buy goods and services for NASA. Example seminar: "How to determine a reasonable price." (AP) ...They're from the government. They're experts on that.

HE HUFFED, AND HE PUFFED: Pennsylvania state troopers were called to a highway in Oliver Township on a report of a man trying to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation -- on roadkill. Trooper Jamie Levier said several witnesses reported to him what the man was doing with the run- over opossum, and said when he arrived, the man "did have his mouth in the area of the animal's mouth, I guess." Not surprisingly, he also observed the man was "extremely intoxicated." Donald Wolfe, 55, was arrested and charged with public drunkenness. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) ...If the thing wasn't dead already, his breath would probably have finished the job.

YEAH, WELL, IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS: "Polk Man Dies of Morphine Overdose While Celebrating His Clean Drug Test" -- St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 4 April 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TRUE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON: Pastor Bil Cornelius of the Bay Area Fellowship, the largest church in Corpus Christi, Texas, really wanted good attendance at Easter services this year. The church plans to give away 15,000 gift bags, each with about $300 worth of goods and gift certificates inside. But wait! That's not all! There will also be flat-screen TVs, skateboards, electric guitars, bicycles, furniture and 15 cars. In all, about $4.5 million worth in the gift bags and around $2 million more in other swag. The church had to cut an opening in the chapel wall so the cars can be pulled in Easter morning. "Imagine how great heaven is going to be if you feel that excited about a car," Cornelius says. (Corpus Christi Caller-Times) ...And now, children, you finally know why the streets of heaven are paved with gold.

TIPPING POINT: During a House Armed Services Committee meeting, Congressman Hank Johnson (Dem., Ga.) worried about the impact of troops stationed on Guam, which he established is long and narrow. "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over, uh, and capsize," Johnson said, with a totally straight face. "We don't anticipate that," replied Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The exchange was televised, and resulting clips quickly went viral online, with millions of views. As ridicule escalated, Johnson said he was simply "using a metaphor." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) ...Right, sort of like how he'll "lose in a landslide" in the next election.

DRINKS FOR EVERYONE! Keith Gough, 58, just died, destitute. "Keith always put a brave face on things but he was financially screwed," an unnamed relative said. "A combination of carelessness, naivety and generosity left him skint and he was finding it hard to get back on his feet." The Bridgnorth, Shrops, England, man won 9 million pounds (then US$17.1 million) in the lottery in 2005. He quit his job and spent the winnings lavishly, buying an executive box at a racetrack, betting on the horses, and throwing parties -- lots of parties. He lost 700,000 pounds (US$1.3 million) to a con artist, and the rest went to a full-time gardener, a chauffeur, and "flash cars" (including a 60,000 pound BMW). But once it was all gone, the stress led to a fatal heart attack. (London Telegraph) ...The nice part is, none of it was wasted.

OVERQUALIFIED: Students at Enochs High School in Modesto, Calif., worried about budget cuts, asked an English teacher what she would do if she were laid off. The unnamed teacher replied that she'd become a stripper and sell the eggs from her body. The sarcasm "was her way of defusing a tense situation," said History teacher Janeen Zambo, who is also the on-site rep for the teacher's union. "Now that she has thought about it, she probably wishes she said she'd probably be working at McDonald's." (Modesto Bee) ...Which brings new visions to mind when you think "Egg McMuffin", doesn't it?

WAS IT AN ATTORNEY, OR AN INSURANCE AGENT? "Doctors Perform C-Section on Non-Pregnant Woman" WTVD-TV (Raleigh-Durham, N.C.) headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 11 April 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

MOTHER DEAR: Michael Kelly, 31, got a call from his mother. She was hysterical: his son was missing, she said. Terrified, he raced over to her house -- at speeds up to 120 mph -- to rescue his 9-year-old. After blowing through a red light, Rowan County, N.C., deputies tried to pull him over; he kept going, leading a chase. When they finally got him stopped, Kelly was arrested and charged with the red light violation, driving with a suspended license, and speeding to elude arrest -- a felony. Oh, and the little boy? Just fine: it was April 1, and Kelly's mother was just playing an "April Fools" joke on him. (Charlotte Observer) ...When the court orders her to care for the kid while Kelly is in prison, will that be good or bad?

NOT TICKLED 2: Officials at Menallen School in Uniontown, Penn., say Ronald Washington, 33, called to ask if his son had arrived at school yet. He said he needed to get something from the boy's backpack. School administrators wasted no time -- searching the backpack. They found two plastic bags of suspected marijuana, and called police. By the time Washington arrived at the school, police were there. Putting the bags in the boy's Elmo backpack "was something dumb," Washington allegedly told a trooper. He was arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and disorderly conduct, and is being held on $100,000 bail. (Uniontown Herald-Standard) ...Possession with intent: state charges. Disorderly conduct: school rule violation. Either way, he faces detention.

"INAPPROPRIATE" FOR THE SEASON: Evelyn Burgess of Columbus, Ohio, hosted a family Easter dinner. But Burgess saw that her husband "took notice" of what her teenaged second cousin was wearing -- a "revealing" t-shirt and shorts -- and got upset. The outfit "was inappropriate and disrespectful to wear at Easter dinner," she told officers who responded to what happened next. The hostess and the girl fought before going outside to the car, where Burgess, 42, shot Danielle Pickens, 19, in the head, killing her. (Columbus Dispatch) ...Burgess is an expert on what's appropriate for a holy holiday.

TANTRIC TANTRUM: On a live TV show in India, tantric guru master Pandit Surender Sharma wowed viewers by saying his powers are so great, he could kill a man just with his "mystical powers". Another guest on the show was Sanal Edamaruku, 55, president of the Indian Rationalists' Association. Edamaruku, far from being wowed, urged, "Go on then -- kill me." After being convinced that Edamaruku was serious, Sharma started chanting, "ruffled the skeptic's hair," and touched his temples, none of which bothered Edamaruku in the least. The show stayed on the air, preempting other shows, while the "furious" mystic continued to try to kill the rationalist. "He was over, finished, completely destroyed!" Edamaruku laughed later, saying fakirs are preventing an "Indian Enlightenment", and people "should not be guided by ignorance, but by knowledge." (London Times) ...When you're done, can you come to America?

YEAH -- HOME! "Cops: Man Went to Wrong House for 'Group Sex'" -- Connecticut Post headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIS is TRUE: 18 April 2010 Copyright This Is True

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUT OF UNIFORM: Patrolmen Robert Neri, 32, and Robert LoBianco, 39, of the Cranston, R.I., Police Dept., were accused of having sex "multiple times" with a citizen while they were on duty. On at least one occasion, investigators say, Neri, LoBianco and the woman had a three-way while the two officers were on duty. The situation came to light after the unnamed 22-year-old woman went to the police department to complain about what was going on. At a hearing, Neri admitted he "used poor judgment," and he and LoBianco "should have never let this female get in a position to satisfy us or herself." Neri was fired, and LoBianco resigned just before he was fired. (Providence Journal) ...Isn't it kind of a stretch to say she was "satisfied" after she went to the station to complain?

HOOK 'EM UP: A burglar in Cloppenburg, Germany, was caught because he couldn't run from his crime. He broke into a fishing store, then lost his balance and fell onto a display of fish hooks. The unnamed thief ended up with "several fish hooks in his backside," a police spokeswoman said. And there was no doubt where they came from, since "price tags from the damaged store were still attached to them." One was embedded so deeply he needed hospital treatment to get it out. (Der Spiegel) ...If you think that arrest is impressive, you should have seen the one that got away!

HOOK CROOK II: "I do apologize," says Robby Rose, 45. "I snapped. I lost my mind." That, he says, explains why he cheated in a bass fishing tournament on Lake Ray Hubbard, Texas. "I've been bullied by tournament officials for the last eight years," he whined, saying he has passed multiple lie detector tests in the past. Such tests are common in fishing tournaments. But when he was caught red-handed, Rose pleaded guilty to putting a one-pound lead weight into the fish he caught before turning it in. Tournament officials got suspicious when the fish, which was still alive, sank when it was put into a holding tank. Because the prize was a $55,000 fishing boat, Rose's attempted theft conviction is a felony. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail, probation for five years, and suspension of his fishing license. (Dallas Morning News) ...Forget the ones that got away. Now we have to wonder about the ones he caught!

THAT'LL TEACH 'EM: Staff at the Blackminster Middle School in Evesham, Worcestershire, England, evacuated the kids out to the playground, telling them there was a report of a gun in the school. Minutes later, they saw a teacher being chased across a field. They heard gunshots, and their religious education teacher, Mr. Kent, fell to the ground. They watched as other teachers tried to resuscitate him, but failed. Then the kids, aged 10-13, were led back inside. Ten minutes later, an assembly was called, and Mr. Kent was there, just fine. It was all staged for a "CSI"-like lesson, the school says. But by then, the kids were so stressed that some vomited or had panic attacks. Head teacher Terry Holland admitted that there was a "slight delay" in informing a "small minority of the pupils" that the shooting wasn't real. "It was one of the more popular teachers who played the victim. I don't think there would have been as much concern if it was one or two of the others." (London Times) ...Actually, Mr. Holland, it was the parents who said you should be shot.

ANOTHER STORY YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE DETAILS ON: "Police Follow Fluid Trail to Arrest Man on Drunk Driving Charges" -- Canton (Ohio) Repository headline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×