NewsQuirks 335

A Journalist to the End In Belgrade, Mont., Glenn Sorlie, editor of the High Country Independent Press, died of a staph infection on a Tuesday. His widow waited until Thursday to report the death so that his weekly paper could publish his obituary before the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She explained, "He wouldn't want to get scooped on his own death."Salesman with a Bang Authorities in Rogers, Ark., charged Johnny Lee Nichols, 25, with going door-to-door trying to trade dynamite for sex or drugs. They found 5-1/2 sticks of Dyno-Omnimax in his car.Trash into Cash Craig Randall, 23, a garbage truck driver from East Bridgewater, Mass, plucked a Wendy's contest cup off a pile of trash after noticing it still had a contest sticker. He pulled the sticker off hoping to win some french fries to go with the free sandwich he won the week before. Instead he won $200,000. Egypt's women garbage collectors have begun making extra money by sorting through the mountains of garbage dumped daily by Cairo's 10 million people, picking out cloth to turn into trendy fashion accessories. Rugs and quilts made by members of the Zabaleen project in a building surrounded by rivers of raw sewage adorn the city's most photographed and fashionable houses. "True," project founder Layla Kamel said, "they go home a few hours later and put their hands in filth, but they're also getting a whole new outlook on life."Don't Lose Your Head After getting into a fight at a sports bar in San Diego, Michael Burrows, 45, needed surgery to reattach his ear, which an Oakland Raiders fan bit off and spit back in Burrows's face.Curses, Foiled Again After stealing money from coin-operated washing machines in an apartment building in Elizabeth, N.J., at 4 a.m., the thief decided to tip over the machines, breaking the water pipes connected to them and spraying water all over. The sound of the machines hitting the floor and the running water awoke the building superintendent, who spotted the thief running away and called police. Assistant prosecutor Peter McCord told a grand jury in August that police arrested Robert Brown, 30, moments later, because he was "dripping wet." He was also carrying 63 quarters. In Chillicothe, Ohio, Vernon Viney, 21, visited his ex-wife's house to videotape their child. According to police, he also unwittingly recorded himself slapping and threatening to kill the woman. Sean Jackson, 29, robbed a bank in El Cerrito, Calif., then collapsed and died in front of terrified tellers, apparently of a heart condition. Police found a car in the bank parking lot with the keys in the ignition and the motor running. Inside was a television set and a fanny pack with identification belonging to Richard Chenier, 35, whose body police had found earlier on his living room floor. They speculated that Jackson killed Chenier, burglarized his home and stole his car before attempting the heist. "This whole thing has been a weird case," Detective Dennis Danielson said. "This guy went through a crime rampage for 24 hours, and then God said, 'You're outta here,' and had him taken off this Earth." Two escapees from a Utah state prison were arrested after being questioned by campus police at the University of California at Berkeley. Anthony Scott Bailey, 27, and Eric Neil Fischbeck, 21, aroused suspicion by saying they were from "Frisco," a nickname for San Francisco that tourists use but residents avoid. When one provided two different spellings for his purported last name, officers took them in and discovered they were fugitives. Noting they were four months away from parole but now face up to 15 more years for escape, Utah corrections spokesperson Jack Ford said, "Anybody who escapes with that little time left can't be very smart."Missing the Point Iranian Deputy Education Minister Hossein Herati assured critics of new classes on family planning for female high school students that they will not discuss sex. Instead, he said, the classes will deal only with the problems caused by the population increase.False Alarm Some 1,500 people gathered at an airfield in northern Bulgaria in September, awaiting the arrival of eight alien space ships. Three local women -- Radka Trifonova, Zdravka Krumova and Ekaterina Nikiforova -- declared that the aliens would help the poor Balkan country pay its $12.9 billion foreign debt. According to police Maj. Stoyan Marinov, when the space ships failed to appear at the scheduled time, the self-styled mediums told the crowd that warplanes flying in the region were scaring off the aliens. After an hour had passed, they announced the aliens weren't coming because President Zhelyu Zhelev had declined to meet with them. Police had to usher the women away from the angry crowd.Making Crime Pay So many Italian mobsters have agreed to testify against their former associates in return for protection and regular income from the government that they are becoming a drain on public spending. The government announced it is taking steps to find the "pentiti," or repenters, regular jobs.Misguided Missiles After a family in Level Plains, Ala., reported hearing a loud crash and finding a small rocket lodged in the roof of their storage shed, police Lt. Ralph Reed described the object as a live, 18-inch-long missile, prompting the evacuation of nearby homes. A bomb squad summoned from Fort Benning, Ga., investigated and concluded the projectile was a "hobby rocket" that posed no danger. An army anti-aircraft unit near Cherepovets, Russia, put an ad in the local paper offering decommissioned missiles for sale. The unit is no longer able to guard the weapons and fears they could be stolen. The ad suggested that the missiles, selling for 800,000 rubles ($180) with their fuel and ammunition replaced by sand, would make good scarecrows for gardens.Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.