NewsQuirks 430

Gone But Not ForgottenFor more than 15 years, Allan Vieira, 52, charged people a bargain rate of $50 to $100 to scatter the ashes of their loved ones at sea from his single-engine Cessna, but authorities said he never delivered. Instead, he filled a rented storage shed in Discovery Bay, Calif., with 5,200 cardboard boxes and plastic bags containing cremated human remains. He stashed more remains at a private hangar at a nearby airport. After sheriff's deputies discovered the ashes, the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that Vieira had not been licensed to fly since 1985, when his medical certification expired. Two weeks after launching a search for Vieira, authorities discovered his body and a suicide note that read, "I'm sorry."After holding the Guinness Book of Records title of most-married man for more than 35 years, Glynn "Scotty" Wolfe, 88, died in June. None of his 29 wives claimed his body. Unable to afford a funeral because alimony had depleted his fortune, he was spared burial in a common grave when funeral director Mike Presley and cemetery manager Lathan Williams donated their services to bury Wolfe in his hometown of Blythe, Calif.To make ends meet since the Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan, last year, some adults and children there scavenge for human bones in gutters, fields and graveyards. They sell the remains at the town market, where a skeleton can bring as much as $1.50 According to the London Times, the bones are shipped to Pakistan, where they are used to make soap, cooking oil and chicken feed.Real-World JusticeAfter a San Diego jury convicted retired Navy commander Danny Palm of second-degree murder for gunning down a man in a hail of bullets, he faced 15 years to life in prison. At his sentencing, Judge William Mudd reduced Palm's conviction to manslaughter, explaining that the victim was a "jerk" who got what was coming to him. "Occasionally," Mudd said, "in the real world, victims bring about their own deaths."Sheriff Andy Lee of Benton County, Ark., announced that the county jail would serve only cold meals to prisoners to save money on utility bills. Kicking off the new policy with bologna-and-cheese sandwiches, Lee explained his research showed inmates aren't entitled to hot meals as long as they get the federal guideline of 2,500 calories a day.Looking GoodAfter being blind for two years, London resident Bhimji Varsani, 62, regained his sight in April when a piece of his tooth was inserted into his eye. Surgeons ground up a piece of Varsani's eyetooth and jawbone to build a frame for an artificial cornea, which was stitched into his left eye.Car TalkIn Cordoba, Argentina, Monica Juncos, 36, tried to stop a man from stealing her car with her 7-year-old son inside by throwing herself in front of the car. The thief kept going. After being run over, Juncos grabbed the exhaust pipe and held on while being dragged along beneath the car for nearly a block. When the thief slowed for a pothole, witnesses blocked the road, forcin g the thief to stop, then pulled him from the car and turned him over to police.Tow truck driver Lawrence Eugene Toone, 34, was killed while repossessing a Ford Taurus in Silver Spring, Md., when it began rolling down a hill. Police said Toone tried to stop it but wound up being dragged about 70 feet.Police in the Brazilian city of Recife had to patrol the streets in rental cars after authorities seized about 100 stolen cars being used by officers. "It was normal practice for detectives and inspectors to commandeer stolen cars and use them as if they were their own," a police spokesperson said. The situation was most critical at a police station dedicated to solving car theft. All 40 cars used by officers there were found to be stolen vehicles.Bark Worse Than BiteLancaster, S.C., police officer Vincent Bazain credits his ability to bark like a ferocious dog with scaring a shoplifting suspect, who emerged from his hiding place and surrendered to authorities. "It works about 90 percent of the time," Bazain said. "Suspects don't want to be bitten by dogs."Happy HookersFemale prostitutes in the sleazy market area of downtown Mexico City won the right to ply their trade by agreeing to wear sensible clothes and behave nicely. In an accord signed with city authorities, the hookers promised not to wear skirts more than four fingers above the knee or see-through clothing before 10 p.m. Other concessions include no soliciting near schools and churches, strict hours of business, no drinking on the street or bad language and only women allowed. In exchange, city officials agreed that the prostitutes could work on designated streets.Low-Speed ChaseWhen state police in Shelby, N.C., tried to pull over a man driving a tractor because it was missing a headlight and did not have any taillights, driver Stephen McDaniel, 32, refused to stop. Instead he led the troopers on a two-mile chase that reached speeds up to 25 mph. When he finally did stop, the suspect ran into a mobile home, then emerged threatening officers with a 21-inch sword. Officers used tear gas to subdue the suspect.Litter BagsWhen Turkey's health ministry announced it would distribute body bags to people in an attempt to assure them that their bodies would not be left in the street after any fatal traffic accident, the plan drew harsh criticism from the press and politicians and was dropped. Health Minister Ibrahim Ozsoy denied any knowledge of the plan, blaming civil servants in his ministry for organizing the distribution.Opportunity KnocksA 24-year-old volunteer German fireman admitted lighting a series of destructive fires near Duesseldorf that caused millions of dollars damage. He told authorities he was bored and enjoyed the praise he got for helping put the fires out.

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