NewsQuirks 527

Litigation NationTerrence Marche, 24, who admitted trying to rob a Philadelphia bank, filed a $25 million lawsuit against the police officer who thwarted his robbery by shooting him in the face. Marche, who is serving a 15-year, eight-month sentence in federal prison, said he doesn't object to getting shot once by Officer Richard Paraschak, who happened to be in the bank when Marche drew his weapon and told everybody to get on the floor. He insisted, however, that it wasn't necessary for Paraschak to shoot him a second time.Careful What You Wish ForRetired engineer Nedjelko Juretic, 66, of Vancouver insisted on having a virgin bride, so he went to Honduras to find a woman who had never had sex. After meeting Brenda Ruiz, 23, Juretic brought her home. The couple lived together for several months without any sexual contact, then married. After the wedding, the bride refused to let her husband touch her. Six months later, Juretic divorced her. The British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that Juretic must pay her $1,250 a month while she learns English and trains to become a nurse or nurse's aide.There Goes the NeighborhoodAfter Timothy and Kelly Liebaert put down a deposit on a five-bedroom house in a subdivision near Bakersfield, Calif., they were meeting with representatives of developer Burlington Homes to discuss color schemes and flooring choices when he casually mentioned his law practice. The next day, the developer canceled the couple's contract, informing them that it doesn't sell to lawyers because they are more likely than non-lawyers to threaten legal action, thus driving up the cost of its homes. Lawyer Liebaert promptly sued.When authorities offered to buy out the 1,700 residents of Minor Lane Heights, Ky., to make way for the expansion of Louisville International Airport, the homeowners agreed to accept only if they could all move together. The Federal Aviation Administration and the airport contributed $20 million to buy 287 acres of farmland and hire five home builders to create Heritage Creek, 10 miles southeast of Minor Lane Heights. "For a lot of people, noise wasn't the biggest problem," city councilor Carole Cantrall told the New York Times. "The major problem was living in limbo, losing their house and losing their neighbors. Now, they're thrilled. They get to keep everything that's important to them, plus they have a new home."Two years ago, Arthur Higgins bought all seven houses in Teterboro, N.J., and announced he was doubling his tenants' rent. The Teterboro Borough Council, made up of his new tenants, responded by enacting a rent control ordinance. When Higgins tried to evict Mayor Peter Watts and others who defied him, the council condemned the seven houses and tried to seize them through eminent domain. Higgins challenged the condemnation order in U.S. District Court. Judge Nicholas Politan ruled that a state court would have to settle the matter, but he noted, "This is the fastest I've ever seen any municipal body act in the history of mankind except for Hitler when he took over in World War II."The legal battle, which Bergen County Chief Judge Sybil R. Moses, will decide in October, has cost the borough $250,000 in legal fees. Despite having just 14 residents, almost all of whom hold municipal or borough jobs, the square-mile borough collects more than $2.48 million in municipal taxes from local businesses, industries and a general aviation airport. Although Higgins's lawyers have tried to prove that the tenants' resistance is an attempt by the mayor to retain political control over the borough, Watts insisted, "This is a fight for our right to exist."Students and teachers arriving for classes at Sophakama High School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in March discovered that the entire school had been stolen. "I couldn't believe my eyes," principal Nkululeko Klass said, noting that thieves took 11 prefabricated classroom buildings and the security fence that surrounded them. Johannesburg's Mail & Guardian newspaper reported that within a day, parts of the school began turning up in the community, where jobless and poverty-stricken families flooding the city from rural areas have created a hot market for building materials.Love HurtsJames Dinardi, 44, of Columbia, Mo., met the love of his life on the Internet, then moved to Maine to pursue the relationship. According to Topshaw police Chief Paul J. Lessard, the woman wanted to end the relationship, however, so Dinardi drove to her home, took a chain saw from his trunk and sliced his neck on her front lawn to prove how much he cared for her.Heads Up, Brandi ChastainA battery-powered bra available by the end of the year can enlarge breasts without surgery, implants or adverse risks to a woman's health, according to a study by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Two plastic domes connected by tiny tubes to a small power pack are held in place under a sports-type bra. When activated, the device vacuums air out of the domes, sucking the breasts forward and actually causing the breast tissue to grow. In the study, the 15 women who tested the device for 10 weeks reported an average 55-percent increase in breast volume.Japanese underwear maker Triumph International recently unveiled its "Armageddon Bra." Made of the same material as NASA space suits, the undergarment has a sensor in the strap that alerts the wearer if it detects objects falling from the sky.Attention ShoppersThe French department store Printemps has hired personnel shoppers who wear in-line skates and carry a mini-computer and digital camera. When a client calls asking for help making a selection, the "Webcamer" skates to the appropriate section of the store, photographs the available merchandise, then send the pictures to the client's computer.The Ontario Superior Court awarded $8,800 to Kim Blunt, who was at the checkout of the Real Canadian Superstore in Thunder Bay when a store price-checker wearing roller blades and racing through the aisle ran over Blunt's foot, causing her to fall and injure her back. Company officials told the court that the staff at the 110,000-square-foot store wear skates to "facilitate efficient performance."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.