A Mighty Loophole Is Our God | News Quirks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press.
Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters.
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984.
Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

News » News Quirks

A Mighty Loophole Is Our God


Curses, Foiled Again
Army prosecutors said Pvt. Jonne T. Wegley, 19, wanted out of basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., so bad that he offered a fellow recruit $5,000 and a job to shoot him in the left leg so he could get out of the Army with a medical disability. He figured he’d still be able to use his right leg to drive. Instead of barely wounding Wegley, however, the bullet from the M-16 rifle mutilated his left leg. He needed 25 surgeries, a total reconstruction of his knee and multiple skin grafts, and he suffered nerve damage so severe that he has no control of his left foot. On top of that, a court martial sentenced him to four months’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge. Wegley’s attorney, Maj. John Calcagni, admitted his client’s scheme was unnecessary, explaining all he had to do to get kicked out of the Army was to tell his sergeant that he refused to train. (Columbus, Ga.’s Ledger-Enquirer)

• During one of his frequent visits to his ex-wife’s son in Washington County, Ore., Donald Wayne George, 64, shared some digital family photos with the man to copy to his own computer. He forgot they included images of the son’s 5-year-old daughter in sexual poses and having various sex acts with George. When the pornographic photos appeared on the screen, George shouted, “No, no, no,” according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Maloney, adding that the father erupted in anger, to which George responded flippantly, “Call the police, I’m going to jail.” George received 25 years in prison. (The Oregonian)

Never Mind
When warning sirens sounded in the region of Thailand where 5,398 people died in 2004 after a tsunami battered the Andaman coast, hundreds of people fled to higher ground, believing another wave was on the way. The government eventually explained that the sirens went off accidentally, during a drill as part of Thailand’s effort to develop an effective tsunami warning system. The false alarm was the latest in a series of problems, which include sirens not being loud enough for people to hear them and going off by accident. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban apologized for causing panic but resisted calls to fire the officials in charge of disaster warning, instead blaming faulty equipment and calling the incident “not that serious.” (Reuters)

• Kansas authorities blamed a phone glitch for mistakenly sounding tornado sirens that caused confusion and some panic in and around Hutchinson. The sirens are designed to be activated by emergency workers dialing discrete phone numbers. Officials said that a software glitch opened the phone lines to outside calls, and resident who mistakenly dialed those numbers activated the sirens. (The Hutchinson News)

A Mighty Loophole Is Our God
Coffee-loving Jews observing Yom Kippur in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood managed to skirt restrictions on the intake of food by using caffeine suppositories. “It helps,” said Baruch Hersfeld, who owns a bike store in there. “You know, it’s hard to concentrate when you’re fasting and also addicted to caffeine.” Asked whether the rectally inserted pills are true to the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Rabbi Simcha Weinstein advised against them. “We want to keep Jews in the synagogue,” he explained, “and not in the bathroom.” (The Brooklyn Paper)

Economy Going to the Dogs
To withstand a projected $440,000 budget shortfall, the city council of Jeannette, Pa., voted to lay off nine of the city’s 47 workers. Among those dismissed was Wando, the police department’s drug-sniffing dog. Also Wando’s handler, Officer Justin Scalzo. Police Chief Brad Shepler pointed out the loss of Wando came at a time when Jeanette is experiencing a boom in drug trafficking.” (Pittsburgh’s WPXI-TV)

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.