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Anchors Away



After more than two decades of publication, this is the final time News Quirks will appear in City Weekly. Roland S. Sweet died July 24, 2015, of heart failure in Mount Vernon, Va. Sweet was 69 years old. City Weekly extends its sincere condolences to the Sweet family.

Anchors Away
Canada's National Defence decided to decommission a 45-year-old navy supply ship without a replacement because mechanics in Halifax were spending a "disproportionate amount of time" keeping the vessel operating, according to official documents, by trying to locate spare parts, "some of which have been procured via eBay." The original manufacturers long ago stopped making the parts; some were reportedly "beyond acceptable limits" because corrosion was compromising structural integrity. The vessel, HCMS Preserver, had been scheduled for decommissioning but was kept afloat after the government canceled funding for its replacement in 2008. Building a new one will take at least eight years. (The Canadian Press)

Sign of the Times
Utah Valley University has designated a lane for texting on the stairs of its Student Life & Wellness Center. Two other dedicated lanes, distinguished by neon-green stripes, are for walkers and runners. Amy Grubbs, the school's director for campus recreation, acknowledged that not every texter sticks to the lane, noting some "don't even see it because they're so consumed in their phones." (ABC News)

Iran has launched a state-supported matchmaking website. Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahmoud Golzari cautioned that "Find Your Equal" is not a dating site. Its goal is to produce 100,000 new m-arriages in the coming year. "We have high demand for marriage and 11 million [young single adults] who are increasing every day," Golzari said. Marriages are necessary to overcome Iran's declining birthrate, according to the government, which last year banned vasectomies and permanent birth control measures in women. Officials, including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have publicly urged couples to have more babies to repudiate "undesirable aspects of Western lifestyles." (The Washington Post)

Short Fuses
Haden Smith, 18, demanded that his mother intervene to mend his relationship with his girlfriend and threatened to kill her chickens if she didn't. Deputies in Limestone County, Ala., said Smith vowed he'd kill a chicken every 15 minutes and gave her a deadline of noon. When the deadline passed, he started sending her picture messages of each dead chicken. He got to six before deputies arrived and arrested him. (Tribune Media Wire)

• Tired of waiting at a hospital's emergency room in Morganton, N.C., Katlyn Milligan, 20, set off the sprinklers, resulting in "copious amounts of water" pouring down, according to the police report. Milligan, who was waiting for a relative to be treated, said that after two hours, she couldn't wait any longer, so she went into a bathroom and held her lighter to the sprinkler. Cleanup delayed ER operations another two hours "at the busiest time of the day," Nursing Administrator David Everhart said. Milligan herself had to be taken to the ER to check for effects from exposure to the sprinkler's stagnant water. After she was released, police arrested her. (New York Daily News)

Homeland Insecurity
White supremacists and anti-government radicals have killed more people in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, than Muslim jihadists have, according to Washington research center New America. The score: 48 to 26. New America program associate David Sterman warned that white supremacy and anti-government idealism constitute an "ignored threat" because the government has focused its surveillance and data-collection efforts instead on domestic Islamic extremists. (The Washington Times)

• Besides not recognizing 67 out of 70 test violations of airport security checkpoints during a recent exercise, the Transportation Security Administration failed to identify 73 airport workers potentially associated with terrorism. Former acting TSA administrator Melvin Carraway denied the Department of Homeland Security's finding that the TSA missed potential threats, insisting, "The term 'missed' is inaccurate, in that it implies a fault with the TSA vetting system or manual review process, which is not the case." (USA Today)

Sticky Trouble
Turkish authorities accused two men of making counterfeit popsicle sticks, which could be used to claim free ice cream bars from vendors. The manufacturer making the legitimate offer complained to police that it received more free-popsicle sticks than it originally produced. Investigators who raided an office in Istanbul seized thousands of fake popsicle sticks marked "free" and arrested suspects Ahmet A., 35, and Cem S., 27. (Turkey's Dogan News Agency)

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