Names in the News
Shoe Zone, a footwear retailer with stores throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, announced March 8 that Terry Boot has been named its next chief financial officer effective immediately, according to the Evening Standard. Mr. Boot takes over the role after the unexpected departure in February of Peter Foot, who had been with the company for seven months.
An unnamed maskless woman waiting in line at a Pick 'n' Pay supermarket in South Africa was caught on cellphone video being confronted by a store guard who demanded she put on a mask or be thrown out of the store. On the video, she is next seen reaching up under her dress, pulling out her underwear—a black thong—and placing it on her face, the New York Post reported. Witnesses were mixed in their reaction. "Good lord," one shopper was heard saying. "Brilliant," said another.
Federal Judge Jesse M. Furman ruled in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Feb. 16 that Citigroup could not expect to receive repayment of nearly $500 million of the $900 million it mistakenly wired to a group of lenders last year after a contractor checked the wrong box on a digital payment form. Intending to make only an interest payment to the lenders on behalf of its client Revlon, Citi instead wired payment in full for the entire loan, and after realizing its error, asked for the money back, but some of the lenders refused, according to The New York Times. Judge Furman found that the lenders were justified in assuming the payment had been intentional. "To believe that Citibank, one of the most sophisticated financial institutions in the world, had made a mistake ... to the tune of nearly $1 billion, would have been borderline irrational," he said in his ruling. Citi vowed to appeal.
Can't Help Himself
Garrett Monds, 30, was sentenced to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison on March 10, following his sixth conviction for unlawful surveillance in women's restrooms in central New York state. Syracuse.com reported Monds spent two years in prison for the first five incidents, in which he set up hidden cameras in restrooms in college buildings, a warehouse, a mall and a Walmart. He was released in March 2020, but within four months was arrested again. "That wasn't a long turnaround," County Court Judge Stephen Dougherty remarked, adding, "No offense, but I don't want to see you again." Monds agreed, telling the judge, "I really am remorseful this time around."
Samantha Hartsoe noticed a draft in her New York City apartment and traced it to the mirror in her bathroom, the New York Post reported on March 4. With the help of friends, Hartsoe removed the mirror and found a hole in the wall behind it leading to ... another apartment. As she documented her adventure on TikTok, Hartsoe climbed through the hole into a hallway leading to a room at the end and "a whole other apartment" with three bedrooms, a disconnected toilet, a staircase and an unlocked door (which she promptly locked). Hartsoe returned to her own apartment, showered and vowed her landlord would get an unusual call the next day.
Least Competent Criminal
Authorities in Camden County, Missouri, arrested Leigh Ann Bauman, 43, a prominent Lake of the Ozarks real estate agent and self-described "cheer mom," on March 4 for plotting to kill her former mother-in-law. Prosecutors say Bauman offered to pay $1,500 to a person in St. Louis who contacted the Missouri Highway Patrol and then turned informant, recording Bauman's request that the "look like an accident," and later saying she's a Christian but she could ask for forgiveness later. According to The Daily Beast, Bauman also texted her daughter, saying, "Your grandmother will die." She is being held without bond in the Camden County Jail.
Detectives investigating recent thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles in Pasco, Washington, went to the mobile home of Dustin Allen Bushnell, 30, in nearby Burbank with a search warrant on Feb. 26, and not only found converters, but also discovered a 400-pound playground slide that had been removed from a city park in December, KEPR reported. The slide had been repainted and mounted to a bunk bed in the home. Bushnell was arrested for possession of stolen property for the slide; no charges were filed for the converters.
Snake breeder Justin Kobylka of northeast Georgia has been breeding ball pythons for eight years to achieve a bright golden yellow and white color combination, but recently wound up with a snake bearing three smiley face emoji-looking markings on its body. Kobylka told United Press International one in 20 of his snakes sports a smiley face, but this was the first to have three faces. He sold it for $6,000.
What Could Go Wrong?
Alexandr Kudlay, 33, and Viktoria Pustovitova, 28, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, are experimenting with a new way to preserve their on-and-off relationship: On Valentine's Day, they handcuffed themselves together and have vowed to stay that way for three months. "We used to break up once or twice a week," Kudlay told Reuters, but now when they disagree, "we simply stop talking instead of packing up our things and walking away." They take turns taking showers and give each other privacy in the bathroom by standing outside with one hand inside.
• On March 9, Eric Dion Warren, 50, was sentenced to federal prison in Lubbock, Texas, after pleading guilty to robbing a bank and using a BMW he was test-driving as his getaway car. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that, according to court documents, Warren drove to the AIM Bank in Wolfforth on June 7, 2019, handed the teller a note demanding $10,000 in small bills and showed what appeared to be a handgun. The teller complied, and Warren headed back to the dealership where he pulled out $3,000 as the down payment on the car he had been driving. As Warren finalized the deal, the dealership received a call about the bank robbery and the connection was made. Warren was given the maximum sentence of 20 years.
• Police in Spain announced on March 12 they had foiled the plans of drug smugglers who were building a narco-submarine capable of carrying over 2 tons of cargo, the Associated Press reported. In February, police in Malaga discovered the 30-foot-long, light blue craft made of fiberglass and plywood, which they suspect was meant to "go into the high seas to meet another ship (to) take on board the drugs," said Rafael Perez, head of the Spanish police. It was powered by two 200-horsepower engines but had never sailed. Fifty-two people were arrested in the international smuggling scheme, and hundreds of pounds of cocaine, hashish and marijuana were seized.
Sign of the Times
After many months of postponement, voting in the 74th annual Tony Awards is underway, and the statues are scheduled to be presented with the reopening of Broadway this spring. In an unusual twist, reported The New York Times, actor Aaron Tveit, star of Moulin Rouge! is competing for recognition as leading actor in a musical against ... only himself. And even though there are no other nominees, Tveit could still wind up losing, as the rules require 60% of the vote to win.
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