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Opposable-Thumb Follies



Curses, Foiled Again
While a sheriff’s deputy was giving Louis Cruz, 55, a sobriety test after stopping him for driving erratically in Okaloosa County, Fla., Cruz suggested that a “bad foot” might be affecting his response to the test. When he leaned down to show the deputy the foot, he accidentally revealed an ankle holster. Lacking a permit to carry a concealed weapon, Cruz was arrested. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

• A state trooper who noticed Sean Schmidt, 20, standing with his upper body sticking out of the sunroof of a vehicle on a Buffalo, N.Y., highway activated his lights to pull over the vehicle. The trooper reported that Schmidt then tried to throw away a small bag of marijuana, but it landed on the hood of the trooper’s car, providing evidence the trooper needed to ticket Schmidt for marijuana possession in addition to not wearing a seatbelt. (Associated Press)

Opposable-Thumb Follies
The first case of texting impairment caused by Botox has been reported by the journal Archives of Dermatology. A study by Julia Lehman of Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic recounts how she treated a 17-year-old girl for excessive sweating by giving her Botox injections. The patient complained afterward that the treatments controlled the sweating but slowed her texting speed. The impairment lasted for six weeks after the injection. Lehman said the case “shows the importance of thinking about modern-day activities and how our treatments could potentially impair some of these modern-day activities such as texting.” (Reuters)

When Guns Are Outlawed
Toronto police said they were looking for a woman who boarded a streetcar with a child in a stroller and began arguing with another passenger. Witnesses said the woman picked up the child and used it as a weapon to beat the passenger. Mother and child got off the streetcar before police arrived. (Toronto Star)

Overreactions of the Week
Landlord Jonathan Steinberg, 58, was so angry with tenant Ronald Rohde, 52, for being late paying the rent on his room in Boynton, Fla., that he splashed rubbing alcohol over Rohde’s boxer shorts and lit them on fire. Police who arrested Steinberg reported that Rohde stripped down fast enough to suffer only minor burns. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Marilee Ann Kolynych, 63, was so angry with her 9-year-old grandson for eating too much bacon at breakfast that she chased the boy onto the front yard of her home in Clifton Heights, Pa., sat on top of him and sprayed his face with water from a hose whose “nozzle was on full force,” Patrolman James Press reported. “Apparently, he ate more bacon than anyone else at breakfast. She was yelling at him and picking on him all day because there wasn’t enough bacon for everyone.” (The Delaware County Daily Times)

• Brian W. Dujmovic, 39, was so angry with a neighbor for using golf clubs in his own front yard that he confronted him with a shotgun and wound up in a standoff with police officers in Menomenee Falls, Wis. According to the criminal complaint, when Dujmovic asked the neighbor to move to his back yard, the neighbor argued that it’s a free country. Dujmovic went into his house, returned with a shotgun and held it against the neighbor’s chest. The neighbor called police, who said Dujmovic told them by phone that the neighbor “needs some sense knocked into them,” adding incidentally that he could run a gas truck into the police station. That response brought a tactical squad, which eventually ended the standoff by bringing the bulletproof-vest-wearing Dujmovic into custody. (Menomenee Falls Patch)

HOV-Lane Eligibility Follies
Texas authorities accused drunk-driving suspect James Onak, 49, of running into a stranded motorist crossing a Houston freeway and sending his body crashing through Onak’s windshield. Onak then drove three miles with the body of Fadel Steadman, 32, next to him. A deputy constable who stopped Onak after observing him driving with no lights and a shattered front windshield, spotted the body in the passenger seat, partially underneath the dashboard, with a severed leg. Investigators later found the victim’s leg and Onak’s license plate on the highway. Onak insisted he never noticed a dead body in the seat next to him. (Houston Chronicle)

Petty Cash
Defense Department officials said they cannot account for $6.6 billion in cash that was supposed to be used for the reconstruction of Iraq. The money was part of a shipment of $12 billion, mostly $100 bills packed in shrinkwrap and airlifted to Iraq between March 2003 and May 2004. The Bush administration determined the vast cash influx was desperately needed to restore government services and give Iraqis confidence that post-U.S. invasion Iraq would be a big improvement over Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Federal auditors suggested some or all of the cash might have been stolen, some by U.S. contractors for kickbacks and bribes during the chaotic post-invasion period but most by corrupt Iraqi officials. Stuart Brown, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction called the loss “the largest theft of funds in national history.” (Los Angeles Times)

Honesty Unrewarded
When Robert Adams, 54, found a Chase Bank bag containing $17,000 in cash near an ATM in Midlothian, Ill., he drove to another Chicago suburb and turned it in at a Chase Bank there, telling Rolling Meadows police investigating the incident that he found the money outside a newspaper stand near the bank. When they reviewed surveillance video and spotted Adams finding the money in Midlothian, he said he felt more comfortable turning it in in Rolling Meadows and reporting it to police there. Explaining it was a hot day and he just wanted to get home, he said, “I wasn’t looking for a reward.” Besides getting no reward, he was fined $500 for filing a false report. (Chicago Tribune)

Government-Run Medical Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to pay $925,000 to Jose Goncalves, 60, whose eyeball exploded during routine outpatient cataract surgery at a VA hospital in West Haven, Conn. Goncalves was blinded when, his lawyer said, a third-year resident incorrectly placed a needle with a local anesthetic “directly into Jose’s eye instead of behind the eye as was proper. Then, failing to recognize her error, she proceeded to inject so much anesthetic, so quickly, that Jose’s eye literally exploded.” (Connecticut Post)

It Happened
Archaeologists looking in an ancient sewer beneath Herculaneum announced discovery of the largest deposit of human excrement ever found in the Roman world: enough to fill 750 sacks. (BBC News)

Compiled from the press reports by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand. 

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