Static-Cling Art | News Quirks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » News Quirks

Static-Cling Art


Curses, Foiled Again
After breaking into the same house he’d broken into eight months earlier, John Finch, 44, found himself trapped, according to police in New Castle County, Del., because the homeowner had changed the locks in the meantime so that a key was required to open the door, even from the inside. Finch entered through a rear window and helped himself to liquor but couldn’t let himself out the door without the key and was too drunk to climb back out the window. So he called 911 for help and was arrested. (Associated Press)

• Leonard Baskerville, 29, tried to carjack a van stopped at an intersection in Adelanto, Calif., but was arrested by the driver, a uniformed San Bernadino County sheriff’s deputy. (Victorville’s Daily Press)

Improbable Causes
Fire investigators concluded that a house fire, which caused $30,000 worth of damage in Portland, Ore., was started by tenants using a hole in the floor as an ashtray. “That’s not careless smoking,” fire official Paul Corah said, “that’s stupid smoking.” (Portland’s KPTV-TV)

Workers at a landfill in Summit County, Colo., tried to start a tractor-trailer in below-zero weather by putting a pan with lit charcoal under the tractor’s oil pan to warm the engine. The tractor caught fire. “They clearly didn’t mean to torch the truck,” fire official Steve Lipsher said, noting that firefighters needed an hour to extinguish the blaze. (The Denver Post)

• Authorities arrested Gary Lee Albertson, 33, for causing at least four fires in McClain County, Okla., while towing a truck without any tires. Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Huff said the metal on the road sparked the fires, which burned about 60 acres, heavily damaged one home and damaged several other structures. (Oklahoma City’s KWTV-TV)

• Fire officials said a house fire in Medina, Ohio, started accidentally when a 19-year-old boy used a lighter to look for a remote control under his bed. “Up went the mattress,” said the boy’s mother, Karen Rhine. “He tried to flip over the mattress to get it and put it out, and everything just went up.” Fire Chief Bob Painter said the situation worsened when the family panicked while trying to escape and tried to limit smoke damage to the house by opening windows and doors. “It just turned the whole house into a chimney, feeding the fire with oxygen, and it just continued to grow,” Painter said, estimating the damage at $180,000. (Cleveland’s WJW-TV)

• A van exploded in Bellevue, Wash., when the three people inside tried to keep the motor running by pouring gasoline directly into the carburetor while driving. One of them told police they’d bought two gallons of gas from a station minutes earlier but didn’t have a gas can, so they kept it in an open bucket. After removing the engine cowling, located between the two front seats, they used a water bottle to transfer gas from the bucket to the carburetor. The explosion occurred after the vehicle stalled and the driver tried to restart it. All three were on fire when they jumped from the van but survived. (Bellevue Reporter)

Static-Cling Art
Laura Bell created a 14-by-4-foot replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” out of laundry lint. Bell, of Roscommon, Mich., said she spent 800 hours doing enough laundry to get the lint—buying towels of the colors she wanted and washing them separately to get the right shades of lint—and another 200 hours to reproduce the Italian Renaissance painter’s masterpiece. (Associated Press)

Second-Amendment Follies
While shooting at a bird in the rafters of a cookie factory in River Falls, Wis., the 29-year-old plant manager missed the bird but accidentally shot an employee in the back of the head. The manager didn’t realize he’d hit anyone and went about his business. Meanwhile, the injured employee, a 28-year-old man who’d just started working at the Best Maid Cookie plant, said he remained at his workstation for almost another hour after he was shot because he wasn’t allowed to leave the cookie machine unattended. He waited until his scheduled break to drive to the police station and report the incident. (River Falls Journal)

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