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Super Outage



Curses, Foiled Again
While serving time in the Gwinnett County, Ga., jail for paying an undercover police officer $3,000 to murder his neighbor and former business partner, Joseph Memar, 65, was caught again trying to have the man killed. Police Cpl. Jake Smith said Memar spread the word among inmates, met with a plainclothes officer during his visitation time, offered the officer $10,000 to kill the man and told him where to go to collect the money. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New York City police charged a teenage boy with stealing a girl’s iPhone after he called police to report someone had stolen the iPhone from him. “He portrays himself as being a complainant,” Sgt. Arnoldo Martinez said. “A victim.” The second thief snatched it while the teen was trying to sell it to him. Police quickly located the man and drove him and the teen to the police station. Meanwhile, police in a neighboring precinct were driving the original victim around looking for the three teens who snatched the phone from her. They eventually called the iPhone, and when the officer who answered it identified himself, the officers met. They arrested the teen after the girl identified him by his pink sneakers and her PIN unlocked the phone but he failed. (The New York Times)

Super Outage
The power blackout that halted the Super Bowl was caused by an electrical relay installed to prevent a power failure, according to the company that supplied electricity to the Superdome. “The purpose of it was to provide a newer, more advanced type of protection,” Entergy Corp. executive Dennis Dawsey told the New Orleans City Council, explaining the relay was part of an upgrade to the Superdome’s electrical system undertaken in 2011 in anticipation of the championship game. (Associated Press)

The 34-minute delay turned out to be the fourth most-watched television broadcast of all time, according to Nielsen Media. The ratings agency said the 107 million people who sat through the delay, which featured a camera trained at the Superdome ceiling to show that half the overhead lights had gone out, is more than watched the 2009 Super Bowl and the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983. “Super Bowl XLVII Delay” was topped only by Super Bowl XLVII itself (109 million viewers), 2011’s Super Bowl XLV (111.0 million) and last year’s Super Bowl XLVI (111.4 million). (The Washington Post)

Compelling Testimony
Judge Robert Coleman declared a mistrial in the case of a fight in a Philadelphia parking lot that cost John Huttick his left eye because while the victim was testifying, his prosthetic eye popped out, startling two jurors. “I couldn’t believe it just came out,” Huttick said. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Taxing Proposition
Vincent Burroughs, 40, filed a lawsuit against IRS agent Dora Abrahamson, claiming she threatened him with a tax penalty unless he had sex with her. Burroughs said Abrahamson contacted him about an audit and subsequently flirted with him over the telephone and via text messages, offered him massages and sent him a photo of herself in underwear. He finally gave in to her demands when she arrived at his home in Fall Creek, Ore., “provocatively attired” and said “she could impose no penalty, or a 40 percent penalty, and that if he would give her what she wanted, she would give him what he needed.” (Eugene’s The Register-Guard)

Second-Amendment Follies
Police who heard gunfire while investigating an attempted robbery at a Las Vegas restaurant reported “the gunshot was a result of a firearm being tossed into a deep fryer and exploding.” Officers arrested Obdulio Gudiel, 44, who pointed the gun at two men but insisted he wasn’t trying to rob them, just collect money they owed him. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Army Spc. Patrick Edward Myers, 27, admitted shooting his friend in the face while they were watching a football game at an apartment in Killeen, Texas, but explained he was only trying to scare him to cure his hiccups. Myers, who was sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison, told police he believed the weapon had dummy rounds. (Associated Press)

Lauren Shaw, 28, and her fiancé were shooting at a gun range in Myakka City, Fla., when, according to the sheriff’s report, a casing ejected from Shaw’s .45-caliber handgun and landed in her blouse. When she bent over to remove the hot shell, she unknowingly pointed the weapon at the man’s leg and accidentally fired a round that went through his right thigh. (Tampa Bay Tribune)

Gun lover Keith Ratliff, 32, who became a celebrity for his online videos about high-powered and exotic guns and explosives, was found dead in his office in Carnesville, Ga., from a single gunshot to the head. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Ratliff was surrounded by numerous weapons, including some he made himself, but not the one that killed him. (The New York Times)

Having purchased an AK-47 assault rifle because he feared an impending gun ban, Kirill Bartashevitch, 51, pointed the gun at his teenage daughter and threatened her because she was getting two B’s in school instead of straight A’s. The resident of St. Paul, Minn., admitted pointing the weapon at the girl and his wife but assured police it wasn’t loaded. (Minneapolis’s Star Tribune)

Dig Up That Confederate Money
For the third session in a row, Virginia lawmaker Robert G. Marshall proposed that the state consider issuing its own currency. Instead of dismissing it as before, this year House of Delegates passed the bill by a 2-to-1 margin. Insisting the measure would prevent financial institutions like the Federal Reserve from causing the U.S. economy to wind up like Germany’s Weimar Republic, which had worthless currency, skyrocketing inflation and a crumbling government, Marshall explained it calls for a commission to study “the need, means and schedule for establishing a metallic-based monetary unit to serve as a contingency currency for the Commonwealth.” The study would cost $17.440 in U.S. money. (The Washington Post)

Presto, Gone-o
After Glynn County, Ga., Coroner Jimmy Durden said the death of county commissioner Tom Sublett, 52, was a suicide, his family contested the verdict. They insist Sublett, who was shot in the head and drowned after leaving a poker game with friends, had been in good spirits and his “normal” self. Also, police found an empty holster and bullets next to the body matching those that shot Sublett, but after two months hadn’t found the gun. (Associated Press)

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