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News » News Quirks

Tough to Swallow



Curses, Foiled Again
Robert Johnson, 69, pleaded guilty to shooting his wife in the back of the head at their home in O’Toole, W.Va. Prosecutors said Johnson then shot himself under the chin, but his dentures deflected the bullet, saving his life for the trial. (Bluefield’s WVVA-TV)

• Dylan Aufdengarten, 27, an inmate at Nebraska’s Lincoln County Detention Center, escaped from his work-release job and was picked up by his girlfriend, Jennifer Harmon, 29, and a getaway driver. They hadn’t gone five miles when Aufdengarten and Harmon started arguing, and she kicked him out of the car. She then told police where to find him, and they did. (Associated Press)

Tough to Swallow
Unfounded complaints about water quality could constitute an “act of terrorism,” according to Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director Sherwin Smith. “We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously,” Smith told Maury County residents attending a meeting organized by State Rep. Sheila Butt in response to their concerns that some children had become ill drinking the water. Smith warned that water-quality complaints need to “have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.” When a member of the flabbergasted audience asked Smith to repeat his claim, he did so almost verbatim. (Nashville’s The Tennessean)

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
Susan Dawn Seibert, 49, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $545,000 from a California pizza chain while she was its bookkeeper. She aroused suspicion when she quit her job after learning that the Leucadia Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant planned to audit the books. San Diego County prosecutor Anna Winn said Seibert explained that she took the money to repay a previous employer who had sued her for embezzlement. (San Diego’s KSWB-TV)

Job of a Lifetime
An alliance of Chinese Internet companies announced it’s looking to hire someone to monitor and remove obscenity and pornography from China’s Web. The “chief porn appraiser” would be responsible for sorting through “not safe for work” websites and identifying content that should be disabled. Yang Jilong, human resources chief of the Beijing-based Safety Alliance, told the China Daily newspaper that within days of posting the job opening, it received about 300,000 requests for more information and more than 5,000 resumes. The position pays $32,400 a year. (The Washington Times)

When Guns Are Outlawed
Authorities charged Evelyn Mills Moore, 57, of Kings Mountain, N.C., with inflicting serious injury after beating another woman with a Bible. (Cleveland County’s The Shelby Star)

• Authorities in Oakland County, Mich., charged Glenn Steven Lott, 59, with assault with a deadly weapon after they said he stabbed a golfing companion with the shaft of a Callaway five-iron he had broken on the victim’s arm during an argument that reportedly began when the victim questioned Lott about how many strokes he took on the 12th hole. (The Macomb Daily)

• Mark Tait, 38, was found guilty of assaulting the landlord of a pub in Dundee, Scotland, with a handful of twigs. Tait had been escorted from the pub after being refused service but returned a short time later. “I thought it was a weapon coming up to my face,” victim Colin Bamburgh told the court. “I think he had around 10 or 12 twigs.” (Dundee’s The Courier)

Felonious Appetizers
Federal prosecutors accused Mai Nhu Nguyen, 47, an immigration officer in Santa Ana, Calif., of accepting 200 egg rolls as a bribe from an applicant for citizenship. (Associated Press)

Heckuva Job, Bushie
After the military’s F-35 Lightning—the most expensive weapons system in history—went into production before the Pentagon had the opportunity to conduct test flights to detect and correct problems, the Pentagon’s top buyer, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Frank Kendall, accused the George W. Bush administration of “acquisition malpractice” and noted necessary changes would add even more to the cost. The $397 billion joint-force stealth fighter also received criticism from test pilots, who complained of limited cockpit visibility. “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned every time,” the test report quoted one flier as saying, noting that “enhanced cockpit visibility was not designed into the F-35.” The report added there is no quick (or cheap) fix to the aircraft’s limitations because the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps versions required a common pilot ejection system that met the tougher requirements of the Marines’ version. Air Force pilots proposed that the Marines abandon their version’s costly helicopter-style landing feature, arguing that it’s useful only at air shows. (The Washington Times)

Cookie Dough
The Girl Scouts organization reminded a San Antonio troop that it owed $2,147 for cookies it ordered and warned that unless it paid, the debt would be turned over to a collection agency. Troop 1497 wanted 500 individual boxes, but the troop leader ordered 500 cases. Each case includes 12 boxes. After the troop leader resigned and two troop members dropped out of the Girl Scouts over the incident, an anonymous donor bought the remaining 49 cases and donated them to a local food bank. (San Antonio’s KENS-TV)

Lighter Than Air
India’s GoAir airline said it would begin hiring mostly female flight attendants because they weigh 30 to 40 pounds less on average than men, thereby saving up to $500,000 a year in fuel costs. The airline currently has four male flight attendants for every six female ones. (CNN)

Retort Follies
After Jonathan Scull, 26, reportedly stole two cans of beer from a liquor store in Somerville, Mass., he stuffed the cans down his pants and told a store clerk who asked what the bulge around his ankles was, “It’s my genitals.” The clerk disputed his claim, and the man fled. When police caught up with him in neighboring Medford, Scull told the three officers that his actions at the liquor store were none of their business, and they should “fuck off.” Instead, they arrested him and charged him with multiple crimes. (Wicked Local Somerville)

• After police in Ferndale, Mich., received reports of a man leaving a restaurant without paying for his order, officers stopped Marlon Cortez Stanfield, 35, who fit the check evader’s description. They discussed the incident with Stanfield and gave him the chance to return and pay the bill. Instead, he yelled obscenities and sped away. Officers gave chase but called it off because they already knew his identity. They drove to his home address and arrested him when he showed up. (The Detroit News)