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Home / Articles / Opinion / News Quirks /  Stimulus Package
News Quirks

Stimulus Package

By Roland Sweet
Posted // May 27,2009 -

Curses, Foiled Again
Police arrested Remo Spencer for stealing laptop computers and iPods from the Wal-Mart store in Great Falls, Mont., where he worked after he aroused a store manager’s suspicions by posting an ad offering to sell the electronics items on the store’s employee bulletin board. The Billings Gazette said a review of surveillance videos confirmed the thefts.

• Security guards nabbed Ricky Clay Fox, 43, after they saw him sneak behind the counter of a phone store in New South Wales, Australia, and snatch two cell phones. The phones were fakes used as display models.

A cashier at a Wal-Mart store in Port St. Lucie, Fla., became suspicious of two women at a self-checkout because the bagged groceries in their carts seemed like much more than the $70 worth of items they scanned and paid for. The Stuart News reported that when the cashier asked to see their receipt, the women fled, leaving behind the carts, which contained two packets of recently developed pictures with the name and phone number of one of the suspects.

Stimulus Package
Drug maker Pfizer Inc. announced it would provide free Viagra to people who’ve lost their jobs and health insurance. The company said jobless Americans already on the drug for three months or more qualify to continue receiving it free of charge for up to a year.

Homeland Insecurity
West Virginia authorities charged two FBI workers with using surveillance equipment to spy on teenage girls as they undressed and tried on prom gowns at a charity event. Marion County Prosecutor Pat Wilson told the Associated Press that Gary Sutton, 40, and Charles Hommema were working at an FBI satellite control room at a Fairmont shopping mall when they aimed a camera at a changing room and zoomed in for at least 90 minutes to watch the girls.

Custom Fit
South Carolina officials exhumed the body of a 6-foot-7 man to investigate whether the legs had been cut off so it would fit in a smaller coffin when he was buried in 2004. Allendale County Coroner Hayzen Black, who was present during the exhumation, told the Aiken Standard he couldn’t comment on what he saw, only that criminal charges would likely be filed. “There were problems with the body,” he added.

What Really Matters
Legalizing marijuana is America’s most important political issue, according to an opinion poll released by the White House, followed by ending the tax-exempt status of the Church of Scientology and legalizing online poker gambling. These findings, compiled in a Citizen’s Briefing Book, are the result of an online project by President Obama’s transition office to solicit policy ideas. More than 125,000 users submitted 1.4 million votes, 76 percent of which cited legal pot as the nation’s top priority.

Although the compilers acknowledged the open polling process was far from scientific, John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, hailed the results. “Poker players around the country are speaking with one voice to protect the game they love,” he declared in a press release, “and the White House is hearing that message.”

Arachnophobia Follies
British firefighters rescued a man in his 40s who set fire to the front of his house while trying to kill a spider. Watch manager Steve Pearce said the man was using a lighter to burn the spider as it crawled up the front of his house in Portsmouth, but sparks reached insulation behind the siding and caused a fire within the walls. “The man was trying to put out the fire with a garden hose when we arrived,” Pearce told The Daily Telegraph, noting firefighters in breathing apparatus with professional equipment needed two hours to extinguish the blaze.

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Submit items, citing date and source, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

 
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