Bumpy Road to Recovery 

Curses, Foiled Again
A man who snatched a wallet from a woman shopping with three friends at a market in Santa Rosa, Calif., tried to make his getaway on a bicycle, but the victim heaved a 12-pack of Miller Lite beer bottles at him when he was maybe 12 feet away. She hit him, knocking him to the ground, where all four women “were on him like kids on a burst piñata,” according to the Press Democrat. After the victim got back her wallet, the women let the man go but kept his bicycle.

• Philadelphia police chased two drug suspects, who ran inside a building and up the stairs into a second-floor room and then slammed the door. Police who entered the room right behind the suspects found it empty. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the puzzled officers were leaving when they heard noises below the floor, looked behind a couch and discovered a trapdoor, which led them to suspects Diego Rivera, 20, and Mario Torres, 23.

Bumpy Road to Recovery
More than 20 of Michigan’s 83 counties are turning deteriorating roads back to gravel to avoid the expense of repaving them. At least 50 miles of roads in the state have been reverted, according to the Associated Press. It reported that officials in Montcalm County, which converted nearly 10 miles of primary road to gravel this spring, estimate that grinding up a mile of pavement and putting down gravel costs about $10,000, whereas to repave it costs 10 times that amount.

Coalition of the Unwilling
Australian military leaders dispatched a special team of military cooks to Afghanistan because Australian soldiers griped about having to eat Dutch cooking. “It’s not Aussie food, it’s European food,” Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston told lawmakers at a special defense budget hearing in Canberra after many of the 800 Australian soldiers assigned to Tirin Kot military base in Uruzgan province complained that the food at the Dutch-run mess hall lacks freshness and flavor. “The least they could expect when they are deployed for six months,” Sen. David Johnston told Houston, “is that they can eat proper food.”

Stimulus Package
A woman hired to sell ads on commission for a weekly newspaper in Lincoln, Neb., placed $12,000 worth of bogus ads to boost her salary, police said after arresting her. Officer Katie Flood told KOLN-TV the paper’s owner discovered the fraud when he began trying to collect money for the ads from businesses, which denied buying them.

When Guns Are Outlawed
Franziska Stegbauer, 77, suffered a fatal stab wound while trying to break up a sword fight between her grandson and brother-in-law. Both men were hospitalized, and the brother-in-law, Adolf Stegbauer, 69, later died from his wounds. The Indianapolis Star reported that the Marion County prosecutor, who charged the grandson, Christopher Rondeau, 37, with murder and reckless homicide, said the men had been drinking when Adolf Stegbauer “went from a happy drunk to a mean drunk.” Stegbauer grabbed a samurai-type sword, knocked Franziska Stegbauer down and stabbed Rondeau, who told investigators he got a Japanese saber-style infantry sword from another room, “parried a few times and hit Adolf at least two times.”

Criminal Haberdashery
Police arrested the groom at his own wedding reception for disturbing the peace because his nephew was wearing saggy pants. The Times-Picayune reported the incident began when a police officer working security at the reception at the Crystal Plantation in Kenner, La., told Samuel Lucas, 19, to pull up his pants to comply with the reception hall’s dress code. According to the police report, the boy’s father, Walter Lucas, 52, told the officer to mind his own business and began arguing. While the officer was trying to escort the father outside, the groom, John Lucas, 53, got involved. The officer called for backup, and all three were arrested. “All the kid had to do,” Crystal Plantation owner Leonard Dazet told the newspaper, “was pull up his pants.”

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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