When a Designated Driver Isn’t Enough 

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Curses, Foiled Again
Facing five years in prison for forging drug prescriptions, Michelle Elaine Astumian, 41, appeared for sentencing in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., with a doctor’s note requesting a postponement. Prosecutor Dave Pomeroy called the doctor, who declared the note was a forgery. (Associated Press)

• Facing prison for scamming $450,000 from 23 investors in his bogus securities scheme, Samuel McMaster Jr. convinced New Mexico prosecutors to let him go free so he could repay his victims with his poker winnings. Only McMaster lost. He was ordered to prison for 12 years — and to make full restitution. (Associated Press)

Off to a Bad Start
Three months after issuing new fire-retardant gloves to 6,500 firefighters, the New York City Fire Department recalled the gloves because they don’t prevent burns. Six firefighters suffered second-degree burns on the backs of their hands while fighting fires, even though their gloves weren’t damaged. The Blaze Fighter gloves cost the city $850,000. Department investigators found that the manufacturer, the Glove Corp., had changed one of the materials used to make the gloves from cotton to a polyester blend. (The New York Times)

• Less than 24 hours after officials ceremoniously unveiled a giant electronic timer in London’s Trafalgar Square to count down to the start of next year’s Summer Olympics, the clock stopped. Its display remained at 500 days, 7 hours, 6 minutes and 56 seconds while technicians from Omega, the Swiss watchmaker that made the 21-foot-high timepiece, took six hours to fix it. (BBC News)

When a Designated Driver Isn’t Enough
After spending the day touring New Hampshire brewpubs, two men were “goofing around” in the back of their Boston-bound tour bus, a witness said, when they both toppled or jumped out the bathroom window. The window opens from the bottom and measures 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet. The bus, carrying more than 50 revelers, was going 60 mph when Thomas Johnson, 31, and Seth Davis, 34, hit the pavement. Johnson died; Davis was severely injured. (Boston Herald)

When Target Practice Isn’t Enough
Charged with murdering his wife, David McCall, 72, told police in Wakefield, Mass., that when his shot missed, Elaine McCall, 69, taunted, “You can’t even shoot.” He hit her with a second shot. He then called 911 to report a “murder-suicide” and tried to shoot himself, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone said, but missed. (Boston Herald)

Smoking in Bangor
On Jan. 10, a 29-year-old woman complained to police in Bangor, Maine, that she invited Christopher Rosene, 41, into her Union Street residence, but when she offered him a cigarette, “he punched her in the face,” police Sgt. Paul Edwards said. “This guy just snapped.” (Bangor Daily News)

• On Feb. 27, Bangor police responded to a different Union Street residence, where a woman demanded they arrest Anthony Bowie, 21, for extinguishing a cigarette on her face. Sgt. Paul Edwards said the woman explained she let Bowie have just enough tobacco to roll his own cigarette, but he took more than she had specified. They began fighting, and that’s when he used her face to put out the cigarette. (Bangor Daily News)

Trial Separation
Acting on a tip, Brazilian police found a 64-year-old woman locked in a basement in Sao Paulo state while her husband lived upstairs with another woman. Insisting Sebastiana Aparecida Groppo was mentally ill and aggressive, Joao Batista Groppo, 64, explained he’d kept his wife confined for 16 years. He later revised that to eight years. “He told us that locking her up was the only way he could think of to prevent her from wandering off and getting lost,” police inspector Jaqueline Barcelos Coutinho said. “She does have psychiatric problems, but she is definitely not an aggressive person.” (BBC News)

Haven’t They Suffered Enough?
Crocs Inc. announced it’s donating 100,000 pairs of its shoes to earthquake-tsunami victims in Japan. (Associated Press)

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

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