HAWAII MAKES NEWS OF THE WEIRD!
Sabrina Medina filed a lawsuit against the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort on Oahu in January, claiming that an employee had caused her husband’s death. The late Humberto Murillo had swiped two 12-packs of beer from a store at the resort, but the manager pursued and confronted him. Murillo started punching, and bystanders came to the manager’s aid, restrained Murillo and held him down. Murillo, who was bipolar and had marijuana in his system, passed out and asphyxiated.
Pastor John Renken’s Xtreme Ministries of Memphis, Tennessee, is one of a supposedly growing number of churches that use mixed martial arts events to recruit wayward young men to the Christian gospel. Typically, after leading his flock in solemn prayer to a loving God, Pastor Renken adjourns the session to the back room, where a New York Times reporter found him in February shouting encouragement to his violent parishioners: “Hard punches!” Renken yelled. “Finish the fight! To the head! To the head!” One participant told the Times that fight nights bring a greater masculinity to religion, which he said had, in recent years, gone soft.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
(1) Ten days after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab nearly brought down the Christmas Day airliner over Detroit, the State Department officially revoked his visa. (2) Eight days after the Christmas Eve demolition of Minneapolis’s historic Fjelde House (as a fire hazard), the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission awarded the site “interim protection” for its historic value.
NEVER TAKE A CAB IN ENGLAND
In February, aspirants for taxicab licenses in Portsmouth, England, were officially informed by the City Council that application forms are available in other languages or in “audio,” “large print” or “Braille.”
Legislator Abel LeBlanc was suspended from Canada’s New Brunswick Assembly in February for giving middle-finger salutes to two colleagues, calling one a “punk” and declaring himself ready to “walk outside with any one of yas here.” “Don’t ever laugh at me,” he continued. “Yes, I gave you that [the finger]. And I’ll give you that again. And [to another colleague] I’ll give you this [finger] if you want to go outside.”
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Arrested in January in Memphis, Tennessee, and charged with having carnal knowledge of an underage girl: Mr. Knowledge Clark, 29. Arrested in January in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, and charged with cashing a stolen check: Richard Fluck, 47, and Bryan Flok, 47. Arrested in Denver in February and charged with using another person’s driver’s license as identification: Mr. Robin J. Hood, 34. Arrested in Kingston, Pennsylvania, in January and charged with cocaine trafficking: Carlos Laurel, 30, and Andre Hardy, 39. Arrested in February in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, and charged with possession of crystal meth: Crystal Beth Williams, 21.
Colt Heltsley, 20, had been spotted by police in 2008 at the Preble County (Ohio) Fair, “looking around, acting nervous” in the area of a row of portable toilets and in one 30-minute sequence continually moving empty toilets until they were close together. He was eventually convicted of voyeurism, peeping at a female using the facility. In December 2009, a state appeals court rejected Heltsley’s defense that police had violated his right to privacy with their surveillance.
DRIVING WHILE OLD
An 89-year-old man crashed through the front of Sussex Eyecare opticians in Seaford, England (June). A driver “in her late 80s” crashed into the Buttonwood Bakery in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania (September). An 86-year-old man crashed into the Country Boy Family Restaurant in Dunedin, Florida (October). An 82-year-old man crashed into the Egypt Star Bakery in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania (November). A 78-year-old woman drove off of a 30-foot cliff (but the car’s plunge was halted when it lodged against a tree) near Hannibal, Montana (August). A 92-year-old man crashed into the Biscuits ‘N’ Gravy and More restaurant in Port Orange, Florida (January), but was not deterred amidst the rubble he created, as he calmly went inside, sat down and ordered breakfast.
Just after Christmas, the Anglican Church of St. Peter in Great Limber, England, unveiled artist Adam Sheldon’s 6-foot-high representation of the crucifixion consisting of 153 pieces of toast. Sheldon browned the bread himself, then painstakingly either scraped (to lighten) or torched (to darken) each piece to fashion the tableau.
(1) Myesha Williams, 20, and a friend walked in to the police station in DeLand, Florida, in January and demanded to know why their photos appeared in local crime news on TV. Following questioning, police decided Williams was the woman on their surveillance video robbing a beauty shop and arrested her (but since Williams’s friend had left before the actual robbery, she was not charged). (2) The burglar who stole already-filled prescription orders from the West Main Pharmacy in Medford, Oregon, in January puzzlingly limited his take to the pickup-ready packages filed under “O.” Police guessed that the burglar must have been after the commonly stolen “oxycodone” and was unaware that outgoing prescriptions are filed by customers’ last names, not their medications.