Despite Chicago’s recent crisis of gang-related street murders, the Roseland Community Hospital in a tough south-side neighborhood is on the verge of closing because of finances, and community groups have been energetically campaigning to keep it open. Joining civic leaders in the quest is the Black Disciples street gang, whose co-founder Don Acklin begged in June for the hospital to remain open, explaining, “It’s bad enough we’re out here harming each other.” Besides wounded gang members needing emergency care, said Acklin, closing would amount to “genocide” because of all the innocent people exposed to crossfire.
A warehouse in Landover, Md., maintained by a company working on contract for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, contained “secret rooms” of furniture and equipment described as “man caves” for company employees. The EPA inspector general announced the discovery in May, and the government confiscated TVs, refrigerators, couches, personal photos, pin-ups, magazines and videos that the contractor’s personnel brought in while ostensibly “working” on agency business.
HOT IMMIGRATION LAW
“[Supermodels] is the one exception [to U.S. immigration policy] that we all scratch our heads about,” said a Brookings Institution policy analyst, speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek in May. Foreign-born sports stars and entertainers are fast-tracked with American work permits under one system, but supermodels were excluded from that and must thus compete (successfully, it turns out) with physicists and nuclear engineers to earn visas among the 65,000 slots available only to “skilled workers with college degrees.” As such, around 250 beauties are admitted every year. (The most recent attempt to get supermodels their own visa category was championed in 2005 and 2007 by, appropriately, then-U.S.-Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York.)
In Lytle, Texas, in May, just 33 people voted for candidates for three openings on the school board, including the only voter who cast a ballot in District 1. Christina Mercado was the 1-0 winner, but someone else voted for her. Mercado cannot vote for District 1 candidates because she does not live there, and neither does the one candidate who opposed her. However, according to Texas law, Mercado can legally represent District 1 on the school board.
BREAST NEWS EVER
An April crime report in San Francisco, noting that a female driver had rammed another car in a parking-space dispute, noted that the victim gave officers little help. The man could not tell officers the model car that hit him, and certainly not a license plate number, but he “was able to give a detailed description of the suspect’s cleavage.” No arrest was reported. And Colombian prisoner Giovanni Rebolledo was serving a 60-year sentence (as a member of the “Los Topos” gang charged with extortion, kidnapping and torture) when he escaped and decided on an extreme identity change in order to move about in the country. He became “Rosalinda,” complete with, according to Colombia Reports news service, “impressive” breast implants, but nonetheless was identified in May in a routine traffic stop and arrested.
STEALING A VACATION
In Kobe, Japan, in May, an unemployed, 32-year-old man carried out a minor theft (stealing a wallet from a parked scooter) apparently just to be locked up in the world famous city. Besides being the home of Kobe beef, it’s acclaimed for its French, Chinese and octopus cuisines, and in fact, Kobe’s Nagata Ward Precinct is renowned for the special gourmet boxed meals prepared by local bento shops, delivered daily to prisoners, which the thief said was foremost on his mind.
NOT SO HOT SHOT COPS
In May, an Orlando Sentinel columnist demanded a federal investigation into the 2010 police killing of Torey Breedlove in Orlando’s Pine Hills neighborhood, noting that killing the unarmed Breedlove somehow required 137 shots, with cops missing on at least 115. The columnist added that the Justice Department is currently investigating a Cleveland, Ohio, case in which local police killed two unarmed men but coincidentally also required 137 shots. In both cases, the officers were exonerated after local investigators determined the officers believed the suspects were armed.
Whitby, U.K., town councilman Simon Parkes, 58, confessed to a reporter in June that he had had an extramarital affair–in fact, an extraterrestrial extramarital affair–with the nine-foot-tall Cat Queen, and that she had born him a child. Parkes said the Cat Queen is biding her time until technology is available to bring her and the child to Earth. Said Parkes, “There are plenty of people in my position who don’t choose to come out and say it because they are terrified it will destroy their careers.” Parkes said his wife knows about his periodic meetings with the Cat Queen and is “very unhappy, clearly.”