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Publication: Syracuse New Times
Date published: June 22, 2011
Language: English
PMID: 58875
ISSN: 0893844X
Journal code: SYNT

Curses, Foiled Again

After Daniel Rahynes, 35, told tellers at a bank in Harrisburg, Pa., that he wanted to open an account, he gave the bank his information, then announced he was there to rob the bank. Police said he drove away with a small amount of cash but left behind the two forms of identification he showed to open the account. He was arrested after he crashed his car during his getaway. (Associated Press)

While police were investigating a DUI-related crash in Westminster, Colo., Katherine Morse, 49, stopped to complain about how the officers had parked their patrol cars. When they told her to return to her vehicle, she became "belligerent with them, telling them it was a stupid place" for a traffic stop, a witness said. Officers then realized Morse was also drunk and arrested her for drunk driving. (Denver's KMGH-TV)

Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How WaWas the Play?

After its Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last year, killing 11 workers and causing the largest offshore spill in U.S. history, Transocean Ltd. awarded bonuses to its executives for making 2010 the "best year in safety performance in our company's history." The payout contrasts with 2009, when the company withheld all executive bonuses after incurring four fatalities that year "to underscore the company's commitment to safety." In its filing on executive pay, Transocean declared, "Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record." (The Wall Street Journal)

Second-Amendment Follies

Authorities said Ryan Martin, 29, and Erica Clayburn, 20, were playing a variation of Marco Polo with a handgun when she shot him in the face, breaking his jaw. "She would close her eyes with a pistol in her hand," Dauphin County, Pa., prosecutor Fran Chardo explained. "He would go somewhere in the room, say 'gun,' and she would have to open her eyes and dry fire the pistol." This time, however, the weapon was loaded. Calling the game "incredibly dangerous," Chardo noted that Martin and Clayburn admitted having played it before. (Harrisburg's WHTM-TV)

RadioShack and Dish Network partnered to offer free guns to first-time subscribers of satellite TV services in western Montana and southwest Idaho. "I might not even consider such a program if I were in Detroit city, but we have a different demographic out here," said Steve Strand, owner of a RadioShack store in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, who came up with the guns-for-subscriptions offer. "All I can tell you is, grandma is packing a gun in Montana." (Reuters)

Virginia's attorney general said state residents may bring guns to church for personal protection during services. Clarifying a state law that requires persons to have a "good and sufficient reason" to "carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon" into churches and other worship houses while a religious meeting is under way, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II said that the "right of self-defense lies at the heart of the right to keep and bear arms." Therefore, he concluded, "carrying a weapon for personal protection constitutes a good and sufficient reason under the statute." (The Washington Post)

Drinking-Class Heroes

Objecting to drunken-driving reform proposals, Montana lawmaker Alan Hale declared that tough DUI laws "are destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years." Referring to the long drives in rural areas to get to bars, which he called "the center of the communities," Hale, who owns a bar in Basin, insisted, "These DUI laws are not doing our small businesses in our state any good at all. They are destroying them."

Another opponent of DUI reform, Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, took issue with a proposal to revoke the licenses of teens caught drinking, even if they aren't driving. He declared that DUI reform puts the Legislature on "the path of criminalizing everyone in Montana." (The Billings Gazette)

More Trouble for Rich ard Kimble

A new Maine law lets people with one arm carry switchblade knives, becoming the first state to make an exception to laws that ban the use of the spring-action knives. Backers of the measure declared the measure saves one-armed people having to force open folding knives with their teeth in emergencies. (Reuters)

How's It Go with Bacon?

Scientists said that a species of sea cucumber living off the British coast might have a future as haute cuisine. Holothuria forskali, which are animals, not plants, breathe through their anus, can liquefy their body and feed on waste from the sea bottom. A research team from Newcastle University is investigating the possibility of cultivating vast "herds" of sea cucumbers to consume waste from fish farms while allowing the harvest of commercial quantities of the earthworm-like species, which, at 10 inches, sea cucumber specialist Matt Slater noted "would fit on a plate." Although some cultures, notably the Chinese, consider sea cucumbers a delicacy and an aphrodisiac, one western diner rated their flavor "slightly lower than phlegm, the texture of which it closely resembles." (Britain's The Independent and The New Zealand Herald)

Metaphorically Speaking

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) declared in a speech against federal support for Planned Parenthood that providing abortions represents 90 percent of the agency's services. When confronted with the actual fact that Planned Parenthood's abortion care represents 3 percent of its medical services, Kyl's staff explained that the senator's assertion was "not intended to be a factual statement." (The Washington Post)

News and Blues is compiled from the nation's press. To contribute, submit original clippings, citing date and source, to Roland Sweet in care of The New Times.

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