Date published: March 28, 2012
Journal code: SYNT
Curses, Foiled Again
Police identified Keith A. Rebori, 23, as their suspect in the robbery of a pharmacy in East Stroudsburg, Pa., after they found a backpack near the scene that matched the one a surveillance video showed the robber carrying. It contained the holdup note and Rebori's birth certificate. (Pocono Record)
Irish police accused Jason Glennon, 36, of burglarizing a house in Dublin. When the homeowner confronted him, Glennon ran but left behind a backpack and a mobile phone he'd previously stolen from a car. Police said he'd used the phone to snap his picture, which they recognized owing to his 53 previous convictions. (Britain's Daily Mail)
An Illinois appeals court ruled that a woman who was injured after part of a man's body hit her could sue the man's estate. The incident occurred in 2008, when Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was running across the tracks at a Chicago train station in the rain trying to catch a Metra commuter train when an Amtrak train struck him at more than 70 mph, sending a large portion of his body flying about 100 feet onto the southbound platform, where it injured Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58. A Cook County judge dismissed Zokhrabov's lawsuit, but the appeals court disagreed, ruling "it was reasonably foreseeable" that the high-speed train would kill Joho and fling his body toward the platform where people were waiting. (Chicago Tribune)
Rosemary Bower, 70, was driving in Washington Township, Pa., when a vehicle heading in the other direction hit a deer, cutting it in half and sending it flying. State police said the head and shoulders crashed through Bower's windshield, killing the woman. (Associated Press)
O mnivores' Digest
When police responded to a 911 call from a motel in Fort Pierce, Fla., Mary Ellen Lisee, 45, told officers she called them because she "ate too much food." Noting that she appeared to be drunk, they charged her with misuse of 911 and disorderly conduct. (Britain's Daily Mail)
Donna Simpson, 44, announced that she has stopped posting videos on her website, where men paid $19 a month to watch the 600-pound woman eat. "I realized I was their fantasy," she said. "Here I was getting bigger and bigger, and they had their thin wives, with two and a half kids and a picket fence."
Appealing to the fantasy fetish community, Simpson became a celebrity of sorts after being written about in British papers, at one point earning $1,000 a month from pay-per-view eating. "That's pretty good for eating Ho-Ho's," she said, announcing that she has embarked on a weight-loss program, with a goal of 300 pounds. "I'm not trying to be a size 4," she said. "I just want to be normal and active." (MSNBC)
L itigation NaNation
The Iranian-born owner of Eastern Shore Toyota outside Mobile, Ala., sued Bob Tyler Toyota in nearby Pensacola, Fla., after Bob Tyler's sales staff branded their Alabama competitor "Taliban Toyota" and told customers that anyone who bought cars there was funding terrorism. Bob Tyler's attorney argued that Shawn Esfahani failed to prove the slurs caused his sales to slump and suggested the jury clear Esfahani's name by ruling in his favor but awarding only one dollar in damages. Unswayed, the jury awarded Esfahani $7.5 million. (Mobile Press-Register)
Three softball players who were disqualified from playing for their team in the 2008 Gay Softball World Series filed a federal lawsuit against the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, claiming discrimination because they are bisexual, not gay. The organization banned Stephen Apilado, Laron Charles and John Russ after other teams protested that their San Francisco team had exceeded the league limit of two heterosexual players per team. The NAGAAA settled before the case went to trial in Seattle by paying the players an undisclosed sum and awarding their team the second-place trophy it was denied. (Associated Press)
Jesse Dimmick filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Jared and Lindsay Rowley, seeking $235,000 in damages. Dimmick, who was convicted of kidnapping the Topeka, Kan., newlyweds in 2009 while fleeing from police, contends that they reached a legally binding, verbal contract that they would hide him for an unspecified amount of money. Instead, they fled the house when he fell asleep, and the police rushed in. His suit claims that they reneged on their contract, "resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities." Complaining the gunshot "almost killed me," Dimmick stated that his hospital bills alone "are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay." (The Topeka Capital-Journal)
Palestinian security forces broke up a brawl between broom-wielding Christian monks at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. Roman Catholics, Armenians and Greek Orthodox denominations share the church but zealously protect the parts they claim as theirs. While cleaning up after Christmas celebrations by Western Christians, Greek and Armenian factions accused each other of encroaching on their territory. Some shouted and hurled brooms before the Palestinians restored order. (Associated Press)
Up in Smoke
A fire destroyed a factory in Rhea County, Tenn., that produces kiln-dried firewood sold at convenience stores. Noting the building was "stacked full of dried firewood," Evensville District Fire Chief Brad Harrison explained that the kiln that dries the wood started the fire, which spread quickly. (Chattanooga's WRCB-TV)
When her mobile home caught fire in Obion County, Tenn., Vicky Bell called firefighters, who responded but stood by while the home burned to the ground because Bell doesn't subscribe to their service. Mayor David Crocker of South Fulton, which provides fire protection to rural residents who pay the $75-a-year fee, explained that the money covers the cost of the manpower and equipment needed to provide the service. If the city's firefighters responded to people who didn't pay, Crocker said, no one would have any incentive to subscribe.
Bell admitted knowing about the city's "pay to spray" policy but said she didn't subscribe because she and her live-in boyfriend never thought they'd be victims of a fire. She also lacked insurance to cover the trailer or its contents. (Associated Press)
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.