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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

News Quirks: Bad Karmadillo

Roland Sweet
Published Thursday May 14, 05:50 pm
Armed homeowner shoots at critter, wounds mother-in-law

Photo Credit: Myron Campbell

Larry McElroy, 54, fired his 9 mm pistol at an armadillo outside his home but wound up shooting his mother-in-law. Sheriff’s investigators in Lee County, Georgia, determined the bullet ricocheted off the animal, hit a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law’s mobile home, through a recliner she was sitting in and into her back. The 74-year-old victim wasn’t seriously hurt. Authorities do recommend shooting armadillos as an effective way of getting rid of them but suggest using a shotgun, which, investigator Bill Smith said, has “a spread pattern with a lot less range.” (WALB-TV)

Wrestling Demons

Citing an increase in demonic activity, the Vatican convened a team of experts, including practicing exorcists, to equip doctors, psychologists and teachers with the skills needed to recognize and cope with demonic possession. Organizers said one of the main purposes of the exercise is to teach apprentice exorcists the difference between demonic possession and psychological or medical conditions. “Living in an increasingly secularized society than in the past, there is more tendency to open the door to the occult,” warned Father Pedro Barrajon, director of the Sacerdos Institute, organizer of the 10th annual “Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation” course. “Demonic activity is increased by the practice of magic and visiting fortune tellers which can increase the likelihood of demonic possession.” Last year, the International Association of Exorcists referred to the trend as “a pastoral emergency.” (Caribbean360)

The Devil’s In The Details

Facing the death penalty for a 2013 killing spree in Nebraska, Nikko Jenkins claims that he acted under orders from a serpent god and is mentally ill. After a Douglas County judge declared him competent to stand trial, Jenkins carved “666” into his forehead, the number of the Beast in the New Testament book of Revelation. But because he mutilated himself while looking into a mirror, the numbers are backward, according to court officials. (Omaha’s The World-Herald)

That’s Not Very Mice

German police were summoned at 9:40 a.m. after a woman reported that an intoxicated 37-year-old man attacked her and other passersby with a mouse at a Munich market. Police confiscated the mouse but returned two hours later after a complaint that the same man was throwing a different white mouse at pedestrians. (The Local)


French police said a 22-year-old man called emergency services to report a person at a shipyard in Brittany wasn’t responsive and needed an ambulance. When rescuers arrived, they found the caller “underneath a boat, on his knees, trying to resuscitate a rubber dinghy.” (Britain’s The Telegraph)

High On The Dial

Radio station KREL-AM in Colorado Springs, Colorado, abandoned its unprofitable sports-talk format to become the nation’s first radio station dedicated to marijuana programming. Its new call letters are KHIG. KHIG-AM airs three local shows: “Wake and Bake” from 7 to 9 a.m., “High Noon” from noon to one and “High Drive” from five to seven p.m. It also broadcasts three hour-long newscasts from Los Angeles-based National Marijuana News Service and programming from Chicago-based RadioMD. Six local medical marijuana dispensaries signed up as advertisers. “I just saw a business opportunity,” general manager Mike Knar said, noting that public response has been “amazing.” (The Gazette)

Testing The System

German student Simon Schräder, 17, filed a freedom of information request asking the education ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia for the questions to standardized senior exams. The ministry acknowledged that it had received the request, which “is being processed.” (The Guardian)

Everyone Cheats

Cheating on statewide secondary school exams is common in Bihar, India, where students routinely smuggle in textbooks and notes, but this year local newspapers published photos of parents and relatives scaling walls of exam centers to pass on answers to test takers. Some even showed police officers posted outside the centers accepting bribes. “What can the government do to stop cheating if parents and relatives are not ready to co-operate?” Bihar Education Minister P.K. Shahi said. “Should the government give orders to shoot them?” (BBC News)

Don’t Kiss A Drone

A drone carrying mistletoe and a kiss cam at a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant in New York City crashed into a woman’s face, cutting open her nose. “It was like I couldn’t get it off because I guess the mistletoe part had fishing wire on it — that’s how it was attached — and it got caught in my hair, and it kept twirling and twirling and twirling while this thing is on my nose,” Georgine Benvenuto said. (The Independent)

Air Asparagus

A drone delivering asparagus to a Dutch restaurant crashed on a country road and burst into flames. The delivery had been arranged as a publicity stunt by the De Zwann restaurant in Etten-Leur, North Brabant, to celebrate the beginning of asparagus season. A second batch was delivered by traditional means. (International Business Times)

Airborne Atomic Intruders

A drone marked with a radioactive warning sign was found on the roof of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office. Authorities don’t know when the drone landed but said it tested positive for only “minuscule” amounts of radiation and posed no threat to humans. It also carried a small camera and a water bottle. (Reuters)

All Hands on Deck

Hoping to relieve traffic congestion in Washington’s Puget Sound area, state Rep. Jesse Young proposed using decommissioned Navy aircraft carriers to form a 3,700-foot-long bridge linking Bremerton and Port Orchard. “I know that people from around the world would come to drive across the deck of an aircraft carrier bridge, number one,” Young explained. “Number two, it’s the right thing to do from my standpoint because this is giving testimony and a legacy memorial to our greatest generation.” (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Just months after the Sandy Hook massacre, the school district in Halfway, Oregon, decided to stage a surprise “active shooter drill” at its elementary school on a day when only teachers were there. Linda McLean, 56, said a man dressed in a black hoodie and goggles burst into her classroom, aimed a pistol at her face and fired. “You’re dead”, he said and left. Panic ensued as the gunman went from room to room, firing what turned out to be blanks. One teacher wet her pants. Teachers later learned the gunman was the district’s safety officer and that officials had alerted law enforcement so they wouldn’t respond to emergency calls from distressed teachers. Insisting that the incident caused her to suffer post traumatic stress disorder, McLean in April filed suit against Pine Eagle School District, the safety officer et al. (The Oregonian)

Carpal Candy Crush Syndrome

A 29-year-old California man was diagnosed with a torn tendon in his thumb caused by playing Candy Crush Saga on his Smartphone “all day for six to eight weeks” with his left hand, according to a study reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. One of the authors, San Diego orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dori Cage, cautioned that the rise in the number of people with Smartphones who spend lots of time texting or tapping on their cellphones or tablets has the potential to lead to a “texting thumb”, a repetitive stress injury that affects the thumb and wrist. She said that people experiencing pain from texting might instead use voice control, such as Siri on an iPhone, or “actually pick up the phone and call somebody” to communicate. (U-T San Diego)

Lame Attempts

A heavily armed Islamic extremist was unable to carry out his mission to open fire on churchgoers in Paris, French officials said, because he accidentally shot himself in the leg. (Associated Press)

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