Category Archives: Quirks

Village makes at least $5,280 from urination fines

Authorities in Ohio were able to net their village at least $5,280 during the summer via 32 citations for public urination, records show.

The Sandusky (Ohio) Register said its analysis of police reports in the village of Put-in-Bay revealed 32 people were cited during the summer for public urination.

Karen Goaziou, Put-in-Bay clerk of courts, said the offense carries a fine of $80 to $150, plus an $85 court fee. She said those who choose not to contest the offense are automatically fined $80 plus the $85 court fee, meaning most pay a total $165.

Don Dress, Put-in-Bay police public relations officer, said the public urination offense was put on the books around 2000 due to offenders previously being charged with the more serious offense of indecent exposure. He said the frequency of citations led to the lesser offense being implemented.

Dress said not every person caught urinating in public is issued a ticket.

“We always run their IDs in our system to make sure they don't have warrants or anything like that, but it's up to [the officer] to decide whether they deserve a ticket,” he said.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

Spanish air traffic controllers in trouble for retirement message

Five air traffic controllers in Spain are facing discipline for broadcasting a special message to a retiring pilot over a dedicated radio frequency.

The Spanish Airports and Air Navigation Association said the air traffic controllers are facing disciplinary action for broadcasting a message Aug. 17 to retiring pilot Francisco Ubet as he prepared to land at Madrid's Barajas airport, reported Monday.

The 35-second message celebrated Ubet's career to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne.”

The air traffic controllers' human resources department said using the air traffic control radio frequency for the message was a violation of the rules.

However, the Union of Air traffic Controllers said special retirement messages for pilots are traditional and do not put passengers at risk. The union is calling for the punishments to be canceled and pilots are being asked to send supportive messages over the radio on approaching the airport.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

Dog accidentally shoots owner, 78, in Fort Worth, Texas

A Fort Worth, Texas woman, 78, was shot in the foot when her shotgun discharged after her dog walked past it and knocked it over, police said.

The unidentified woman told police she was watching television in her home Saturday night with the shotgun by her side, and it fired when the dog bumped it.

She sought treatment for her injured left foot the following morning, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Monday.

“The victim advised it was an accident and the dog was not to blame,” said officer Sharron Neal, a police spokeswoman.

Police did not identify the breed of the dog.

“He has the right to remain silent,” Neal said.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

Police: Burglary suspect cashed stolen check at island's only store

Authorities in Alaska said they arrested a man accused of trying to cash a stolen check at the only store in his village.

Alaska State Troopers stationed in Nome said they received a report last Tuesday that a .22 caliber pistol and some checks were among the items stolen from Savoonga resident Jody Madsen's home, the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.

Troopers said the Savoonga Native Store, the only shop on the island, notified police that Ronald Kingeekuk, 22, cashed one of the stolen checks for $2,000 at the business.

“The Alaska State Troopers recovered each stolen item, including the .22 caliber pistol and upon further investigation linked R. Kingeekuk to the burglary,” the troopers said in a dispatch.

Kingeekuk was arrested Saturday.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

Russian women get lost in cemetery, call authorities for help

Russian authorities said two women who took a group of girls into a cemetery to visit a relative's grave ended up intoxicated and lost.

Officials with the Emergencies Ministry in the Tomsk region village of Voronino said a pair of women took four girls, ages 7 to 17, to visit a relative's grave at the cemetery Saturday and ended up calling the ministry for help when they couldn't find their way out, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

The ministry said a rescue team used flashlights and sound signals to show the group the way out. The women and girls were escorted home, officials said.

“There were external indicators that the adult women were in a state of alcoholic intoxication,” the ministry's statement said.

Officials said it is not unusual for relatives and friends of a deceased person to gather at their grave with food and alcoholic beverages.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

Arizona's restaurant ferret ban takes effect

A law officially forbidding ferrets from being brought into the Arizona restaurants has taken effect.

Friday, the 90th day since this year's legislative session was adjourned, marked the day 256 new laws took effect in the state, including the ferret ban, which stems from efforts to narrow the number of species considered “service animals,” Capital Media Services reported Monday.

Laws previously allowed several types of animals to be claimed as “service animals” and brought into restaurants and other facilities by people with disabilities, but the new law restricts the designation to dogs and miniature horses.

Miniature horses were left on the list due to their ability to be trained, greater physical strength than dogs and their longevity.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

German cafe charges for time rather than coffee

A German cafe said it is charging customers for the amount of time they spend in the facility instead of charging them for the items they order.

Daria Volkova, 24, founder of the Slow Times cafe in Wiesbaden, said she was inspired by similar cafes in her native Russia, which she left for Germany in 2008, The reported Monday.

Volkova said she is hoping the business model will help the cafe make enough money to support her and her 6-year-old son.

“I hope to capture the spirit of the times,” Volkova said.

Volkova said customers are given time-marked wristbands when they enter the cafe and they are charged $0.06 per minute, amounting to about $3.60 per hour.

Volkova said clocks around the cafe are purposefully set to different times to help people stop thinking about time and instead focus on those around them.

“It's easier — and cheaper — to meet people here than in a bar, where you have to buy expensive drinks,” Volkova said.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

NYC settles lawsuit over subway dancing

New York City has agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a couple arrested for dancing on a subway platform, officials said.

The settlement puts an end to the lawsuit Caroline Stern, 55, and her boyfriend, George Hess, 54, filed last year for their July 2011 arrest, for which they spent 23 hours in custody, the New York Post reported.

On the night of their arrest, Hess and Stern danced while waiting at the Columbus Circle subway station after a jazz show at Lincoln Center. Two police officers told them dancing was not allowed on subway platforms and arrested the couple after Stern could not produce a photo ID.

Stern said she and Hess were happy about the settlement, but said their arrest could have been avoided.

“I'm kind of glad it's over,” she said. “At the same time, with all the issues with the stopping and frisking people, I think the cops really have to be better trained in dealing with various situations. This was a huge waste of money and time for everybody involved.”

New York City lawmakers have criticized the city's record of settling lawsuits, particularly ones dealing with the police department, with taxpayer money.

“At $75,000 a dance, the city's going to go bankrupt sooner than we thought,” said city Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., D-Astoria. “Here, it looks like it was the taxpayers who got served.”

The city paid out more that $185.6 million in fiscal year 2011, settling suits against the NYPD.

“Their policy is to settle regardless of the guilt and just throw taxpayer money out there,” said Vallone.

Copyright 2013 by United Press International

Walmart fires iPad-throwing workers

Executives at Walmart say the shoe dropped for a group of employees seen on video throwing and intentionally dropping new iPads at a Kentucky store.

An unspecified number of nightshift workers at the Pikeville store were shown the door after a video showing their antics hit the Internet.

“As anyone can imagine, it made us wince,” a Walmart representative told NBC News. “We are also embarrassed.”

On the bright side, the rep said the store had not recorded anyone returning damaged iPads they had purchased.

The video, shot in August, showed stockroom workers tossing iPad boxes to one another, and occasionally missing the catch.

“Sorry about that, iPad,” the person recording the video said after one drop. “Hope nobody buys that.”

Pikeville police said they had not gotten any criminal complaints from Walmart and weren't involved in the matter.

Copyright 2012 by United Press International

Romney losing friends on Facebook

More than 55,000 users have unliked Republican nominee Mitt Romney”s Facebook page since he conceded the U.S. presidential election Tuesday.

Users have been unliking the former Massachusetts governor”s page at a rate of almost 850 an hour since about 11:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, The Daily Dot reported.

However Romney has gained 17,601 new Twitter followers since he conceded defeat to President Barack Obama.

The president has steadily gained 853,359 friends on Facebook since winning re-election, bringing his total number of fans on the social-networking site to 33,167,324.

Copyright 2012 by United Press International