Don't mess with KFC
Wrong place, wrong grandma. Police say Joshua G. Crowley was robbing a KFC in Camas, Wash., when Mary Chamberlain, grandmother of 12, saw him making a getaway. The 67-year-old spotted the suspect darting out of the fast-food restaurant with an employee yelling after him. Rather than phoning authorities, Chamberlain started after him in her vehicle. After she chased him into a neighborhood, Crowley apparently ran into a yard and attempted to climb a fence. The retired woman jumped from her car and confronted the man. "I pulled him off the fence," she said. "He didn't swing at me. I just told him, 'Just give it up. You haven't got a chance.' I had my arm around his neck, and I was going to try and bring his arm up behind him. It looks easy on TV. Believe me, it's not." Chamberlain said she was spurred into action out of a need to defend her turf. "You're messing with one of my favorite places," she said of the fast-food chicken spot.
Worth the paper it's printed on
Ron Borgna is sending Binghamton, N.Y., a two-fold response: Here's your money. And here's what I think it's good for. Borgna took in a check to city offices of more than $2,500 on March 26 for a disputed water bill, but the city didn't accept it. Borgna wrote the check on floral, two-ply toilet paper. The local newspaper reported that the New York man was escorted out of the building after an argument over both the bill and the validity of his check.
Andy Bacas carried an extra passenger home with him from his team trip to North Carolina with the Yorktown High School (Arlington, Va.) rowing team: a juvenile rattlesnake. When Bacas arrived home and reached his hand into his luggage, a nearly one-foot-long canebrake rattlesnake struck him. The small snake didn't carry the full venomous load of its adult counterparts, but canebrakes pack a whallop. Bacas quickly closed the bag back up and phoned 911. A firefighter chemically blasted the stowaway snake with a fire extinguisher rather than coaxing it out of the bag. For his part, Bacas spent one night in the hospital.
Smell you later
Farina, Ill., resident Dominique Durbin's love affair with the skunk began when his brother from Indiana gave him a baby skunk for a wedding gift. But whereas skunks are legal to keep in the Hoosier State, across the border in Illinois the animals are seen as a rabies hazard and outlawed. Most people would stick up their nose at the idea of keeping a pet skunk to begin with. Or hold their nose. But Durbin says otherwise. "Once you have the animal descented, which is a noninvasive procedure done early in the animal's life, having one is a complete joy," Durbin told the Effingham Daily News. "It's like a cross between a house cat and a calm monkey." Durbin has appealed to his state legislator for help in rescinding the Illinois law, saying the incidence of rabies in skunks is now quite low. Durbin's representative, Republican lawmaker Ron Stephens, told the paper, "I am keeping an open mind, but I will come down on the side of reason."
A foreign national fighting in the British army said he's "gob smacked" that the government in the United Kingdom has denied him citizenship on a technicality. According to English law, when Rogers Jean-Baptiste of St. Lucia applied for citizenship on Jan. 17 this year, he forgot one thing: British naturalization law requires a person to have been in the U.K. five years earlier on the same day. On Jan. 17, 2003, Jean-Baptiste was deployed at a British army base in Germany. The Home Office in London says that doesn't count and that Jean-Baptiste, who served a pair of tours in Iraq for the army, may apply again in 2011 if he wishes. He may not. "It's a waste of my time and of everything I fought for," he told the BBC. "It's a betrayal."
For cat lovers who have always wanted the kitty but not the caboodle, one burgeoning business in Japan promises to make every day "Caturday." Cat cafés have sprung up in and around Tokyo recently, giving patrons a chance to sip bubble tea and play with one of the café's cats. At Calico, a cat café in western Tokyo, customers pay $8 plus the cost of drinks to sit and play with their very own cat for an hour. One plus for the cat café business: Many apartments in the area don't allow pets.
State troopers in Connecticut have now possibly heard every excuse. When a trooper stopped a 1993 BMW, its driver, Justin Vonkummer of Millerton, N.Y., blamed his speeding on an Oreo cookie malfunction. According to state police, Vonkummer said he accidentally dropped an Oreo into his milk and was attempting to retrieve it when he lost control of his speed.
Fill in the blanks
Somebody get the Indian national rifle team some ammunition. Four years ago, India-hardly known for its Olympic prowess-pulled out a silver medal in double trap shooting in Athens. Now representatives of the would-be Olympians say they're fed up with budget cuts from the Indian government that have forced the shooting team to practice with blanks instead of live ammunition leading up to the summer games in Beijing. A spokesman for the National Rifle Association of India told Reuters the budget restrictions are undercutting a strong shooting team-possibly India's best chance to get a medal. The world's second-most-populous nation has won just four individual medals in Olympic history.
According to the law, Dustin Zebro wasn't doing anything wrong. But so far, the 18-year-old senior's school doesn't see it that way. The Wasau, Wis., teenager staged a party on March 1 at his home that every parent dreads: hordes of teens, drinking games, and a keg. Police were called to the party and arrived to find dozens of high-schoolers drinking from red plastic cups. But a funny thing happened: Nobody scattered, and when police began administering breathalyzer tests-90 in all-every kid passed. That's when police searched the keg to discover not beer, but a quarter barrel of 1919 Classic American Draft Root Beer. Zebro said his root beer party was designed to prove kids could have fun without alcohol, but also to make fun of the school for what he assumed would happen next. As soon as pictures of the teens at the party drinking from red cups hit Facebook, school administrators handed down extracurricular suspensions to Zebro and others. "They assumed there was beer in the cups," Zebro said.