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December 2018

26 December 2018

The site of our first story is a building in San Lorenzo, California - more specifically, the grease trap of that building, used by a Chinese restaurant. The emergency services were called in after someone heard cries for help. The shouts were issued by a man who had been trapped for two days behind a metal vent in the grease-storage area. Authorities believe that he had intended to burgle the restaurant, which is no longer in business. Sergeant Ray Kelly, with the Alameda County sheriff's office, says that the unidentified man was taken to hospital, with deputies yet to decide on whether he will get sent to jail afterward.

While a police officer was transporting him between county jails in Kentucky, prisoner Allen Lewis griped that his handcuffs were too tight. People who have watched an action film or two might be able to guess what happened once the police car had stopped and the two were outside. With one handcuff released, the 31-year-old Lewis struggled free and ran off. He hitched a ride from beside a nearby road.
Greenup County jailer Mike Worthington clarified that the driver who stopped for him happened to be a campus police officer at Morehead State University. After stopping, said officer decided that the handcuffs hanging from Lewis's wrist may be a good indication that he belonged back in jail, where he now awaits charges for escaping.

Best friends who recently retired from teaching at a Catholic school in Torrance, California, have admitted to at least a decade of embezzling funds from tuition fees and donations, The former teachers, Sisters Mary Kreuper and Lana Chang, had placed the equivalent of 450,000 euros in a non-school account to fund excursions such as gambling trips to Las Vegas. A routine audit shortly after their retirement brought the financial irregularities to light, whereupon the police were informed. However, the nuns have expressed 'deep remorse' and no criminal charges have been filed against them.

The BBC report on India's Hanifa Zaara, a girl in Ambur, Tamil Nadu, who embraced her nursery school's messages about public hygiene and begged her father to build a toilet. He acquiesced after a fashion, agreeing that he would do so if she achieved the highest marks in her class. Recently, he was called away from his work helping villagers write letters to official agencies, to the police station. There he found seven-year-old Hanifa with her school certificates and trophies spread out on an officer's desk. Her education had also included learning from him - she had filed a letter of complaint that he had cheated her and should be arrested or at least forced to provide a signed letter stating that he would provide the toilet.
He responded that he had begun building one but run out of money, adding that 'I asked Hanifa to give me more time but she stopped talking to me'. The local police spoke to higher-ups, who have now announced plans to build more than 500 toilets in the neighbourhood.

An Indian man features prominently in our next item too. A crying woman seated next to Prabhu Ramamoorthy on a US domestic flight asked flight attendants to let her sit elsewhere. She explained that she had awakened to find Ramamoorthy's hand between her legs. Her shirt and trouser buttons had been undone. Ramamoorthy, 34, initially stated that he couldn't have sexually assaulted the woman: he too had been asleep. Ramamoorthy's wife, who had been sitting on the other side of him, said that the other woman had been asleep on her husband's lap and that the Ramamoorthies had asked the staff to reseat her. Flight attendants disputed this account. He has been handed a nine-year jail sentence, after which he is to be deported to India.

Last year, Ross Johnston bought a San Francisco property that is regarded as an iconic piece of modernist architecture. When a neighbour returned from a two-week holiday, she quickly noticed that his renovation of Largent House may have gone further than was permitted: 'the house was gone, totally gone'. She filed a complaint, and the San Francisco Planning Commission have ruled that Johnston's plans for a larger property aren't permissible. He (or anyone to whom he sells the property) must build an exact replica of the original structure and attach a plaque to it that explains why this is only a copy.
Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards said: 'If a developer has even a thought of demolishing a house illegally, I'd like them to go up to 49 Hopkins and take a look at the plaque, because this is what's going to happen in the future'.

Utah's Jason Dee Maughn is accused of ending an argument with a choice. Maughn, 45, allegedly told the other man, who was handcuffed to a chair at the time, to decide whether to be killed out in the desert or have a nail punched through his penis. The following day, Maughn's opponent went to the hospital to be treated for genital injuries sustained via a tool resembling an ice pick. Maughn has been charged with sexual assault and kidnapping in conjunction with domestic violence.

Korean Air Lines Co Ltd have increased the penalties payable when people cancel their international trips after going through the departure process. This comes after three people, all in their 20s, boarded a flight to Hong Kong, took photos of Korean boy band Wanna One seated on the plane, and then demanded to be allowed off the aircraft rather than follow the instruction to take their seats. They received refunds of most of the ticket price, while the other 357 passengers had to undergo a second security screening in the airport, in line with a policy applied whenever passengers disembark voluntarily. The flight was delayed by about an hour.

The Canadian media report on a cat named Baloo, who curled up with some tyre rims in the bottom of a parcel that owner Jacqueline Lake was about to send from Nova Scotia to Montreal. After the 17-hour journey, the lorry driver spotted urine in the vehicle and investigated. Workers with the courier company soon contacted animal-welfare officers, who used the tracking code to trace Baloo back to Lake. Another lengthy journey is in his near future.

Derek Tarbox is a Standish, Maine, man who apparently broke into a home in nearby Waterboro, where he proceeded to take a shower, don some of the homeowner's clothes, and prepare food for himself. Tarbox, 35, was lounging on the sofa in front of the home's television set when one of the residents returned. Tarbox told this man that he'd mistaken the home for a friend's place and asked for a ride back home to Hollis. Sheriff Bill King later stated that the resident 'wanted to get the man out of his house, so he agreed'. When the resident returned to Waterboro, he noticed that his back door had been forced open, food had been eaten, etc.
Investigators paid a visit to the house where Tarbox had been dropped off. His relatives there explained that they had driven him back to his real home. When he was apprehended near there, he was still wearing the clothes taken from the home in Waterboro. As for why Tarbox had been in Waterboro, he'd stolen a car in Portland, run out of petrol in Hollis so stolen another one, and then crashed the second in Waterboro.

Two men allegedly stole four nail guns from a Marysville, Washington, hardware store in hopes of pawning them, according to local paper The Daily Herald. They put the stolen tools in a Honda Civic and prepared to make their escape, but soon they found themselves surrounded by half a dozen customers with firearms drawn. One stood in front of the car and shouted for the shoplifters to get out. According to court documents, the driver pulled forward anyway after a shout of 'he won't shoot; run him over', and the customer ended up across the bonnet of the car. Security tapes show a customer then shooting a hole in the left front tyre and another firing twice at a rear tyre. The police later found the abandoned vehicle about three blocks away, with two flat tyres. The tools were still inside. Both suspects were apprehended after a search.

For four days, nine-year-old Alissa Davies-Evans ate the treats from the Garfield-themed Advent calendar that her mother, Jess Evans, had bought her. A week later, she confessed to her mother that she didn't much like the little green treats and hadn't been eating them. Evans, 26, decided to see what her picky daughter's issue with the 'apple-flavoured chocolates' was - after all, her other daughters had no issue with the Advent calendars she'd picked out for them. The description on the back of Alissa's calendar gave her the answer: behind the little doors were yoghurt and catnip delicacies.
Evans, who will give the remaining treats to a friend who has a cat, later mused: 'I have a degree in English literature and creative writing but still couldn't read a calendar and it had taken me 11 days to realise.'

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