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July 2011

25 July 2011

About six months ago, Bank of America sent foreclosure papers to a Florida couple who didn't owe anything on their home. In fact, they had paid cash for the house. Maurenn Nyergers and her husband proved this in court, and the judge ordered Bank of America to pay their legal fees.
Five months later, after telephone calls and letters, the North-Carolina-based bank still hadn't done so. Therefore, the couple's attorney, Todd Allen, had sheriff's deputies foreclose on the bank. They removed desks, photocopiers, cash in the tellers' desks, etc. About an hour after being locked out of the building, the bank manager presented Allen with a cheque for the legal fees.
Allen said: 'As a foreclosure defense attorney this is sweet justice.'

Thalia Rodriguez wanted to help future husband William Mancera overcome his fear of heights. So she arranged a bungee jump for him. In the end, the cables became tangled while he was 50 feet in the air, and the Texas man had to wait three hours for firemen to rescue him. Mancera says that his fear of heights 'won again'.

New York's Philip A. Contos took part in a motorbike ride held in protest of helmet laws. When Contos hit his brakes, he lost control of his bike and flipped over the handlebars. He died not long after his bare head made contact with the ground. Troopers stated that Contos probably would have survived if he had been wearing a helmet.

Florida's Lawrence Roberts, 33, decided to remove the plaster from his 15-year-old son's hand himself. To do this, he used a 25-centimetre circular saw. He successfully removed the tip of his son's thumb (and nearly his index finger too) but not the cast. The teenager was taken in for emergency surgery to his thumb, and Roberts was taken in for questioning.

In US-Independence-Day-related news, a Colorado teenager read online that larger fireworks can be created from smaller ones. Accordingly, he decided to use a coffee grinder in this process, to break down and mix materials from some fireworks he had purchased. In so doing, he caused an explosion that shook the house of a fire inspector 2.5 kilometres away. Sean Michael Ogden, 19, suffered serious burns in the mishap.
A rather more final home pyrotechnics project was completed by Jesse William Burley, in Fargo, North Dakota. He had apparently appropriated artillery shells bearing the warning 'If found please report to the U.S. government'. A neighbour reported that the 41-year-old Burley 'went over into the middle of the street, and within 10 seconds of us talking to him, he lit it and all we saw was a cloud of smoke, a bang.' Then the smoke cleared and 'when I walked up to his body, it was nothing but his shoulders down.'

Ireland's Limerick Leader reports that a local man is facing buggery charges for an incident in which he did not himself perform the buggery. Sean McDonnell, 57, apparently made his dog have sex with a woman he'd met in a fetish-related chat room. The reason the case came to light is that the woman, mother of four Carol Hickey, died a few hours later from what was apparently an allergic reaction to the dog's semen. McDonnell faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The dog remains in quarantine.

Thanks to Aimee for this one, which I missed:
A Massachusetts man tried to return the van his wife had purchased, because it was a 'lemon'. The dealer refused. The van did function well enough for David Cross to visit the dealership, in New Hampshire, and plough it into six vehicles. He said: 'I didn't hit a car under $20,000. Then I moved a van that they wouldn't come down on the price for.' When the van would no longer move, Cross flagged down a police officer and reported what he'd done.

Stanley Richards, who teaches science at San Francisco's City Arts and Technology High School, promised students that if they could improve their performance on a California standardised test by 50 points, he would get a tattoo of the vice-principal. He said: 'I was 99% sure that it wouldn't happen'; however, Richards now bears an image of vice-principal Paul Koh dressed as a sumo wrestler fighting a standardised-test dragon and wearing a medallion that features the test scores.
Koh said: 'Stanley asked me, "Can you send me a picture of a really angry face?" and I took it in the middle of a work day. It's weird that my angry face is now on his calf forever.'

Maria Cardona reports that a man broke into her home, number 1022 on a street in Vineland, New Jersey, and that she confronted him. He then explained that he was 'looking for a guy named Greg' and concluded: 'I'm so sorry. I meant to break into 1021.' He offered to repair the screen that he had cut from the back door in order to sneak in.
Although he was 'really polite', the 39-year-old Cardona asked him simply to leave instead, since he was making her nervous.

In California, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy Michelle Morgan received a report of a reckless child driver. When she made the relevant car pull over, the vehicle in front of it stopped too, but only briefly. The driver who pulled over obediently was an 11-year-old boy, who explained that his mother's boyfriend, 51-year-old Terry Michael Varner, had ordered him to follow Varner through the Mojave desert.
The child was taken into custody and then released to his mother's care, the car he had been driving was towed, and Varner was later found further along the highway and placed behind bars.

In other automotive news, New York bar bouncer Ricaury Peña struck his 23-year-old girlfriend, a waitress at the bar, with a Honda Pilot SUV in response to her attempt to get into the SUV with him after work. Apparently intoxicated, he left her semi-naked and bleeding in the street. She was soon hospitalised with critical head injuries. Five hours later, the 28-year-old Peña flipped the vehicle and was rushed to hospital with critical injuries of his own.
When his wife, Rosa Estevez - the owner of the SUV - arrived there to be by his side, it didn't take her long to learn of the earlier incident and declare the marriage to be over: 'We don't have a relationship now, only a daughter [...]. He's my husband - he's supposed to be not cheating.'

Canada's Gisele Kanganza Musau was upset that her sister had not been chosen to be godmother to a child who would soon be christened at a Baptist church in Edmonton. She believed this snub to be because of rumours that the sister had been working as a prostitute during a visit to the Congo. Accordingly, Kanganza Musau, 32, and two friends waited for the child's parents, Max Mubelakumimba and Nadia Ngolo, after a church service there. Perhaps their intent was to speak with Mubelakumimba and Ngolo; what ended up happening is that the parents walked past and one of the trio slapped Mubelakumimba on the back of his head while another said that she would stab him with a screwdriver. Kanganza Musau and one of her friends then removed their high-heeled shoes for use as weapons in what a prosecutor later termed 'a three-on-one group assault that took place in a church in front of children'.
Kanganza Musau has been banned from the vicinity of the church and ordered to participate in community service work and anger management counselling. The other two women pleaded guilty to assault and were placed on 12 months' probation.

Last Christmas, Minnesota's Tamara Lee Mason suggested that her sons - Jacob (age 17) and Andrew (18) Cobb and their stepbrother Dylan C. Clemens (25) - play the dice game Yahtzee. They didn't like the idea and, now that her decomposing corpse has been found, are accused of her ensuing murder.
They have reportedly confessed to the police that Jacob strangled Mason while Andrew fastened a plastic bag over her head with a belt. It was Dylan who hid the remains, taking them to South Dakota and then back to Minnesota for burial in the backyard once the ground had thawed.
Steven County Sheriff Randy Willis said: 'She wanted to play Yahtzee and they didn't. It's very strange.'

Heidi Lynn Knowles, a 36-year-old mother from Vancouver, Washington, held an impromptu auction in a Taco Bell restaurant. Hoping to earn $500, she was trying to sell her three-year-old son. Police later found her at a hotel and arrested her. In court, she stated that she wasn't high at the time - she had been free of methamphetamine for a year - and simply wanted more money with which to leave town and start a new life.

After an office party at a restaurant in Changchun, China, 11 workers realised that none of them had remained sober enough to drive. The office boss, Zhang Fei, didn't want to leave his car downtown, but it was too late in the day to call out a substitute driver. So vice-president Huang Weiyun suggested that the group push Zhang home and get some exercise. For five kilometres and 45 minutes, the group sang and car-pushed their way through town, amusing onlookers.
Traffic officers said that, while the group avoided drink-driving charges because the engine wasn't running, it's generally a bad idea to push a car through busy streets while intoxicated.

A team from Anti-Mines Network Rwenzori visited Uganda's Ikobero Model primary school, in a former war zone, to conduct mine-awareness training for the 700 pupils. AMNET-R co-ordinator Wilson Bwambale said that a student began ringing the school bell to call them to order for the assembly - that is, started banging on an unexploded mortar bomb with a rock. Bwambale explained: 'The bottom was hollow - that is why they used it as a bell - but the fuse at the top was still live.'
He said that the bomb, after roughly three years of service as a bell, has now been removed for detonation and his team 'recommended that the school look for something else that could be used as a gong'.

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© 2011 Anna Shefl