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June 2023

1 June 2023

T[IMG: Corey the Eagle] o start off with a feel-good story, we can turn to Corey the Eagle. That's exactly what Whitby chippy Mister Chips have done, in efforts to free tourists in Whitby from the threat of seagulls swooping at them and stealing their food. After co-owner Alex Boyd's 'big fake eagles on sticks' proved less than effective, he hired 18-year-old Corey Grieveson to walk the harbour in an eagle costume and charge at the birds before they can approach diners too closely. While older people tip him amply, the seagulls do wreak their revenge, per Grieveson - 'they won't leave my car alone'.

When teacher Caleb Bates asked his students at Tennessee's Antioch High School to put away their mobile phones during an English lesson, one of them outright refused, prompting its confiscation. Another student's phone captured some of the aftermath, which included her demanding the device's return, pepper-spraying Bates, again ordering 'Give me my phone!', and sending him to his knees in the hallway by spraying his face again.
Though another teacher stepped in, answering the girl's 'Okay, now give me my phone' with 'No, not now', Bates has pledged never to return to the under-staffed school and its students' mobile phones. For instance, he was punched in the face for a cheating-linked phone confiscation two months earlier. This time, he will press charges.

Food inspector Rajesh Vishwas dropped his high-end Samsung phone into India's Kherkatta Dam reservoir while taking a selfie. Claiming that it contained sensitive government data, he contacted local divers, to no avail. Then, having received what he later characterised as verbal permission to drain 'some water into a nearby canal', he commenced a three-day diesel-pump operation that drained at least two million litres of water from the dam.
A complaint to a water-resources official led to district official Priyanka Shukla reassuring the public: 'He has been suspended until an inquiry. Water is an essential resource.' Vishwas replied that the water was 'not in usable condition' anyway. Neither is his phone.

After the Springfield, Colorado, police pulled his car over for speeding, a man with 'clear signs of intoxication' immediately stated that he hadn't been behind the wheel. However, the officer had seen him switch places with his passenger - a dog. The next athletic feat was a 20-metre dash, where arrest marked the finish line.
It later emerged that the man had become lost while driving to Las Animas from Pueblo, where he was the subject of two warrants. Also on the charge sheet are such items as resisting arrest and 'driving while license under suspension'. The dog is staying with a friend of his while he awaits trial.

For another idea that probably seemed clever at the time, we turn to Kansas, whose Department of Wildlife and Parks seized equipment that someone without a fishing licence was using to catch fish in Garden City: a 9 mm handgun. The wardens took this opportunity to remind Kansans that 'firearms are not a legal means to take fish'.
Perhaps to prevent future Clippings appearances, they mentioned also that shooting at a body of water 'can be a dangerous activity'.

Responding to a lawsuit alleging personal injury from an in-flight serving trolley, lawyers for airline Avianca asked New York judge P. Kevin Castel for help in finding six of the cases cited as precedent. Back-and-forth with the plaintiff's lawyer ultimately uncovered what Castel termed an 'unprecedented circumstance' in relation to the problematic quotes and citations.
Thirty years as a lawyer had not prepared legal-team member Steven A. Schwartz for the possibility that having ChatGPT 'supplement' one's legal research might be unwise. Stressing that he'd been 'unaware that its content could be false', Schwartz supported his claims of due diligence with transcripts in which the chatbot replied 'Yes' to 'Is varghese a real case' and then answered 'What is your source' with a bogus docket code and assurance that it 'does indeed exist and can be found on legal research databases such as Westlaw and LexisNexis'.

Our next item takes us back to the 1930s. Or, rather, the trains in Austria do. Passengers on the Bregenz-to-Vienna service were treated to a portion of a speech by Hitler, then, just before arrival, 'Sieg Heil!'s. One of them, MP David Stögmüller, reported that the train crew, one of whom 'was really upset', could neither prevent the speaker system from Hitling nor make their own announcements.
Expressing distaste for the content, the train company reported several occasions of this nature to the police, who used CCTV footage to nab two culprits. Members of the public apparently had used an Austrian Federal Railways employee's key to enter the conductors' cabin and play the recordings behind the incidents, from bogus fire alarms to the crime of spreading Nazi propaganda.

In what might read like a June Fool's story, an employment tribunal at London Central Court heard Karina Gasparova accuse Alexander Goulandris, her boss at paperless-document firm essDOCS, of sexual harassment such as using 'xx' and '??' in e-mail. These placeholders allegedly requested kisses and asked when she would be 'ready to engage in sexual acts', respectively, and his initials in a filename apparently referenced 'A Jumbo Genital'. Furthermore, Gasparova contended, her rejection of such advances led her 'rich and powerful' boss to discriminate against her by reducing her responsibilities and staring at her until she had to quit her job.
Yes, the panel threw the case out and ordered her to pay the costs, with judge Emma Burns describing Gasparova as having a 'skewed perception of everyday events' and 'entirely innocent work-related conduct [...] as having a sinister intent'.

Randy Lankford, 50, owns an undertaker's firm in Jeffersonville, Indiana, but it is no longer operating. That might have something to do with him pleading guilty to 40-plus counts of theft, after the stench from dozens of ostensibly buried or cremated bodies led the police to corpses mouldering at the facility. He has been ordered to compensate 53 families (about $870 each) for not completing the funeral services paid for, fake ashes notwithstanding, and the judge has indicated that he could spend 4-12 years behind bars.

Security-camera video from a 3am break-in at her Vancouver bakery gave Sweet Something proprietor Emma Irvine 'one of the best laughs I've ever had'. After standing outside for about 15 minutes, he kicked in the glass of the front door and spent the next hour inside. In that time, he sat for a while, used the loo, and drank some water, then 'realised, I guess, that he'd made a mess and grabs a mop and bucket and goes to try to clean up all of the glass'. Finally, he modelled his orange sunglasses for selfies on the shop's phone and ambled out with a box of six bespoke cupcakes. In addition to re-making these, Irvine has started selling cupcakes topped with an orange sunglasses-shaped biscuit, to help pay for replacement door glass.

Responding to late-night reports about a steak-knife-wielding dementia patient at Australia's Yallambee Lodge care home, New South Wales police arrived at the facility to 'de-escalate the matter'. However, as the 95-year-old resident in question, Clare Nowland, advanced on them with her walking frame, an officer with a stun gun did the opposite. He sent her crashing to the floor with a fractured skull and a serious brain bleed.
The police began investigating 33-year-old Kristian White for recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault. Meanwhile, Nowland died in hospital a few days after being double-tased.

Jeff Holt, the 'assistant commander of operations' at Indiana's La Porte County Jail, had to deal with an arrested suspect who attempted to evade a routine search. Once the man submitted to an electronic body scan, the reason for his reluctance became clear, in 'what appeared to be a foreign object inside the anal cavity of the arrestee': a 22-centimetre-long pair of scissors. This 'dangerous edged object' was then removed from him without incident.

Upon the dissolution of her seven-year relationship with Toronto police officer Robert Konashewych, Candice Dixon discovered that he'd reaped more than $800,000 as the sole heir of elderly recluse Heinz Summerfeld, whom he'd never mentioned before. At the same time, she learned of his long-time affair with Adellene Balgobin, a worker at an Ontario agency for people who lack the competence to manage their own financial affairs.
The police investigation requested by Dixon revealed Balgobin's report of a 'Bob Kay' (Konashewych) producing Summerfeld's will a week after the elderly man's death in care. It also uncovered Konashewych's seemingly truth-incompatible claim of having searched police databases for the will's two witnesses. Prosecuting Balgobin and Konashewych (who is now on paid suspension) for fraud over $5,000, Crown attorney Peter Scrutton describes them as 'concocting a fake will, purportedly witnessed by fake people'.

To circumvent the lengthy queue at a Port Charlotte bar, Florida's Jordan Rivera decided to visit the pond behind said watering hole. The 23-year-old later recounted that 'I either tripped or the ground below me just went down', landing him in the water hole. He doesn't remember bystanders treating his injuries or medics treating him, just waking up in the local hospital and being informed 'Oh, gator got your arm'. Of his above-the-elbow amputation, he comments: 'I didn't lose my life, I lost an arm; it's not the end of the world.'

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