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Old 04-22-2011, 08:36 AM   #201
tyketime
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Another passenger on the Idiot Express:

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A Montgomery County woman could spend time in jail for faking cancer and then taking money from sympathizers, including her own family, who wanted to help her with treatments.

Alicia E. Tolton, 26, pleaded guilty Thursday to theft by deception, forgery and tampering with records. Earlier this year she entered guilty pleas to other charges related to the cancer scam.

Last year, Tolton lied to family and friends when she told them she had ovarian and breast cancer. The Upper Moreland woman even shaved her head so she could tell people it fell out during her treatments, according to a report in The Intelligencer.

Tolton took money that her own grandfather, friends and total strangers thought was being spent on cancer treatments and medical bills.

But Tolton's story fell apart as friends were organizing a fundraising event last October. That's when a family member who'd become suspicious, went to police because he "did not want innocent, good-hearted people to lose their money," according to The Intelligencer.

When police confronted Tolton, she handed over forged hospital invoices, admitted she did not have cancer and that she used the money to settle some drug debts and pay bills, according to report.

In February, she pleaded guilty in a $24,000 credit card scheme. Her parents were the victims.

Tolton will be sentenced at a later date. She faces a maximum of 14 years behind bars.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:20 AM   #202
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BBC News - The anti-social network: avoiding online darkness



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A 75-year-old Georgian woman who says she has never even heard of the internet is facing a possible prison sentence for single-handedly cutting off the web to an entire country.

Georgian police arrested Hayastan Shakarian after she allegedly hacked through a fibre optic cable that runs through Georgia to Armenia, while digging for copper.

With one stroke, the pensioner plunged 90% of internet users in Armenia into online darkness for nearly 12 hours.

The episode is a timely reminder that all it takes in our hi-tech world to shut down thousands of companies for a day is a determined old lady with a spade.

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Old 04-26-2011, 12:23 PM   #203
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:28 PM   #204
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‘Stolen’ hot dog, 99 cents. Baffled jurors, priceless - Spokesman Mobile - April 27, 2011

what a horrible waste of tax payers money

Last edited by Lathum : 04-27-2011 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:39 PM   #205
Ksyrup
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I find fault almost completely with the store on this for offering consumable food on the premises of a grocery store and not having a way to deal with payment.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #206
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I understand the annoyance of the prosecutors that led to their bad decision here. People constantly steal little things with the idea that they'll just pay if caught and nobody will care. Usually those cases are easier to prove though. But everybody still thinks the police/prosecutors are nazis if they enforce any theft under a certain amount. Thieves are a pain in the ass.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:46 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Ksyrup View Post
I find fault almost completely with the store on this for offering consumable food on the premises of a grocery store and not having a way to deal with payment.

Certainly a fair argument, but almost every grocery store has some kind of consumable food on the premise. The whole situation is absurd.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:50 PM   #208
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:51 PM   #209
molson
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If you want a free lunch by the way, this is the perfect blueprint. Go in a store, eat something, buy a couple of other things that you need anyway, and then leave. 95% of the time, nobody will stop you, and the other 5% of the time, nobody will be able to prove you intended to steal anything.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:57 PM   #210
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Certainly a fair argument, but almost every grocery store has some kind of consumable food on the premise. The whole situation is absurd.

Yes, they do - and they remedy this problem by either making you pay at the counter or giving you your item in a wrapper with a bar code so that if you eat it on premise, you can still easily pay for it when you are finished.

You think about a place like Target or KMart that have those food places up front - there's a reason why they don't just hand you a pretzel or slice of pizza and let you go on your merry way.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:16 PM   #211
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Yes, they do - and they remedy this problem by either making you pay at the counter or giving you your item in a wrapper with a bar code so that if you eat it on premise, you can still easily pay for it when you are finished.

.

Really?

Does your grocery store not have a bakery?
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #212
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Really?

Does your grocery store not have a bakery?

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Originally Posted by Ksyrup View Post
...or giving you your item in a wrapper with a bar code...

.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Lathum View Post
Really?

Does your grocery store not have a bakery?

Huh?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #214
Lathum
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So none of you have even been in a grocery store that has the donuts, buns, etc...in bins or glass cabinets?

What is the difference between grabbing a donut from a cabinet and grabbing a hot dog?
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:01 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by Lathum View Post
So none of you have even been in a grocery store that has the donuts, buns, etc...in bins or glass cabinets?

What is the difference between grabbing a donut from a cabinet and grabbing a hot dog?

Those donuts are intended to go in the bags they place under the cabinet, not to just be ate in the store. That is like saying, don't you have fresh produce at your grocery store?
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:37 PM   #216
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Those donuts are intended to go in the bags they place under the cabinet, not to just be ate in the store. That is like saying, don't you have fresh produce at your grocery store?

I don't think that is true at all. There are many people who grab a donut in the morning for their breakfast or one for a snack and give to their kid.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:39 PM   #217
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I don't think that is true at all. There are many people who grab a donut in the morning for their breakfast or one for a snack and give to their kid.

It must be a regional thing, because here in the Southern California, I have never seen someone just grab a donut out of the bin and start chomping away on it. Just like I don't see people grab and apple and start eating it, or anything else in the store. I would consider anyone that does do that probably stealing it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:43 PM   #218
molson
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It must be a regional thing, because here in the Southern California, I have never seen someone just grab a donut out of the bin and start chomping away on it. Just like I don't see people grab and apple and start eating it, or anything else in the store. I would consider anyone that does do that probably stealing it.

Same here. But maybe I'm missing out - could I just go around the store, eating stuff for an hour, and then try to remember what I ate to tell the cashier (And if I missed anything, you can't prove anything - I just forgot). If everybody did this, the system just wouldn't work. Unless the supermarkets just didn't allow you eat something until you paid for it, which is the most sensible solution - but that's a "rule" it seems like almost everyone just sort of follows as a societal norm anyway.

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Old 04-28-2011, 01:48 PM   #219
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Same here. But maybe I'm missing out - could I just go around the store, eating stuff for an hour, and then try to remember what I ate to tell the cashier (And if I missed anything, you can't prove anything - I just forgot). If everybody did this, the system just wouldn't work. Unless the supermarkets just didn't allow you eat something until you paid for it, which is the most sensible solution - but that's a "rule" it seems like almost everyone just sort of follows as a societal norm anyway.

But here's the loophole. If you never leave, you never have to pay! Grab a lawnchair from the summer beers display, a bag of donuts, some fried chicken and have yourself a sitdown!
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:49 PM   #220
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But here's the loophole. If you never leave, you never have to pay! Grab a lawnchair from the summer beers display, a bag of donuts, some fried chicken and have yourself a sitdown!

Intriguing.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #221
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Wow, this guy can party on a whole different level.

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Man arrested after being found standing over goat, wearing women's underwear
by Ashley B. Craig

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An Alum Creek man has been arrested after neighbors allegedly found him standing over the dead body of a stolen pygmy goat while wearing women's underwear.

Mark Lucas Thompson, 19, of Greenview Road was taken into custody early Monday at his home. Deputies had dealt with the man before and believe him to be mentally unstable.

Thompson told deputies he had been high on bath salts for the last three days, said Cpl. Sean Snuffer, a detective with the sheriff's office.

Deputy J.S. Shackelford was dispatched about 3:15 a.m. Monday to the home on Quebec Drive to investigate a possible animal cruelty complaint. Lisa Powers called 911 to report that her neighbor, Thompson, had stolen and killed her grandson's pet pygmy goat, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court.

The goat, which had been a gift for Powers' grandson and was named Bailey, was on a leash attached to a tree in her front yard. Powers said the small white-and-gray goat wore a pink collar.

Three people who were with Powers told the deputy they had been inside Thompson's home and had seen the goat and it was dead. They had learned of the goat's whereabouts from an acquaintance who was in Thompson's home and called.

Two of the three went to Thompson's home to look for the goat and found the front door open. They went inside the house, and one went into the middle bedroom where she found Thompson in a bra and woman's panties standing three feet from the goat's body.

Thompson ran out of the house wearing only a muscle shirt and thong underwear.

Cpl. M.B. Cummings and Sgt. R.P. Boone went to the Greenview Road home to help Shackelford with the investigation. Thompson came down from the hillside while deputies were at his home. He was immediately taken into custody.

"He told the deputies out there that he had been high on bath salts and wasn't in his right mind," Snuffer said.

"They knew who he was when the call came out," he said. "They've dealt with him before."

He said the man is mentally unstable and lives with another person who is not always home. Snuffer said deputies were concerned for the man's health and contacted Adult Protective Services.

The detective said the goat had a single stab wound. The body was taken to a veterinarian to determine the cause of death and whether it had been sexually assaulted.

Neighbors told deputies they were concerned about the safety of their neighborhood with Thompson still living nearby.

Thompson has been charged with felony animal cruelty and is being held at South Central Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:40 PM   #222
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Next time you fire up your ipad, you can feel better knowing that the Chinese guy who assembled it signed a "no suicide" pledge, and that the worker's "dormitory" (jail cell) has been sensibly outfitted with "anti-suicide netting" beneath the windows.

Apple's Chinese workers treated 'inhumanely, like machines' | Technology | The Observer

An investigation into the conditions of Chinese workers has revealed the shocking human cost of producing the must-have Apple iPhones and iPads that are now ubiquitous in the west.

The research, carried out by two NGOs, has revealed disturbing allegations of excessive working hours and draconian workplace rules at two major plants in southern China. It has also uncovered an "anti-suicide" pledge that workers at the two plants have been urged to sign, after a series of employee deaths last year.

The investigation gives a detailed picture of life for the 500,000 workers at the Shenzhen and Chengdu factories owned by Foxconn, which produces millions of Apple products each year. The report accuses Foxconn of treating workers "inhumanely, like machines".

Among the allegations made by workers interviewed by the NGOs – the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (Sacom) – are claims that:

■ Excessive overtime is routine, despite a legal limit of 36 hours a month. One payslip, seen by the Observer, indicated that the worker had performed 98 hours of overtime in a month.

■ Workers attempting to meet the huge demand for the first iPad were sometimes pressured to take only one day off in 13.

■ In some factories badly performing workers are required to be publicly humiliated in front of colleagues.

■ Crowded workers' dormitories can sleep up to 24 and are subject to strict rules. One worker told the NGO investigators that he was forced to sign a "confession letter" after illicitly using a hairdryer. In the letter he wrote: "It is my fault. I will never blow my hair inside my room. I have done something wrong. I will never do it again."

■ In the wake of a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories last summer, workers were asked to sign a statement promising not to kill themselves and pledging to "treasure their lives".

Foxconn produced its first iPad at Chengdu last November and expects to produce 100m a year by 2013. Last year Apple sold more than 15m iPads worldwide and has already sold close to five million this year.

When the allegations were put to Foxconn by the Observer, manager Louis Woo confirmed that workers sometimes worked more than the statutory overtime limit to meet demand from western consumers, but claimed that all the extra hours were voluntary. Workers claim that, if they turn down excessive demands for overtime, they will be forced to rely on their basic wage: workers in Chengdu are paid only 1,350 yuan (125) a month for a basic 48-hour week, equivalent to about 65p an hour.

Asked about the suicides that have led to anti-suicide netting being fitted beneath the windows of workers' dormitories, Woo said: "Suicides were not connected to bad working conditions. There was a copy effect. If one commits suicide, then others will follow."

In a statement, Apple said: "Apple is committed to ensuring the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base. Apple requires suppliers to commit to our comprehensive supplier code of conduct as a condition of their contracts with us. We drive compliance with the code through a rigorous monitoring programme, including factory audits, corrective action plans and verification measures."

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:34 AM   #223
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Man jailed for tortilla dough | The Asheville Citizen-Times | citizen-times.com
---------------------

ASHEVILLE Antonio Hernandez Carranza took a wrong turn, and it turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes he's ever made.

The Carson, Calif., man had driven more than 2,000 miles three days straight to see his sister in Johnson City, Tenn.

But instead of reaching the home of his sister, whom he hadn't seen in nearly a decade, the 45-year-old carpet cleaner found himself in the Buncombe County jail under a $300,000 bond on charges of driving while intoxicated, failing to heed police lights and sirens and possession of 91 pounds of cocaine.

He was released four days later after sheriff's deputies realized Hernandez, who said he doesn't drink at all, wasn't intoxicated and that what was in the back of his truck was exactly what he had said $400 worth of cheese, shrimp and tortilla and tamale dough meant as a gift to his sister.

Now struggling to reclaim his truck and dog that were taken away, Hernandez said he wants only to see his family and possibly get some compensation for his time and expenses.

While in jail, he called his wife, Bernice, to tell her that he could be facing 40 years in prison and may never see her or their two boys again.

She and the kids were crying. She was inconsolable, Hernandez said through an interpreter.

Local residents affiliated with Latino advocacy groups say Hernandez, a legal resident who understands a fair amount of English but doesn't speak it well, was targeted because of his ethnicity.

Deputies said Hernandez appeared drunk and they acted quickly to get narcotics test results after he was jailed.

Buncombe County Sheriff's Office Lt. Randy Smart acknowledged that four days in jail under an extremely high bond seemed a stiff penalty for failing to heed police lights and sirens, of which Hernandez was found guilty.

It's one of those things when you go back and look at it, it does seem a little harsh, the Sheriff's Office spokesman said.

Hernandez, who came to the United States in1985 to harvest grapes and strawberries, was not a legal resident until 1989 when he received amnesty under a federal program signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.


Through that status, he was able to gain employment, such as at the carpet cleaning company, where he now works and had accrued vacation.

While driving to his sister's home, he said he encountered police in Arizona and Texas who also questioned him about what he was carrying and appeared to suspect drugs.

The police in Texas used dogs to check, he said.

Each time, he said he was sent on his way.

He's not sure how he ended up in Asheville, but believes he stayed on Interstate 40 when he should have turned onto Interstate 81 after Knoxville.

He was tired, but he said he kept driving because he was excited to see his sister.

In Asheville, he pulled over after he thought he saw steam coming from his truck. A deputy's car approached and an officer told him he couldn't stop there because he was blocking traffic, Hernandez said.

He started driving away and put his flashers on. The law enforcement car followed him with its lights on. Hernandez said he thought the car was shepherding him in the direction the officer wanted him to go. But ahead there were other law enforcement cars blocking his way.

Investigators' incident reports say stop sticks were used, but Hernandez said he doesn't remember seeing them or noticing his tires being deflated until seeing his truck days later in the impound lot.

Officers pulled him from the car, put a knee in his back and pinned his arm behind him, leaving scrapes and bruises.

He was tested several times for alcohol but it came back negative. It was after he was jailed that he learned of the cocaine charges.

He said he tried to explain about the dough and how some was already made up for sweet pineapple tamales, but no one seemed to listen.

Later I was speechless. I didn't eat or sleep while I was in jail. I was thinking about how this could have happened to me, he said.

His court date was set for May 19. But Wednesday, he was brought out of the jail and to the courtroom where there was a public defender, a prosecutor and a judge.

He said he was told he was being found guilty of the one misdemeanor charge and would get credit for his time served in jail. He doesn't remember being asked to enter a plea.

On Thursday, Fay Burner, who defended Hernandez, said she couldn't talk about the case without his permission.

It's not clear why deputies originally thought the food was cocaine. It could have been that initial checks showed the dough and other items were narcotics, Smart said.

We do field tests for presumptive testing, the lieutenant said.

Officers later appeared to push to get full lab tests done quickly, he said.

District Attorney Ron Moore said he wasn't sure of the details of the case and hadn't seen a written report.

Others said Hernandez was treated poorly because he is a Latino of Indian origin with limited English.

If he were white it would have been different, said Gustavo Silva, a local Latino rights advocate.

Silva, a U.S. citizen originally from Uruguay, went to help Hernandez after getting a call from someone in the courthouse about his plight.

Neither he nor Hernandez is sure he'll ever be paid for his trouble, including the food which is gone or the fees for retrieving his truck.

I asked in court, Who's going to pay me for what I lost?' They said, I don't know. It's not my problem,' Hernandez said.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:19 AM   #224
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How Zombie Ants Lose Their Minds

New gruesome details have emerged explaining how a parasitic fungus manipulates an unfortunate ant, filling its head with fungal cells and changing its muscles so the ant can grab a leaf in a death grip just when and where the fungus wants it.

Research in a Thai rain forest has shown the fungi, a species of Ophiocordyceps, forces an infected ant to wander drunkenly over the forest's low leaves before clamping its jaws around the main vein on the underside of a leaf in an ant zombie graveyard.

By watching 16 infected ants bite down, the researchers found that their last bites took place around noon, indicating they are synchronized to either the sun or a related cue, like temperature or humidity.

"Synchronized arrival of zombie ants at the graveyards is a remarkable phenomenon. It adds a layer of complexity on what is already an impressive feat," wrote David Hughes, a study researcher from Pennsylvania State University, in an email to LiveScience. "However, although ants bite at noon they don't in fact die until sunset. Likely this strategy ensures (the fungus) has a long cool night ahead of it during which time it can literally burst out of the ant's head to begin the growth of the spore-releasing stalk"

The bizarre sequence that leads up to the ant's death is completely out of step with its normal behavior and appears to be a way for the fungus to get itself to the perfect spot to spread its spores, according to the researchers.

The ants, a species called Camponotus leonardi, live in the canopies of trees, but come to the ground occasionally, where they contract the fungus. Healthy ants travel on trails unlike infected ones, which zigzag in a drunken walk over low vegetation, sometimes falling and convulsing before taking their final bite.

Hughes and colleagues observed a total of 42 infected ants, some of which they dissected. While holding its death grip, the ant's head was filled with fungal cells and the muscles that operated the ant's mandible, or jaw, was atrophied, they found.

"In the context of biting, it allows the mandibles, we feel, to work in one direction and one direction only," Hughes told LiveScience. "Normally, they open and close, but in this case they can only close."

This keeps the dying ant from losing its grip. The fungus also appears to suck all of the calcium out of the muscles, causing a condition similar to rigor mortis, he said.

Fungi have been observed to manipulate the behavior arthropods as well, including crickets, bees, wasps and perhaps even spiders.
"We are quite confident we could see this and similar phenomen
on across a broad range of organisms, because it is such a neat evolutionary trick if you are fungus to use the muscles of an animal to transport you to another environment," he wrote. (Many fungi rely on wind or other means to passively disperse their spores.)

More broadly, many parasites -- be they plant, animal or virus -- can alter the behavior of their hosts.

In the most recent study, published in the journal BMC Ecology, Hughes and colleagues observed and examined healthy and infected ants to compare their movements and reveal the physiological effects of the fungus. In a previous study, published in 2009, they found that the fungus manipulates infected ants to take it to ideal places for it to reproduce in the forest understory. As result the dead ants wound up on leaves on the north-northwestern side of plants approximately 9.8 inches (25 centimeters) above the ground.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:30 AM   #225
Rizon
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Man allegedly stole free cheese and was arrested by Chicago cops - Chicago Conservative | Examiner.com

With all that's going on in Chicago, you would think the local courts would have better things to do than to bring in Michael Richards, 50, of the southside for allegedly stealing free cheese.

As the story goes, Richards bought a bag of chips, opened the bag, and began pumping cheese into the bag. The clerk told him to stop because the cheese was only for persons who bought nacho chips and had the chips in a specific container. Richards allegedly gave the clerk a piece of his mind, verbally, and continued pumping cheese into his bag of chips.

Callers-in on Chicago talk radio Monday morning claim there is a sign that says 'Free Cheese' at that 7-Eleven convenience store where the incident took place Therefore, it looks like this case would have been a closed case in favor of the customer were it not for Richards allegedly twisting the clerks arm. But, hold on. Did the clerk touch Richards first in an effort to stop him from taking the free cheese?

If there really is a 'Free Cheese' sign on the cheese container in the store at 1300 South Halsted, the clerk was clearly wrong. It's impossible to charge someone with stealing something that's labeled free - especially when they're using it on a product they've paid for at the store. Nonetheless, Richards was faced with a felony charge after spending the night in jail. Additionally, his bond is set at $10,000 bond for stealing free cheese.

Apparently Richards won't be 'thanking heaven for 7-Eleven' - it's more like he'll be blaming them for a night of hell.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, WLS
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:37 AM   #226
Noop
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I wonder if the guys from the Chicago Code would have investigated that one. You know they would have said it was the Mob who was behind the free cheese scam.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:36 PM   #227
Lathum
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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...inedtwins.html

warning, there is a picture
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:25 PM   #228
Rizon
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Man decapitates apparent stranger in Canary Islands supermarket - CNN.com

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A knife-wielding man attacked a woman in a supermarket, eventually cutting off her head and running away with it...
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:34 PM   #229
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Cleanup in Aisle 9.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:45 PM   #230
lighthousekeeper
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Cleanup in Aisle 9.

gold.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:11 PM   #231
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I couldn't help but think about ...

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It's hard to throw a good shot with a drunk blonde wrapped around me.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:29 PM   #232
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Botox mommy goes on TV to defend giving child cosmetic surgery - Parenting - Salon.com
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:38 PM   #233
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I couldn't help but think about ...


I couldn't help but think about...

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Old 05-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #234
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'Botox mom' saga: Is it a hoax? -
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:38 PM   #235
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Spank You very much...

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A Virginia Beach man is facing charges after three young women who agreed to be spanked in exchange for money say he took it too far.

Fifty-four-year-old Henry Allen Fitzsimmons agreed to provide college tuition and a $200 weekly allowance to the women as part of the so-called Spencer Scholarship Plan. In return, the women agreed to be spanked if they violated certain rules, such as failing to call Fitzsimmons or drinking alcohol.

A judge on Thursday allowed a grand jury to decide whether to indict Fitzsimmons on two felony abduction charges and three felony object sexual penetration charges.

Six other assault and sexual battery charges were dropped because the women had agreed to the spankings.

Fitzsimmons' attorney says the bar and restaurant owner did not commit a crime.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #236
tyketime
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This would make a great TV Movie of the Week (or Law & Order episode):

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Drugged & duped: Bolaris' perfect storm

By DAVID GAMBACORTA
Philadelphia Daily News

THE GUY tossed restlessly in his bed, night after night, for the better part of a year.

He couldn't sleep. He had nightmares whenever he did - bizarre, Kafkaesque snippets of dialogue involving the Russian mob, a pair of mysterious, dark-haired women, a goofy-looking painting and an incomprehensible credit-card bill.

The shadowy characters and confusing plots from the bad dreams haunted John Bolaris in real life, too.

Yeah, that John Bolaris.

Few people know that the affable local weatherman's life was turned upside down during a visit to Miami Beach last spring that started out pleasantly and ended with his getting drugged - twice - while his credit card was used by Eastern European scam artists to rack up $43,000 worth of expenses in just two days, while he staggered around in a stupor.

Even fewer people would probably believe that story, with all its seemingly borrowed-from-the-movies clichs.

American Express, Bolaris' credit-card company, didn't buy it. The company abruptly ended an investigation into his claims and demanded that he pay the five-figure bill.

Bolaris balked, and American Express referred his account to a collection agency, which decimated his credit score. He recently filed a civil lawsuit against the credit giant.

The FBI believed Bolaris. In fact, his testimony helped a federal grand jury last month indict 17 members of a massive wire-fraud scheme that victimized 87 out-of-town men who had visited South Beach bars and restaurants between February 2010 and last month.

"It really has been a year of hell, dealing with all of this," said Bolaris, victim No. 88. "I don't even know where to begin."

Every spring, Bolaris and a pal head to Florida for a couple of days of hanging out in the sun.

Last March, his pal bailed at the last second. Bolaris went anyway.

He checked into his Miami Beach hotel, the Fontainebleau, and headed to dinner at another hotel. A few diners recognized him from TV and started asking about the weather.

Unbeknown to Bolaris, federal authorities said, two Latvian women - Marina Turcina and Anna Kilimatova - had been watching him. They sized him up - good-looking middle-aged guy with an expensive watch - and made their move.

"They came up from behind me, and said, 'Are you weather presenter?'

"The bartender said, 'Yeah, he's a weatherman!' " Bolaris said.

"They asked me if I could guess where they were from. I said Poland. They said they were from Estonia."

Marina, 24, and Anna, 25, were dark-haired, blue-eyed and beautiful, and were elegantly dressed. Bolaris said he ordered them wine.

Fast forward a few minutes. "We were sitting by a pool bar, and they asked if I did shots," Bolaris said. "I said no.

"One of them started rubbing me, opened my mouth, and said, 'Do [a] shot.' "

It was days before Bolaris figured out that the women had slipped him a roofie, the infamous date-rape drug.


What happened next is a blur. Bolaris said he remembered sharing a cab with the women, who mentioned something about visiting a friend having a charity fundraiser.

"I remember someone holding me up and making me sign something," he said.

"Then I woke up in a taxi. My shirt was stained with red wine, and I had this huge painting of a woman's head."

He tracked down Marina and Anna, who said he had bid for the painting at the fundraiser. They met him at his hotel - ostensibly to return his sunglasses, which they had taken by accident - and promised to straighten the whole thing out, if only Bolaris would share a cab with them to the Caviar Bar, where one of the women said she left her purse.

Bolaris obliged. Then he was drugged again, according to the FBI.

"They got me twice," he said. "I couldn't put anything together. I had no idea what happened."

A few days later, Bolaris said, he got a phone call from American Express. The company asked about the $43,000 he had just spent on booze and caviar in South Beach.

Bolaris was apoplectic. The charges, he said, were outrageous and clearly the result of a scam.

"They promised they would look into it," Bolaris said. "Two weeks later, I got a call from their fraud department. They said, 'You're liable.'

"They said, 'You were at the Caviar Bar . . . we have pictures, and you were having a good time,' " Bolaris said.

The credit card company sent him receipts from purchases that were made with his card. "None of them had my signature," he said.

Bolaris hired Philadelphia attorney Chuck Peruto Jr. to sort out the situation. Letters were sent and phone calls were made, but American Express was adamant that Bolaris had not been the victim of a scam, and had to pay the huge bill.

"They closed my account and referred me to a collection agency," Bolaris said. "My credit was ruined. I was humiliated and embarrassed."

American Express declined last night to comment. Bolaris' lawsuit claims that the company had failed to protect him against fraud, and seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

While his battle with American Express simmered, Bolaris contacted Miami police.

The FBI picked up the case, and asked Bolaris to testify before a grand jury.

Last month, the feds busted 17 members of the Eastern European ring, which relied on "bar girls" from overseas who targeted wealthy out-of-towners at South Beach bars.

The FBI said the women hunted late at night for men who wore expensive watches and shoes, and typically lured their prey to private clubs run by other members of the ring. The clubs - including the Caviar Bar - were just fronts, and were not open to the public.

The men were often drugged or fed a heavy stream of alcohol until they were barely coherent.

Some "victims are propped up by the B-Girls long enough to obtain signatures on credit card receipts," the FBI wrote in a criminal complaint.

"Helping to take down those criminals," Bolaris said, "that felt really good. That was my redemption."
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:10 PM   #237
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:08 PM   #238
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Chinese prisoners forced to play video games

Chinese prisoners forced to play video games

Link Here

Quote:
As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells. Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money. The 54-year-old, a former prison guard who was jailed for three years in 2004 for "illegally petitioning" the central government about corruption in his hometown, reckons the operation was even more lucrative than the physical labour that prisoners were also forced to do.
"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."
Memories from his detention at Jixi re-education-through-labour camp in Heilongjiang province from 2004 still haunt Liu. As well as backbreaking mining toil, he carved chopsticks and toothpicks out of planks of wood until his hands were raw and assembled car seat covers that the prison exported to South Korea and Japan. He was also made to memorise communist literature to pay off his debt to society.
But it was the forced online gaming that was the most surreal part of his imprisonment. The hard slog may have been virtual, but the punishment for falling behind was real.
"If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things," he said.
It is known as "gold farming", the practice of building up credits and online value through the monotonous repetition of basic tasks in online games such as World of Warcraft. The trade in virtual assets is very real, and outside the control of the games' makers. Millions of gamers around the world are prepared to pay real money for such online credits, which they can use to progress in the online games.
The trading of virtual currencies in multiplayer games has become so rampant in China that it is increasingly difficult to regulate. In April, the Sichuan provincial government in central China launched a court case against a gamer who stole credits online worth about 3000rmb.
The lack of regulations has meant that even prisoners can be exploited in this virtual world for profit.
According to figures from the China Internet Centre, nearly 1.2bn of make- believe currencies were traded in China in 2008 and the number of gamers who play to earn and trade credits are on the rise.
It is estimated that 80% of all gold farmers are in China and with the largest internet population in the world there are thought to be 100,000 full-time gold farmers in the country.
In 2009 the central government issued a directive defining how fictional currencies could be traded, making it illegal for businesses without licences to trade. But Liu, who was released from prison before 2009 believes that the practice of prisoners being forced to earn online currency in multiplayer games is still widespread.
"Many prisons across the north-east of China also forced inmates to play games. It must still be happening," he said.
"China is the factory of virtual goods," said Jin Ge, a researcher from the University of California San Diego who has been documenting the gold farming phenomenon in China. "You would see some exploitation where employers would make workers play 12 hours a day. They would have no rest through the year. These are not just problems for this industry but they are general social problems. The pay is better than what they would get for working in a factory. It's very different," said Jin.
"The buyers of virtual goods have mixed feelings it saves them time buying online credits from China," said Jin.
The emergence of gold farming as a business in China whether in prisons or sweatshops could raise new questions over the exporting of goods real or virtual from the country.
"Prison labour is still very widespread it's just that goods travel a much more complex route to come to the US these days. And it is not illegal to export prison goods to Europe, said Nicole Kempton from the Laogai foundation, a Washington-based group which opposes the forced labour camp system in China.



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Old 05-26-2011, 01:39 PM   #239
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Think twice before taking that cell phone away...especially when your daughter thinks she's Miss Rambo.

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WA man shot with arrow, daughter arrested

(05-26) 03:27 PDT Tahuya, Wash. (AP) --

Authorities in Washington state say they're arrested a teenage girl for allegedly shooting her dad with an arrow after he took her cell phone away.

Mason County detective William Adam says the man told officers that his 15-year-old daughter used a hunting bow to shoot him Wednesday evening after he grounded her and took the phone.

KOMO-TV reports he was airlifted from the rural, forested Tahuya (tuh-HOO-yah) area to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and listed in serious condition.

Adam says the girl fled into woods behind her home with the bow and arrows but a SWAT team surrounded her and arrested her for investigation of first-degree assault.

Tahuya is about 35 miles west of Seattle.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:30 AM   #240
tyketime
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Trouble - We Hardly Knew Ya

You ain't got Trouble no more, because Trouble -- one of the Richest dogs in the world -- is dead at 12.

Leona Helmsley's famous dog inherited $12 million when the Queen of Mean died in 2007. Although a judge slashed that amount to $2 million, which was placed in a trust, that was enough to provide the pooch with $8,000 a year for grooming, $1,200 for food and a full-time security guard -- something that became necessary after Trouble received dozens of death threats.

According to the New York Daily News, what remains in the trust will now go to the charitable trust Leona and her hubby left behind. Turns out the dog's death was a secret for months -- she died in December, 2010.

Leona loved the dog more than many of her own flesh and blood. She cut several grandchildren out of her will entirely.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #241
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This is awesome beyond words. I saw the original story yesterday.

Digital Detectives: Custody Battle Leads to Facebook Double-Sting - TIME NewsFeed
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:28 PM   #242
ColtCrazy
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On the fraud story, I love how American Express said they have pictures of him at the Caviar Bar and later it says the bar was a front and not open to the public. Wow.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:42 PM   #243
Rizon
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Mysterious Night 'Hum' Plagues British Village
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It's hard to throw a good shot with a drunk blonde wrapped around me.
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I don't think I'd stop even if I found a dick.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:00 PM   #244
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Parents of teen bride who wed Green Mile actor Doug Hutchison, 51, give marriage their approval | Mail Online

"The parents of 16-year-old Courtney Stodden, who married 51-year-old Green Mile actor Doug Hutchison last month, has given the marriage their seal of approval."
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It's hard to throw a good shot with a drunk blonde wrapped around me.
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I don't think I'd stop even if I found a dick.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:08 PM   #245
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Parents of teen bride who wed Green Mile actor Doug Hutchison, 51, give marriage their approval | Mail Online

"The parents of 16-year-old Courtney Stodden, who married 51-year-old Green Mile actor Doug Hutchison last month, has given the marriage their seal of approval."

Now that's what I call music!
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #246
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"Any father would want a man like this behind his daughter." Hey now!
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #247
JediKooter
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I heard Jerry Lee Lewis was the best man.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:05 PM   #248
tarcone
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Confetti and gay pride: a dangerous combination

Confetti assault leads to pride parade assault | Iowa City Press Citizen | press-citizen.com

And this is normal IC Press headline. You would think they would have proof readers.

Last edited by tarcone : 06-21-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:09 PM   #249
DataKing
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Got milk?

Woman sprays police with breast milk - Yahoo! News
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:11 PM   #250
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Well, I'm glad the police didn't decide to play tit for tat and taze her.
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