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News of the Weird: All-Star Squatter 

Bizarre but true stories from around the world

The Weirdo-American Community A co-ed dormitory at Hunter College in New York City has become the site of a dispute between the college and 32-year-old Lisa S. Palmer, who won't vacate her dorm room despite having discontinued her classes in 2016. Palmer, who works for an architecture firm, has "racked up a staggering $94,000 in unpaid residence hall charges," a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court noted. The New York Post reported on Feb. 28 that in June 2016 and fall 2017, she received eviction notices, but she won't budge. Palmer admitted that dorm life is "really lonely. I feel very isolated." Palmer was moved into a wing of the dorm that's occupied only by a middle-aged nurse, whom the college is also trying to evict. In fact, Hunter is working on removing nine nurses, who were given rooms in the building when it was owned by Bellevue Hospital.

Only in Texas Ana Lisa Garza, a Starr County district judge in south Texas, is running for a state House seat in District 31. Garza has received almost $90,000 in contributions to her campaign, but more than $50,000 of that has been in a most unusual currency: deer semen. Deer breeder Fred Gonzalez, treasurer of the Texas Deer Association, said breeders often donate semen "straws" instead of money: "Semen is a very common way for us to donate. One collection on a buck could lead to 60 straws sometimes. If you have a desirable animal, it's a way to bring value without breaking the bank." A campaign finance report valued each straw donated at $1,000. Gonzalez told the Dallas Morning News that the semen donated for Garza's campaign went into a tank sold in one lot, the proceeds of which will go to the campaign.

Oops Kenny Bachman, 21, had a rude awakening when he racked up a $1,636 Uber fare on Feb. 23 following a night of partying with high school friends in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Charlotte Observer reported that Bachman and the friend he planned on staying with stopped at a convenience store during the evening. The friend told Bachman to wait outside as he went into the store, but Bachman was gone when the friend emerged. He had summoned an Uber to take him home — to Gloucester County, New Jersey. Bachman was passed out for most of the nearly 300-mile trip, which was subject to surge pricing, doubling the fare. Bachman challenged the charge but ended up paying the full fare; "I feel like there's very little I could have done to reverse it," he said.

Incoming Miami resident Luce Rameau didn't know what hit her on Feb. 28 as she lay in bed, talking on the phone. She thought a bomb had gone off as wood and debris fell on her bed. "I kept screaming, 'What happened? What happened?'" Rameau told the Miami Herald. It wasn't a bomb; an 80-pound inflatable raft had crashed through her roof after becoming untethered from a Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter that had been conducting an offshore training exercise nearby. David Lavallee, a spokesman for the RCAF, said the accident is being investigated and the air force intends to help "the resident with accommodations and other support." Rameau suffered only minor injuries.

Caught Red-handed Leahman G.R. Potter, 48, neglected to conceal the evidence after he stole a pot of meatballs from a neighbor's garage in Hazle Township in Pennsylvania. The meatball owner returned home Feb. 26 to find Potter outside his garage, covered in red sauce, and his meatball pot missing, according to United Press International. When Pennsylvania State Police arrived shortly afterward, they found the pot in the street and Potter at his home, where he was charged with burglary, trespass and theft.

Least Competent Criminals KTAR News in Phoenix reported that Peoria Police Department officers were called to a gas station Feb. 23 in response to a shoplifting. When they arrived, suspects Marwan Al Ebadi, 28, and Salma Hourieh, 29, set off on foot before hopping over a fence — directly into a secured parking lot of the Peoria Police Department. Hourieh tried to hide beneath a bench outside the station, while Al Ebadi jumped back over the fence and was stopped in the street. Both were arrested and charged with shoplifting. "You should never run from the police," said police spokesman Brandon Sheffert, "and if you do, do not run into a secure parking lot of a police station."

Awesome! Name recognition won't be a problem for the Libertarian Party challenger for eastern Arkansas' 1st Congressional District seat: Elvis D. Presley. The Associated Press reported that the King impersonator from Star City, Arkansas, who legally changed his name to match the rock 'n' roll icon's — although the "real" Elvis' middle initial was A — filed campaign paperwork on Feb. 26. Presley works as an auto refinish technician at Camp's Custom Paint in Star City, but his political ambitions aren't new: He's also run for governor, land commissioner and state legislature.

If It Ain't Broke Republican State Sen. John Ruckelshaus of Indianapolis is the proud sponsor of a new measure in Indiana that bans eyeball tattooing. According to the proposed law, passed by both the Senate and the House, tattooists would be prohibited from coloring the whites of a customer's eyes, with a fine of up to $10,000 per violation. The Associated Press reported that Sen. Ruckelshaus admitted he's not aware of any problems with eyeball-tattooing in Indiana. The legislation was on Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk for his signature on March 1.

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