Thomas McCulloch, who killed three people with an axe in 1976, has been permitted trips out of prison in Scotland to complete a course involving cutting down trees and shrubs.
- Triple axe murderer granted work release … to chop down trees (offthebench.nbcsports.com)
The crackdown in Belarus grew more indiscriminate this week. Among the 400 arrested: a one-armed man charged with taking part in the clapping protests and mute person accused of shouting antigovernment slogans.
A UK council is under fire for spending £1.5 million ($2.5 million) on a bus lane, only for drivers to find it is not wide enough for buses.
Residents of King’s Lynn in Norfolk, eastern England, branded the project “farcical” after drivers discovered they have to navigate the route at walking pace because it is so narrow, Lynn News reported.
- Bungling council unveils bus lane… too narrow for BUSES (dailymail.co.uk)
Taking photographs from the roadside of a sunrise over hay bales near the Suwannee River, horses grazing near Ocala or sunset over citrus groves along the Indian River could land you in jail under a Senate bill filed Monday.
via The Florida Tribune.
After rejecting the same plan last month, the Billings City Council voted on Monday night to remove a giant rock that has come to rest inside a home just underneath the Rimrocks…
In October, a 1,000-ton sandstone boulder sheared off from the Rims and crashed into a house below…
The home is destroyed, and the rock is still inside the home while a complicated payment dispute plays out between the homeowners, their insurance company and the city. The homeowners have filed a lawsuit to force the city to remove the rock, while the city has issued a code enforcement violation against the homeowners in an attempt to get them to remove the rock.
The owner of a family van was surprised to receive a ticket in the mail from police in the southern Italian town of Oria accusing him of driving 1230 km/h 764 MPH. The Lizzanello resident had been driving his Fiat Doblo on the SS7 in the province of Brindisi on November 6 and weeks later received a letter demanding that he pay 165 euros US $223.
Italian tickets allow a five percent tolerance to account for the possibility of error. At 1230 km/h, the motorist exceeded the 90 km/h 56 MPH speed limit with an adjusted velocity of 1078 km/h 669 MPH, according to the notice signed by two officers view ticket. Oria police insist that the camera managed by the private firm Sodi Scientifica SpA is perfectly accurate. Officials blamed the incident “clerical error” in a statement issued Thursday.
A great example of the care taken by a police agency to review and evaluate the results of camera enforcement of traffic laws. The officers involved should be disciplined but it’s unlikely that will happen unles it is for making their department the butt of internet ridicule.
- Italian white van man nudges sound barrier (go.theregister.com)
- 68,000 Speeding Fines May Need To Be Refunded In Australia Due To Faulty Cameras (techdirt.com)
On the eve of the Lunar New Year festival, when Chinese flood train stations, bus terminals and airports to reunite with loved ones, one Chinese ministry is proposing that the government mandate closer families.
Under a proposal submitted Monday by the Civil Affairs Ministry to China’s State Council, adult children would be required by law to regularly visit their elderly parents. If they do not, parents can sue them.
A disabled man has been stopped from using his specially-made wheelchair because British road authorities say it’s a tank.
Jim Starr, 36, was told by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DLVA) he cannot ride his specially-made chair, which has caterpillar-treads instead of wheels, because its size and width technically make it a tank.
If a tracked vehicle over a certain width (the problem here) is a tank then aren’t crawler tractors also tanks?
- When is a wheelchair not a wheelchair? When authorities say it’s a tank (weinterrupt.com)
Chandler’s (AZ) new City Hall comes with some features that have municipal workers and visitors scratching their heads. Like the restroom signs that tell people not to drink out of the urinals and toilets.
A US parking (enforcement officer) has been criticized – for issuing a ticket to a hearse parked outside a funeral service.
The woman issued ($40) tickets to the hearse, another funeral director’s car and the vehicles of several mourners.
The incident, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was witnessed by Jim Stingl, a journalist on the local Journal-Sentinel newspaper.
The cars were parked outside a brewery where the funeral service for local businessman Bill Penzey was being held.
Mr Stingl says that mourners told the traffic warden that the vehicles were there for a funeral.
“You are not ticketing a hearse, are you?” one asked. “It’s parked illegally,” the traffic warden reportedly replied.
via Orange UK.
The tickets were later canceled.
When Jason Grodensky bought his modest Fort Lauderdale home in December, he paid cash. But seven months later, he was surprised to learn that Bank of America had foreclosed on the house, even though Grodensky did not have a mortgage.
Grodensky knew nothing about the foreclosure until July, when he learned that the title to his home had been transferred to a government-backed lender. "I feel like I’m hanging in the wind and I’m scared to death," said Grodensky. "How did some attorney put through a foreclosure illegally?"
Bank of America has acknowledged the error and will correct it at its own expense, said spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens.
Nice of them to correct the “mistake” for free. Do I smell a lawsuit?
The Dutch military has an unusual recruiting problem — it has too many aspiring soldiers and not enough money.The Dutch Defense Ministry said on Tuesday it will have to postpone bringing in an additional 467 recruits because budgetary constraints mean the government cannot afford to take them on this year as planned…
The Dutch military is one of the country’s more respected institutions, and the all-volunteer force regularly advertises for new soldiers in all branches. Unlike most other armed forces around the world, it is also unionized, which is why ads often promote taking a “job” with the military.
Miami is about to get a taste of Times Square, now that the city’s commissioners have given their okay to a plan that would erect a pair of towering electronic signs.Even though the project faced vehement opposition from some residents, the commissioners still voted 4-1 to approve the billboards, which would reach nearly 500 feet into the Miami sky.The reason? Money. The billboards will provide the city with at least $2 million a year in fees.
via The Consumerist.
I wonder how these monstrosities will behave in a hurricane. Having a 500 foot sign fall on you could ruin your whole day.
A police officer responding to the LaPorte County Fair to make an arrest was delayed by an attendant at the gate who insisted that he pay.
It’s an incident that officials with the fair and sheriff’s office were reluctant to speak much about Monday.
Swimmers are being asked to keep their mouths shut at public pools in Austria in a bid to save money.
An estimated 5,000 litres of water per day is thought to be swallowed by visitors to Vienna’s 18 baths, reports the Metro.
Officials say the cost of replacing it is high, especially because swimmers are flocking to pools in the current heatwave.
Indira Gandhi International Airport has a new runway 29/11, commissioned in August 2008. Runway 29 is the end cleared for Category III Landing in foggy conditions, making it one of most modern in Asia.
But while the runway is technically 14,000 feet long, only 8,500 feet is available for aircraft landing from the 29 end, probably owing to a massive 54 feet (four storey) Shiva statue which sits on the flight path.
This means all flights land almost 2 km after the runway actually starts, forcing the pilots to use full brakes and reverse thrust to slow down in time for the turn off.
When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed. Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated”. So that was what went up under the English version which barred lorries from a road near a supermarket.
A council sent a letter to a woman’s pet pig offering the animal the chance to register to vote in the election. The letters were addressed to Blossom Grant at Pig Flats – the animal’s old sty in Uckfield, East Sussex.
The building was renovated two years ago and now houses volunteers at a local horse rescue centre, reports the Daily Telegraph. But due to a Land Registry error the pig receives several junk letters a month.
Pauline Grant, 73, Blossom’s owner, said: “I could not believe it when the letter telling Blossom to register to vote came through it was one of the strangest things I had ever seen.
Being dead can be a real drag, especially if you’re alive. Just ask Doris Temple, 85, a Navy veteran who learned in January that the government had declared her deceased.
Strongly suspecting an error, she protested, but not before she lost her health insurance and thousands of dollars in income – Social Security benefits as well as private insurance and pension payments. All the while, she got letters addressed to “the estate of Doris Temple,” some of which included condolences. And when she tried to rent a Walnut Creek apartment last month, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. wouldn’t hook up her utilities because, as a corpse, she had a lousy credit score.
And lest you think this is a strange isolated case: In a June 2008 report, the Social Security Administration’s inspector general called cases like Temple’s “resurrections” and said the agency could do more to help the victims, given their “serious hardships.” The report said Social Security officials had deleted 46,035 death entries from their files from January 2004 to April 2007.
A (city) council is to spend £200,000 on 65 giant fibreglass toads to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of poet Philip Larkin. The oversized amphibians will be displayed at locations around Hull for 10 weeks later this year, reports the Daily Telegraph.
“This project is designed to spark interest in Larkin’s poetry among people who are made curious by the unexpected presence of their local toad,” says a Hull City Council report.The move is intended to honour Larkin’s two poems, Toads and Toads Revisited. The poet completed many of his most important works while working as a librarian at Hull University.