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Stranger Than Fiction

Curses, foiled again

Police arrested gunman Christopher Trail for holding six people hostage at an Alabama pharmacy. He let five go but kept pharmacist Donna Weatherford, who said he forced her to give him drugs. After an hour, he asked for a recliner. There was none, so he pulled chairs together and dozed off. Weatherford picked up the shotgun and fled to safety. (AL.com)

Pizza delivery driver Richard Dennany, 43, pleaded guilty to drunk driving in Murphysboro, Illinois, after taking a pizza to the county courthouse while intoxicated. He was found three times over the legal limit. (Illinois's Carbondale Times)

RoboDealer

Swiss police arrested a robot that bought 10 ecstasy pills online. The drugs were included in a shopping list for the art group that designed it: !Mediengruppe Bitnik. The robot, part of the group's exhibit in St. Gallen, had a weekly budget of $100 in bitcoins to order merchandise randomly online as well as fake Diesel jeans, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, a stash can, Nike trainers, 200 Chesterfield cigarettes, a set of fire-department master keys, a fake Louis Vuitton handbag and Lord of the Rings ebooks. Police released the robot after determining Bitnik never intended selling or consuming the ecstasy. (The Guardian)

No extra charge

When a tornado warning prompted ground crews at Oklahoma City's airport to seek shelter underground, Delta passengers on flights from Minneapolis and Salt Lake City were left stranded on the tarmac. Airport official Karen Carney blamed a miscommunication and insisted the passengers "were never in any imminent danger." Ground crews returned after about 15 minutes to help passengers disembark. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Sex on wheels

Toronto has scheduled an accessible orgy for disabled people, open to 20 wheelchairs, a deaf interpreter and free admission for caretakers. The Aug. 14 event is the brainchild of Stella Palikarova, 35, who uses a wheelchair because of spinal muscular atrophy but says nothing is wrong with her libido and she's tired of people assuming otherwise. "Naysayers are just subconsciously hating the fact that people in wheelchairs are having great sex, better sex than a lot of people are having," she says. Fellow organizer Andrew Morrison-Gurza, 31, adds, "A wheelchair can become just a big sex toy." Palikarova noted the "Deliciously Disabled" sex night coincides with the Para Pan Am Games and hoped competitors will attend to unwind. (Toronto Sun)

Optimistic outlook

After police arrested Luis A. Cruz, 46, on heroin distribution charges in Springfield, Illinois, his court-appointed attorney, Anna Levine, asked the judge to release her client on personal recognizance, pointing out his history of making court appearances for past offenses. Judge William Boyle responded by holding up a copy of the defendant's arrest record in Florida, noting that it's 52 pages long, and asked Levine to review it. She did but pointed out none of the charges was for failing to appear for court hearings. "It's a 52-page record for showing up," she told the judge, who nevertheless set bail at $10,000. (Springfield's The Republican)

Litigation nation

Anna Goldshmidt and Elan Stratiyevsky demanded New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel return the money they paid for their wedding there or risk a lawsuit. The couple contends the hotel cut short the event because a guest accidentally fired a gun, grazing a woman in the head. Lawyer Benjamin Brafman said the couple is also considering suing the guest. A hotel official said the reception was canceled immediately after the shooting due to safety concerns. (Associated Press)

Gregory Reddick, 54, said he's suing New York City for arresting him after he charged two tourists $400 for a ride on the landmark Staten Island Ferry. The ferry has been free since 1997. Reddick, who police said has "at least five aliases, six Social Security numbers" and a history of burglary and credit-card fraud convictions, acknowledged his rap sheet is real but insisted that selling tickets is legal and has turned his life around. "It's better than McDonald's money," he said. "It's better than Burger King money." (New York Post and The Gothamist)

A Colorado judge ordered the parents of Aurora shooting victim Jessica Ghawi to pay $220,000 to the companies that sold ammo and body armor to gunman James Holmes. Sandy and Lonnie Phillips sued the four online businesses but lost. Under state law, plaintiffs who sue gun makers or dealers and lose have to pay the defendants' legal fees. (The Huffington Post)

Narcissism follies

Russian authorities reported a 21-year-old woman was in "serious condition" at Moscow's Sklifosovsky hospital after she shot herself in the temple while posing for a selfie. Police said the victim was holding the 9 mm handgun and pulled the trigger instead of clicking the camera shutter. (Agence France-Presse)

Slight provocation

Deputies arrested Kristin Howard, 31, for attacking her 50-year-old mother at her home in Bunnell, Florida, during an argument over who was entitled to a plate of chicken and biscuits. Deputies reported Howard punched her mother in the face and threw tea on her. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Police arrested Orlando Thompson, 26, in Panama City, Florida, after they said he killed a co-worker at a seafood restaurant during an argument over the amount of spice to put in gumbo. The victim, Caleb Joshua Halley, had formerly portrayed the Florida State University mascot Osceola. (Tallahassee Democrat)

Hallelujah!

The Internal Revenue Service notified Bill Levin, founder of the First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis, that it has recognized the church as a tax-exempt religious organization. More than 600 members have paid between $4.20 and $1,000 to join the church, whose mission, Levin said, is to "proselytize the wonderfulness of the gift that this plant is to our human nature." (Newsweek)

That sinking feeling

The United States fell from 12th to 23rd in the Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index. The survey of 145 countries takes into account what makes citizens of various countries feel accomplished and fulfilled. Panama leads the ranking for the second straight year, followed by Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Belize, Chile, Denmark, Guatemala, Austria and Mexico. Tunisia, Togo, Cameroon, Bhutan and Afghanistan are the least thriving countries. Although the United States dropped 11 positions, it remains ahead of Canada. (Healthways)

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