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Running from the law gets old 

Stranger Than Fiction

Curses, foiled again

After John Franklin Forbis, 72, was convicted of possessing 850 pounds of marijuana in Columbia County, New York, in 1992, he jumped bail and eluded police for 22 years. Authorities finally caught up with him in Lane County, Oregon, because he applied for Social Security benefits in his real name. (New York Daily News)

Police arrested a 50-year-old man in Folehill, England, after observing him steal the license plates from a parked van that was actually an unmarked police vehicle on assignment. (United Press International)

The new KKK

The Ku Klux Klan is campaigning to boost membership by recruiting Jews, African Americans, gays and Hispanics. "White supremacy is the old Klan," Klan organizer John Abarr insisted. "This is the new Klan." Despite the rebranding, applicants to join the Klan, whose membership is estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000 members, will still have to wear the traditional white robes, masks and conical hats. (International Business Times)

Bargain shoppers

When office-supply retailer Staples bid to become the exclusive vendor for the State of New York, it offered to sell 219 popular items for a penny apiece, expecting to profit on thousands of items not discounted. But procurement officials for qualifying organizations (state and city agencies, schools, police departments and many charities) went "hog wild," said Ken Morton, purchasing manager for the Tonawanda school district. "It was like a gold rush." In the first 15 months of the contract, Staples delivered penny items whose list prices totaled $22.3 million for only $9,300. (The Wall Street Journal)

Firearms follies

Police arrested Ashtoni Kidd for having a gun in a baby stroller in Jackson, Tennessee. Investigators, who found a bullet hole in the stroller, said Kidd told them she was holding the 1-year-old infant when the gun went off while she rearranged items in the buggy. (Jackson's WBBJ-TV)

A 13-year-old boy sleeping at a hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina, died after a bullet fired from a 9 mm Springfield handgun in the room next door pierced the wall and hit him in the head. Police identified Randall Louis Vater, 42, as the shooter and charged him with involuntary manslaughter, noting that he didn't know the victim. (Raleigh's The News & Observer)

Slight provocation

Billy Wall, 61, told police in Fellsmere, Florida, he was forced to stab his nephew in the stomach after the two argued over the number of pork chops each had for dinner. Wall said Charles Williams ate three pork chops, leaving him only one. Wall claimed Williams attacked him with a machete after the argument turned physical; he retaliated with a butcher knife. (United Press International)

Two groups of people were bowling in adjacent lanes in Owasso, Oklahoma, when a woman in one group spilled a drink on the table they were sharing. The other group objected, sparking an argument. That group left but returned and got into a shoving match with the first group, during which police said James Thomas Foster, 40, bit off the ear of the husband of the woman who spilled the drink. (Tulsa's KOTV-TV)

Up the creek

A 20-year-old man stole a 10-foot canoe in Seahurst, Washington, and tried to make his escape on Puget Sound, according to police. Lacking a paddle, he used a shovel. Once on the water, however, he encountered high winds and lost the shovel. He called 911 for help, was rescued by the Coast Guard and arrested. (Seattle Times)

Next best thing?

British police arrested a 34-year-old Cambridge man for threatening to kill workers at a supermarket while showing them a photograph of a gun. (Britain's Cambridge News)

Drone on

The Federal Aviation Administration began investigating "rogue drones" violating airspace restrictions by flying over large outdoor sporting events. At least a half-dozen drone sightings have occurred at major college and professional football games since August. FAA officials insist the drones, costing as little as $500 and small enough to fit in a backpack, pose serious hazards to crowds, especially in the hands of untrained amateurs. After receiving reports of drones disrupting a tennis match at the U.S. Open, an NFL preseason game in Charlotte and a popular rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the FAA warned that reckless drone pilots risk arrest and jail time. (The Washington Post)

The University of Louisville's athletic department acquired three small drones to film practices and fan events. It posts the videos on Facebook and YouTube, and Nick Stover, the department's director of social media, admitted the footage was being used to attract sponsors "to help monetize social media," even though such an arrangement could violate the Federal Aviation Agency's commercial-drone ban. "I want to follow the rules and do everything correctly," Stover said. "But the commercial purposes is just a really gray area." (The Washington Post)

In deep gratitude

Twenty-year military veteran Debbi Ferguson was escorting the body of Pvt. Steven Allen in Victoria, British Columbia, on Remembrance Day when a police officer pulled her out of the funeral procession because, the officer informed her, her license plate was obstructed. Ferguson said she explained about the funeral procession, but he told her he didn't care and issued her a ticket for $205 (CDN$230). After Ferguson complained to Victoria Police, an official called its officer's action "regrettable." (CBC News)

Stink of the week

London's Heathrow Airport installed a "Scent Globe" to give travelers "an exclusive preview of destinations" awaiting them, Normand Boivin, the airport's chief operating officer, said. The globe, located in Terminal 2, features complex odor infusions, created by Design in Scent, representing Brazil ("embraces the scents of its rich rainforest fauna with a palette of coffee, tobacco and jasmine"), China ("mystical temple incense and subtle Osmanthus Fragrans flower"), Japan ("cool, oceanic tones with a mix of seaweed and shell extracts, green tea and ambergris, capturing the essence of small coastal villages"), South Africa ("captures the adventure of safari with notes of tribal incense, wild grass and musky animalics through the scent of Hyraceum") and Thailand ("an appetizing mix of lemongrass, ginger and coconut"). (CNN)

Lesson unlearned

After efforts to reduce America's oil consumption boosted sales of fuel-efficient vehicles, plummeting gas prices since summer have sparked renewed consumer interest in gas-guzzling "trucks," a category that includes pickups, SUVs and crossovers. Trucks' share of the market was 53.5 percent in September and 53.6 percent in October, the best two-month stretch since 2005. The fastest-growing used vehicle, according to autotrader.com, is Hummers. (The Washington Post)

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