When Demetrio Perez Jr. learned the various addresses he listed on his candidacy forms were outside the Miami-Dade County school district he sought to represent, he moved into a tool shed on his father's farm in that district. He spent three nights in the 9-by-11-foot shed, which had electricity but no plumbing, to establish residency. A rival candidate sued, and Circuit Court Judge Barbara Levenson ruled the tool shed was not a legal residence. Since the ballots for the election were already printed, she ordered election officials not to count any votes for Perez. What's more, building code enforcement officers said Perez's father, Demetrio Perez Sr., who is a school board member from another district, faces a $200 fine for erecting the shed without a permit.
In order to win support for a ballot measure intended to stop further billboard construction on Missouri highways, anti-billboard advocates erected 38 new billboards proclaiming their position on a 95-mile stretch of Interstate 70. The measure was defeated.
New Delhi police accused Prem Pal, 30, of murdering his wife after she discovered he was living with a eunuch. Reeta Devi, 25, had traveled to the Indian capital with the couple's three daughters to plead with Pal to return home to Bihar state. Instead, he gave them sweets laced with poison, which killed Reeta Devi and her five-year-old daughter. "Reeta was becoming a hindrance in his relationship with the eunuch, Sharda," a police spokesperson told Reuters news agency. "So he killed her in connivance with the eunuch."
Randall Mark, 20, pleaded guilty to throwing a canned salmon patty at Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage during a congressional hearing in September. Mark missed the Idaho Republican and hit Rep. Rick Hill (R-Mont.), who was sitting next to her.
Francis Pardo was charged with kidnapping and murdering Glen Porter, 35, whose nude and dismembered body was found in a recycling bin, after authorities in Montgomery County, Pa., discovered a Budweiser bottle cap embedded in Porter's buttocks. They said it matched the brew date and brewery location of bottles found in Pardo's home. After police arrested a man for marijuana possession outside a bus station in Amarillo, Texas, they found $1,887 in the man's front pocket and $4,090 in his socks. A further search turned up $8,050 in cash and six postal money orders totaling $4,200 hidden between the man's buttocks.
London's Metropolitan Police announced that former petty criminals are welcome to join the force. "This wouldn't apply to people who had shown criminal intent, like burglary, but it means if someone had committed a minor offense, they would not be automatically sifted out, as they were before," a police spokesperson said. "If you hit the target on 19 out of 20 criteria and miss it on one, we would consider your application."
Tillie Tooter, the 84-year-old Florida woman who survived 78 hours in a swamp after her car was rear-ended and knocked off an interstate highway outside Fort Lauderdale, hired a lawyer to sue the Florida Highway Patrol for not finding her sooner. "An atrocity took place," said Tooter's attorney, Terry M. Rosenblum, "and we're here to see that justice is properly served."
Teen-ager Richard L. Garcia filed a lawsuit against the city of Bradenton, Fla., because a city police officer failed to arrest him for drunken driving minutes before he crashed his car and ruptured his aorta. After the wreck, Garcia's blood-alcohol level was almost twice the legal driving limit.
Patricia Ryan, 36, sued a Scranton, Pa., nightclub where she worked as a stripper after she was badly burned while performing a fire-breathing routine. Ryan, who suffered second-degree burns when she accidentally dribbled a mixture of 151-proof rum and salt onto her chest during her act, accused the club's employees of providing inadequate safety equipment and not coming to her aid fast enough. A jury ordered the Cabaret Nightclub to pay her $363,153.
A 30-year-old man, who began suffocating after swallowing a piece of a water pipe, was rushed to a hospital in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Doctors who operated on him removed the pipe, along with 39 metal and plastic knives, forks, spoons and lighters that he had swallowed over the past year. "The weight of the metal and other things he swallowed was heavy, but it did not tear the stomach," Dr. Jihad Disouqi said, explaining the man broke the cutlery into two pieces so that he could swallow them. "He also did not suffer any serious illness before, and no one discovered what he had been doing."
Chicago police charged Jimmy Elliot Jr., 29, with retail theft after he entered a drug store with two children, ages 4 and 6, and began loading hundreds of dollars of goods into two shopping carts. Police said he wheeled one of the carts out of the store without paying, while his 6-year-old son followed pushing the other. When store clerks and security personnel confronted him, they said Elliot fled with the 4-year-old but left the 6-year-old behind.
The Federal Aviation Administration said an emergency signal indicating an airplane had crashed in Arkansas was received at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va. The base relayed the coordinates to an emergency response crew, which ultimately found itself inside the University of Arkansas' Razorback Stadium but saw no plane. Finally, FAA officials determined the emergency signal had come from a fiber-optic transmitter that sends signals to the 3,210-square-foot video screen on the stadium's new scoreboard. The signal was using the same frequency as that assigned to airplane emergency locator beacons. "We've identified it as being a Jumbotron," FAA spokesperson Don Struebing said.
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