Stranger Than Fiction 

Curses, foiled again A cashier at a convenience store in Westminster, Md., reported she was robbed by a man wearing an orange bandana but told police she could tell the robber was her boyfriend, Brendon Marshall, 50, by the way he ran from the store. Police who arrested Marshall said he had a large sum of cash equal to the amount taken from the store. Letter of the law Austin Perkins, 17, a senior at Golden Gate High School in Naples, Fla., was suspended for violating the school's dress code. The policy requires boys to wear long pants or walking shorts and collared or polo shirts that must be tucked in and must be solid white, gray, green, pink or khaki. Perkins wore a jacket and tie to school. "I thought it was better than a polo shirt," Perkins told the Naples News. Sonny boy Jacob Brighton, 16, told authorities in Fort Pierce, Fla., that he shot his parents to death because he didn't have a job, smoked marijuana and didn't share the same "qualities or interests" as his father. "Now," Brighton said after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, "there's nobody to be disappointed in me."

Authorities in North Kingstown, R.I., accused Garry Lamar, 47, of bilking his mother of more than $15,000 in the past year by repeatedly stealing her cat and demanding money for its return. Last laugh While Tina Alberts was under anesthesia having two teeth replaced with implants by her boss, oral surgeon Robert Woo of Auburn, Wash., he first installed temporary bridges he had shaped to look like boar tusks, then took photos of Alberts, some with her eyes propped open. Before she awoke, Woo removed the tusks and put in the proper replacement teeth. He didn't show Alberts the photos, but staffers gave her copies at a birthday party, causing her to feel so humiliated that she quit and sued her boss. Woo's insurance company, Fireman's Fund, refused to cover the claim, so Woo paid Alberts $250,000 and then sued Fireman's Fund. A King County jury ordered Fireman's Fund to pay Woo $750,000, plus the out-of-court settlement. Appeals followed, until the state Supreme Court upheld Woo's award, declaring that the practical joke was an integral, albeit odd, part of the assistant's dental surgery. Something wrong? A town council in Germany decided the best way to reduce traffic accidents and improve pedestrian safety was to remove all traffic lights and stop signs from the downtown district, which is used by 13,500 cars a day. "Traffic will no longer be dominant," Mayor Klaus Goedejohann of Bohmte told Reuters, pointing out drivers and pedestrians now enjoy equal rights of way. Holy moley A convent in southern Italy is being shut down after its three remaining nuns got into a fistfight. Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista, objecting to the authoritarian ways of their mother superior, Sister Liliana, scratched her face and threw her to the ground at Santa Clara convent near Bari. Agence France-Presse reported that Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri tried to make peace but, after deciding the nuns had "clearly lost their religious vocation," he asked the Vatican for permission to close the convent. Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista moved out, but Sister Liliana barricaded herself inside and refused to leave. Warming woes Having vowed to burn his delivery van if Albania's national soccer team failed to score a goal against the Netherlands, Delvine fishmonger Vilson Alushi followed Albania's 1-0 loss by dousing the vehicle with gasoline in the town center. His friends alerted firefighters, who arrived promptly but were unable to extinguish the blaze because the fire truck had no water. Residents living near the fire station had drained the tank to help them cope with Albania's chronic water shortage. Species in the news Authorities accused Jereme James, 33, of stealing three endangered iguanas from a nature preserve in Fiji and smuggling them into the United States in his prosthetic leg. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said James hid the neon green iguanas in a special compartment he had constructed in his artificial limb.


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