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Questionable Judgment; Lesson in Civics

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Jan.21, 2015

Questionable Judgment; Lesson in Civics

Assistant Attorney General Karen Straughn of Maryland issued an official warning recently for consumers to watch out for what might be called "the $100 bill on the windshield" scam. (That is, if you notice a $100 bill tucked under your wiper, do not try to retrieve it; it is likely there to trick you into opening your door to a carjacker.) When questioned by WJLA-TV of Washington, D.C., Straughn admitted there were no actual reports of such attempts -- and that the story is a well-known urban legend -- but nonetheless defended the warning. [WJLA-TV (Washington, D.C.) via WABC-TV (New York City), 11-21-2014]

North Hempstead, New York, enforces its dog-littering ordinance with steep $250 fines and street-sign warnings displaying the amount. However, insiders have long known that the signs are wrong -- that the written regulation calls for fines of only $25 -- and officials have been discussing how to correct their error while still discouraging littering. According to a November WCBS-TV report, now that residents know the actual amount, the debate is whether to replace the erroneous signs (expensive) or just raise the fine 1,000 percent (to $250) and save money. [WCBS- TV, 11-26-2014]

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