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December 12th, 2017

Diversions

Wait, What?

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Feb. 23, 2015

Wait, What?

On Nov. 6, a couple (aged 68 and 65) were hospitalized after spending almost 13 hours locked in their car inside their own garage in Alexandra, New Zealand. The night before, they had been unable to remember a salesman's tutorial on how to unlock their new Mazda 3 from the inside and had spent the night assuming they were trapped because they had forgotten to bring along the battery-operated key. The wife was unconscious when neighbors finally noticed them, and her husband was struggling to breathe. (The door unlocks manually, of course.) [Otago Daily Times, 12-13-2014]

At first, it seemed another textbook case of a wrongly convicted murderer being released after a long prison stint (15 years), based on a re-examination of evidence. Illinois officials freed Alstory Simon, who had "confessed" in 1999 to killing two teenagers (before a defendants' advocacy organization convinced a judge that the confession had been coerced). That 1999 confession had allowed the man previously convicted, Anthony Porter, to go free, but prosecutors in October 2014 had second -- or third -- thoughts. They once again believe that Porter was the killer -- even though a different defendants' advocacy organization had originally worked to free him. (In any event, "double jeopardy" prevents Porter's retrial.) [Reuters via Yahoo News, 10-30-2014]

Undersheriff Noel Stephen of Okeechobee County, Florida, acknowledged to WPBF-TV in December that among the public services his office performs is supervising parents' spanking of children. After two sisters argued on Dec. 29, their father decided to administer a whipping to one and asked Deputy Stephen to drop by and make sure he stayed within the law. That's "not something we advertise to do," said the deputy, but he estimates he has monitored about a dozen spankings. [WPBF-TV (West Palm Beach), 12-31-2014]

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