Barry Som pleaded guilty to welfare fraud. He allegedly cost the state of Washington and the federal government hundreds of thousands of dollars. Naturally, he was fired from his job with the state Department of Social and Health Services. So Som did what many people without a job would do: He applied for unemployment benefits. He's now collecting $300 a week.
Buffalo Grove, Illinois, is renaming its Adopt-A-Hydrant program. The town had offered adoption certificates to children who agreed to keep a hydrant clear of weeds and ice. But Gerald and Maureen Knight were outraged that anyone would equate adopted children with something that dogs take a leak on. So they protested, and the city agreed to find a new name for the program.
Toni Marie Angeli was taking a photography class at Harvard University, and she decided to take photos of her 4-year-old son for a class project on "Innocence in Nudity." Unfortunately, a staff member at the Zona Photographic Laboratories, where Angeli took the photos to be developed, has a hard time seeing any innocence in nudity. When Angeli went to pick up the photos, she was arrested by police, who'd been called by the lab. After the district attorney and the state Department of Social Services looked at the photos, they decided they weren't done with lascivious intent. But Angeli still faces charges. When she was being arrested, she allegedly threw a lamp at a lab worker. Angeli has been charged with assault and battery, malicious destruction of property, and disorderly conduct.
Baltimore police stopped a teenager for joyriding. They handcuffed him and forced him to lie face down on the pavement while they loaded his passengers into a police van. They then ran over the teenager, whom they had forgotten about. He was not seriously injured.
Vikki Read wasn't allowed to take her 9-day-old baby into a museum in Wellington, New Zealand. Why? The museum was showing the photos of Robert Mapplethorpe, including several nudes, and prosecutors had threatened to go after the museum if any kids were exposed to the pictures.
When Pensacola, Florida, native Scott Plumley spotted people dealing drugs, he decided to do something. So he called the sheriff's office. But they told him that he'd have to have proof that drugs were being sold before they'd come out. So Plumley went and bought a $4.00 bag of marijuana. He then called back to tell deputies what he'd done. The cops came quickly this time, and arrested Plumley for possession.
Mary Ann Gardner asked her husband Richard to fix some hallway molding in her mother's home. When he couldn't push it into place with his hands, he did what any blithering idiot would do: He got his gun. He attempted to use the butt of a .25-caliber handgun to hammer the molding back into place. While he was hammering away, the gun went off, shooting Mr. Gardner in the hand and his wife in the abdomen. Neither was seriously hurt.
It seemed like a cute T-shirt: a cartoon of Margaret from the "Dennis the Menace" comic strip saying "Someday a woman will be PRESIDENT." But some Wal-Mart customers didn't agree, and after they complained, the chain removed the shirts. Designer Ann Mollivar Ruben said a company buyer told her the shirt's message "goes against Wal-Mart's family values." Now, after a counterprotest by women's groups, the shirt is back on Wal-Mart shelves.
Human Rights Watch recently revealed that children in Chinese orphanages routinely die from deliberate neglect and starvation. One of the chief witnesses for their report is Dr. Zhang Shuyun. She's safely out of China now. Unfortunately, her family isn't. After the report came out, Chinese authorities arrested her brother, a local government official and member of the Communist Party, for subversion.
In Williamsburg, Virginia, Shane Emmett faces expulsion from Lafayette High School for violating the school's ban on weapons. Seems authorities noticed a toy dart gun in his car.