Brickbats

Police in Nagpur, India, say they have come up with a way to stop traffic accidents: placing small pyramids near 10 sites where accidents are common in the hope that their mystical energy will reduce the number of wrecks.

In Bridgewater, England, a cop accidentally tased Peter Cox in the groin after stopping him based on suspicion of driving without insurance. The officer apologized to Cox, who had to be treated by paramedics. The police released him after finding he did have insurance.

Officials in Clearwater Beach, Florida, are renovating and expanding their two-story lifeguard headquarters. Even though only lifeguards use the structure, the state building commission ruled they would have to make it handicap accessible.

Also in Florida, Briana Vega had big plans for a birthday party for her friend Courtney Rogers. She wanted everything to be a surprise, so she put a blindfold on Rogers before taking her to the party’s secret location. Some people thought she was kidnapping Rogers and called the police. When the cops arrived and discovered there was no kidnapping, they arrested the two for disturbing the peace.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has banned taste contests for homebrewed beer, homebrew club tasting nights, and even taking your homebrewed beer to a friend’s home to drink. The bans are based on a reinterpretation of a state law that bars unlicensed brewers from making beer except for “home consumption.”

Yuri Samordurov and Andrei Yerofeyev are the curators of Moscow’s Andrei Sakharov Museum, where they hosted an exhibit that included a painting of Jesus with Mickey Mouse’s head. For this they were convicted of inciting religious hatred and fined 200,000 rubles.

A recent state audit found Michigan may have made some $2 million in Medicaid payments during the last two years for the care of people who were dead at the time they allegedly received treatment.

Shirley Anderson abandoned her son Ken when he was 15. During the next 31 years, he says, the only times he spoke to her were when she called asking for money. Now Shirley, 71, is suing Ken and four of his siblings under a British Columbia law that requires children to support dependent parents. A court already has awarded her a payment of $10 a month from each child, and now she is seeking $300 to $350 a month from each of them.

Fifteen years ago, someone stole Dan Wheeler’s wallet. The thief was later arrested for a sex offense and booked under Wheeler’s name. That landed Wheeler on the Washington state sex offender list, and state officials refuse to take it off. After all, they argue, the offender might continue to use the alias.

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