Brickbats

No fewer than seven patrol cars answered when someone called 911 in Los Angeles to report that a passenger was pointing a rifle out of a moving minivan. When the cops finally caught up to the minivan, they found the passenger sitting in a child safety seat. The “rifle” he had been pointing was an orange-tipped toy. Officers scolded the parents for letting their kid wave the weapon around.

Marilyn Louie’s newsstand has stood in the same spot in New York City’s Chinatown for 35 years. But city officials have just discovered that the stand is three inches too close to the building it faces, and so must be torn down. Louie says the new locations the city has offered her are already saturated with stores selling the same goods.

Krystal Myers was disturbed by the her Tennessee public school’s mixing of church and state, which included teacher-written Bible verses on blackboards and prayers at athletic events and school board meetings. So the Lenoir City High School senior wrote an editorial arguing that such practices may violate the First Amendment. School officials banned the school newspaper from publishing it.

Transportation Security Administration agents at Los Angeles International Airport detained one woman, who wasn’t named in press reports, and delayed some passengers from boarding their planes for about an hour after mistaking the woman’s insulin pump for a weapon.

More than 3,000 people turned out for the second Tops of the Hops Beer Festival in Biloxi, Mississippi. But organizers say it could have been even more successful if the state didn’t ban 90 of the nation’s top 100 beers. Mississippi forbids the sale of beer with an alcohol content of more than 5 percent, and organizers say that keeps them from featuring many craft beers.

Patricia White says the District of Columbia government has fined her eight times, with a penalty totaling $2,000, for throwing away her cat litter. White cuts up newspaper and junk mail and uses it as cat litter. D.C. officials prowling through her garbage found the paper and told her it should be placed in her recycling bin.

Officials at California’s Lupine Hills Elementary School put a sexual battery claim on the permanent record of a 6-year-old boy who accidentally touched another boy on the groin or leg during a game of tag. Only after his family got a lawyer did the school agree to remove the claim from the boy’s record.

A New York City Sanitation Department worker gave Raymond Johnson a $100 citation for putting his trash out 33 minutes early. A city ordinance says garbage may not be left at the curb before 4 p.m. from October 1 to April 1. Local news outlets reported that several other Queens residents have received similar citations.

Charles Oliver

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