Police in Little Rock, Arkansas, are nothing if not efficient. They picked up 70-year-old Betty Deislinger at a meeting of the city's historic commission. Her crime? She refuses to remove burglar bars from her house, which was built in the 1870s, violating an ordinance governing the historic district in which she lives. She faces a fine of $10 to $500 a day until she complies with the law.
The U.S. Forest Service apparently feels the best way to crack down on marijuana-growing in Northern California's Mendocino National Forest is to harass Latinos. Rangers have been instructed to "develop probable cause" for stopping cars leaving the forest; if "the vehicle has Hispanics inside," its passengers must be interrogated, even if no drugs are found.
In Maryland, police are supposed to turn any cash seized from alleged drug dealers or gamblers over to the county treasury. But it seems that the sheriff's department in Prince George's County has been hiding thousands of dollars while lobbying for a change in the law that would allow it to keep the money. Some $45,000 not found during an audit was later turned over to the treasurer after a sheriff's department employee tipped off authorities. Now the whistleblower is being fired.
John Yount, a member of the Metro Nashville Teachers Association's political action committee, supported George W. Bush for president. When he found out the union planned to show a Gore campaign video at a teachers' conference, he said that Bush deserved equal time. Nothing doing, the union leaders replied. So Yount wrote to conference attendees about the disagreement, enclosing a Bush brochure. According to Yount, the MNTA then told him it would be a violation of union rules for him to campaign for a candidate they didn't support. That includes putting a bumper sticker on his truck or a sign in his yard, or even talking about his candidate in public.
In Richmond, Virginia, arsonists torched a banner honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The Sons of Confederate Veterans are demanding that the police treat the offense as a hate crime.
Where It's At, a bar in Rangely, Colorado, printed T-shirts that showed two cartoon aliens in the act of copulation. In response, the town government shut the business down for five days, including the opening days of deer hunting season, the bar's busiest weekend of the year. Under the liquor code, taverns aren't allowed to depict sex acts in their advertisements or decorations.