Janitor Jesus Barajas saved for 30 years to build his dream house on a piece of property he owns in Seattle. But he's going to have to downsize his plans, thanks to a new city ordinance that requires him to build a $15,000 sidewalk outside his home. City officials admit it will be the only sidewalk in the area, probably for decades. They also admit the law was aimed at big developers. But they say they are powerless to waive the rules.
The British government has unveiled plans to track every person who leaves the United Kingdom, even for just one day. Travelers will have to provide detailed personal information and travel plans before leaving or face fines of up to £5,000.
Washington state banned the sale of dishwashing detergents containing more than 0.5 percent phosphates; the prohibition will go statewide next year, but it initially took effect in Spokane County. Many people there complain that the eco-friendly detergents the law allows just don't clean their dishes. So they've taken to driving to Idaho and smuggling in the good stuff.
In Seminole County, Florida, Judge Ralph Erikkson tossed a man in jail because he did not like the fellow's lawyer. Attorney Kendall Horween won a continuance that Erikkson had earlier opposed, so the judge increased the bail for Horween's client and had him jailed for interfering with the
administration of justice.
Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would expand the state's child pornography laws to cover material featuring people older than 60 and the disabled—even if they are mentally competent. The bill would prohibit people from making or distributing "with lascivious intent" any films or videos showing elderly or handicapped persons in the nude.
In New Zealand, Steve Wyn-Harris rented a wall-less tent for the 50th Jubilee of Central Hawke's Bay College. Local officials told him he'd need to put fire exit signs on it.
Ryan Moats, a running back for the Houston Texans, rushed to the hospital with his family when he heard his mother-in-law was dying. But when they pulled into the hospital parking lot, Dallas police officer Robert Powell confronted them and drew his sidearm. He claimed Moats had run a red light in his haste to get to the hospital, and he was determined to give Moats a ticket before letting him see the dying woman. For 20 minutes, Powell ignored the pleas of nurses and a fellow police officer to let Moats go while he chastised the man and demanded paperwork from him. "I can screw you over," Powell told Moats. That he did. By the time Moats made it to the emergency room, his mother-in-law had died.
Mike and Cathy Grosse were shopping when they got the call from the Hamilton, Ohio, fire department. During a training exercise, firefighters had mistaken their home for a vacant house and knocked down the door.