Brickbats

|

Ottawa resident Doug Rochow noticed the city hadn't plowed the snow away from a couple of well-used footpaths near his home. So he went out and removed the snow himself, as he has done for years. City officials found out about that and visited his home to tell him to stop. Official say the paths are unsafe for the elderly or handicapped to use in the winter, so they don't want anyone on them. Rochow says people are still using the paths, and it's even more dangerous when there's snow on them.

England's Nigel Robinson was trying to download some music when he came across images he believed to be child pornography. He alerted local police. Shortly afterward, East Riding social services officials ordered that Robinson, who has not been charged with a crime, should have no unsupervised contact with children, including his own. "It makes you feel as though you shouldn't have reported it in the first place," Robinson said.

Judy Sanchez says she heard someone pounding on the door of her Fitchburg, Massachusetts, apartment, and almost immediately after that someone started cutting through the door with a chainsaw. Several armed people rushed through the door, forcing her and her family to the floor. It was a team of FBI agents. About 30 minutes later they figured out they were supposed to raid the apartment next door.

A 12-year-old girl has sued Minnesota's Minnewaska School District, claiming officials at her middle school punished her for posts she made on her Facebook page and forced her, with the help of local law enforcement, to reveal the password and log-in information for her Facebook and email accounts. The lawsuit claims the school gave her detention for a post complaining that a hall monitor was mean to her and later gave her in-school suspension for a post asking who had turned her in.

Students at New Jersey's Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School say officials announced a "no hugging" policy and threatened to suspend students caught breaking that rule. School officials refused to discuss the matter with a local TV station. In a recorded telephone message sent to parents, the principal denied the school has banned hugging but said officials want to make sure there's "no inappropriate contact" between students.

Jerry Miller wants you to know he is still alive. The Palm Bay, Florida, resident and Army veteran says he has been declared dead four times by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department since July 2010. Each time, the agency cuts off his benefits, and each time Miller has to call and convince a bureaucrat he's alive.

New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs fined Jamal Ahmad $30,000 after it learned that a 99-cent store he owned carried toy sheriff sets with fake handguns. Although the guns had bright orange tips, officials say they violate a city ordinance barring the sale of realistic-looking toy guns.

Charles Oliver

Advertisement