October 31, 2012

Charles Oliver: Officers confuse daisies for weeds, uh, weed

Earlier this year, the Alberta, Canada, drug task force announced one of the biggest marijuana busts in the province’s history. Dozens of officers descended on a suburban home in Lethbridge and seized 1,624 plants the owner had growing in his garden. It turns out the plants were daisies.

It took a Washington County, Minn., jury less than 30 minutes to find Jennifer Goldetsky not guilty of four counts of child neglect and endangerment. Goldetsky, who ran a home day care center, had been accused by prosecutors of locking three children in an outdoor shed to hide them from a surprise inspection that would have shown she was keeping more children than state law allowed. Prosecutors went forward with the case even though the alleged victims denied they’d been locked in the shed. Although Goldetsky was found not guilty, she lost her day care license and faces hefty legal bills.

Federal Judge Theodore Albert has demanded that the Orange County, Calif., sheriff’s office explain why they ignored a written order from him that they should not evict Niko Black from her home. Deputies pulled Black, who is being treated for cancer, from her home at gunpoint. Albert has threatened sheriff’s officials as well as Wells Fargo, Black’s bank, with contempt of court. Sheriff’s officials say they were advised by the county attorney to evict the woman despite the judge’s order. And they say it’s just standard practice for deputies to have their guns out when they clear a house.

Alburtis, Pa., city council member Kyle Bower is just nine months into his first term in office. The Democratic politician is also serving two years probation after pleading guilty to stalking charges on the same day he took his oath of office, so he probably should try to stay out of trouble. But he was nabbed by police earlier this month on charges of stealing Republican campaign signs, damaging a farm field with his car and probation violation.

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