July 3, 2013

Charles Oliver: Minister 'borrows' expensive bracelet

Charles Oliver

— • Roger Herft, an Anglican archbishop in Australia, calls the behavior of one of his own ministers “reprehensible.” The Rev. Terry McAuliffe found a gold and diamond bracelet belonging to Clyde and Lesley Bevan. Instead of returning it, he wrote to them saying he was now the legal owner of the bracelet under a law that allows people to keep property unclaimed for more than two months. But he offered to return the bracelet to the couple if they filed an insurance claim and gave him half their payout. After local media reported his demand, and after being denounced by his archbishop, McAuliffe agreed to return the bracelet without payment.

• High River, Alberta, residents have been devastated by recent floods. Many want to return to their homes and begin cleaning up. They are angry that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been blocking them from returning. They got even angrier this week when the Mounties admitted they have been breaking into those homes and seizing any firearms they can find. The Mounties say they are just trying to keep those weapons safe.

• An FBI agent pulled his weapon on a Detroit police officer recently. The officer was recreating a purse snatching at a local convenience store for a local TV news crew. The FBI agent happened to be there buying gasoline, saw what looked like a crime and pursued the “thief.” Fortunately, another police officer stopped the agent before anything serious happened. You’d think there’s enough crime in Detroit already without the cops having to create some.

• Edison, N.J., police officer Alan Varady has been charged with DUI after someone reported he had been drinking at a party for several hours when he was supposed to be on patrol. Varady has been suspended with pay from the police department.

• Federal Judge Patrick Duggan has found that Michigan teacher Johnson “Jay” McDowell violated the First Amendment rights of one of his students. McDowell, who teaches at Howell High School, threw Daniel Glowacki out of his classroom during an anti-bullying presentation when Glowacki said he doesn’t accept gays because of his religious beliefs. Duggan ordered McDowell to pay $1.

• Officials at Tennessee’s Columbia State Community College are investigating claims that a teacher forced students to wear ribbons supporting gay pride. Some students say psychology professor Linda Brunton had them wear the ribbons for a day, then write about the discrimination they faced. The students claim Brunton told them that those who oppose gay rights are “uneducated bigots.” A local newspaper says people claiming to be former students contacted it saying Brunton had given similar assignments in the past and punished those who objected.

• While driving through Houston County, Tenn., Patricia Barnes stopped at a restaurant and used the restroom. A few days later, she got a request for $5 in the mail from the restaurant for using the restroom without buying anything. How did the restaurant’s owner track her down? Sheriff Darrell Allison ran her tag number and gave the owner her information. Allison said police officers routinely look up information for private citizens. “I would say that happens every day. It’s a very common occurrence,” he said.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.