Opinion

June 19, 2013

Charles Oliver: Hockey fan refuses to mow lawn

• Some athletes don’t shave during postseason play, believing it brings luck. Chicago Blackhawks fan Frank Miller decided he would not mow his lawn until his team won the Stanley Cup. Officials in his hometown of Park Ridge, Ill., had a different idea. “I was watching the playoffs one night with my son and hear a lawn mower going off, and I come outside, ‘What are you doing?’ The guy was cutting my lawn with a giant industrial-sized mower, and he said that the city had come and paid him to cut my lawn,” Miller told a local TV station. The Blackhawks are now down 2-1 in the finals to the Boston Bruins. I’m not saying the Park Ridge City Council is to blame. I’m just saying the team was winning until they cut Miller’s lawn.

• Armed police stormed Ian Driscoll’s home in Tewkesbury, England, demanding he turn over a mortar. Driscoll at first had no idea what they were talking about. Then he realized they were looking for a toy mortar, about a foot long, that he’d posted a photo of on Facebook. The mortar wasn’t even his. It belonged to a friend. A police spokesman said officers “acted with good intentions.”

• A state audit found that Massachusetts has handed out more than $18 million in welfare benefits to questionable recipients in the past two-and-a-half years. That includes $2.39 million in payments to dead people; at least 26 cases where people were using multiple Social Security numbers to collect benefits; and at least 40 cases where at least two different people were claiming the same person as a dependent.

• Studies have shown that doctors and nurses working in hospitals wash their hands as little as 30 percent of the time before interacting with patients. The New York Times reports that some hospitals have resorted to installing video cameras in intensive care rooms housing the most vulnerable patients. Those cameras are watched by people in India who are paid to report when they see health care workers entering the room and not washing their hands.

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