March 13, 2013

Charles Oliver: Camouflaging their intentions

Charles Oliver

— • Officials locked down L’Anse Creuse High School in Michigan after someone reported seeing a man dressed in camouflage enter the building. It turned out the man was a former student who currently works at a nearby Air Force National Guard base. He reportedly had come to get a letter of recommendation from someone at the school. You know, if they’d locked down my high school every time someone dressed in camouflage came in, the place would have been permanently shut down every year during deer season.

• Cops raided the Benson family farm in southern Illinois, claiming someone had reported they were cooking meth. Police pointed to several buckets standing next to the trees on their property and said those had made someone suspicious. The Bensons informed the officers the trees were sugar maples. Those trees had taps in them, and the buckets were collecting the sap, which the family turns into maple syrup.

• A Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrested Anthony Brasfield and charged him with felony polluting. Did Brasfield dump toxic chemicals into a river or stream? No. Did he dispose of asbestos improperly or burn tires without a permit? No and no. Brasfield released a dozen mylar heart-shaped balloons as a romantic gesture to his girlfriend. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

• The Louisiana State Health Department forced a Shreveport homeless shelter to destroy 1,600 pounds of venison that local hunters had donated to it. The meat had been processed at a slaughterhouse that is permitted by the state, but state law does not permit venison to be distributed commercially.

• Chicago police raided Charlene and Samuel Holly’s apartment, killed their dog, held them and six children at gunpoint and told one of the children, “This is what happens when your grandma sells crack.” Only later did they realize their warrant specifically said it was for an apartment on the second floor of the building. The Hollys’ apartment is on the first floor. The Hollys are suing the city.

• The town board in Riverhead, N.Y., has banned anyone attending its meetings from booing. Applause is still OK.

• A study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and George Mason University found that emergency room visits related to E. coli, salmonella and other bacteria increased in San Francisco after the city banned plastic bags. Neighboring jurisdictions without such a ban did not see increases in such emergency room visits. Researchers say it’s likely because with plastic bags banned, people in San Francisco are forced to use reusable bags. Previous studies have shown that reusable bags contain numerous bacteria, largely because users use the same bags for meat and vegetables and rarely wash the bags.

• A British court has fined Petra Mills £110 after she was found guilty of racially aggravated public disorder for calling neighbor Chelsea O’Reilly an Australian. “She knew I was from New Zealand. She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted,” said O’Reilly.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for the Daily Citizen.