Opinion

August 7, 2013

Charles Oliver: Student reading list full of errors

• Hempstead Public Schools in New York has released a reading list for students that includes more than 30 mistakes. For instance, it recommends students read “The Great Gypsy” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. At least they got Fitzgerald’s name right. The list also refers to works by George Ornell and Emily Bonte.

• Roy Middleton just wanted a smoke, so walked out of the house he shares with his mother to grab a cigarette out of her car, which was parked in their driveway. That’s where someone ordered him to “Get your hands where I can see them.” As he turned to see who was talking to him, Escambia County, Fla., deputies fired 15 shots at him. Fortunately, even though the deputies were just a few feet away, just two of the bullets they fired struck him. Five of the bullets struck the car. It isn’t clear where the remaining eight shots landed. The sheriff’s office says the deputies were responding to a report of a burglary and Middleton lunged at them while holding a metallic object in his hand.

• The next time you think about dumping cooking grease down your drain, think about this. Sewer workers in London, England, recently had to blast a 15-ton blob of fat, babywipes and sanitary napkins out of one of the sewers. Utility workers say if they hadn’t spotted the bus-sized “fatberg” in time it would have blocked the sewer and caused raw sewage to erupt in the streets and in homes and businesses. Though this was the largest blob of fat ever recorded in England, officials say they deal with fatbergs all the time because of people flushing and dumping things they shouldn’t.

• The Schenectady County, N.Y., sheriff’s office arrested Donald Andrews for criminal possession and criminal sale of a controlled substance after finding crack cocaine in the smoke shop he owns and runs. He spent three weeks in jail before his attorney got officials to look at security video from his store. That video showed a paid informant for the sheriff’s office planting the crack. Sheriff Dominic Dagostino denies any of his officers were involved in an attempt to frame Andrews. Andrews has filed notice that he intends to sue the county for wrongful arrest.

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