The new normal
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell manages his own fantasy league team by “drafting” NFL players for virtual competitions based on their real-life statistics of the previous weekend. Donnell lamented to New Jersey’s The Record in October that he had benched virtual “Larry Donnell” on his fantasy team the week before because he thought his other tight end (“Vernon Davis”) would do better. In reality, real Donnell had a career-high game, with his three touchdowns leading the real Giants to a 45-14 victory. However, Donnell’s fantasy team lost badly because virtual Larry Donnell (and his weekend statistical bonanza) was on Donnell’s bench.
A perfect world
In August, the Tampa Bay Times reported a dispute in Dunedin, Florida, between 12-year-old lemonade-stand operator T.J. Guerrero and the adult neighbor (Doug Wilkey) trying to close him down as an unlicensed entrepreneur, despite T.J.’s business plan for assisting his favorite animal shelter. Of course, T.J. was quickly inundated with donations, media praise and more lemonade sales. Wilkey, however, is under investigation by the city after a tipster revealed that Wilkey himself might operate a home-based financial services business not properly licensed.
The campaign trail
“My Friends, I Am a Man of Action!”: Roger Weber, running for a Minnesota House seat in November, is now being sued by a neighbor over a property-line dispute near Nashwauk. Rather than working with an arbitrator or mediator, or letting the legal process run its course, Weber in 2013 took a chain saw and sliced completely in half the large, two-car garage that Weber says sat half on his property and half on the neighbor’s.
Prosecutors in Killeen, Texas, are seeking the death penalty for Marvin Guy, who in May shot one SWAT officer to death and wounded three as they conducted an unannounced (“no-knock”) drug raid on his home at 5:30 a.m., leading Guy to believe hoodlums were breaking in and thus provoking him to grab his gun and start firing. (The tip given to police was bogus; no drugs were found.) However, in December, 90 miles away in another Texas county, mistaken SWAT-raid victim Henry Magee also killed an officer under similar circumstances (except that Magee actually had some marijuana), but was cleared in the shooting by a grand jury’s acceptance of self-defense. Guy is black; Magee is white.
Creme de la weird
Palm Beach County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies searching the home of child-pornography suspect Douglas Wescott, 55, stumbled upon about 50 dead cats stored in four freezers. Wescott’s computers were seized, along with another 30 to 35 live cats. …
In September, following a months-long trial in Canada’s Nunavut territory, defrocked Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger, 67, was found guilty of 31 counts of raping children and one of raping a sled dog.
Not ready for prime time
William Dixon, 21, was arrested in Brentwood, Tennessee, in August fleeing a Best Buy store after arousing suspicion. According to the police report, Dixon, on foot, ran across all lanes of Interstate 65, but the chase ended when he collided with a tree. (2) In October, a man unnamed in news reports snatched a bottle of wine from the shelf of a Sainsbury’s supermarket in East Grinstead, England, and dashed for the door. However, he ran into a shelving unit and knocked himself unconscious. …
Walter Morrison, 20, a United Parcel Service baggage agent at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport, apparently intended only to swipe random parcels, but inadvertently came upon, in one package, a diamond (later found to be worth about $160,000). Police charging him in September said he traded the diamond to a friend for a gram of marijuana (around $20, retail).
Sixty-two percent of the 12 million people of Mumbai, India, live in slums, but the city is also home to Mukesh Ambani’s 27-story private residence (60,000 square feet, 600 employees serving a family of five), reported to cost about $1 billion. According to an October (2010) New York Times dispatch, there are “four-story hanging gardens,” “airborne swimming pools” and a room where “artificial weather” can be created. Ambani and his brother inherited their father’s textile-exporting juggernaut, but notoriously spend much of their time in intra-family feuding. A domestic-worker neighbor told the Times that she makes the equivalent of about $90 a month. CV
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