The Weird Week in Review
Alabama Lemur Held for Ransom
Gizmo, a ringtail lemur kept as a family pet, was taken from his home in Mobile, Alabama, during a burglary in January. The lemur's owner offered a $1,000 reward for the return of the animal, and James Edward Welborn, Jr. contacted the owner hoping to claim the reward. Meanwhile, a tip came in to police that Welborn has possession of a lemur. Police arrested Welborn and charged him with possession of stolen property, and he is awaiting extradition to Mississippi, where other charges are pending against him. Gizmo was returned to his home, where he is doing fine.
Disabled Not Allowed in Disability Court
This may be the weirdest story of British bureaucracy gone wild yet. Occasionally, disabled people must go to court to prove their disabilities or face losing benefits. However, someone decided to put the disability tribunal on the fourth floor of the Acorn House building in Basildon, England. Therefore, health and safety officials barred people in wheelchairs from attending because exit would be difficult in the event of a fire.
Sylvia Middleton, from Wickford Place in Pitsea, was turned away last Wednesday.
She said: “They said they couldn’t guarantee my safety and they didn’t let wheelchairs upstairs.
“Why are they holding disability tribunals in a building disabled people aren’t allowed in?”
The 65-year-old has been told she has to wait two months for a new hearing 12 miles away at Southend.
Officials had originally ordered she attend the court or risk losing her disability benefits.
Court officials claim the ruling is in error and are trying to work out a policy in which no one will be turned away.
Pope Resigns, Lightning Strikes St. Peters
Just hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was resigning the papacy, a photographer caught lightning striking the dome of St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City. Filippo Monteforte, a photographer for Agence France Presse, waited for two hours in the rain to get the shot. He had a feeling that he might catch lightning during the storm. However, he missed the first lightning strike -but caught the second strike. If it was a sign from God, He made sure that the photographer had it on film.
Stuck at 125mph for an Hour
In a real-life version of the movie Speed, Frank Lecerf was forced to drive at top speed when his Renault Laguna, which was adapted for disabled drivers, went out of control. While running an errand in his home town of Pont-de-Metz, France, Lecerf found that any tap on his brakes made the car speed up -up to 125 mph! He called police, who cleared roads and alerted toll gates to open for Lecerf. They also patched in a Renault engineer on the phone, but nothing they did could stop the vehicle. The car finally came to a stop in a village in Belgium when it ran out of gas an hour later. Lecerf had driven over 100 miles. There is no word yet on why the car accelerated out of control.
Cops Chase Donut Truck
A Krispy Kreme delivery truck stopped at the Quick Shop on Dacula Road in Gwinnet County, Georgia. While the delivery man was inside, security camera footage shows how another man, later identified as James Freddy Major, jumped into the truck and drove off! A store clerk called police, who gave chase for about 15 miles.
"Could you imagine going down the interstate and seeing the Krispy Kreme donut truck with the cops chasing behind it?; Flashing lights? What would you think,” said store worker Susan Patterson.
He eventually came to a dead end in a residential neighborhood. Police said he tried to run but a police dog tracked him down.
Police arrested Major on several charges, including theft and driving under the influence.
"Newborn" Portraits of 13-year-old Boy
Photographer Kelli Higgins often takes pictures of newborn babies. She has eight children, including two who were adopted from foster care. Her 13-year-old son Latrell expressed regret that he didn't have any baby pictures -and a sister suggested he have some taken now. Better late than never, right? Latrell thought the idea was funny, so they did a photo shoot with the 112-pound teenager posed in classic newborn poses. When his mother posted those photos on her business' Facebook page, response was overwhelming. Higgins hopes that the publicity will bring more attention to older children who need permanent families.