Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wedding thief spoils the party

When Kansas couple Jared and Stephanie Lightle decided to renew their wedding vows, they didn't bank on an intruder spoiling the party.

The pair were outside at the reception in Joplin, Missouri, when Jared's mother spotted a man running away with armfuls of wedding gifts.

Jared gave chase, yelling 'Stop, thief!' at the top of his voice.

Police who had been investigating a traffic accident nearby eventually caught the suspect. Rosario Caruso, 31, of Lamar, was charged with trespassing, larceny and resisting arrest.

Lightle was philosophical about the incident.

'I guess we're going to have a very unique wedding story to tell the rest of our lives,' he said.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New law will be the death of Massachusetts residents

By guest columnist Cleland Thom
You’ve heard the saying: you’re better off dead. Well, if you live in Massachusetts, you may well be.

The state’s senate has passed a law that gives people commercial image rights for 70 years after they die.

They can claim at least $1000, plus profits and costs, if someone makes money from their ‘name, image and personality’ after they die.

Seventy years is one of the longest durations in the US.

Dead people may find it an undertaking to make the claim. It’s expected that their heirs will do the work – and get the dosh.

The proposal needs Governor Deval Patrick’s sign-off to become law. He’s 58 and healthy, so shouldn’t be benefiting from the proposal himself any time soon.

Cleland Thom is director of CTJT, who provide distance learning journalism courses

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pit bull shows he's Ace

Pit bulls make unlikely heroes but one of the so-called devil dogs is being feted in Indiana.

The mutt managed to alert a deaf boy to a serious fire in his home by licking the sleeping boy's face until he woke up.

Nick Lamb, 13, told authorities that he was not wearing his hearing assistance implants while napping as fire began spreading through his Indianapolis home.

The pit bull, Ace, went into Nick’s room during the fire and licked his face.

Alone in the house, Nick covered his nose and mouth with his T-shirt and he and Ace fled the house. The boy was examined and released at the scene.

“We hear of dogs barking to wake someone up during a fire but not licking their face,” said Indianapolis Fire Department Captain Rita Reith

“This is a positive for the pit bull community."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

George's bosses shoulder the blame for work injury

By guest columnist Cleland Thom
Have you heard about George Shoun’s shoulder? No? Well you’re the only person in America who hasn’t.

George, from Elkhart County, Indiana, took his employer to court to protect his privacy. And now the whole country knows about it. Including you.

George injured that now famous shoulder working for Best Formed Plastics. He was off work for several months and asked for compensation.

His claim was handled by a colleague, Jane Stewart. And she turned out to be a pain in the neck by posting details of his injury on Facebook.

She compared his claim with another employee called Jimmy, and said: ‘Isn’t it amazing how Jimmy experienced a five way heart bypass just one month ago and is back to work - especially when you consider George Shoun’s shoulder injury kept him away from work for 11 months and now he is trying to sue us.’

So George sued the company for breach of confidence as well. He said the Facebook post caused him loss of employment, emotional distress, humiliation, and mental pain and suffering.

All that on top of that injured shoulder. Poor guy.

He even said that Ms Stewart … ‘acted with the intent to expose him to public scorn and ridicule and to blacklist him among prospective employers.’

He won his case. Best Formed Plastics will have to shoulder the blame. While George continues to blame the shoulder.

Cleland Thom is director of CTJT, who provide online journalism courses

Monday, July 21, 2014

Woman driver causes a splash at Ohio party

A woman driver literally crashed an Ohio party when her Jeep ploughed through a garden fence and plunged into a swimming pool.

According to emergency services, the 46-year-old woman first hit a parked car before smashing through the wooden fence of an apartment complex.

The Jeep splashed into the water, narrowly missing two swimmers and numerous guests standing nearby.

Party goer Christopher Sanford said: "I took a dive into the pool and when I hit the water, I was like ‘Oh man, that’s an awesome explosion I did.' Then, I turned around and there was a Jeep in the pool."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Driving them crazy: boy steals school bus for the second time

To lose one school bus may be considered as a misfortune but to lose two looks like carelessness. A school in Florida, is considering expelling a 12-year-old boy after he took a bus out for a spin for the second time in a month.

The boy was arrested this week after Franklin Country officers pulled over a stolen school bus that was being driven erratically.

Investigators said the adolescent thief first pinched his family's car but ditched it when he saw a school bus parked outside an elementary school.

The child will be charged with trespassing on school property, grand theft auto and burglary of conveyance. He also faces additional charges from the Springfield Police Department.

Bay District School officials say an expulsion hearing will be scheduled for the boy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gimme an H ... A ... T... E!

By guest columnist Cleland Thom
If you HATE professional cheerleaders (Or should that be: ‘Gimme an H … A … T … E?), this could be your big moment.

You can go online and tell them what to do with their pom-poms with impunity.

Some internet trolls tried it on the celebrity gossip website TheDirty.com

They claimed ex-Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleader Sarah Jones was sexually promiscuous and infected people sexually transmitted diseases.

It’s not clear whether that was during her dance routines, or afterwards.

Sarah asked the site to delete the posts, but they refused. So she sued them and won $300,000 damages.

However, TheDirty.com appealed – and won. The court ruled they weren’t responsible for other people’s posts.

Sarah’s case wasn’t helped when she was jailed during the marathon legal battle … for sexually abusing a schoolboy.

Which probably gives another meaning to the cheerleading term ‘Peel-off’.

Cleland Thom is director of CTJT, who provide journalism courses