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Weird National Briefs (02/14/2018)

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Gown renown

WILLOWICK, Ohio - An Ohio woman has been reunited with her wedding dress 32 years after a dry cleaner mix-up.

Ame Bartlebaugh went looking for her mother’s wedding dress at her grandmother’s house in Willowick on Feb. 4. The 25-year-old is getting married next year.

Bartlebaugh opened the box expecting a sleeveless dress. But she found a lacy, tiered dress that had been put in the box by a now-defunct dry cleaner in 1985.

Bartlebaugh posted about the mix-up on Facebook. Her friends shared the photos and a woman responded within hours that the dress belonged to her best friend’s mom.

Michelle Havrilla received her dress Monday for the first time since her 1985 wedding. She says she’s in shock.

Bartlebaugh says she hopes social media will help her find her mom’s dress.

TME – It was clearly sent to the wrong ad-DRESS.

Down under blunder

MANCHESTER, N.H. - An online adjunct professor incorrectly told a student that Australia isn’t a country and gave her a failing grade, prompting Southern New Hampshire University to replace the instructor.

Buzzfeed News reports that the 27-year-old student in Idaho was assigned to compare American social norms to that of another country. She chose to study social media use in Australia, but the professor gave her a zero on that portion of the assignment, saying Australia is a continent, not a country.

Australia is actually both _ a country and a continent.

University officials tell WMUR-TV the instructor has been replaced following an investigation. In a statement, the university said it deeply regrets the interaction between the professor and student, and wished athletes from Australia good luck in the Olympic games.

TME – Granite State indeed – what a blockhead!

This week in criminal masterminds

SARTELL, Minn. - It didn’t take police long to catch up with a man who stole a woman’s SUV from the Walmart parking lot in Sartell.

Authorities say the Sauk Centre man took the Jeep Grand Cherokee left running in the parking lot Monday and drove to Isle, about an hour away. Police say a woman later called the vehicle’s owner and said a man was asking questions about the SUV. Then she put the man on the phone with the owner. He said he was with an auto glass company and repaired the vehicle and just needed to get it started again.

WJON reports the man gave the owner an address where OnStar could find the vehicle and start it. Isle police went to the address and arrested the man for stealing the SUV.

TME – He was finished before he started.

Pastor pot

VANCOUVER, Wash. - A former church pastor in Vancouver has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge for trying to smuggle more than 280 pounds of pot into the country from Mexico.

The Columbian reports 54-year-old John Bishop, who led the Living Hope Church for nearly 20 years, pleaded guilty to unlawful importation of a controlled substance Thursday in U.S. District Court in Southern California.

Bishop was arrested Dec. 11 after he was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection while re-entering the country at San Ysidro, California.

A probable cause affidavit says an officer found packages hidden in a wheel well of Bishop’s car while conducting a routine inspection. The affidavit says officers who took apart the car found 105 packages weighing 281.88 pounds that field-tested positive for marijuana.

Bishop was released from federal custody Jan. 9 after posting a $25,000 bond.

TME – Truly, he serves a higher power.

Aviation au naturel

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle was forced to return to Anchorage early Wednesday after a passenger locked himself in the bathroom, took off all his clothes, and refused to follow crew instructions.

Kate Danyluk, a passenger on the flight, told The Associated Press she knew something was wrong because the flight attendants kept going back and forth in the aisles and had put on rubber gloves.

“Alaska Airlines flight 146 from Anchorage to Seattle returned to Anchorage due to a passenger not following flight attendant’s instructions. While no emergency was declared, the decision was made to return to Anchorage,” Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson said in an email.

Airport police and FBI met the plane when it landed shortly before 3 a.m.

“The police came on and took him out the back door,” said Danyluk, an Anchorage teacher who was taking a “green escape” to attend a garden show in Seattle.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the man was arrested. The FBI did not return repeated messages to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

“There was a subject on the aircraft that had barricaded or locked himself in the bathroom, the lavatory,” airport police Sgt. Darcy Perry told Anchorage television station KTVA. Her office declined to make her available to speak to the AP on the direction of the airport manager, who didn’t return a message.

“Flight attendants did find that the subject was naked,” Perry said, without elaborating.

TME – We assume the in-flight movie was “Snakes on a Plane.”

Coat check

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Police in Alaska’s largest city say a man robbed a restaurant and apparently attempted to avoid being identified by authorities by burying his coat in fresh snow.

Anchorage police Tuesday morning received a report of a Taco Bell robbery.

The suspect wore a black, hooded jacket with a black towel covering his face. He claimed he had a gun, demanded money and ran away.

As officers responded, dispatchers took a call of a man seen taking off outerwear and burying it in snow three blocks from the restaurant.

The clothing matched what the suspect had worn. Officers followed tracks in the snow and spotted a man several blocks away who was not dressed for temperatures in the low 20s.

Police arrested the 34-year-old man. He faces charges including robbery.

TME – Hard to believe such a foolproof plan failed.

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