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Weird National Briefs (06/22/2022)

June 22, 2022
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Urine for it now!

BOSTON (AP) — Urine trouble no more, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority hopes, with a new program to tackle public urination in system elevators with technology.

The MBTA, which services Boston and the surrounding area, is launching a pilot program this summer in which urine detection sensors will be placed in four downtown elevators. The sensors alert transit ambassadors, who can dispatch a cleaning crew, the Boston Herald reported.

The sensors on the ceiling of an elevator have an attached fan, which allows them to suck in air and “basically smell what is present,” said Meghan Collins, a program/projects manager for MBTA.

The pilot kicks off in August. Data will be collected for several months before the agency makes a decision about whether to implement the program by year’s end, the newspaper said.

It’s not a new concept.

Nearly a decade ago, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority launched a pilot program that, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, triggered strobe lights, alarms and alerts to MARTA police when urine was detected in an elevator. The elevators were then inoperable until a cleaning. That program, deemed a success, was eventually expanded.

The MBTA hopes the program helps alleviate problems: Public urination is not only unsanitary but can also damage elevators, Collins said.

TME – Un-pee-lievable!

Jailbirds

ANGOLA, Ind. (AP) — A family of jail birds has left behind a nearly $3,000 mess at the historic Steuben County Jail in northeastern Indiana.

The Steuben County Commissioners have approved spending that amount of money to clean up the waste left behind by a family of starlings, mainly in duct work at the old jail that’s now used by Northeast Indiana Community Corrections in Angola.

Community Corrections Director Bret Hays told commissioners a female starling entered the building through the attic and ended up in the duct work, where she hatched a brood of chicks, the Herald Republican reported Wednesday

“It dropped down … It had babies. They were very loud,” Hays said. “She entered from the south and went out the north.

“There is bird waste not only in the ducts, it’s all over the place,” Hays said.

Not only will there be cleaning done, but disinfecting the ducts will occur to eliminate air quality problems.

Commissioners are going to look into filing a claim with its insurance company to cover part of the cost.

The former jail, completed in 1877, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

TME – I thought they were stool pigeons, not stool starlings.

Roach of law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A courthouse in upstate New York was closed for fumigation Tuesday after hundreds of cockroaches were released during an altercation that broke out at an arraignment, according to court officials.

The clash broke out during proceedings in Albany City Court for four people for an arrest at the state Capitol. A defendant who started to film the courtroom proceedings was told to stop. In the altercation that followed, hundreds of cockroaches brought into the courthouse in plastic containers were released, according to the state court system.

The bug release was being investigated while the courthouse was closed for the rest of the day for fumigation.

Court officers arrested a 34-year-old woman in the audience for charges related to the altercation, including disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and tampering with physical evidence.

She was released, and it was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney to speak on her behalf.

“What transpired is not advocacy or activism, it is criminal behavior with the intent to disrupt a proceeding and cause damage,” read a statement from the Office of Court Administration.

TME – Something about this story really bugs me.

Weed whoopsie

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A commercial bus driver has been charged with 38 counts of reckless endangerment after blacking out behind the steering wheel while snacking on gummies he says he didn’t know were infused with THC.

Jinhuan Chen appeared Tuesday in Bridgeport Superior Court after being arrested at his home in Boston.

Chen was driving 38 passengers from the Mohegan Sun Casino on March 13 when he stopped the bus on the side of Interstate 95 in Stratford. Police said they found Chen slumped unconscious in the driver’s seat, next to an open package of Smokies Edibles Cannabis Infused Fruit Chews.

Toxicology tests showed Chen had a high level of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, in his bloodstream, prosecutors said.

Chen told Judge Ndidi Moses on Tuesday that he had no idea he had been snacking on anything but regular candy.

“I didn’t know it was marijuana,” Chen said through a Chinese interpreter, according to Hearst Connecticut Media. “I didn’t know.”

Moses ordered Chen held in lieu of $25,000 bond and set his next court date for Aug. 25.

Victor Chen, the manager of Go Go Sun Tour, the bus company, told Hearst that Jinhuan Chen had been driving for the Boston-based company for 10 years and has an exemplary record.

“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, but he has a sweet tooth and likes candy,” Victor Chen said.

“This would never have happened a couple of years ago. but now there’s marijuana everywhere here,” he added.

TME – The Merry Pranksters would have been totally down.

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 June 2022 07:09

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