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February 27, 2013

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No laughing matter

SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. - Did you hear the one about the judge who moonlights as a stand-up comic? 

It's no joke. And this week New Jersey's Supreme Court is going to begin the process of deciding whether Vince Sicari can do both or has to give one up. 

Sicari has carved out a career as a stand-up comic, appearing on network television and as a warm-up on Comedy Central's 'The Colbert Report.' 

He's also a municipal judge in South Hackensack. 

The Record of Woodland Park reports a state ethics board first recommended in 2008 that Sicari quit his comedy work. It has expressed concern over Sicari's appearances on an ABC reality show in which he depicted several racist or homophobic characters. 

Attorneys are scheduled to argue before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. 

TME Most of his bits revolve around the term 'penal code.'.

There's always the internet

MUSKEGON, Mich. - A West Michigan man says he plans to rebuild his extensive pornography collection after it was stolen during a break-in at his home. 

Forty-three-year-old Earlie Johnson calls himself the 'Hugh Hefner of Muskegon' and tells MLive.com he arrived home Tuesday afternoon with his fiancee to find the back door of his Muskegon home kicked in. 

Johnson says the collection ranges from DVDs of 1970s films to current titles and was appraised at $7,500. At least two TVs also were reported stolen. 

Johnson's story drew initial attention after he told investigators that his trove was 'one of the largest porn collections' in Michigan. 

Johnson says he's choosing to stay positive following the theft. Johnson says 'a couple people knew' about his collection. 

Police say they don't have any suspects. 

TME This man is an American hero.

The youth of America

BROCKTON, Mass. - Police in Massachusetts say a 10-year-old boy called 911 because he didn't want to go to bed. 

Brockton police say the boy called 911 just after 8 p.m. Wednesday and told the dispatcher he was calling to report his mother because he did not want to go to bed. 

There was no emergency. 

The Enterprise reports that according to the police log, an officer went to the boy's home and explained to him when it was appropriate to call 911. 

No charges were issued. 

TME In addition, a SWAT team was called in due to threats of broccoli.

Crime comes calling

HOUMA, La. - Police say a man stole a pay phone booth in Houma by putting it in the bed of his truck. 

Houma police are trying to identify the man pictured in the video surveillance of Sarah's Discount store. 

Police say someone from the business made the complaint because the pay phone was located next to one of the store's gas pumps. 

The Courier reports the theft was reported on Feb. 6. 

The video shows a man leaving the area in a black, single-cab pickup and the pay phone is in the back of the truck. 

TME They have a very different concept of 'mobile phones' in Louisiana.

Redemption retribution

LANSING, Mich. - Attention smugglers of empty soda cans: Stay out of Michigan, or you could face jail time. 

Lawmakers are taking aim at people who use out-of-state cans and bottles to cash in on Michigan's recycling refund, which pays 10 cents per container. 

Legislation debated Tuesday would make an attempt to return between 100 and 10,000 non-returnable containers punishable by up to 93 days in jail or $1,000 in fines, or both. Current law sets penalties only for those who actually return fraudulent containers. 

Angela Madden of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association estimates that the state loses up to $13 million a year from out-of-state cans. 

She says many businesses don't have the machines that read the mark or code that indicates a container is from Michigan. 

TME Kramer would have done some serious hard time.

This week in criminal masterminds

CAMDEN, N.J. - Police in southern New Jersey say a woman needed a ride in order to go and rob a drugstore, so she hopped in a cab. 

The caper didn't end well. 

Police in Gloucester Township say Lauren Bianco pulled a gun at a Rite Aid store Tuesday night and fled with about $100. Problem was, when she tried to jump back into the taxi while being pursued by the store's manager, the cab driver locked the doors. 

Inside the cab were Bianco's pocketbook with her identification. Police say a female friend also was along for the ride, though she wasn't involved in the robbery. 

Bianco caught a ride to her home in Camden but later turned herself in. She's charged with armed robbery and was being held on $250,000 cash bail. 

TME There's no truer friend than a drug store robbery wingman.

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