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Weird National Briefs (11/28/2018)

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Police paucity

RANDOLPH, Vt. - Officials in the Vermont town of Randolph are considering what to do about local law enforcement after all members of the local police department quit over the course of the year.

Vermont Public Radio reports the members of the department didn’t quit all at once to make a statement, the officers just moved on to other opportunities.

Since the spring all six full-time members quit, one-by-one, the last one leaving in September. Since then the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has covered the town of about 2,000.

In 2017 the Randolph police department budget was almost $600,000.

Selectboard member Larry Satcowitz says there’s no consensus on what to do. And if new officers are hired the community will have to renovate the police department at an estimated cost of $1 million.

TME – This is going to be “Super Troopers 3,” isn’t it?

Clean cash

AMSTERDAM - Dutch police who found 350,000 euros ($400,000) hidden inside a washing machine have detained a man on suspicion of - what else? - money laundering.

Police said in a statement Thursday that officers were checking a house in western Amsterdam on Monday for unregistered residents when they found the valuable laundry load.

A photo displayed on the police website showed bundles of bank notes, mainly 20- and 50-euro bills, crammed into the drum.

The officers also found a money-counting machine, a gun and several cell phones.

The 24-year-old suspect’s name was not released, in line with Dutch privacy rules.

TME – Money laundering! Get it? Because it’s money in a washing machine!

Bear break-in

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A North Carolina teen caught a hungry bear and its three cubs on video breaking into her car to devour dozens of chocolate bars.

Sixteen-year-old Lilly Thurmond provided WLOS-TV with cellphone video of the bears moving in and out of the Toyota Prius and eating about 50 bars meant for a school prom fundraiser. She and her mother told the station they believe the bears opened an unlocked door on the car in the driveway of their wooded lot in Asheville.

They said the furry bandits left the inside of the car dirty and punctured some backseat cushions, but insurance has agreed to pay for the damage.

Her mother, Kim Peck, says the lesson is to keep car doors locked “because bears know how to open them up.”

TME – And God help you if there’s a picnic basket.

Dog gone

MARYVILLE, Tenn. - A woman has been accused of interfering with a legal bear hunt in Tennessee by catching and stealing a hunting dog.

News outlets quote a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency statement as saying Sandra Lucille Inman was arrested and charged with theft, removal of a transmitting collar and violation of the state’s Hunter Protection Act. She’s accused of taking the dog Nov. 2 during a black bear hunt in Blount County.

The agency says wildlife officers returned the dog to the hunter. The statement says officers have received hunting dog theft reports for years and it’s usually difficult to get a resolution for the hunter.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Inman was released from jail Wednesday morning after posting $6,000 bond. It’s unclear if she has a lawyer who could comment.

TME – Who needs a dog? Just put chocolate in your car and you’re up to your neck in bears.

Bad bail

TUPELO, Miss. - A north Mississippi man is accused of trying to post bail using counterfeit money.

Local news outlets report 25-year-old Jacob Shane Coleman of New Albany was arrested Saturday for shoplifting in Tupelo.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson says Coleman tried to post his bail on the misdemeanor charge using a stack of 11 $100 bills. Johnson says the jailers checked the money, determined it was fake, and charged Coleman with false pretense, a felony.

Coleman remains jailed on Monday. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer to speak for him.

The sheriff says the case will be presented to Lee County’s next grand jury for possible indictment in January.

Coleman has a prior arrest for burglary of a commercial building and was on probation at the time of his arrest.

TME – In for a penny, in for a fake C-note.

Plate speech

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The American Civil Liberties plans to challenge a Rhode Island policy that bars vanity license plate applications deemed indecent.

ACLU Rhode Island Executive Director Steven Brown tells the Providence Journal the Division of Motor Vehicles is violating the First Amendment by rejecting license plates based on ‘what they see as in good taste.”

Brown says the organization is looking for a plaintiff to represent in federal court.

A probe by the paper found that the agency has rejected 50 license plate applications since 2012. Rejected license plates include BONG and PPLSUC.

State law gives the agency the authority to refuse a plate that “might carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.”

Administrator Walter Craddock has said plates should stay “within the bounds of good taste.”

TME – Dibs on BUTTHED.

Marathon man

JUNEAU, Alaska -An Alaska runner hit a milestone that took him 16 years to reach when he crossed the finish line at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, marathon.

The Juneau Empire reports that when Juneau runner John Kern finished the Williams Route 66 Marathon this week, he completed his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states.

The retired City and Borough of Juneau Capital Transit superintendent ran his first marathon in 2002.

Kern continued running, aiming to qualify to race in the Boston Marathon.

That goal led him to seek out races in other states, and a few years later he was at the starting line in Boston.

Kern’s next goal was to run 10 marathons in 10 different states, sending him a trajectory to racing in all 50 states.

TME – Guess it all worked out in the long run.

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