In Oregon, 66-year-old Gregory Lee Rodvelt had been ordered to sell his home as part of a $2.1 million judgment against him in an elder abuse case involving his 90-year-old mother. He had been in jail after an armed standoff with authorities last year but was released for two weeks to prepare the property to be turned over. But rather than do what he was supposed to do, he allegedly set booby traps all over the property - including one apparently inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark where he rigged up a hot tub to roll down a hill when a tripwire was triggered. At the property in Williams, southern Oregon, an FBI agent and three bomb squad technicians avoided the hot tub and other hazards, including a minivan booby-trapped with animal snares, but one agent was shot by an empty wheelchair inside the home that had been rigged to fire shotgun ammunition when it was pushed. The agent was hospitalized with a shotgun pellet lodged in his leg. As a result, Rodvelt now faces a felony count of assault on a federal officer. (Oregonian)
A Case of Reptile Dysfunction?
You could call it a case of reptile dysfunction. In Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, power was knocked out at a nursing home, sending 20 patients to the hospital. The culprit turned out to be an iguana that climbed onto an electrical wire, got himself electrocuted, and set off a fire on the power pole which knocked out electricity to The Palms Care Center. The facility began running on generator power but only half of it was being cooled effectively. Residents who lost air conditioning were moved to parts of the facility where cooling units were working. A spokesperson said 20 patients were moved to hospitals as a precaution. Electricity was restored throughout the nursing home later during the day. State records show the facility is licensed for 120 beds. (Canoe.com)
They Don't Nickname it "Misery" for Nuthin'!
The state of Missouri is sometimes jokingly referred to as "Misery." While the joke's not a favorite of the locals, here's a possible reason for the bad rap. Missouri police have apparently lost the whereabouts of nearly 1,300 registered sex offenders, including hundreds who fall into the most dangerous category, according to state audit released this week. Missouri law requires convicted sex offenders to register their names, addresses and other information with their county law enforcement, most often the sheriff's department. The Missouri State Highway Patrol maintains a publicly available database. Offenders must keep their information up-to-date and notify law enforcement when they move. But the latest audit by state Auditor Nicole Galloway says 1,259 sex offenders are unaccounted for - about 8 percent of the nearly 16,000 registered sex offenders in Missouri - and it blames inadequate enforcement of the registration requirement at the local level. In a statement Galloway said, "The law requiring sex offenders to register has been on the books for more than 20 years to help keep our communities, and especially our children, safe. But if the law isn't enforced, it's not effective and public safety is compromised." Galloway also encouraged the Legislature to strengthen the state law to require background checks for school volunteers, and to allow her office to access all court records. (NBC News)
How We Treat Our Veterans
Captain Henry Cobbs says he'll take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court if needed. A Vietnam veteran and career educator at an elite military training school now finds himself resorting to a Reagan-era executive order in hopes of clearing his name. His big crime - vaping a non-psychoactive form of cannabis to treat his prostate cancer. Cobbs, 77, was forced out of his job last month as dean of academics for the Air Force Special Operations School (AFSOS) at Hurlburt Field near Fort Walton Beach, a position he's held since 2009. A 22-year military veteran with two master's degrees and a doctorate in administration of higher education, the retired Air Force captain was issued a "Notice of Removal" for his "use of cannabidiol (CBD), a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance" by Lt. Col. Michael S. Lowe, citing a witness who saw Cobbs "smoke your ‘medicine.'" On Aug. 13, Col. Robert A. Masaitis, Commander of the 492nd Special Operations Training Group, rejected Cobb's appeal, informing him: "This action will become a permanent part of your Official Personnel Folder." Hours before his scheduled termination, Cobbs filed for retirement in order to retain his benefits. But he says money isn't the issue. Cobbs said the cannabis he uses is prescribed by a doctor and adds, "I'll go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if I have to. I was only concerned with getting rid of my cancer, and the CBD worked. So to hell with the law." (Herald Tribune)
Why the Long Face?
So a horse walked into a bar - and no - this is not a joke. It happened at a bar in the town of Chantilly, north of Paris. Video shows the horse, with its saddle falling off, galloping through the pub while panicked customers leap to get out of the way. Jean-Marie Beguigne, the horse's trainer, said that the animal had kicked off its rider before running off. It came from stables located less than a mile away, however Beguigne still said such an escape was unusual. Other than some broken furniture and a few terrified patrons, there were no major problems. Nobody was injured and the horse was reportedly in good condition after it was finally corralled. (Newsweek)
When Your Kid Doesn't Make the Soccer Team... You Sue!
Talk about your helicopter parents. After her 16-year-old son failed to make the varsity soccer team, a disappointed mother filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that the teen is a victim of age and gender discrimination! The family says the rules at Missouri's Ladue High School state that if a junior doesn't make it onto the varsity team, he can't play again on the junior varsity team; that way, students in lower grades can use the JV team to develop the skills they need to try out for varsity. The family wants the boy placed back on the JV team. They first appealed the coach's decision to district administrators and the superintendent, both of whom sided with the coach; they then complained to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, but ultimately sued because the office had no power to force the school to place the boy on a team. The boy reportedly wanted to take the case to federal court. The family's lawsuit claims that the girls' soccer team does allow juniors to play on JV, which is where the sex discrimination comes in. (St. Louis Dispatch)
8 Halloween Rules You Should Always Follow
It's that time of the year again and whether you realize it of not, there are a few Halloween etiquette rules you should follow. To avoid making a fool out of yourself or hurting someone's feelings (or health), you'd be wise to adhere to the following from DoYouRemember.com.
1. Don't guess what a costume is
If you aren't completely sure what a costume is, don't guess. Ask the child instead. They may have spent many hours working on it and would be crushed if you assume they are something else.
2. Don't bring bloody decorations into the office
Even if you love scary and gory decorations, don't assume that others do. Your co-workers might not want to look at them and the decorations may scare them or gross them out. Stick with cuter decorations for the office or hide them in your office or cubicle where only you can see them. Also, remember that really loud Halloween decorations should be left at home too.
3. Don't wear an offensive costume
Just because a costume makes you laugh, don't assume that everyone else will laugh. Stay away from racial stereotypes, religious quips, and otherwise offensive material. If you have to question if you should wear a costume to a party or not, just don't wear it. If you really love it, save it for friends or family that will not be offended.
4. Remember, nothing is private anymore
if you wear a costume to a party that you wouldn't want your boss or family to see, just don't wear it. Chances are you'll get into some pictures and someone might end up seeing them.
5. Be classy with outdoor decorations:
Especially if you put fake tombstones outside, don't use any real names. It could be upsetting to others. Stick with "R.I.P" or "Do Not Disturb."
6. Teach kids manners for trick-or-treating
Kids will be interacting with adults so make sure your children or grandchildren know to say please, thank you, talk with adults nicely, and only take one piece of candy unless they are told to take more.
7. Think again if you want to do a haunted house
Homemade haunted houses can be fun but think about the liability. You take a risk when you let strangers or people you don't know well into your home. If they get hurt or ill from the haunted house, you risk them suing you.
8. Think about allergies
If you are passing out candy with nuts or other allergens, have another bowl of candy that kids with allergies can enjoy too. If you have all allergy-free goodies, you can now put a teal pumpkin on your porch to let parents know you are an allergy-free home.
What the What?
Getting hurt by a bear in Alaska is rare but not unheard of. But William McCormick's injury is unheard of. The Army soldier suffered "life-threatening injuries" after the bear he shot fell on him. McCormick was hunting with Zachary Tennyson, 19, near Moose Pass; both are stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. They shot a bear positioned above them on a ridge, KTVA reports, and troopers explained the bear then began to roll down the ridge, "dislodging rocks in the process. [McCormick] was injured when he was struck by both a rock and the bear." Tennyson was uninjured but McCormick was carried to a helicopter and airlifted to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. Bear Karma! (KTUU)