Category: news

And As We Look At The Radar, We Can See A Strong System Of Silly Lawsuits Heading For The Area

Montreal businessman sues weatherman over bad forecast; claims he cancelled events based on rain, that never came

In what could be a precedent-setting case, a Montreal-area racetrack operator is suing a local weatherman over an incorrect forecast.
Jacques Guertin, president of Projets Speciaux Sanair, which operates a racetrack southeast of Montreal, was in small-claims court in St-Hyacinthe this week seeking $6,540.84.
He claims independent meteorologist Michel Morissette, who runs the La Providence weather station and a free weather forecast hotline, predicted rain on two days last June. Guertin said he cancelled scheduled events for those days, which turned out to be nice.
The amount Guertin is seeking represents what he estimates are the profits he lost by calling off the events.

I’ll readily admit that there are plenty of things I don’t know about running a racetrack, but I don’t think any of them should make my opinion that this fellow seems like he might be a pretty crappy event planner any less sound.

For starters, who rains out events weeks or even days in advance? Even children’s baseball leagues don’t schedule doubleheaders on the 1st of the month because the 21st is supposed to suck. They wait until the day of and make the call then, sometimes with only moments to spare. Why? Because doing anything else would be bush league and stupid.

And speaking of stupid, who bases his entire business life on forecasts from just one source? I’m not sure what it’s like in Montreal, but here I can turn the stations on my radio and TV and find forecasts for the same area on the same day that are anywhere from 2 to 5 degrees apart and can’t agree on how much it might rain or even if it’s going to. Even the judge, who hasn’t handed down a ruling yet, was said to be at least somewhat skeptical of this plan.

I know we’ve all at some point wanted to stick it to our local useless goof weatherman who gets paid for this shit goddammit, but I think our pal Jacques here has even less of a chance of getting his $6,540.84 than his local useless goof weatherman does of getting the long-range forecast right. Hopefully he didn’t have to cancel any more events to make room for his court date.

It’s Still Real To Them, Dammit!

I think that by now, most folks (children excluded of course) know what pro wrestling is. I hate to use the phrase sports entertainment, but it’s pretty accurate. There was a time when it was treated more like sport than entertainment by pretty much everyone, but in America, those days are mostly long gone. I say mostly not only because there are still companies that prefer to do their storytelling in the ring through matches rather than 20 minute promos and backstage skits, but also because there are still states like Georgia where things like this happen.

The incident occurred around 11 p.m. at the American Wrestling Federation (AWF) arena at 4193 U.S. 41 in Ringgold.
The promotion was putting on its monthly show, when Crowe, a spectator at the event, threatened and attacked long-time wrestler Paul Lee.
Deputies arrived on scene after Crowe allegedly jumped into the ring during the show and pulled a handgun on Lee.
According to Lee and several witnesses, Lee was participating in a match with “Iron Mann,” at which time he tied him up and was hitting him with a chair, reports show.
“I had him tied up and was beating on him, and this lady jumps up with a knife, cuts him loose, and then pulled a loaded gun on me,” Lee said. “She had that thing loaded with one in the chamber and the safety off. All it would have taken was for her to get shaky with that thing and it could have fired.”
Crowe also pointed the gun at the show’s commissioner “Robbie Rude,” reports show.
Lee says the woman has been to shows before and should have known that the incident going on with the other wrestler was part of the show.
“She’s been to several shows over the years off and on, but she was acting like a nut Saturday night,” Lee said.

According to police Cpl. Chris Faulk, Crowe admitted she pulled the gun on Lee because of the banter the two had engaged in.
“Ms. Crowe did indeed pull the gun on Mr. Lee because of the way he’d talked to her,” Faulk said. “She said, ‘he was talking mean to me, and I got mad. I guess I just let my temper get the best of me and I pulled my pistol on him’.”
Lee says he told Crowe “to sit her toothless self back down,” and that she then approached the ring.

And tougher gun laws aren’t necessary because why again?

Patricia Anne Crowe, who I kid you not is 59-years-old, was charged with aggravated assault and reckless conduct. She was released from jail after posting $4000 bond.

This reminded me of an incident from 2009 that saw some other crazy old bastard in Alabama go out to the car to fetch his trusty axe in order to save Mike Jackson from a group of dastardly heels.

From WrestlingObserver.com (On May 9, 2009): Karl Stern noted to us about a riot at a Southeastern Wrestling show last night. There were more than 250 fans at the show and during the Mike Jackson retirement ceremony, he was attacked by heels and the place came unglued. A woman reported a man pulled a knife on her and her husband. Before police could squelch the problem, an elderly man went to his vehicle and came in the arena with an axe to attack the heels. Police confiscated the axe before he attacked the heels. During all this, a woman actually called 911 to request an ambulance for Jackson because of the beatdown.

In a way it’s nice that it’s still possible for wrestlers to stir up this much of a reaction in people, but I’m not so sure about the idea that those people are allowed outside unaccompanied.

All My Rowdy Kids Are Here For Monday Night, But They’re Staying In The Car So They Won’t Bother Us

Perhaps I’m the idiot here, but it strikes me that bringing your three small children into your friend’s house while you watch football there would, believe it or not, cause you far less trouble than leaving them in the car…in Pennsylvania…in January. But I guess there’s no explaining that to the kind of guy who then goes to the police station to turn himself in and ends up in a fight with two cops when informed that he’s going to be charged.

A western Pennsylvania man apparently got so caught up in the big game this weekend that he left his three young sons, ages 9-months to 7-years, inside his freezing car while he watched the NFL playoffs at a friend’s house.

It happened in Washington County, where the dad, identified as James Grusofski, 33, is under arrest, according to KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
Police got involved when one of his sons, a 4-year-old boy, was found wandering around the streets late Saturday night in 30 degree temperatures without a coat, shoes or socks, KDKA writes.

After his eventual tasing, Grusofski was charged with endangering the welfare of children, aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. It’s not known what if any further trouble he could face thanks to the cocaine and alcohol that it’s claimed were found in his system while he was being treated in hospital after his arrest.

Oh No No, Don’t Ring Those Bells

I’ll get to the story in a second, but first I feel like we need a little music. This one to explain where the headline came from,

And this one because…well…

According to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, police were called to the Diamond Fork hot pots in Spanish Fork Canyon Thursday just before 5 p.m. after reports, “a man was running around naked with bells hanging from his genitals.”
Several witnesses between the ages of 8 and 16 told deputies they had seen the man, who was later located fully clothed near the trailhead parking lot.

During questioning, Kenneth Allen Beck, 64, didn’t deny to police that he was their bellboy, telling them that “he just likes doing what witnesses described to see their reaction.”

Everybody needs a hobby, I suppose.

He was cited for Lewdness Involving a Child, a class A misdemeanor.

Though it might be the first time bells were involved, this isn’t the first time Beck has been visited by the Lewdness-Indecent Exposure fairy. In 2005, he was convicted after exposing himself to a restaurant employee while ordering food. They don’t say which one, but wouldn’t it be funny if it was Taco Bell?

The Amish Aren’t Overly Keen On Seeing Your Paradise, Sir

It’s not often that a serial public masturbation story boasts logic anywhere near this sound. That’s not to say it was the best idea anyone’s ever had (not even close), but grading on the usual intelligence curve, it’s pretty clear that Benjamin Grafius at least took some time to think things out.

Police say a  New Holland man who exposed himself to people during a three-month spree targeted Amish females because he knew they couldn’t call police. Benjamin R. Grafius, 39, is charged with exposing himself to the females and masturbating, often times stopping his vehicle to engage with the victims or smile at them.
The incidents occurred last summer in several rural jurisdictions. At least four of the incidents involved children. At least two of the crimes happened at roadside market stands tended by Amish females. Another victim was in a horse-drawn buggy.

Grafius admitted to the conduct, saying, in a police interview, he started a “few years” ago after a relationship ended.

But while he clearly took some time to think things out, he should have taken just a little bit more. Specifically the time he instead spent doing his thing in the path of a jogging, off-duty state trooper rather than his usual audience.

Police got a major break in the case in September when the suspect, who wasn’t yet identified as Grafius, attempted to target an off-duty female state trooper who was running in Strasburg Township.
Police had a description of the man and the vehicle from the prior incidents.
Grafius parked his vehicle – which matched the gray sedan involved – and looked at the woman, who noticed he was smiling at her with his shirt unbuttoned. As the off-duty trooper past the vehicle, she noticed the man inside wasn’t wearing pants. When she looked back, the vehicle was gone.

Grafius, who now knows that though the Amish may not have telephones they aren’t so laid back and behind the times that they won’t find a way to talk to the cops, was charged with four felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor and eight misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure.

So Colin Westman Suddenly Cares About Impaired Driving For Some Reason. That’s Nice, I Guess

Looking at Twitter this morning, I kept seeing the headline “In drunk-driving flood, judge criticizes society for promoting alcohol.” At first, I didn’t pay it much mind. Judges rail against things all the time and while it can sometimes be entertaining and they’re often not wrong, there are better ways to spend my reading energy today, I figured. But by the third or fourth time it came up, a thought struck me. This story is local. It sure would be funny if the judge in question was Colin Westman, wouldn’t it? Hopeful but certainly not expecting something that rich to just land in my lap, I clicked it. And guess who I found. Our old pal Justice Westman, lecturing folks about their bad decisions.

A steady stream of impaired drivers in court on Thursday prompted a judge to criticize society for promoting alcohol use.
“The costs are huge,” said Justice Colin Westman, citing a World Health Organization study that found alcohol kills more than 2.5 million people in the world each year.
In one sentencing on Thursday, Westman cited the recent case of Marco Muzzo, who was drunk when his car hit a minivan in Vaughan, killing three children and their grandfather. Muzzo, 29, was sentenced to 10 years in jail minus time served.
“The only difference between you and him is good luck,” Westman told Jacob Beck, 20, a Wilfrid Laurier University student who pleaded guilty to driving with more than the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

In January, John Blais, 46, who works for a masonry company, was driving erratically on Roseville Road in North Dumfries Township. A motorist followed him and called police. Blais’ car went through two red lights in Kitchener and hit another car.
Breath tests showed he had more than three times the legal limit of alcohol.
Westman fined Blais $1,800 and handed him a one-year driving ban.
The judge asked him if he calculated the total cost of his impaired driving conviction.
“Many thousands, for sure,” Blais said.
Westman said extra insurance premiums could wind up costing him $35,000 over his lifetime.
Blais has a prior impaired conviction from years ago.
Westman said he once sentenced a man on his 18th impaired conviction. The judge said he asked the man if he thought he had a drinking problem. “Who me?” he replied.
The judge said Blais’ high alcohol readings suggest he has a problem. He said Blais may be healthy today, but won’t be if he continues to drink excessively.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to see that after all these years, he might be having a change of heart and seeing impaired driving for what it is. Everybody makes mistakes, and we all deserve a chance to make things right. But while you’re busy RTing and sharing and liking and holding this guy up as a model of justice, right and truth, remember that this is the very same judge who once let someone off for driving while suspended because he was getting coffee for church people at the time and cut off the victim impact statement of a drunk driving victim because it was too negative.

It’s hard for me to sympathize with Westman’s frustration or even to trust him long term knowing that his actions in his position of authority have more than once contributed to the problem. Perhaps, if we treated serious offenses seriously when we’re supposed to, we wouldn’t have to sentence somebody eighteen times for the same damn thing. Just a thought.

Don’t Drink And Drive…To Your Driver Interview

I’ve heard of people half assing it at a job interview when it’s a position they really don’t care about, but I think Ryan William Dickson may have set some new standards.

A woman on her smoke break saw Dickson trying to maneuver into a parking space, but hit an adjacent car while he was backing up, the report states.
Dickson straightened out and pulled into the space, but he crashed into the car in front of him.
At first, Dickson told police he hadn’t been drinking, but admitted it later.
He said he’d stopped drinking around 2 that morning and went to the hospital for his alcohol consumption. The hospital released him at about 8 a.m., Dickson said, but he drank another fifth of vodka afterward, the report states.
When police asked him to complete a walk and turn test at the scene, Dickson began to fall and had to be caught by officers. He said he couldn’t complete the rest of the field sobriety test.

Dickson, who blew a .273 on a breath test and was charged with operating while intoxicated, was presumably not hired by the Trans Iowa taxi and shuttle company that day.

Uberbot

I think this post needs a soundtrack.

I heard rumours about this months ago, but they were only rumours. Now it is happening. Uber is testing using driverless cars.

There was a small part of me that thought “Well, at least a driverless car won’t get allergic to my guide dog.” But when I thought a little more, that thought went away and was replaced with “blind folks, and anyone with special needs of any sort, are screwed!” I think of how many times I need to ask directions, get a little help to the door, or even have the driver tell me where his vehicle is. A driverless car would just come, wait, and if I don’t connect, leave.

And how on earth would they cope in this construction? Hell, the humans don’t do very well, circling around a one-way street over and over again, yelling into my phone that “We’re at King and Erb, can you see me? I’m in black car!” Would a driverless car just give up and drop me off somewhere and tell me to figure it out?

If they go this route, will we have to choose that we want a human and get charged for it? Could I only use it if my city had Uber Assist?

Companies forget that customer service can’t be done by machines all the time and it can’t be the only option. Sure lots of people go to the self-scanner things at the grocery store, but lots of people go to the humans. Just because I like to use an app to request an uber doesn’t mean I don’t want any contact with another human. Also, don’t charge me for the human interaction. I need it, I’m not doing it because it’s a luxury.

I just wish I knew what their plans were. I like Uber as an option, but I’m suspicious of Uber as a company.

Run For The Right Toppings While You Run From Mom

For the second time in a week, we have a Taco Bell burrito related incident. Unlike last time, the burrito wasn’t the weapon, though it can be argued that anything from Taco Bell should be considered a dangerous instrument. In this case, the burrito and its incorrect toppings were the spark that started a fight or perhaps more appropriately a one-sided asskicking between mother and son.

A West Virginia woman is locked up on a child abuse charge after allegedly socking her teenage son in the face because he ordered
the wrong toppings on her Taco Bell burrito, police report.
Loretta Lynn Armstrong, 48, is being held in lieu of $31,000 bail following her arrest Friday night at her home in the town of Milton (pop. 2423).
According to a criminal complaint, a patrolman dispatched to the residence spotted the 6’, 240-pound Armstrong repeatedly punching the 15-year-old boy. Armstrong and the child told officers that the confrontation was due to Armstrong’s displeasure about the burrito her son brought home.

In addition to felony child abuse, Big Mamma Armstrong was also charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction, the latter most likely stemming from her struggle with and threats against the officers attempting to place her in handcuffs.

I’ll Send A GPS To The World. So Will I. Me Too

One moron robbing a store while wearing his court-ordered GPS tracking monitor is bad, but not overly surprising. I mean there’s one in every crowd, right? Two morons robbing a store while wearing their court-ordered GPS monitors is certainly worse, but maybe moron one has a buddy just as dim as he is, moron two considers moron one to be the smart one with all the good ideas, that’s why they’re friends and it explains everything. But three morons robbing a store while wearing their court-ordered GPS monitors? That’s just ridiculous. It might also be some kind of record, though I haven’t done the research to confirm that.

It took Boston police very little time to track down three men who robbed a city convenience store this week: All they had to do was check the records of the court-ordered GPS tracking devices they were ordered to wear for previous charges.
The trio, which the Boston Herald dubbed the “three stooges of crime” on Friday, robbed a convenience store in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood on Wednesday evening. They were arrested about an hour later after their tracking devices placed them at the store at the time of the robbery and later at a nearby apartment.

Jose Morales, Andronique Dossantos and Kallahn Winbush all pleaded not guilty during a court appearance, which makes it rather difficult to determine which one of them is moron one. We may be able to narrow it down to either Morales or Dossantos, however, since both of them were already free on bond at the time. Their bail (yes, they were given bail) was set at $200,000, while Winbush’s was set at $50,000. If the trio manages to post those amounts, they have been ordered to stay away from each other and in their homes until further notice. To ensure that they comply with these instructions, they will be fitted with court-ordered GPS monitors upon their releases. This should end well.