Kevin and Tammy Jones opened their guns-and-coffee store in an old bank building in Hamilton, Va., in August, but despite the controversies about the ease of gun acquisition in America, their Bullets and Beans shop has had a harder time pleasing government regulators over the coffee than over the firearms.
Kevin told Washingtonian magazine that there were no problems in getting gun-shop and firearms-instruction permits from state and federal agencies, but several local-government roadblocks delayed the coffee-sales permit: the property being zoned for "retail" but not food or drinks; permission to open certain businesses near residences; and a coffee shop's need to have "parking."
Smile for the camera
In September, a court in Paris upheld France's government ban on people smiling for their passport and identity photos. One official had challenged the required straightforward pose ("neutral," "mouth closed"), lamenting that the French should be encouraged to smile to overcome the perpetual "national depression" that supposedly permeates the country's psyche.
The war on drugs
• In September, police in Thurmont, Md., announced the culmination of a two-month undercover drug operation at the Burger King with two arrests and a total seizure of 5 grams of marijuana and two morphine pills.
• On Sept. 21, as part of a six-target raid using "military-type" helicopters by the Massachusetts State Police and the National Guard, drug warriors halted the criminal enterprise of Margaret Holcomb, 81, of Amherst, seizing the one and only marijuana plant in her yard that she had planned to harvest soon for relief of her arthritis and glaucoma.
Couldn't stop myself
• Joshua Hunt, 31, was arrested in October inside St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., where he had gone to check on his 9-month-old son, who was being treated for an injury. Police said that while in the ward, he snatched another visitor's purse and took a cellphone and credit cards.
• Brittany Carulli, 25, was arrested in Harrison Township, N.J., in October, charged with stealing a medic's wallet from inside an ambulance. The medic had allowed Carulli in the ambulance to grieve over her boyfriend's body after he was struck and killed by a car.
Kernels of truth
Jeffrey Osella, 50, was arrested in August in Westerly, R.I., after allegedly firing corncobs at his neighbor's house, using a PVC "potato gun," as part of their long-running feud. When Osella answered the door, officers said he was shirtless, with corn kernels stuck to his chest.
Hermit in residence
On Oct. 1, Michael Daum, 55, began his year in residence as the town hermit of Solothurn, Switzerland, having been chosen from among 22 self-entertaining applicants. The hermit will be required to maintain the town's isolated hermitage, but also, paradoxically, be called on at times to engage with arriving tourists.
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