News of the Weird: Irish county lets some drunk drivers off the hook

  • Article by: CHUCK SHEPHERD
  • Wire services
  • February 15, 2013 - 1:10 PM

The Kerry, Ireland, county council voted in January to let some people drive drunk. The councillors reasoned that in the county’s isolated regions, some seniors live alone and need the camaraderie of the pub, but fear a DUI arrest on the way home. The councillors thus empowered police to issue DUI permits to those targeted drivers. Besides, reasoned the councillors, the area is so sparsely populated that such drivers never encounter anyone else on the road at night. The councillors’ beneficence might also have been influenced, reported BBC News, by the fact that “several” of the five voting “yea” own pubs.

Medical oddity

Emma Whittington rushed her daughter to the ER in December when the girl, 7 months old, developed a golf-ball-sized lump on her neck. Two days later, at a hospital in Wichita, a doctor gently pulled a feather out of the lump. Doctors said the baby girl probably swallowed the feather accidentally, it got stuck in throat tissue, and her body was trying to eject it through the skin.

Oops, you’re a juror

A man with admittedly limited English skills went to a courthouse in Springfield, Mass., in December to address a traffic ticket, but somehow wound up on a jury in an assault case. Officials said the man simply got in the wrong line and followed jurors into a room while the real sixth juror had mistakenly gone to another room. The jury, including the accidental juror, found the defendant guilty, but he was awarded a new trial when the mistake was discovered.

No help from GPS

Recently, a 67-year-old woman set out to drive to a train station in Brussels, Belgium, 38 miles from her home to pick up a friend, but her GPS was broken, and she wound up three countries away, in Zagreb, Croatia, before she sought help. She said only that she was “distracted.”

Black Friday first?

Jerry Poe, 62, was charged in a road-rage incident in Clinton, Tenn., on Black Friday after firing his handgun at a driver in front of him “to scare her into moving” faster, he said. Poe said he had started at midnight at one Wal-Mart, waited in line unsuccessfully for five hours for a sale-priced stereo, and was on his way to another Wal-Mart.

Arm corsets

Before “cellulite” appeared in popular culture around 1972, almost no one believed the condition especially remarkable, wrote London’s the Guardian in December. Now, however, Marks & Spencer and other upscale British retailers sell “arm corsets” to fashionably hold the skin tighter for sleeveless tops. Wrote the Guardian columnist, “I wish I didn’t know that my arms weren’t meant to wobble. I’d be happier.”

Twist on love triangle

Twin brothers Aric Hale and Sean Hale, 28, were both arrested on New Year’s Eve in Manchester, Conn., after fighting each other at a hotel and later at a residence. Police said a 27-year-old woman was openly dating the two, and that Sean thought it was his turn and asked Aric for privacy. Aric begged to differ about whose turn it was.

Deemed ‘anti-social’

Julie Griffiths, 43, of Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England, received her first Anti-Social Behavior Order in 1999 for loudly berating her husband, Norman. The complaints from neighbors kept coming in, however, and in July 2012, officials installed monitoring equipment next door and caught Griffiths venting at Norman 47 times in three months. The local court issued a new, five-year Anti-Social Behavior Order.

Read News of the Weird daily at Send items to

© 2018 Star Tribune