Dept. of bad ideas
New in handbook: Don't actually bite anyone
Francis Woodruff, an adjunct instructor at the Connecticut Police Academy, has been arraigned on charges of following instructions. Well, okay, that's not the actual charge. The actual charges are disorderly conduct and second-degree reckless endangerment, but here is what reportedly happened: Woodruff was teasing co-worker Rochelle Wyler. Wyler responded by saying, "Whatever Woody, bite me." Turns out she meant that totally figuratively. But the bite marks and bruising on Wyler's arm suggest that there was an incident. Woodruff has been placed on leave and asked to avoid showing up at the police academy until the case is resolved.
A happy status becomes bad news
It is easy to get in trouble by offering up too much information on Facebook. But why would you think that Claire Harborne's declaration of a happy marriage got her in trouble? All signs point to it even being true. So why is that a problem? Because the Stoke, England, woman has been collecting housing and tax benefits by claiming she was a single mother, the Sun reports. Some of her friends apparently superpoked authorities with this information, who then investigated. She has confessed to fraud and was sentenced to 120 hours of community service.
French penal system tries pedal system
Take 196 mostly nonviolent prisoners, give them bicycles and set them loose over 1,500 miles of French countryside ... what could go wrong? That is the plan of the first convict version of the Tour de France. There aren't going to be any breakaways, and there aren't going to be any spiffy colored jerseys for the leaders, much less a winner. "This project aims to help these men reintegrate into society by fostering values like effort, teamwork and self-esteem," said Sylvie Marion of the prison authorities. The prisoners will make their way though 17 towns, surrounded by 124 guards on bikes. Each of the towns they stop in has a prison, but the riders will stay in hotels. For the prisoners, good behavior is rewarded with the hope of early release. Plus nice views. "It's a kind of escape for us," said a prisoner named Daniel. "Without actually escaping."
Ten is enough
Five goats are available in L.A.
Neighbors of Roberto Alguero and Iris Fiorito complained about all the noise that the couple's menagerie was making. Their property in Claremont, Calif., outside Los Angeles, was zoned light agricultural. They had 15 goats, two horses, a llama and an emu. The county considered the complaint and decided that the neighbors were right. To solve the problem, the couple would have to get rid of five goats. All the other animals can stay, as long as the couple builds a 6-foot wall to keep the boys separated from the girls. "We know we have a few more goats than we should," Fiorito conceded.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.