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The skinny

The skinny: To be legal, smoke shop must have walls

Legal loophole

To be legal, smoke shop must have walls

Under the new smoking ban in Topeka, Kan., patrons can't smoke in the Hot Pockets Billiards and Sports Bar. So Jim Suwalski opened up a separate shop, called the Hot Pockets Retail Cigarette Outlet where patrons could smoke. He created this new 10-foot-by-10-foot establishment within the old establishment. You can tell when you are in the smoking area because the boundaries are marked by duct tape on the floor, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. City attorneys suggest this goes against the spirit of the ban, and have taken Hot Pockets to court. And fined Suwalski $50. He isn't paying it, and plans to file a lawsuit.


It's all fun until the car gets stolen

The Regina Leader-Post in Saskatchewan reports that a man made a valiant attempt to save his car from being stolen. The car was being taken by two teenagers from a hotel parking lot when the man jumped on the hood to stop them. In an attempt to knock him off, they crashed into a tree, then a utility pole. He held on and they bailed. Then the teens were women, 18 and 19, and they had been in a hotel room with the man, 47. (Simple math: 18+19<47. That equals trouble.) The women were arrested on car theft charges. The man suffered minor injuries.

Legally, store can't sell police donation

The Dallas Police Department's property unit was clearing out space to store stuff, and sent some of the old items over to the Dallas CityStore, a resale shop. As employees at the store were looking at an old file cabinet to assess its value, their estimate skyrocketed upon opening it and finding 123 bags of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine, reports the Dallas Morning News. The store did not put the items out on the floor for sale, but called the police to make sure that they knew what they had given them. "It was a terrible oversight," Sgt. Warren Mitchell said. "We're going to see where we went wrong and try to fix that problem." The police reclaimed the drugs.

Inflation, mortality thwart return

Police in Vansbro, Sweden, have finally cracked the case of the guy who's wallet was stolen at a party about 40 years ago. The final clue came when they got the wallet in the mail recently, reports the Swedish news Web site Local. The wallet came with an apologetic letter saying the thief always felt bad about it, and meant to give it back, but misplaced it and forgot. The thief didn't feel bad enough to include his or her name. But the $7 — which, with inflation, is now worth $1.14 — was still there. But the thief included $135 as penance. The police immediately went to deliver the wallet to the victim, but found he was dead. So they gave it to his family.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

The skinny: To be legal, smoke shop must have walls 03/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 18, 2010 8:38pm]
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