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News of the odd and strange with Chuck Shepherd.

The Square Wheel of Justice

In February, New York’s highest court finally said “enough” to the seemingly endless delays on a multimillion-dollar judgment for negligence that occurred 23 years ago. Linda Nash had sued, among others, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for injuries she suffered when trapped in an underground parking garage during the World Trade Center terrorist act. (No, not the one in 2001, but the bombing eight years before that, which killed six and wounded more than 1,000). Nash was 49 that day and 72 now, and after winning a $5.4 million jury verdict in 2005, endured 10 more years of appeals. In its final, unsuccessful motion in the case, the Port Authority said it had spotted a technicality and that Nash should start over.

The Continuing Crisis

“Nostalgia,” Gone Too Far: Retired engineer Harry Littlewood, 68, watching workers tear down outdated public housing in Stockport, England, recently, rushed over to ask the local Stockport Council about recovering a “souvenir” since the teardowns included his residence growing up. The council agreed, and Littlewood was awarded the toilet he had used as a boy. “I never thought I’d see it again,” he mused. He said he would probably turn it into a planter.

Latest Religious Messages

— Evangelicals Applaud Sexual Predator: The Jacksonville (Florida) City Council was addressing a proposed amendment to its Human Rights Ordinance (one that would specifically protect gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders) in January when Roy Bay, 56, stood during the comment period and insisted that those kinds of lifestyle protections are what led him on a 20-year history of molesting one little boy after another. Gasps in the audience turned into cheers, however, when he reported that he had abandoned his bad self after becoming a “born-again child of God,” and realizing that it was not “acceptable” to assault kids even though he was raised in such an environment himself. (Conveniently, the crimes are not prosecutable because of the statute of limitations. Fact-checkers, including, are still investigating Bay’s claims.)

— Local governments in Taiwan’s Southwest Coast National Scenic Area in Chiayi province recently put the finishing touches on a 55-foot-high “church” in the form of a shoe made from more than 300 glass panels (and costing the equivalent of about $680,000). According to a BBC News dispatch, no religious services will be held there; rather, the church will be a destination for weddings and feature other events tailored for glass-slipper-obsessed females.

— Prosecutors in Spain finally filed charges this year against three women for a May 2014 protest that was apparently aimed at religious intolerance of homosexuality, and are asking that the charges against the women be labeled anti-Catholic “hate” crimes. One judge particularly noted the anti-Catholic props — rosary beads, prayer lace, canonical hoods, and a 6-foot-high plastic vulva constructed to resemble the well-known representation of the Virgin Mary. In January, judges called police to court to help identify the women in videos of the protest.

Uselessness of the Miranda Warning

— The three young men charged so far in the Feb. 17 murder in a South Carolina bowling alley made their first post-crime courtroom appearances memorable ones. According to a WYFF-TV (Greenville, South Carolina) report, Albert Taylor, 22 (and labeled as the shooter by police), seemed indifferent to the charges, but questioned the judge about courtroom cameras, appearing preoccupied. As he was being ushered out, he turned to address the camera and barked, “What’s up, y’all? You can follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, Snapchat.”

— Alex Smith, 38, asked a sheriff’s deputy in Limestone County, Alabama, at 3 a.m. on Feb. 19 for a “courtesy ride” to a nearby Walmart, and the deputy agreed, but following procedure, said he’d have to search Smith before letting him into the patrol car, and according to the subsequent arrest report, Smith, needing the ride, consented. The deputy then turned up a veritable drug supply store in Smith’s pockets, his backpack and his duffel bags: drugs (meth, marijuana and black tar heroin), two syringes, a drug cooking spoon, two marijuana pipes, a meth smoking pipe, and a supply of baggies of the type frequently used for drugs. Smith was charged with drug possession and trafficking.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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