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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Oddities News Archive - June 30, 2009

A 55-year-old writer from Federal Way, Wash., has won this year's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for bad opening novel sentences, officials say.

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Police said a Florida man charged with domestic battery allegedly sprayed his wife with a garden hose for smoking in the house. The police report of the incident said the victim arrived at her Jensen Beach home Saturday evening while smoking a cigarette.

Authorities in Florida said two men who broke into several cars made a crucial mistake when they asked a sheriff's deputy for a ride home. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said Eshon Hardy, 18, and Theodor Walker III, 20, told deputy Austin Littleton when they were approached at 4 a.m.

Police in South Dakota said a motel front desk clerk turned away a robber who demanded money while armed with a butter knife. Rapid City police said the Howard Johnson Express Inn clerk refused to give the man any money when he approached her at about 6 p.m.

University of South Florida officials said an unmanned water vehicle that resembles a giant model plane was mistakenly plucked from the water by fishermen. The officials said a fishing boat bearing St.

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Residents of Highland Park, Mich., said a new set of stringent barbecuing regulations taking effect just in time for July Fourth are unlikely to be followed. The City Council's barbecue ordinance, which passed June 15 and took effect Tuesday, states: Placement of any barbecue cooking or equipment ...

Police in Ohio said a 19-year-old man is accused of breaking into a home and staying for about a week while the resident family was on vacation. Hamilton County court documents accuse Nicholas Truesdell of Anderson Township of breaking into a home in the township June 15 and spending about a week living in the house before his arrest, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Tuesday. Police said Truesdell slept in the home's master bedroom, used the family's TV and computer and even drove the family's car while they were away. Truesdell was charged with burglary and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Police in Washington state said a woman accused of stealing money from her ex-husband's bank account said her dog's actions forced her to commit the crime. Arlington police spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said a 42-year-old man told police in late March money was disappearing from his bank account and detectives determined the money was being used to pay utility bills and for sundry items at the home of the man's 50-year-old ex-wife, the Everett (Wash.) Herald reported Tuesday. Banfield said the woman, whose name was not released, gave police an unusual excuse for her behavior. Her dog got into her purse and ate all her personal checks, Banfield said.

Police said a gun-wielding man who robbed a New Jersey gas station was holding a potato in his free hand. Investigators said the man entered the Gulf station in Jersey City near the Holland Tunnel with a gun in one hand and the potato in the other, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Tuesday. The robber obtained money from the clerk and fled the scene in a two-door black vehicle that had been parked at a nearby Burger King, police said.

Authorities in Britain said a burglar who chose the wrong house to steal from found himself at the business end of a 72-year-old retired boxer's fists. Investigators said Gregory McCalium, 23, was armed with a knife when he entered the home of Frank Corti, 72, and his wife Margaret, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday. Corti dodged McCalium's blade and punched him twice in the face, sending the burglar to the ground.