This week's column is taken straight from local agency reports.
Orange County police blotter
UNC campus police report that a graduate assistant doing a large-scale experiment with caustic liquids was trying to solve a chemistry problem when he fell into the vat and became part of the solution.
Hillsborough police were called to a Tot Spot Daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest. No charges filed.
A patron called to report to Chapel Hill Police that a three-legged dog hobbled into He's Not Here, slid up to the bar and announced: “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.” The matter is under investigation.
Orange County Court reports
The Norwood family mutual domestic abuse trial continued today in Hillsborough with a variety of reports from the Norwood's tumultuous, on-again / off-again marriage. Here are some of the highlights:
• Jon Norwood said his marriage to Jan had started off on firm ground but when they bought a water bed, the couple started to drift apart.
• Jan Norwood admitted she did have an affair with an old boyfriend with a wooden leg, but said she broke it off.
• Jon said he remembered clearly an earlier assault Jan had made on him, saying: "I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me."
• Jan testified that money had been a long-standing problem and a source of mounting familial frustration: "You feel stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it."
• Jon, who confessed to a drinking problem, said he knew Jan, who hails from Wilkes County, was a bootlegger when he met her, but he loved her still.
• Jan said Jon was eating some Cap'n Crunch for breakfast again when she called the cops to report a serial killer.
• Before the case went to the jury, Judge Allen Baddour warned the jury to take care in considering testimony as: "Often a criminal’s best asset is his lie ability."
At press time, the jury was still out on this case.
More local blotter
Following a report of a ghost at the Franklin Hotel, the Chapel Hill police called for an inn spectre.
In what may be a related case, Judge Joe Buckner informed a citizen before his court that "If you don’t pay your exorcist, expect to get repossessed."
The Orange Correctional Facility is warning local residents to be on the lookout as the diminutive fortune-teller who escaped this weekend from the county prison was a small medium at large.
Officials from the state department of corrections, who investigated this breakout, say this never should have happened since prison walls are never built to scale.
UNC Hospital reports
UNC Hospital's Emergency Department also reported several notable incidents this week.
• A two-year-old Eland boy swallowed several coins and was taken to the UNC Children's Hospital. Family are waiting for an update in his status, but nursing staff report no change yet.
• The worker at Mebane Furniture Refurbishing who fell into an upholstery machine last week was discharged fully recovered.
• A Durham optician working for LensCrafters who was pulled into the lens grinding machine made a spectacle of himself.
• A staff psychiatrist from UNC Neuroscience was called into Hamilton Hall to observe the behavior of an emeritus professor of Middle Eastern history and language. He determined there was no problem, saying "Ancient orators tend to Babylon."
Other agency reports
Following several recent kitchen incidents, the Carrboro Fire Department is warning residents, "If you leave alphabet soup on the stove and then go out, it could spell disaster."
Anito Bryant, the Cedar Grove man who was fired from the Orange Juice Factory for lack of concentration, has filed an appeal with the NC Labor Relations Board.
And, finally, the UNC Campus Police Department's Frauds and Scams Division reports that an undergraduate student emailed ten different puns to all his friends, in the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. Sadly, the police report, no pun in ten did.
Author's note: These stories could be considered plagiarized -- but can't since you can't plagiarize what no one will take credit for. I am, therefore, I think, exonerated before the fact.
Gary D. Gaddy has been advised by his attorney/editor/wife to state unequivocally that Jim Huegerich of the Chapel Hill Police Department had no part in the creation of this column except for his punspiration.
A version of this story was published in the Chapel Hill Herald on Friday June 10, 2011.
Copyright 2011 Gary D. Gaddy