Monday, November 9, 2009

Small Bits of News You Didn’t Know you Needed

Woman diagnosed with fear of vegetables
Vicki Larrieux, a 22-year-old student from Portsmouth, claims she is unable to keep to a healthy diet because she is frightened of vegetables.
She suffers from a fear known as lachanophobia, which leaves her sweating and stricken with panic attacks at the merest sight of a sprout or a pea.
Miss Larrieux survives on a diet of meat, potatoes, cereals and an occasional apple but refuses even a single slice of carrot on her dinner plate.
"I have always had an irrational fear of vegetables even as a child I used to properly freak out if some carrots or a few peas were on my plate," she said.
"But as it continued into adult life I started to think it might not just be a dislike for vegetables but an actual phobia.
"Every time I would see vegetables not just on my plate, but anywhere I would get feelings of panic, start sweating and my heart rate would shoot up.
"People might think it is a bit of a laughable affliction but I have a genuine fear of greens it's not just that I dislike the taste of sprouts or broccoli, but the actual sight of them fills me with dread and I could never touch them."
Policeman guilty of stealing
A police officer who was meant to stop Bristol shop-lifters stole two computer games and ruined his career.
Peter Cokell was permanently stationed at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, and had an unblemished record as a PC, yet he was caught on CCTV in HMV committing the crime he had spent six years trying to stamp out.
The 34-year-old, from Wick, South Gloucestershire, was found guilty of theft by District Judge David Parsons after a three-day trial.
Cokell picked PlayStation 3 games Call of Duty: World at War and Kill Zone 2 and hid them under his Kevlar body armor before smuggling them out of the store on April 7.
At about 8.40pm that night, 20 minutes before the store was due to close, HMV's loss prevention officer at the time, Gary Sutton, noticed the officer browsing. As he had known Cokell professionally for several years, he recognized him straight away.
But he appeared to be acting "suspiciously", looking up at a dome CCTV camera, so Mr. Sutton continued to monitor him.
Woman pretends to have breast cancer to get a “Free Boob” job
Count Trista Joy Lathern’s husband and co-workers among those who now feel misled and betrayed by her alleged pretense that she had breast cancer and was undergoing the rigors of chemotherapy.
Lathern, 24, formerly of Robinson, was arrested Wednesday on theft by deception charges after authorities say she lied about her medical condition, watched as friends raised $10,000 for her at a benefit and then reportedly spent the proceeds on breast-augmentation surgery.
Man really likes energy drink -- no bull
James Taylor really, really likes Red Bull, according to his Buffalo police arrest report.
Taylor, a 50-year-old resident, is accused of visiting the same Rite Aid drug store four times over two weeks to steal numerous cans of the energy drink.
Taylor's alleged energy-drink crime spree began Oct. 25, when police say he stole nine $6.99 four-packs of Red Bull from the store.
The thefts increased over the past 48 hours, when police say Taylor stole five four-packs of Red Bull just after midnight Friday and four more four-packs just after midnight Saturday.
Those thefts had a total value of $125.82 for the 72 cans.
Finally, at 9:40 p.m. Saturday, when Taylor reportedly tried to steal three more packages of the energy drink, a store employee caught him and threw him into the store display.
Mom takes down meth ring
Her husband was in prison, waiting out a 15-year sentence that he earned by selling methamphetamine out of his mechanic shop. Her kids were at home, missing their father.
So she called the Omaha Police Department, she wanted to become a police informant in hopes of shaving time off her husband's prison term. She'd turn in drug dealers, and her children could see their father again sooner. It turned out to be no ordinary partnership.
The mother of six gained the trust of dangerous people who were part of a drug ring active in Arizona, Texas, California, Nebraska and Iowa. Authorities link the ring to four still officially unsolved Omaha homicides.
By the time the informant's involvement ended, police had seized 13 pounds of methamphetamine worth an estimated $500,000 — enough to feed the daily habits of 17,600 or more users. Federal prosecutors convicted 11 people on drug and gun charges, getting them prison sentences ranging from five to 27 years.