N.J. judge: no such thing as Zamboni DWI
NEWARK, N.J. – It’s not drunken driving in New Jersey if it involves a Zamboni.
A judge ruled the four-ton ice rink-grooming machines aren’t motor vehicles because they aren’t useable on highways and can’t carry passengers.
Zamboni operator John Peragallo had been charged with drunken driving in 2005 after a fellow employee at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown told police the machine was speeding and nearly crashed into the boards.
Police said Peragallo’s blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent. A level of 0.08 is considered legally drunk in New Jersey.
Peragallo appealed, and Superior Court Judge Joseph Falcone on April 2 overturned his license revocation and penalties.
Peragallo, 64, testified at his trial that he did drink beer and vodka, but not until after he had groomed the ice. However, he told police he had a shot of Sambuca with his breakfast coffee and two Valium pills before work.
Couple fights to name baby ‘Metallica’
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Metallica may be a cool name for a heavy metal band, but a Swedish couple is struggling to convince officials it is also suitable for a baby girl.
Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with Swedish authorities, which rejected their application to name their six-month-old child after the legendary rock band.
Although little Metallica has already been baptized, the Swedish National Tax Board refused to register the name, saying it was associated with both the rock group and the word “metal.”
Karolina Tomaro, 27, said the official handling the case also called the name “ugly.”
The couple was backed by the County Administrative Court in Goteborg, which ruled on March 13 that there was no reason to block the name. It also noted that there already is a woman in Sweden with Metallica as a middle name.
The tax agency appealed to a higher court, frustrating the family’s foreign travel plans.
“We’ve had to cancel trips and can’t get anywhere because we can’t get her a passport without an approved name,” Tomaro said.
Deputies put toe and tow together
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. – Deputies put toe and tow together to arrest the suspect in the case of a stolen forklift. On March 29, Carter County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Patrick Johnson discovered a stolen Towmotor forklift lying overturned in the middle of a county road with a pair of shoes and socks wedged underneath.
Around the same time, deputy Jeff Markland was called to Sycamore Shoals Hospital to investigate the statements of a patient with an implausible story of a hit-and-run accident.
Claude White, 34, of 208 Lovers Lane said he was walking down the street when someone ran over his feet and tore off one of his toes.
His wife then told the deputy she had dropped her husband off to drink with friends on the same street where the forklift had been found.
After tow trucks lifted the Towmotor, Johnson discovered a toe inside one of the shoes.
White was arrested in the theft “due to overwhelming evidence,” the sheriff’s department report read.
Even unopposed, candidate gets no votes
MISSOURI CITY, Mo. – Joe Selle didn’t exactly get voted out office this week, but he wasn’t re-elected, either.
Selle, who was running unopposed for city council, didn’t get any votes at all. Not even one from himself.
Selle, 42, said he simply forgot that April 3 was election day, and apparently so did Ward’s other 34 registered voters.
The result was zero votes cast in Selle’s race, but the city charter lets him keep the seat unless someone else is “successfully elected and qualified,” the city attorney said.
Selle, a professional musician, was recently appointed to fill a council vacancy and had been seeking a full term.
He said he saw other residents at the school where the voting was held, “but it never occurred to me that’s what they were there for.”
“It’s pretty small-town stuff down here, man,” Selle said of the Missouri River town of about 300 people, 16 miles northeast of Kansas City.
Turnout was better in Ward 2, where two people voted.
KFC worker, son allegedly stage robbery
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A fast-food worker had her son punch her in the face in an attempt to stage a robbery outside a KFC restaurant, police said. Tina Marie Brown, 41, and Brandon Lee Deere, 24, both of Fayetteville, were arrested March 29 for theft and filing a false police report.
Police received a robbery report outside a KFC in Fayetteville at about midnight. Brown told police that a robber punched her in the face while she was changing her car’s tire and stole her purse – along with the restaurant’s bank deposit bag, which contained $1,137 in cash and checks, authorities said.
According to police, Brown’s son drove up as authorities were investigating the robbery. Police said Deere seemed nervous, and when authorities searched his car they found the money and Brown’s purse.
Brown later admitted to having her son punch her in the face, police said.