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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

News you can't use

The most important news for your water cooler conversations (all via the Associated Press, because we don't have money for Reuters):

* People complain about government wasting money by forcing government to waste money cleaning their vandalism


EAST HAMPTON, New York (AP) — A 60-foot-long dollar sign has been burned into the synthetic turf at a Long Island high school football field.

A five-page letter left on the field and mailed to local newspapers complains about how schools spend tax dollars, Newsday reported.

East Hampton High School administrators say the damage could cost $100,000 to repair.
* Break the law so a court can praise your behavior

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An Illinois teen knew he was too drunk to drive home after a Dave Matthews Band concert south of Milwaukee. So he fell asleep in his car, only to be awoken by a state trooper.

Travis Peterson, 19, of Dixon, Ill., said even though he told the officer he was drunk and sleeping it off, the trooper ordered him to leave because the lot was being cleared.

Once out of the parking lot, Peterson was arrested for drunken driving. He was subsequently found guilty and ordered to spend 60 days in jail.

A Wisconsin appeals court on Wednesday commended Peterson for doing the right thing by trying to sleep it off, and said the trial court was wrong not to let him argue that police had entrapped him.

* Pack of smokes goes up in price - to $23,148,855,308,184,500

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (AP) — A New Hampshire man says he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars.

Josh Muszynski checked his account online a few hours after the purchase and saw the 17-digit number — a stunning $23,148,855,308,184,500 (twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars).

Muszynski told WMUR-TV that he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers — and the $15 overdraft fee.

The bank corrected the error the next day.

Bank of America said the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa, in turn, referred questions to the bank.

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