Monday, April 26, 2021

Woman charged with felony for not returning VHS tape more than 20 years ago

A former Oklahoma resident recently learned she spent years as a wanted felon after she was charged for not returning a VHS tape rented more than two decades ago. She learned she was a wanted felon for not returning a VHS tape of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” to a Norman, Oklahoma, store 21 years ago, as she was talking to the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. Online documents show was charged with felony embezzlement of rented property in March 2000, but she didn’t know about the charges until recently when she tried to change her name on her license after getting married in Texas. Documents show the tape was from Movie Place in Norman, which closed in 2008 and says she doesn’t remember renting the movie. “I had lived with a young man. This was over 20 years ago. He had two kids, daughters that were 8, 10 or 11 years old. I’m thinking he went and got it and didn’t take it back or something. I don’t know. I have never watched that show in my entire life, just not my cup of tea,” she said. Over the last 20 years, she’s been let go from several jobs without being given a reason why, and now, it all makes sense. “This is why. It’s because when they ran my criminal background check, all they’re seeing is those two words: felony embezzlement,” she said. The district attorney’s office decided to dismiss the case against the woman, but her Attorney says she will need to have the case expunged in order to clear her record. (KFOR)


California Governor signed an executive order banning the issuance of new fracking permits starting in 2024

California Governor Gavin Newsom also directed state regulators to establish a plan to end oil production in the state by 2045. California is the largest oil-producing state so far to ban fracking. Fracking is a process that involves using a mix of water, sand, and chemicals underground to extract oil from shale rock. In 2019, he imposed a temporary ban on fracking permits that was lifted in April 2020. California issued 83 new permits last year, a drop from the 220 it had issued on average since 2016. In 2020, California’s oil production hit its lowest levels ever, declining 68% from the peak in 1985. In September, the California Governor signed an executive order mandating that all new vehicles sold in the state be zero-emission by 2035. (Bloomberg)


If you’re feeling a little bit of dread about going back to the office, you’re not alone

Half in the U.S. are feeling anxious about returning to in-person interactions after the pandemic, according to a new study. Experts have suggested a few ways to cope, including re-framing the issue, or taking stock of your fears and “separating what’s based in reality from exaggerations,” and normalizing your feelings with self-compassion. When in-office jitters are addressed early, the effect on mental health may be subdued. (American Psychological Association)


Etiquette post-COVID is a bit murky

According to a recent survey, nearly half of U.S. adults say they are more relaxed about public health rules, but 40% say they feel the same hesitations they did last winter. One etiquette experts there are no “manuals” for this, while a psychologist added not to be afraid of awkward moments as we’re all “shaking off the social rust.” (The Wall Street Journal)


Coping with a case of the blahs

There’s a name for feeling feeling unmotivated or aimless that is becoming more common: languishing. It’s not quite burnout and it’s not depression, rather it’s a bit of joylessness and emptiness. Psychologists say languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work. To deal with it, try to:

  • Get involved in a meaningful challenge,
  • Cultivate uninterrupted time and set boundaries, or
  • Focus on small goals.

(The New York Times)


Thief Returns Covid Vaccine With Note

A thief who had fled with a bag containing over 1,700 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on in Haryana’s Jind later had a change of heart. The unknown accused returned the haul and also left a note saying he didn’t know about the contents of the bag while whisking it away. “Sorry, I didn’t know it was medicines for corona,” the thief wrote in Hindi in the note attached to the returned bag full of Covishield and Covaxin doses. The police are now tracking the thief and have filed a case into the theft from the Jind General Hospital’s storeroom. The thief gave the bag to a man at a tea shop outside the Civil Lines police station. The unknown accused left after telling the man that he was delivering food for the police and needed to run another errand. The police suspect the thief may have stolen the vaccines mistaking them to be the anti-viral drug Remdesivir. (NDTV)


Flying turtle crashes through car windshield on highway, gashes woman’s head

A 71-year-old woman riding with her daughter on Florida’s Interstate 95 suffered a gashed forehead when a turtle smashed through the windshield of their car, striking her. The daughter pulled over and got help from another motorist. According to a 911 recording, both were surprised by what they found. The gash drew a lot of blood, but the woman was not seriously hurt. The turtle was likely crossing the interstate and got knocked into the air by another vehicle. “I swear to God this lady has the worst luck of anything,” the daughter told the 911 operator as she tended to her injured mother. The turtle, on the other hand, had the best luck of anything, it just had a few scratches on its shell and was released back into the nearby woods, a Port Orange, Florida police officer said. (Fox 35)


Florida McDonald’s offers $50 just to show up for job interview

A McDonald’s location is so desperate for workers that it has offered people $50 just to show up for a job interview. The Tampa, Florida location is owned by the Caspers Company, which has dozens of McDonald’s franchise locations in Florida. Despite the free money, the restaurant was still reportedly having trouble finding staff. The franchise owner described the situation as “a perfect storm,” with business booming, making them busier than usual while they’re understaffed. Surprisingly, the $50 offer reportedly hasn’t attracted many applicants. A company spokesman did say, however, that other hiring efforts have worked well, including referral programs, hiring bonuses, and allowing people to apply via text message. The spokesman also said that they have raised starting wages to attract more workers.  A sign outside the restaurant now says “Get hired today $11.50/HR”. (Business Insider)


Levi’s wants you to buy fewer jeans

Levi’s is the latest clothing company to jump on the recycled goods train, urging customers to buy less and re-use or repair worn-out clothing. The denim giant’s new ad follows Patagonia, tentree, and Pact, among others, in spotlighting the fashion industry’s massive environmental impact while touting their green credentials in a bid to woo increasingly socially conscious customers. However, questions remain on how these companies remain profitable while telling consumers to buy less and re-use more. (Complex)


Jobless claims at new pandemic low

New jobless claims hit a second straight COVID-era low last week. The first-time applications for state unemployment benefits totaled 547,000, after a revised 586,000 in the prior week. The filings, a proxy for layoffs, show a strengthening labor market as jobs that disappeared during shutdowns due to the pandemic start to come back. Still, the level remains roughly double the pre-pandemic average in 2019. (CNBC)


Bowler Fills Ball with Father’s Ashes, Bowls Perfect Game

A 39-year-old man, who won two NCAA bowling championships at Western Illinois, found the perfect way to honor his father, an avid bowler who died several years ago. The man’s father passed away in July 2016 in Peoria, Illinois. Since then, he has tried to find someone who would put some of his father’s ashes in a bowling ball. On April 12, he finally used his special ball, filled with his dad’s ashes, for the first time. He uses both hands when he bowls. Because of that, he’s not allowed to have three finger holes in his ball. He decided to fill the thumb hole with his father’s ashes. His never bowled a perfect game. He came agonizingly close, scoring 298 and 299, but he cultivated a love of bowling with his two sons from a young age, and they still play on a local team. Both knew there would be no better way to honor their father than by bowling a 300. (WMBD)


Oklahoma passes law protecting drivers who kill or hurt rioters

Oklahoma has passed legislation that protects drivers who unintentionally injure or kill people participating in riots. The bill also makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and as much as a $5,000 fine, to obstruct a roadway or impede vehicular traffic. House Bill 1674 was introduced after a viral incident last summer in which a pickup truck pulling a trailer plowed through Black Lives Matter protesters on Interstate 244 in Tulsa. Three people were badly injured, including a 33-year-old man who fell from an overpass and was paralyzed from the waist down. The bill says that “motor vehicle operator who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual shall not be criminally or civilly liable for the injury or death, if: The injury or death of the individual occurred while the motor vehicle operator was fleeing from a riot” and “The motor vehicle operator exercised due care at the time of the death or injury.” (Oklahoma State Legislature)


Supreme Court asked to give access to secretive court’s work

Civil liberties groups are asking the Supreme Court to give the public access to opinions of the secretive court that reviews bulk email collection, warrant-less internet searches and other government surveillance programs. The groups say in an appeal filed with the high court Monday that the public has a constitutional right to see significant opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. They also argue that federal courts, not the executive branch, should decide when opinions that potentially affect the privacy of millions of Americans should be made public. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established in 1978 to receive applications from the FBI to eavesdrop on people it suspects of being agents of a foreign power, such as potential spies or terrorists. After September 11, 2001, Congress expanded the court’s role to consider broad surveillance programs. In recent decisions, judges ruled that opinions sought by the groups couldn’t be made public, even in censored form, and that they didn’t even have the authority to consider releasing the opinions. (ACLU Twitter)


Monday Creeps Back In The Fun With:

  • Alien Day
  • Audubon Day
  • Hug An Australian Day
  • International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day
  • Lesbian Visibility Day
  • Dissertation Day
  • Help A Horse Day
  • Kids and Pets Day
  • Pretzel Day
  • Richter Scale Day
  • South Dakota Day
  • World Intellectual Property Day


April 26 Historical Events

1865 – American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrenders his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. Also the date of Confederate Memorial Day for most states.

1937 – Spanish Civil War: Guernica (or Gernika in Basque), Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe.

1942 – Benxihu Colliery accident in Manchukuo leaves 1549 Chinese miners dead.

1944 – Georgios Papandreou becomes head of the Greek government-in-exile based in Egypt.

1962 – NASA’s Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.

1965 – A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario is shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting.

1970 – The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization enters into force.

1981 – Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performs the world’s first human open fetal surgery.

2002 – Robert Steinhäuser infiltrates and kills 17 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.

2005 – Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country ( Syrian occupation of Lebanon ).