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Lots of people have a cup of coffee before work. Some weed before work? Not so many. Among those who do so indulge, at least on the day in question, is Mr. Brock Hopkins. Based on the title of the post, you can probably see where this is going. Dude gets high. Dude gets mauled by bear. Dude’s employer blames the weed (and also says Dude was a “volunteer” not an employee.)(And yes, The Juice did recently see “The Big Liebowski”). On that last bit, said Mr. Kilpatrick, the owner of Great Bear Adventures [or misadventures] Park, per the AP,

Kilpatrick and the co-defendant in the case, the Uninsured Employers’ Fund, contended that Hopkins should not be eligible for workers’ compensation for those injuries because he was a volunteer acting outside of his duties and was not a paid employee.

Kilpatrick acknowledged giving money to Hopkins but it was given randomly and “out of my heart,” the owner told the court.

Interesting. So what did Judge James Jeremiah Shea of the Montana Workers’ Compensation Court have to say about that?

Shea ruled that Hopkins was a regularly paid employee and Kilpatrick’s claims were not credible.

“There is a term of art used to describe the regular exchange of money for favors — it is called ‘employment,'” the judge wrote.

Snap! What about the weed?

Hopkins acknowledged smoking marijuana before arriving at work that day, the judge said. Hopkins worked on the park’s gate for about two hours, then prepared food for the bears.

Uh-oh.

After he stepped inside the bears’ pen with a bucket of food, one of the grizzly bears attacked him. Hopkins fled, managing to escape by crawling under an electrified fence. He suffered severe injuries to his leg and had to be hospitalized, according to the court.

The weed! The weed! What about the weed?

“I cannot conclude based on the evidence before me that the major contributing cause of the grizzly bear attack was anything other than the grizzly,” the judge wrote. “It is not as if this attack occurred when Hopkins inexplicably wandered into the grizzly pen while searching for the nearest White Castle. Hopkins was attacked while performing a job Kilpatrick had paid him to do — feeding grizzly bears.”

Bam! Eligible for workers’ compensation. Next case!

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You may recall the case involving Nevada Judge George Assad, who jailed a guy’s girlfriend until he showed up in court. Problem was, she hadn’t done anything! (This innocent nurse had just come to court to explain that her boyfriend just started a new job, so he couldn’t make it.)

So, in June 2008, the Judge was ordered to apologize. But he didn’t send the letter to the Judicial Discipline Commission until over a year later – on July 24, 2009! How was it received by the wrongfully imprisoned girlfriend? We may never know! Per The Las Vegas Sun:

[Ms.] Chrzanowski could not be reached for comment, but her lawyer, Cal Potter, said Wednesday that the apology, coming so many years later, is “hollow” and now “meaningless” to his client. He said he hasn’t been able to locate Chrzanowski, who may have left Las Vegas, to send her a copy of the letter.

You can read more (a fair amount) here.

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The Juice definitely doesn’t – and not just because it would reduce the amount of material out there. Anyway, talk about a harmless prank. And a damn funny one too … Check this out, as reported by khou.com:

What happens when you drop the C and the L from class? You get in trouble, that’s what.

Three Cypress Ridge High School students were suspended and fined $135 each for allegedly pulling a prank in the senior class photo.

Seniors posed for the panoramic photos last month. First, there was a formal picture with students in the front row wearing t-shirts that spelled out “Class of 2010.”

So far, no problem. But then …

The second panoramic was an informal shot. The students were allowed to move around so they rearranged themselves, leaving only “ass” on the front row.

“I heard C and L ran off. That’s not ass’s fault. That’s C and L’s fault, said senior Austin Knight. “It was funny and they shouldn’t have been punished.”

Right on, sir! You have just been awarded “quote of the month” – “That’s not ass’s fault.”

But it was the three students wearing A, S and S that got in trouble. Along with the fine and suspension, they lost their positions as officers for various clubs.

“S” man George Bermudez, who was the senior class secretary, said it was an accident.

Cy-Fair ISD officials didn’t buy that story.

In a statement, the district said: “Three students were disciplined in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. ”

Uncool. Here’s the source, including the photo.

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Is it really a good idea to let someone tattoo your back after you’ve had an argument with him? Um, NO, as a 25-year-old Australian man learned the hard way. The tattoo was supposed to be a yin yang symbol with dragons. As reported by The Courier Mail:

A 21-year-old man has been charged by police in Ipswich for allegedly tattooing a penis on a man’s back – instead of the image he had requested.

Yikes.

The 25-year-old victim had been visiting the man, an amateur tattooist, at his home in Bundamba last Wednesday when he was talked into getting a tattoo.

He wanted a yin and yang symbol with some dragons, but was instead shocked to discover the 40cm [almost 16 inches!] tattoo was of a penis with an obscene slogan.

The key word in the slogan was also misspelled.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

The man now faces considerable cost [and pain?] to have the image removed.

Police said the tattooing followed an argument between the men, during which the tattooist allegedly took offence at something the other man said.

The victim has also alleged he was punched and thrown out of the house following the tattooing.

All-in-all, not a good night for the vic. What about the perp? Any charges?

The 21-year-old is due to appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on November 15 charged with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one charge relating to the Public Safety Act.

Here’s the source.

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It boils down to this: If you want to tax paranormal practitioners in Romania, prepare to become a four-legged animal – if you’re lucky. So maybe that’s an oversimplification, but not by much. As reported by The Independent:

Everyone curses the tax man, but Romanian witches angry about having to pay up are planning to use cat excrement and dead dogs to cast spells on the country’s government, which has introduced a new levy on those practicing the paranormal.

Superstitions are no laughing matter in Romania – the land of the medieval ruler who inspired the Dracula tale – and have been part of its culture for centuries. President Traian Basescu and his aides have even been known to wear purple on certain days, supposedly to ward off evil.

Romanian witches from the east and west went to the country’s southern plains and the Danube river yesterday to threaten the government with spells and spirits because of the tax law, which came into effect on 1 January.

A dozen witches hurled the poisonous mandrake plant into the Danube to put a hex on government officials “so evil will befall them”, said a witch named Alisia. She added: “What is there to tax, when we hardly earn anything? The lawmakers don’t look at themselves, at how much they make, their tricks; they steal and they come to us asking us to put spells on their enemies.”

So, at a minimum, don’t drink from the Danube for a while. And lawmakers, you might want to go all purple, all the time. Got any purple skivvies?

The new law is part of the government’s drive to collect more revenue and crack down on tax evasion in a country that is in recession.

In the past, the less mainstream professions of witch, astrologer and fortune teller were not listed in the Romanian labour code. People who worked in those jobs used their lack of registration to evade income tax.

Under the new law, like any self-employed person, they will pay 16 per cent income tax and make contributions to health and pension programmes. But the law may be hard to enforce as payments to witches and astrologers are usually made in cash and relatively small.

Okay, so it’s virtually unenforceable. For this, lawmakers are willing to give up their entire non-purple wardrobe?

Supporters of Mircea Geoana, who lost the presidential race to Basescu in 2009, blamed his defeat on attacks of negative energy by their opponent’s aides. Geoana aide Viorel Hrebenciuc alleged there was a “violet flame” conspiracy during the campaign, saying Basescu and other aides dressed in purple on Thursdays to increase his chance of victory. They continue to be seen wearing purple clothing on important days because the colour supposedly makes the wearer superior and wards off evil.

This isn’t new in Romanian politics.

Such spiritualism has long been tolerated by the Orthodox Church in Romania, and the late Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, had their own personal witch.

Queen witch Bratara Buzea, 63, who was imprisoned in 1977 for witchcraft under Ceausescu’s regime, is furious about the new law. Sitting cross-legged in her villa in the lake resort of Mogosoaia, just north of Bucharest, she said she planned to cast a spell using a particularly effective concoction of cat excrement and dead dog, accompanied by a chorus of witches.

Cat excrement and dead dog? It’s certainly not “a dog’s life” in Romania (at least not when the recipe dictates).

“We do harm to those who harm us,” she said. “They want to take the country out of this crisis using us? They should get us out of the crisis because they brought us into it.” She added ominously: “My curses always work.”

Got that, tax man? Always! Here’s the source, with a photo of the queen.

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People do need to have private lives, though at least one school superintendent feels otherwise. He suspended Kimberly Hester, a teacher’s aide, because she wouldn’t show him her Facebook page. Here’s the story, as reported by wsbt.com:

“It was very mild, no pornography,” she said of the picture she posted in April 2011. The picture shows that co-worker’s pants around her ankles, and a pair of shoes. “It wasn’t at work, it was off work time,” Hester added.

Wait, naked ankles? And pants around those naked ankles? No wonder she was suspended! Think of the children!

At the time, Hester was a teacher’s aide at Frank Squires Elementary in Cassopolis. According to a letter from the Cassopolis schools superintendent to the Lewis Cass Intermediate superintendent, a parent who was friends with Hester on Facebook notified the school about the picture.

The Juice feels for that parent’s kids.

A few days later, Lewis Cass ISD superintendent Robert Colby called her into his office.

“He asked me three times if he could view my Facebook and I repeatedly said I was not OK with that,” Hester told WSBT.

In all seriousness, The Juice applauds Ms. Hester’s principled stand.

In a letter to Hester from the Lewis Cass ISD Special Education Director, he wrote “…in the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly.”

It’s kind of funny that the fired teacher’s aide is doing the real teaching, while the idiotic superintendent is teaching kids that personal privacy and boundaries are essentially nonexistent. So what’s Ms. Hester doing now?

Hester said Colby put her on paid administrative leave and eventually suspended her.

Much to her credit, she’s fighting it.

“I stand by it,” Hester said. “I did nothing wrong. And I would not, still to this day, let them in my Facebook. And I don’t think it’s OK for an employer to ask you.”

But what about the legality of the superintendent’s actions?

… University of Notre Dame labor law professor Barbara Frick said the school didn’t break any laws by asking for Hester’s Facebook information.

Right now there are no state or federal laws protecting social media privacy in the workplace, Frick said.

This needs to be remedied. Good luck to Ms. Hester, who goes to arbitration on this in May.

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OMG, that is a sausage in your pants! A bunch of them, as it turns out. Per The Cairns Post:

A man has been caught stuffing sausages down his pants in a bizarre alleged theft at an Innisfail supermarket.

The 38-year-old Innisfail man was charged with stealing after he was seen leaving IGA Innisfail about 6.15pm on Friday.

Police allege he had items of meat concealed in his shorts and several other items in his pockets.

If you happen to buy your sausage at the IGA Innisfail, you’ll be glad to hear that …

The items were not returned to sale …

Whew! Here’s the source.

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Driving an ice cream truck must get really boring, really fast. One man found a way to make it a little less boring, though clearly a LOT more dangerous. As reported by fox59.com:

An Indianapolis man was arrested last Saturday in Mooresville for allegedly driving an ice cream truck while under the influence.

Clarel Padgett, 58, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, as well as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .15 or more, both Class A misdemeanors.

Over .15? Wo.

According to court documents, a woman called police, reporting she could smell alcoholic beverages on the ice cream truck driver.

The chase was on! Okay, it wasn’t much of a chase.

An officer with the Mooresville Police Department responded to the area where the truck was reported to be and issued a traffic stop.

… the officer could smell the odor of alcohol coming from the truck. The officer also noted Padgett had “bloodshot and glassy eyes and slurred his words when he spoke.”

The officer conducted several sobriety tests, before Padgett requested to take a breath test. Padgett blew a .19 BAC, more than twice the legal limit.

Snap! .19 is some serious drinking.

Padgett was transported to the police department for a certified breath test. There, Padgett’s BAC read .24.

Say what?! .24?! Yikes.

A female passenger in the truck was also arrested and charged with public intoxication. Padgett and the passenger were transported to the Morgan County Jail.

 

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Sadly, Michiganders, you are now on notice of this law, though you were previously bound by it nonetheless. Here’s the law:

436.201 Drunkenness on train prohibited.

No person shall while in an offensive state of intoxication enter or be on or remain upon any railway train or interurban car as a passenger.

Putting aside that The Juice is a personal injury lawyer, nevertheless, he’s convinced he could mount a strong defense for anyone charged under this law based on a single word – “offensive.” Drunk? Hell yeah. But not offensively so. Case dismissed. Here’s a link to the law.

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Of course vehicles get stolen all the time. You report it to your insurance. They send you a check… This gent probably did that, but he didn’t stop there. He’s pissed! As reported by www.kens5.com (San Antonio, Texas):

On March 10, Daryl McClain’s truck was stolen from his home in the 5700 block of Clearwood. So what did he do?

He tagged his own house, and neighbors say he did not keep the message clean.

“I speak my mind,” McClain boasted outside his tagged garage door. “Most people keep it in.”

What does it say?

“To the mother f—– that stole my truck. You are a dead man. 2K NQA.”

That last part means that Mr. McClain is offering a $2,000 reward, no questions asked (NQA). Some neighbors are not happy, especially with the “word” f—–.

“What is wrong with the guy across the street?” asked Roy Patty. “It’s like a parade route. Everybody comes by. I take pride in my house.”

“I’d never come home and do something like that because I was mad,” said Patty. “Children shouldn’t be able to read something like that.”

But McClain sees it differently. “That’s why I didn’t spell it out,” he said. “Code Compliance says I’m not doing a thing wrong.” Then he said, “It’s freedom of speech.”

Is Mr. McClain correct? Yup.

According to the San Antonio Police Department, McClain is not breaking the law.

SAPD spokesman Matt Porter said McClain did not use profanity, because he did not spell out the expletive. Also, he says according to homicide detectives, McClain did not threaten anyone specifically. Finally, the city is not allowed to regulate what people paint on their homes.

Here’s the source, including a photo of the tagged garage doors, and a video news story.

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