The Continuing Crisis
- Frances Ragusa, 75, was back in court in Brooklyn, N.Y., in June claiming child support she said was never paid by husband Philip Ragusa, 77, in their divorce settlement of 33 years ago. (The "children," of course, long ago became adults, but the $14,000 judgment has grown, with interest, to about $100,000.) Frances told the New York Post in July that she called Philip several months earlier to discuss the amount but that Philip merely began to cry. "Don't let this case go to trial," she recalled telling him. "(I)f you think I'm going to forget it, Phil, you're stuck on stupid."
- Carole Green was fined $1,000 in July by a court in Leavenworth County, Kan., for littering the property of the same Bonner Springs resident "most afternoons" for the past two years. Green apologized and said the charge was a complete surprise. She said when she starts out in her SUV every day, and drinks a bottle of tea, it just happens that she finishes it at about the same spot on her journey - in front of Gary Bukaty's property - and that's where she tosses the bottle. She promised to stop.
- A Southampton (England) University researcher told an academic conference in Stockholm in July that his work, demonstrating that women who stop smoking even after becoming pregnant will have healthier babies, is important because he found that pregnant women rationalize continued smoking, in part to have smaller babies that will be less uncomfortable to deliver.
Jonathan Schwartz called 911 in New York City in July to report that he had stabbed his mother to death. A few minutes later but before police arrived, Schwartz called back 911 to report a correction: "No, she committed suicide." (The mother's body was found with multiple stab wounds, and police, notwithstanding Schwartz's "correction," charged him with murder.)
The Pervo-American Community
Jerry Prieto, 38, pleaded guilty in July in Benton County, Wash. (possession of methamphetamine and "malicious mischief with sexual motivation"), and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. Prieto had been arrested with the drugs in October 2010 in a stall at a highway rest stop. According to the prosecutor, Prieto had written sexual notes on the floor with a felt-tipped pen and drawn an arrow pointing directly to his stall. (As a condition of his sentence, Prieto is allowed in rest-stop bathrooms only for "traditional" purposes.)
Ronald Adams, 49, was arrested in June for assaulting an 8-year-old boy in his home in Ouachita Parish, La., after an argument over which TV program to watch. Adams allegedly threw a TV remote, hitting the child in the head, because the kid insisted on "cartoons" while Adams preferred "wrestling."
Names in the News (For Immature Readers Only, Please!)
Arrested (again) for prostitution (this time, Columbus, Ga., April; previously in News of the Weird, in Tampa, Fla., 2009), Ms. Suk Kim Ho, 46. Charged with conspiracy to commit child molestation (Woodstock, Ga., June), Mr. Patrick Molesti, 58. Arrested for lewdness for allegedly exposing himself (Howe Township, Pa., June), Mr. Handy H. Wood, 35 (not to be confused with the man arrested in Columbia, Mo., in July, on suspicion of the same thing, Mr. Willy Wood, 54). Charged with DUI in a crash into a library (Buffalo, N.Y., July), Mr. Jack Goff, 47.