This is True's Current Weekly Issue
To get these issues free by e-mail each week, just subscribe using the form above -- your privacy is Randy's policy. (Or cruise around the web site to see more samples, archive, and info on our terrific book collections of thousands of past stories.)
Since 1994, this is the 1062nd issue of Randy Cassingham’s...
Out of Control: The village of Oakley, Mich., is about one square mile, and has fewer than 300 residents, but its police department grew to well over 100 officers, mostly reserves who apparently have no police training. Residents wanted to know why, and who all of these out-of-town officers were. The police department not only refused to produce a roster to citizens, it denied a Freedom of Information Act request from the local newspaper. The officers hold special gun permits whichallow them to carry guns in schools, sports arenas, and other places that civilians with gun permits cannot. Even the village board could not get a list of officers and, citing liability concerns, voted to disband the town’s department entirely — and to release the roster. Even with that, the chief has not released the officers’ names, and the board of trustees each received a letter on the doors of their homes from “well-known Detroit attorney” Herschel P. Fink,who warned that releasing the roster would be a “safety threat to the reserve police officers and their families ” — from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. Trustee Francis Koski sued to get a judge to enforce the police shutdown (and was granted that order), and said he would next move to force the untrained officers, who apparently got their status and gun permits by making donations to the police department, to return their badges, IDs, and any guns or otherequipment owned by the village. (RC/Saginaw News) ...The United States “shall have a new birth of freedom — [and] government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” —President Abraham Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address (1863).
(There’s more on the first story below.)
Safety First! When a Broward County, Fla., deputy spotted a car with a headlight out and the same car “nearly” ran a red light, he initiated a traffic stop. But the driver, Breona Watkins, 19, kept driving for another quarter mile before pulling over. Once Watkins stopped and the officer wrote the ticket, the other deputy heard something in Watkins’ trunk. After opening the trunk, they allegedly found Watkins’ 5-month-old baby nestled in there with some hedgeshears, a rusty metal hanger, a tire iron, a used gas can, and other hazardous materials. The baby had allegedly been sitting in the lap of the 14-year-old girl who was riding with Watkins, and when the police went to pull her over, she allegedly told the girl to put the baby in the trunk to avoid a ticket for not having a car seat. Watkins was arrested and charged with child abuse, resisting an officer, and five traffic-related offenses, including driving without a license and failure to havea child restraint. (MS/South Florida Sun-Sentinel) ...Too bad the smartest person in the car was in the trunk.
Someone Cynned: At 3:57 a.m., Don Marcani said, Capital One emailed him, asking him to verify a $600 charge on his credit card that had been declined. But he didn’t see the email: the police had taken his phone. Marcani was arrested for grand theft after two credit cards declined his charges at Cyn Nightclub in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Marcani said he was trying to talk to Wells Fargo, which had also declined the charge, when a “cop interfered, and I think he said,‘I’m tired of this [expletive]’.” Marcani asked to be escorted to an ATM, but he was taken to jail, where he spent the rest of the night. Then he charged a $1,000 bond to one of the same credit cards that was declined the night before, and was released. (AC/WTVJ Miami) ...Does your credit card come with arrest protection?
I Wouldn’t Touch This Guy with a 10-foot Pole: An unnamed teacher at Strong (Maine) Elementary School has been put on a 21-day leave by the school board after parents in the district became concerned. Her crime? She went to a teacher’s seminar in Dallas, Texas. “At this time, we have no information to suggest that this staff member has been in contact with anyone who has been exposed to Ebola,” Maine School Administrative District #58 said in a statement.“However, the district and the staff member understand the parents’ concerns.” The teacher not only didn’t provide medical care for any Ebola victim, the conference hotel was 10 miles from the hospital where an Ebola victim died. The school board took action because a single parent, Matt Dexter, said it was “reckless” for the school to send her to a conference in “a potentially harmful area for exposure.” Other parents supported Dexter, saying theteacher “could have come into contact with someone who came into contact with one of the nurses” who cared for the Ebola victim. Meanwhile, Principal Lee Wannick of Hazlehurst (Miss.) Middle School has agreed to take vacation and stay away from his school for a week after panicked parents freaked out about his summer travel: he went to Zambia to attend his brother’s funeral. The African country is at least 1,000 miles from any Ebola outbreak, and has never had a reported Ebolaoutbreak within its borders. (RC/Portland Press Herald, Jackson Clarion-Ledger) ...And did all of those parents get their flu shots?
Yes, Well, We Didn’t Mean for the Kids to See That
Rat Sighting Prompts Menu Change at Marysville [Wash.] School
KOMO Seattle headline
Did You Find an Error? Check the Errata Page for updates.
This Week’s Contributors: AC-Alexander Cohen, MS-Mike Straw, RC-Randy Cassingham.
Premium Subscribers Reacted Strongly to the first story this week — so much so, they didn’t even comment on the stupidity of the ridiculous school panic over Ebola. Mary in South Carolina will be the representative for those outraged over the public/private militia in Michigan. She wrote: “I googled Oakley Michigan and am now following the reporter on FaceBook. This whole scenario is disturbing to me. The idea that nonresidents can essentially ‘donate’ their way onto an absurdly large reservist force in a small town, where they then receive guns, ammo, bulletproof vests, etc. combined with the secrecy of the participants of that force and the utter disdain of the town authority that the force is ostensibly there to ‘protect’, frankly Stinks. I’m no ‘conspiracy theorist’ but this has all the makings for one. Militias in the 1700-1800s are nothing like what I fear thisgroup could be, and they weren’t secret. The KKK and groups like them of course, always have been. Thank you for reporting it. I’d love to see it get wider coverage.”
I’ve Done My Part, So It’s Now Up to You to give it wider coverage if you think it needs it. I made that easier by making it the “Story of the Week” and posting it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and
The Rest of the Stories. This week, the full edition also had the story of the man who turned the “property seizure” idea back on the government, with spectacular results. The highly-paid NFL running back caught shoplifting underwear. Police called to a “big fight” were surprised at what was really going on. Town council ignores a road’s maintenance for 20 years ...until the people living there take matters intotheir own hands. Burger King tries the Catholic Solution to an employee accused of molesting teens. Australian “pest control” idea ends up costing a fortune. Robbers steal smart phone, and prove it’s a lot smarter than they are. Bank error drops $115,000 into the account of ...a gambling addict. Multiple candidates in a school board election have been arrested for trying to buy votes — with cash, cocaine, beer, and/or cigarettes. And the results of of the OctoberReader Tagline Challenge. You can still read it all! Just ask for your upgrade to start with the 19 October issue:
I Was Involved in a Rescue last fall that made international news: a mine accident in my county that killed two miners. I wrote it up in my blog at the time, and there’s an update: even though the investigation’s final report has not yet been issued, the (now former) mine operators have been fined more than a million dollars over the incident. The blog entry with update is here.
Long-Time Readers will Remember my spinoff publication, HeroicStories, which I created in the spring of 1999. Its mission: “to use the power of the Internet and existing media to bringdiverse, international voices to the world to explore the idea that people are good, that individuals and individual action matter, and that regularly showing examples of people being good to each other will inspire similar actions in others.” I spun it off to a new publisher in 2003. It slowly petered out, stopped altogether, and then, shortly after I exercised my option to take the publication back, the new publisher died before I could get all of her files.
In hopes of getting it going again, I was working with Leo Notenboom of Ask Leo! fame — an old friend and a very experienced online publisher who really believed in HeroicStories’ mission. He did indeed relaunch it recently, starting with favorites from its archives of hundreds of stories. And now, Leo is starting to take story submissions again (see link on the web site: click the logo above to get there).
I’m extremely pleased that HeroicStories is back, and still running under the same manifesto I wrote for it Way Back When. And I’m sure those who loved HeroicStories from the beginning will enjoy seeing it back too. This time, the web site has a full archive, which allows for votes and comments (my favorite in the archive, so far, is
I hope you’ll check it out and, if you like it, subscribe — it’s free, of course.
The Latest Posting to Jumbo Joke:
Ten Years Ago in True: In a shocking development, study finds that people aren’t very good at telling bad medical advice online from good medical advice online: Contagious.
This Week’s Honorary Unsubscribe goes to Luther Masingill. A radio host, Masingill holds a record that will probably never be broken.
Subscriptions to This is True are Free athttp://www.thisistrue.com. All stories are completely rewritten using facts from the noted sources. This is True® is a registered trademark. Published weekly by ThisisTrue.Inc, PO Box 666, Ridgway CO 81432 USA (ISSN 1521-1932).
Copyright ©2014 by Randy Cassingham, All RightsReserved. All broadcast, publication, retransmission to e-mail lists, WWW, or any other copying or storage, in any medium, online or not, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from the author. Manual forwarding by e-mail to friends is allowed IF 1) the text is forwarded in its entirety from the “Since 1994” line on top through the end of this paragraph and 2) No fee is charged. We request that you forward no more than threecopies to any one person — after that, they should get their own free subscription. We always appreciate people who report violations of our copyright to us.
You can subscribe free by e-mail and get this delivered to you every week.