Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Candy (2010)

Los Angeles Times
29 October 2010

Sheriff's Department urges parents to check for pot-laced Halloween candy

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is urging parents to look for candy containing marijuana this Halloween.

Investigators have confiscated candies and snacks containing pot from marijuana dispensaries, and they are concerned such items could wind up in children's trick-or-treat bags, they said Friday in a statement. [...]

Mansfield News Journal [OH]
30 October 2010

Police: Needle was in wrapper, not candy, when they arrived

News Journal staff report

A Mansfield father claimed he found a needle in a piece of candy his child received trick-or-treating Thursday, but no similar incidents have been reported, according to Mansfield Police Sgt. Bret Snabley.

The 37-year-old father told police he noticed a small hole in a Tootise Roll and he used his finger to get out the 1.25-inch sewing needle. He said his child was going door-to-door asking for candy along Beethoven Street and South Diamond Street. The man was not able to identify which house the suspicious candy came from. [...]

Triblocal Schaumburg [IL]
1 November 2010

Tampered candy being tracked

By Kate Thayer TribLocal reporter

Schaumburg police are looking for who might have tampered with candy handed out on Halloween in a neighborhood officials declined to identify.

Sgt. John Nebl said Monday police haven’t received any additional reports since alerting the public Sunday night that two residents received a candy bar with “a physical object” inserted. No one was injured. [...]

Cambridge Times [ON]
2 November 2010

Open safety pin found in Halloween candy

Cambridge police officers will be canvassing Galt neighbourhoods after someone gave a preschool trick-or-treater a package of candies containing an open safety pin. [...],0,7274955.story

FOX 8 News [Cleveland, OH]
1 November 2010

Rat Poison Given as Halloween Candy, Family Says

By Kevin Freeman
Fox 8 Reporter

EUCLID, Ohio — Police say someone played a dirty trick while handing out Halloween treats. Investigators are now trying to figure out who gave out rat poison along with candy Sunday night.

"We came home, dumped out their candy and there it was... rat poison," said Lisa York, a mother. [...]

Delta Police Department [Delta, BC]

Media Release

Release date/time: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 – 1600 hours
Incident: Razor Blade in Halloween Candy
Date/Time: Sunday, October 31, 2010 – 1800/2000 hours
Location: Imperial Village Area, Tsawwassen
DPD file: 2010-22806

Razor Blade in Halloween Candy

A twenty-one year old woman who escorted a group on neighbourhood children around the Imperial Village area in Tsawwassen on Halloween evening was surprised on Monday afternoon when she bit into a piece of candy and discovered a razor blade. The victim was uncertain whether the blade had been inserted through the candy wrapper or if the wrapper had been partially opened and the blade stuck directly into the chocolate. She was unhurt in the incident.

The Delta Police Department wants everyone to be cautious when consuming Halloween treats. Sadly there are sick minded people who derive some sort of twisted pleasure from endangering the innocent, and in this incident the likely targets are children. We continue to investigate this unconscionable act.

[The original police media release describes the blade as a razor blade, although some subsequent newspaper reports liken it to an X-acto blade or one from a box cutter. Any one of these types of blade is capable of producing a serious injury, but calling it a razor blade is more evocative. -- bc]

The Province [Vancouver, BC]
3 November 2010

Razor blade found in Delta Halloween treat

By Staff Reporter, The Province

Delta police are looking for a person described as having “a sick, twisted mind” after a 21-year-old woman bit into a razor blade in a Halloween treat on Monday.

Sgt. Paul Eisenzimmer of the Delta Police Department said the woman was supervising a group of children under the age of 10 who were trick-or-treating in the Imperial Village subdivision of Tsawwassen, east of the intersection of 52nd Street and 16th Avenue, on Halloween night.

She was not injured.

Eisenzimmer said investigators have not determined whether the black wrapper of the miniature chocolate bar had been tampered with.

He described the blade as “an X-Acto knife kind of blade. But we define them as a razor blade type of blade.”

“People need to be aware that somebody out there has got a sick, twisted mind and was doing something that was unconscionable,” said Eisenzimmer, media liaison for the DPD.

CBC News [Canada]
3 November 2010

Blade found in Delta candy bar

A knife blade found in a Halloween candy bar has prompted police in Delta, B.C., to issue a warning to the public, but it is not clear yet exactly where the candy came from.

The blade was found by a 21-year-old woman who had taken a group of children out trick-or-treating Sunday in the Imperial Village area of Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver.

When she tried to eat some of the candy they'd gathered, she bit into a blade that had been stuck through the wrapper into the chocolate bar, police said. She was unhurt.

Acting Sgt. Paul Eisenzimmer said the blade apparently came from a small box-cutter knife, and investigators are trying to determine where the candy came from.

"We have isolated an area, but it's a large enough area that we can't be too specific at this point," said Eisenzimmer.

"Our investigators will check the addresses in the area to see whether there's anyone who stands out, whether there's someone who's mentally ill in the area or who has a criminal background for all sorts of things that could relate to this," he said.

CTV News [Canada]
3 November 2010

Police say tainted candy reports are false

CTV Southwestern Ontario

Waterloo Regional Police say reports about possible tainted Halloween candy given out in Cambridge are false.

Postings were reportedly put up on social media Web sites saying a child died after eating tainted Maynard Sour Gummies or Cherry Gummies given out in the Moffatt Drive area of Cambridge. [...]
The Waterloo Record [ON]
3 November 2010
Police refute social media suggestions of Waterloo Region deaths due to Halloween candy tampering

Triblocal Schaumburg [IL]
4 November 2010

Cops: Candy tampering a hoax

By Kate Thayer
TribLocal reporter

Police arrested a Schaumburg teenager after discovering he made up Sunday’s candy tampering scare.

The 16-year-old boy is charged as a juvenile with a felony count of disorderly conduct in relation to the Halloween incident. He was released to the custody of his parents and awaits juvenile court proceedings.

Detectives discovered that he inserted a needle into a Snickers bar at his home, and then told his family that he received the candy while trick-or-treating, police said. His father believed him and reported to police that his son received tampered candy. [...],tampered-halloween-candy-hoax-110410.article
Chicago Sun-Times
4 November 2010
Schaumburg police: Tampered candy was teen's hoax

WTVM-TV [Columbus, GA]
4 November 2010

4-year-old boy tests positive for meth; Halloween candy suspected

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - Levelland police are waiting on lab tests to confirm whether or not Halloween candy given to a four year old was laced with drugs. This investigation is somewhat of a Halloween nightmare for police who are working to figure out how methamphetamines made it into the body of a four year old. [...]

Delta Police Department [Delta, BC]

Media Release

Release date/time: Thursday, November 4th, 2010 - 1530 hrs (Revised Copy)
Incident: Needle in Halloween Candy
Date/Time: Sunday, October 31st, 1700/1830 hrs
Location: Neighbourhood of Leslie Park - Ladner
DPD file: 10-22846

Halloween Candy – Needle Found in Chocolate Bar

Two days after Halloween a twelve year old Ladner boy bit into a small size Crispy Crunch chocolate bar and realized he had bitten into something hard. He removed the substance from his mouth and found a steel needle had been inserted into the bar. He was uninjured. The boy told his father who contacted the police.

On Halloween night the youth and five of his friends sent trick or treating within his neighborhood near Leslie Park on 55B Street in Ladner. They went through several streets in the area between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. Once again, within our community, it would appear another person has played a dangerous trick that could have caused physical harm to this child. [...]

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal [TX]
5 November 2010

Halloween candy in Levelland incident tests negative for meth

LEVELLAND - The Halloween candy and wrappers suspected in a boy's exposure to methamphetamine tested negative for the controlled substance.

On Oct. 29, 4-year-old Jamie Chavez was hospitalized after he ate a piece of candy that reportedly came from the Levelland ISD Halloween festival, according to a Levelland police report. [...]

Oneida Dispatch [NY]
1 November 2010

Halloween candy may have contained PCP

Dispatch Staff Writer

ONEIDA – An Oneida woman says she was dosed with the powerful hallucinogen PCP when she ate a piece of Halloween candy Monday. [...]

Oneida Dispatch [NY]
10 November 2010

New test reveals no PCP in Oneida woman's Halloween candy

By The Dispatch Staff

ONEIDA – Oneida City Police say the results of a second, more-accurate test on the Oneida woman who reported being dosed by a PCP-laced piece of Halloween candy came back negative.

Jennifer Maxfield, of Seneca Street in Oneida, reported to police on Nov. 1 that she experienced hallucinations, shortness of breath and elevated heart rate after eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin from her son’s Halloween candy. [...]

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Gang Initiation Fear

CUA Tower [The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.]
29 October 2010

Graffiti on Southside Leads to Rumors of Gang Violence

By Alexandra Carella

Thomasine Johnson, the Director of the Department of Public Safety, sent an email to University students refuting rumors that there will be a gang initiation on the south side of campus. The suppositions surrounded the possibility that MS-13 gang members were planning to assault University students as part of an initiation rite. [...]

Suspicious Perfume Peddlers

The Times-Picayune [New Orleans]
28 October 2010

JPSO debunks Internet rumors about perfume peddlers

Michelle Hunter, The Times-Picayune

Two different e-mail messages are making the rounds in Jefferson Parish from residents -- one from those who say they were afraid for their safety during encounters with suspicious perfume peddlers and another warning of free key rings with built-in global positioning systems.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said the perfume sellers are legitimate employees of a Metairie company called Big Schott Management. [...]

Mexicans Vote Illegally in U.S. Elections

Arizona Republic
28 October 2010

Voter fraud in Arizona's 8th District? Nope, says secretary of state

WASHINGTON – On a nationally syndicated radio talk show this week, Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly warned that Mexican citizens are being transported across the Southwest Border to commit voter fraud in Arizona. [...]

In an interview Wednesday on The Mark Levin Show, Kelly told the conservative talk show host, “There’s actually rumors people have video of them busing people across from our Southern border. They literally bus people across from Mexico to have them vote at the polls on Election Day. Give them a meal, and then bus them back. It’s been done in the past, so we’re really fighting against that down here.” [...]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Koro Outbreak (India 2010)

The Assam Tribune [India]
30 September 2010

It’s a cultural syndrome, say doctors

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – Doctors have discounted claims and apprehensions about the reported outbreak of a disease that affects males and females in peculiar ways. Senior doctors in Gauhati Medical College as well as those working in the rural interiors have rubbished reports which indicate that some males have seen their genital organs retract into their abdomen; while females have experienced the same with their breasts. [...]

The Assam Tribune [India]
30 September 2010

Ignorance causing panic among certain people


GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – [...] On a tour around the bustling capital city, which is looked upon as the intellectual hub of the State, one will bump into all sections of people with lime smeared on the ear lobe in an effort to shield oneself from the ‘dangerous disease’. Right to the well dressed men and women to the salesman in a sleek mall and the daily wage labourers, everyone is sporting lime spots on their ears and the more paranoid ones are immersing themselves in water holes. [...]

Mid-Day [India]
26 October 2010

The curious case of shrinking genitalia
Mass panic at labour camp in Goregaon as twenty five men suffer from 'retracting' genitalia

By: Ketan Ranga

Place: Mumbai

Several labourers living in a work camp near Aarey Colony in Goregaon have been spending sleepless nights since Saturday after they found that the size of their genitals have been gradually reducing and getting inside the lower abdomen. The panicked sit in a bathtub and family members pour water on them to cure them. [...]

Gang Initiation Rite on Halloween

The Mirror [Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT]
27 October 2010

Fairfield Reacts to Potential Gang Threat

By: Amber Nowak

[...] On Wednesday, October 13, the Department of Public Safety sent an e-mail to students announcing that they were taking student concerns seriously and were looking into reports of a possible gang initiation rite that would target Fairfield University students on Halloween. [...]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Poisoned Persimmons

People's Daily Online [China]
25 October 2010

Scaremonger wanted after false rumors threaten persimmon farmers in east China

A false rumor that persimmons from a village in east China's Zhejiang Province are poisonous has upset farmers and prompted the local government to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of the scaremonger. [...] The leaflets alleged Japanese troops infected local persimmons with the disease when they occupied the area during World War Two in order to make Chinese people ill. [...]

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Restaurant Forces Diners to Pay Exorbitant Bill

KRGV-TV [Texas]
23 October 2010

Fake E-mail Warns About Safety in Nuevo Progreso

Reported by: Jordan Williams

NUEVO PROGRESO, TAMAULIPAS, MEXICO - An email that's showing up in in-boxes around the Valley is warning about tourists' safety in Nuevo Progreso.

[...] It says: "My neighbor's sister and husband went over to Nuevo Progreso last week and had dinner. They went to Arturo's. When their check came for their dinner, about $28, their credit card bill read $400.00. Uncertain as to the bill, they brought the waiter back, and he told them in plain English, those two men over there at the door will let you out the door if you sign this credit card debit." [...]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Male Thieves Wearing Burqas

Asian Image [UK]
19 October 2010

'Burqa thief' reports just rumours

By Asian Image reporter

Claims that males wearing 'Islamic burqas and veils' were gaining entry into houses have been rubbished by police.

Asian Image received several calls from concerned residents and shoppers in the Whalley Range and Brookhouse areas of Blackburn after rumours surfaced about men dressed up in burqas stealing handbags from shoppers and gaining entry to houses. [...]

Friday, October 15, 2010

Health and Safety Hysteria in the Media

Financial Times [UK]
15 October 2010

Westminster Blog

Lord Young admits that many “health and safety” scare stories are “hysteria”

by Jim Pickard

In December 2009 David Cameron made a speech in which he promised to reduce the burden of health and safety. His most heart-rending example was that of a small boy who drowned while fishing for tadpoles. As Cameron told his audience:

What’s more, the fear of transgressing all these rules causes
people to stand aside when others need help.

This was most tragically illustrated in Wigan two years ago,
when a ten year old drowned in a pond, having rescued his
young sister, because officers were told not to intervene as they
hadn’t undertaken their ‘water rescue’ health and safety training.

But was it a true story?

Cameron commissioned former Tory minister Lord Young to write a report on health and safety, which was published today. [...]

Lord Young even helpfully provided some examples of nonsense stories which had made it into folklore: One of them, curiously, was the pond story cited by Mr Cameron last year. [...]

HM Government, October 2010

Common Sense and Common Safety

A report by Lord Young of Graffham to the Prime Minister following a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture

[See Annex D: Behind the myth: the truth behind health and safety hysteria in the media, pp. 49-50.]

Hutterite Child To Be Murdered on Halloween

Winnipeg Free Press [Manitoba, Canada]
15 October 2010

Letter threatening harm to a child has Hutterites on alert

By: Staff Writer

HUTTERITE colonies across Manitoba and Alberta are taking precautions after an anonymous letter threatened harm to a child as part of Halloween.

A letter was sent to Hutterite colonies in Manitoba and Alberta warning of a planned abduction, torture and murder of a child as part of a Halloween ritual, say RCMP. [...]

Monday, October 4, 2010

7 Up Banned in UAE

Gulf News [UAE]
3 October 2010

Authorities vow to expose source of soft drink rumour
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority dismisses rumours about ban on soft drink 7Up

By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) is determined to unearth the source of a rumour about the aerated soft drink Seven Up with the help of law enforcement agencies, a senior official told Gulf News on Sunday.

The rumour spread through BlackBerry, quoting ADFCA, Health Authority Abu Dhabi and WAM (Emirates news agency), was that Seven Up was banned in the UAE for containing poisonous substances, said Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA. [...]

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Governor-General Signs Bill in Black Ink

Sunday Star Times [New Zealand]
3 October 2010

At Her Majesty's service

By ANTHONY HUBBARD - Sunday Star Times

[...] [New Zealand Governor-General Anand] Satyanand does not think he would refuse to sign a bill (this was last done in 1709). "If you weren't going to assent," he says, "you would resign."

There's an apocryphal story, Satyanand says, that [former Governor-General Dame Cath] Tizard was confronted with a piece of legislation she disliked. She asked her officials what to do, "and then she considered the position herself and said something like, `All right, I will sign it – but in black ink!' And the bottle of black ink was duly brought, the pen filled, and she signed it."

This is a great story that certainly sounds like Tizard – but the woman herself "hasn't the faintest memory of it". It might have simply slipped her mind, she told the Sunday Star-Times. She can certainly remember signing things she disliked. [...]