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May 27, 2009 at 6:00 AM   |   Comments

Woman allegedly hits guard with baby

MEMPHIS, May 26 (UPI) -- A Tennessee woman who allegedly borrowed a friend's baby to go shoplifting has been charged with abusing the boy by using him to assault a security guard.

Camilla Fields, 26, of Memphis is charged with both child abuse and assault, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported. Police say Fields, who was holding the 2-month-old boy in a car seat, swung it at a Wal-Mart security guard last Wednesday.

The boy's mother, Stacey Cleaves, 26, was outside the store during the incident, police said. She allegedly provided false information about Fields and is charged with false reporting and child neglect.

Investigators say Fields took the baby into a bathroom and pretended to change his diaper, actually concealing stolen items.

When she hit the guard with the car seat, it fell, landing with the baby's face down. She picked it up and ran off, pushing it at the guard.

The boy fell from the seat. Fields drove off, leaving the unconscious baby behind, police said.

The baby was revived by an EMT and a passerby, and taken to a hospital. He was not seriously injured police said.

Cleaves allegedly told police Fields was the boy's aunt and that her name was Darrin.


Councilwoman's home assessed as empty lot

DETROIT, May 26 (UPI) -- A Detroit councilwoman who has been paying taxes as if her house was a vacant lot says the mistake was the city's.

JoAnn Watson, who has frequently criticized the city for low-balling taxes on many properties, got a bill of $67.97 last year, The Detroit News reported. Neighbors with property comparable to her Tudor-style house paid $5,600 or more.

Watson said Monday that at some point after she bought the house in 1990 and before her election to the city council in 2003 the property was hit by a tornado. She said the assessment dropped sharply then.

She suggested she is the target of a "smear campaign."

"I don't smoke, drink and I don't sleep around," she said. "It's an election year."

Watson suggested the real problem is that her neighbors are paying too much, the Detroit Free Press said.

"The disparity between what I paid and what the people across the street paid is outrageous," Watson said, "As their elected representative, I'm demanding that the city repay these overcharges immediately."


School doors glued shut

DELTONA, Fla., May 26 (UPI) -- A Florida school began classes 90 minutes late Tuesday because officials were struggling to open doors that had been glued shut by teenagers.

Nancy Wait of Volusia County Public Schools said a surveillance video recorded three teenagers gluing the doors of Pine Ridge High School in Deltona shut overnight and officials are working to identify the culprits, WKMG-TV, Orlando, Fla., reported Tuesday.

Wait said the incident is not believed to have been a senior prank.


City official wants to drop '13' ban

PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand, May 26 (UPI) -- A local official in New Zealand says it's time for Palmerston North to join other cities by allowing the number 13 for street addresses.

"It seems absurd to me in 2009 that we still should be deciding street numbering policy or anything else on superstition," Palmerston North City Councilor Chris Teo-Sherrell told the Dominion Post. "It's one of those things that keeps getting turned over because nobody says `hey, that's stupid.'"

Teo-Sherrell noted that Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch all allow the use of the number 13 in street addresses.

City policy analyst Todd Taiepa says Palmerston North's avoidance of the number 13 for house addresses has been in place for many years because its unlucky connotations could put off potential home buyers, but added that residents can always apply to the council to have their number changed.

"We will definitely consider allocating No 13 if anyone wants it, but we don't expect great numbers to do that," Taiepa told the Post.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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