UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

May 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM
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'Devil made me do it' robber pleads guilty

MINNEAPOLIS, May 19 (UPI) -- A Minnesota bank robber who told police "the devil" made him do it pleaded guilty to the crime and is now facing a maximum 20 years in prison.

Rick Wallat, 58, of Cambridge, pleaded guilty to bank robbery Tuesday in a Minneapolis federal court after an Oct. 5 holdup at the People's National Bank in North Branch, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Wednesday.

Wallat admitted to handing the teller a note reading, "Don't do anything stupid," and leaving the bank with $8,850. He was later arrested while driving away from the location and the money was found inside a black handbag in his car.

"The devil made me do it, and you caught the bad guy," an arrest report quotes Wallat as saying while he was being taken into custody.

Wallat is facing a maximum 20 years in prison. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.


County collecting on 16-year-old advance

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., May 19 (UPI) -- A Georgia county is seeking to recover $39,690.46 from employees who received too much in their checks for a pay period in 1994.

Aaron Bovos, Gwinnett County chief financial officer, said about 180 employees received notices explaining the 14-year-old issue and giving options for paying it back, including applying the money toward vacation leave or making a cash payment, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.

Bovos said 509 people were overpaid Sept. 30, 1994, when the county adjusted pay cycles and employees received a round of checks for a 14-day cycle, despite one cycle being reduced to only 12 days. He said employees were overpaid a total $114,876.55 and $75,186.09 has thus far been collected from 329 employees at retirement.

"The county has initiated a project to clean-up receivables and to eliminate outstanding obligations wherever possible," Bovos said.


Teens cleared after drive-through rap

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, May 19 (UPI) -- Four Utah teenagers cited for disorderly conduct after using a rap song to order food at a McDonald's drive-through were cleared of the charge by a judge.

Spenser Dauwalder, 18, and three 17-year-old friends were cited for disorderly conduct, which bears a fine of as much as $750, after the Oct. 27 incident in American Fork, but they were cleared of the infraction Tuesday by 4th District Judge Thomas Low, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the foursome played and sang along to a rap song from a popular McDonald's commercial into the drive-through intercom. One of the boys allegedly swore when an employee asked them to repeat the order, leading manager Ilene Timoko to don the headset.

Timoko said she heard "rapping and swearing" over the intercom and went outside to ask the customers to "place an order or leave."

The manager said she "felt" the car was following her closely as she walked back to the restaurant and the vehicle sped up and zigzagged erratically before leaving. She said she called police because she was worried about the reckless driving.

Ann Boyle, a defense lawyer for the teenagers, said their actions were protected by the First Amendment.

"Using the f-word is not a crime in America," Boyle said. "Singing your order is not a crime in America."


Namco plans 'Pac-Man' birthday bash

LOS ANGELES, May 19 (UPI) -- Japanese video game company Namco is throwing a 30th birthday party for "Pac-Man" in Los Angeles and releasing anniversary versions of his games.

Namco said it will be celebrating the birthday of the game and its eponymous star with a Los Angeles party and the release of "Pac-Man Championship Edition" for the iPad and iPhone, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

The company said the game was played more than 10 billion times during the 20th century and it's listed by Guinness World Records as the "most successful coin-operated game" ever.

"Pac-Man is a gateway game," said Kenji Hisatsune, president, chief executive and chief operating officer of Namco Networks America. "It's simple, with well-established rules and boundaries. The game play is short and quick, but highly addictive and fun. Gamers and non-gamers alike recognize Pac-Man and can pick the game up very easily."

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