Watercooler Stories

March 29, 2013 at 6:30 AM
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Police drop bar brawl charges against MP

LONDON, March 29 (UPI) -- London police said no charges would be brought against independent MP Eric Joyce for an alleged drunken fracas in the House of Commons.

But Joyce remains banned from all bars in the Houses of Parliament, the Daily Mirror reported. Parliamentary officials said the ban on his buying alcohol there is in "the best interests of all parties."

Joyce, who represents Falkirk in Scotland, said he will not resign from Parliament and will continue to hold the seat until the next general election, expected in 2015.

Police arrested Joyce on March 14 after he allegedly got involved in a scuffle with two police officers. The incident began, witnesses said, when he was told he could not carry a glass of wine outside the Sports and Social Club in the House of Commons.

A police spokesman said witnesses gave inconsistent information.

Joyce was arrested and fined last year for assaulting other members of Parliament. He resigned from the Labor Party but remained in Parliament as an independent.

Trooper who gave lawmaker a break is fired

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 28 (UPI) -- A Florida state trooper who pulled over a state lawmaker for speeding and then cut him a break by citing him only for lack of proof of insurance has been fired.

Rep. Charles McBurney, a Jacksonville Republican, says he was not going as fast as Trooper Charles Swindle said, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday. Swindle said he used a radar gun Nov. 19 to clock McBurney at 87 mph in a 70 mph zone but McBurney said the cruise control on his car was set at 75.

The trooper apparently never asked to see McBurney's insurance card, the report said.

McBurney complained to the head of the Florida Highway Patrol about the stop but he said he does not want special treatment either way.

Swindle's lawyer said the highway patrol has a longstanding practice of cutting legislators some slack because lawmakers set the agency's budget. He said trainees at the academy are told, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you."

Couple marries at uncle's funeral

PHILADELPHIA, March 28 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia couple, honoring a deceased loved one, got married at his funeral, in a surprise ceremony that astonished 850 onlookers in the church.

The marriage of Reggie Wade, 39, and his bride, Monique McMillan-Wade, 29, took place this month at the funeral of Wade's uncle, Gregory "Chops" Scott, who was shot to death Feb. 27, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Thursday.

Before his death, Scott promised to walk the bride down the aisle, because her father had died years ago.

Wade said he and McMillan-Wade chose to honor Scott's promise by combining their wedding with his funeral.

"We keep our promises, and he promised to give her away," said Scott's widow, Alfreda Johnson-Scott. "And he was dressed for the occasion."

Scott was a community leader and drill master of the Gold Coast Buccaneers marching drill team in West Philadelphia, and his funeral attracted 2,000 mourners and four drill teams, closing the city's Pine Street and overwhelming the First Corinthian Baptist Church, the newspaper said.

During the 4-hour funeral service, the Rev. Caleb Johnson announced: "If you came to this looking for a funeral as usual, you're in the wrong place. This is going to be one for the books."

He then married Wade and McMillan-Wade as they stood before the casket. The bride and groom each wore black and gold T-shirts, Buccaneer colors, with Scott's picture on the front, the newspaper said.

Man reunited with jacket containing $14K

BARTLESVILLE, Okla., March 28 (UPI) -- A 73-year-old Oklahoma man who left a jacket containing $14,000 cash at a diner said he was overjoyed to get his money back.

Jerry Allsup, 73, of Bartlesville, said he and his wife, Barbara, went to McAlester with the intention of purchasing a used car, but the car was not in as good condition as he had hoped, so the couple decided not to buy the vehicle and stopped for lunch at Pete's Place in Krebs, the McAlester News-Capital reported Thursday.

"After a typically fabulous lunch there, we returned to Bartlesville the next morning," Allsup said.

Allsup said he was home before he realized his jacket and the money it contained were missing.

"I immediately called Pete's Place and spoke to the manager, a lovely lady named Kathy," he said.

Kathy Prichard said the jacket was found shortly after Allsup left and was being kept safe in the hopes that he'd come back for it.

Allsup said he returned to the diner and claimed the jacket and cash. He said Prichard refused a reward.

"She quickly stopped me and very firmly stated that there was absolutely no way they would take any reward, and they were just glad all ended well," he said. "My eyes quickly teared up, my voice cracked, and I could only hug her to show my appreciation."

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