Sunday, May 28, 2023

Weird News Roundup

Strange Happenings in New Mexico


Black Market Bologna Seized at Border

Earlier this year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents busted smugglers attempting to bring illegal Mexican bologna into the state.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that a Nissan SUV was pulled over and searched at the Columbus border crossing. Border agents reportedly found 22 red packaged rolls in the trunk and more in the driver’s luggage. The rolls turned out to be 194 pounds of contraband Mexican bologna.

“Bologna is a prohibited product because it is made from pork and has the potential for introducing foreign animal diseases to the U.S. pork industry,” said the agency in a press release.

The driver of the SUV, an unnamed 49-year-old Albuquerque resident, was given a $500 fine. The black market meat was destroyed.

“It is important that travelers understand they should declare all items they are transporting from abroad to avoid fines and penalties. A properly declared prohibited item can be abandoned at the port without consequence,” said CBP Columbus Port Director Tony Hall.

NM Man Named One of the World’s Dullest People

A New Mexico man was recognized for his unique pastime by being named one of the dullest people in the world by a group dedicated to celebrating dullness.

“You live your whole life hoping to achieve something, and finally I’ve achieved something,” Johnnie Meier told KTSM in Texas. Meier has been honored by the Dull Men’s Club as one of 12 of the dullest people in the world. All of the awardees will be featured in a special 2021 calendar that was released by the club.

“When I look at the crowd that I’m a part of. … Wow, I’m so impressed with the other folks, with the other dull people,” said Meier. “Man, if we could all get together in the same room …”

Meier won the award in honor of his collection of gas station memorabilia. “To me, the gas pumps are kind of sculptural. If you look at them, they are pieces of art,” Meier told reporters. He has been collecting pumps, gas can, signs and other gas station-related antiques for over 20 years. His collection can be admired at the Classical Gas Museum in Embudo.

Meier says that he was unaware that the Dull Men’s Club existed until the club’s co-founder came looking for him. The club had reportedly been tipped off about the museum from a Colorado rug dealer. Meier said he was proud to join the ranks of the dull. “You need to step back some from that bright shiny stuff. And I think the closer you get to dullness, the closer you get to enlightenment,” he said.

The dull men’s calendar is available on Amazon. A 2022 edition is currently being developed.

Dentures Mistaken For Prison Contraband

A civil rights lawsuit was recently filed on behalf of a New Mexico inmate who was beaten by guards after they mistook his dentures for contraband.

The Associated Press reports that prison watchdog group New Mexico Prison and Jail Project have filed a lawsuit against four corrections officers at the Valencia County Adult Detention Center, Texas-based prison health care provider CorrHealth and two CorrHealth employees for the brutal beating of former inmate Marvin Silva and failure to provide the man with proper medical attention.

According to the suit, Silva was allegedly given a medical checkup before being left naked in a jail cell. A guard reportedly believed Silva was hiding contraband in his mouth, although the lawsuit claims that the only thing in the inmates mouth was a pair of dentures.

For unknown reasons several other corrections officers were reportedly let into Silva’s cell, where they allegedly beat him for some time. The lawsuit claims that the guards then denied Silva’s requests for medical care. He was then released to walk home. He walked five miles before hitching a ride the rest of the way. He was later taken to a hospital by ambulance. Doctors examined Silva and found that he had sustained a number of injuries, including fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, an injured spleen and damage to his head, neck and abdomen. The injuries were presumably the result of his jail cell beating.

The lawsuit claims that Silva was the target of excessive force and was wrongfully denied health care by CorrHealth employees. The suit seeks monetary compensation for Silva for injuries and emotional harm. It also seeks punitive damages against the jail and health care employees.

“Allegations such as these are important to us, as is ensuring we’re providing a high standard of care,” CorrHealth President Todd Murphy told reporters. “Our team will be closely reviewing these allegations and this claim.”

Chairs Stolen, Refurbished, Returned

New Mexico struggles with crime, so a seeming victim of theft was recently surprised when some stolen furniture was returned better than new.

University of New Mexico student Conrad Duran told KRQE that he’d found two dining room chairs that had been left on a curb in their neighborhood. He took the chairs home with a plan to clean them up for reuse. “I just grabbed them and left them outside of my garage door, which is really not that close to the curb, then I had to go to work,” he told reporters.

But when Duran returned from work, the chairs were gone. “I’ve gotten a few items stolen from me over the years living here, ever since I moved here,” said Duran. “It’s one of those things where you come to terms with it.”

Duran accepted his loss and left for a trip to visit family. When he returned, he was shocked to find the two chairs were on his porch. He was further surprised to find that they had been repainted and reupholstered. “Now they just look absolutely beautiful,” said Duran.

Accompanying the chairs was a note about doing good deeds for others.


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