Mad Minute

HARLAN, Iowa (AP) — A Kansas man has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney so that he can “rend their souls” from their bodies.

David Ostrom, 40, of Paola, Kansas, said in a Jan. 3 court filing that his former wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, of Harlan, Iowa, and her attorney, Matthew Hudson, had “destroyed (him) legally.” The Ostroms have been embroiled in disputes over custody and visitation issues and property tax payments.

The judge had the power to let the parties “resolve our disputes on the field of battle, legally,” David Ostrom said, adding in his filing that trial by combat “has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States.”

He also asked the judge for 12 weeks’ time so he could secure Japanese samurai swords.

His motion filed in Shelby County District Court stemmed from his frustrations with his ex-wife’s attorney, Ostrom told The Des Moines Register.

“I think I’ve met Mr. Hudson’s absurdity with my own absurdity,” Ostrom said, adding that his former wife could choose Hudson to act as her champion.

Hudson argued in his legal response that because a duel could end in death, “such ramifications likely outweigh those of property tax and custody issues.” Hudson asked the judge to reject the request for trial by combat.

Judge Craig Dreismeier said in his own filing Monday that he won’t be issuing a decisions anytime soon, citing irregularities with both sides’ motions and responses.

“Until the proper procedural steps to initiate a court proceeding are followed, this court will take no further action concerning any motion, objection or petition filed by either party at this time,” the judge said.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The FBI is asking the public's help in catching a so-called "bad wig bandit" who's been robbing banks in North Carolina.

The FBI said in a statement on Thursday that the suspect wore a different wig during each heist in the Charlotte area.

One wig was blonde. Another was black. The third was red.

The FBI said he robbed a BB&T in Huntersville on Dec. 13. He then robbed two banks on Jan. 7. The first was a New Horizon Bank in Belmont. The second was a Wells Fargo in Gastonia.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man serving a house arrest sentence for drunken driving is suing to be allowed to use medical marijuana.

Attorney and Democratic state Sen. Jacob Candelaria recently filed a lawsuit in state district court on behalf of Joe Montano, who said authorities recently seized his medical cannabis, KOAT-TV reports.

According to court documents, correctional officers searched Montano's home while he was on house arrest, found the marijuana, and put him in jail for a month as punishment.

The petition is seeking a judge to order the jail to allow him to possess and use his medical marijuana.

State lawmakers passed a measure last year to allow people on house arrest to use medical marijuana.

In a statement, Metropolitan Detention Center Chief of Corrections Ralph Fernadez said Community Custody Program inmates are considered in jail custody, and medical marijuana use is prohibited in the detention center.


MACON, Ga. (AP) — A man sent some illegal holiday cheer to a woman in jail and he ended up getting arrested himself, officials in a Georgia county say.

News outlets report 40-year-old Timothy Lee Snow sent the woman a Christmas card filled with drugs.

Bibb County Jail inmate Mary Beth Odum, 40, had told Snow over the phone how to put meth and other drugs into a card to send to her in jail, county sheriff's officials said Monday.

Deputies intercepted a contraband-filled card filled with methamphetamine and Suboxone and began investigating Snow. On Jan. 9, deputies followed Snow as he left his residence and found him with meth, Xanax and a revolver. When they searched his home, deputies found more meth, Suboxone, marijuana, steroids, packing materials, a shotgun and a rifle.

Snow was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and giving an inmate drugs, news outlets reported.

Odum, who was already in jail, now faces additional charges including attempt to commit offenses pertaining to the possession of drugs and use of communications facilities in a drug transaction.

It's unclear whether Snow has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Virginia is for lovers, so West Virginia is reviving a 158-year-old proposal to ask one of its counties on a date.

The answer, apparently, is still no.

The West Virginia Senate adopted a resolution by voice vote Monday to remind residents of Frederick County, Virginia, that the county has a standing invite — from 1862 — to become part of West Virginia. It now goes to the House of Delegates.

The resolution was introduced by Morgan County Republican Charles Trump, whose district borders Frederick County. Trump was born in Winchester, the seat of Frederick, which is Virginia's northernmost county.

A message left for Frederick County Board of Supervisors chairman at large Chuck DeHaven wasn't immediately returned Monday. But he told the Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Maryland, last week that Frederick County has no interest in becoming part of West Virginia.

Frederick was formed in 1743, and much of it later was carved out to create several other counties. It remains much closer to Richmond, at 136 miles, than West Virginia's state capitol of Charleston, at 268 miles.

West Virginia, born in 1863 during the Civil War, is the only state to be formed by seceding from a Confederate state. Some Virginia border counties were given the choice to become part of the new state if their residents approved. Berkeley and Jefferson counties gave their nod, siding with the Union. Trump said a vote was never taken in Frederick County, which ended up nearly surrounded on three sides by the northern neighbor.

Monday's resolution "is simply to remind them, make them aware, that they have an invitation ... that was extended 158 years ago," Trump said on the Senate floor.


(FOX) Police investigating a burglary at a tobacco shop in Northern California last month had a key piece of evidence that helped them identify a suspect: video of the man falling through the ceiling.

The Sonora Police Department wrote on Facebook the incident happened on Dec. 22, when officers received a call for a burglary alarm sounding at a business just after 6 a.m. Officers arriving at the scene found no signs of forced entry from the exterior of the building but eventually discovered a "man-sized hole" in the ceiling.

The suspect and a purported accomplice "actually bored a hole through the ceiling from a vacant building that was above that business and probably spent a couple hours doing it but they broke into the business," Sonora Police Chief Turu Vanderwiel told Fox 40.

After they examined the hole that led to an empty space upstairs, officials said the investigation revealed that forced entry into the business downstairs, Cigarettes Cheaper, was made through a rear door.

But, the suspect -- later identified as 40-year-old Storm Corral -- had made it only to the back room of the business before he tripped an alarm. He then tried to run back up through the hole into the space upstairs, but surveillance footage caught him falling from the ceiling into the storage room during his rushed escape.

"I think when the alarm was tripped it kind of thwarted their activities and they got away with very little but caused a great deal of damage to the business itself," VanderWiel told Fox 40.

An employee told Fox 40 that Corral was able to get away with only a bag of rolling tobacco and two energy drinks, which he snatched from the back room while triggering thousands of dollars worth of damage in the mess he left behind.

Police said they were able to identify Corral as a suspect after reviewing the surveillance video and receiving tips from the community.

"At times like this is when it becomes very helpful for solving investigations," VanderWiel told Fox 40.

The suspect "subsequently confessed to the crime" after investigators found him Monday, according to police. They transported Corral to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked him on charges of burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime, with a bail set at $50,000. Officials said Corral already was on probation and had a history of theft and burglary.

While Corral has been arrested, officials said the investigation into the incident was ongoing and they were looking into the possible accomplice.

Anyone who has information is asked to contact the Sonora Police Department.


Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A large highland cow was dubbed an "absolute unit" by railway workers in Scotland when it wandered onto the tracks and blocked a commuter line for about an hour.

ScotRail said Tuesday on Twitter that the large, long-haired cow had escaped from the nearby Pollok Country Park and wandered onto the tracks near Glasgow, blocking the path of a commuter train.

The organization said the "absolute unit," a popular online slang term for an unusually large person or animal, was "spotted on the track at Pollokshaws West. Sorry if you're being delayed due to this."

Network Rail Scotland later tweeted a video showing the cow being led away from the tracks by a person with a bucket of food.

The cow was returned to the park, along with some of its bovine brethren that escaped at the same time.

Commuters were delayed for about an hour during the cow crisis, officials said.


Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Popeyes Lousiana Kitchen provided a Canadian woman with $10,000 worth of food after she mistook a gameshow question about the cartoon sailor for the fast-food restaurant.

Eve Dubois gained viral attention after excitedly answering "chicken" when asked to "name Popeye's favorite food" in an episode of Family Feud Canada.

Her family watched in stunned silence as she danced before eventually realizing her error and gasping as her opponent answered "spinach," the favorite cuisine of the main character from the classic cartoon.

The error came during a sudden death round that cost her family the game and the chance to win a $10,000 prize.

On Friday, however, Popeyes announced they had decided to offer Dubois a consolation prize.

"Our survey says that you got that right," the company wrote. "DM us to claim your $10,000 worth of Popeyes."

Dubois thanked the company in a tweet of her own alongside the hashtag #CHICKEEEN, mimicking the sing-song confidence she displayed while delivering the answer.


Jan. 13 (UPI) -- An elephant in a Zambian national park was caught in camera climbing over a wall to steal some mangoes from a safari lodge.

The Bushcamp Company posted video to YouTube showing the big bull elephant climbing over a 5-foot wall outside the Mfuwe Lodge in South Lungwa National Park.

Workers said the elephant stole some mangoes from the lodge before climbing back out over the wall.

Lodge manager Ian Salisbury said lodge guests were amused by the elephant's maneuver.

"He just chose the most direct route and made himself right at home. The guests were very amused at the idea of a climbing elephant," Salisbury told Times Now News.


Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A Texas dog is recovering from surgery after an enthusiastic eating incident left it with a metal fork inside its body.

Carli Ott said she was sharing some pumpkin pie with her dog, a 4-year-old bullmastiff boxer mix named Chemo, when the canine wolfed down the piece as well as the metal fork Ott was holding.

Ott took Chemo to the Big Thicket Veterinary Clinic, outside of Cleveland, Texas, where an X-ray revealed the fork was traveling through the canine's digestive system.

Veterinarians were worried the fork could cause internal injuries, so it was removed surgically.

Chemo is expected to make a full recovery, barring infection from the procedure.