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Top headlines from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia

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RAND PAUL ‘SHITS’ ON YOUR LAWN
In 2017, the year that is a decade, there was an intensely interesting story about Senator Rand Paul getting attacked by his neighbor. This curious yarn unraveled on Nov. 3; afterward, no one could completely untangle it. Why on earth would a rich, white McMansion-dweller tackle another, a senator no less, breaking six, SIX of said senator’s ribs, then both parties zip their lips and leave us all to guess at the quarrel’s cause? Could it be something sinful? Illegal? Or worse … involving Pokémon Go?

None of the above. Reportedly, it was a tiff over lawn trimmings. In the Chronogram, Larry Beinhart’s Body Politic notes that Paul ignited his neighbor’s ire blowing lawn trimmings across the property line. Beinhart went on, trying to make sense of a seemingly senseless situation, rationalizing that it was caused by Paul’s quintessentially Libertarian, conservative, Republican resistance to “the Golden Rule: ‘Thou shalt not dump your shit on your neighbor’s lawn.’” Be that shit lawn trimmings, or chemical runoff, or toxic waste, peeps like Paul prefer to let their poo run downhill to you.
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WAIT, IT’S WORSE TO BE A BUS DRIVER?
The bus beats the shoe-leather express, but it’s not the preferred mode of transit for most of us. Complaining about the indignity of unassigned seating seems rather petty compared to the very real suffering experienced by some bus drivers. Minneapolis-based City Pages reveals that, after a year in which drivers were assaulted 73 times, the union is threatening to strike during the Super Bowl if Metro Transit doesn’t seriously address driver safety.

Buses have surveillance and drivers are trained in de-escalation tactics, but those aren’t always effective protecting drivers from ill-mannered souls, like the 18-year-old who threatened a female driver who’d asked him to stop swearing, then approached her, called her a “black bitch,” and kept swearing and yelling until she felt she had no choice but to pull over, City Pages reports. The union and Metro Transit are negotiating.
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DYING OF THIRST FOR FREEDOM
The U.S./Mexico border in Arizona is so dry, corpses begin to mummify in less than a day. Such conditions make it exceptionally difficult to identify the dead, including scores of undocumented immigrants. “They don’t bloat. They don’t putrefy. They just desiccate and mummify. Getting prints from them is a difficult job,” Pat Wortheim, a former crime lab specialist who spent 20 years with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told Fort Worth Weekly. Compounding the problem of IDing corpses, some undocumented immigrants carry papers with forged fingerprints. If they cannot be identified, they’re buried in pauper’s graves. This deeply affected Wortheim, who said to Fort Worth Weekly:

I wondered about their families a lot. Their loved ones came to escape something terrible or looking for an opportunity. Did their families think their loved one was working or had found a better life and just forgot about them? I mean, they couldn’t have known they’d died, so they couldn’t have closure. The way we’re handling things now, it just has to change. It’s not right.

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BLACK MARKET DORWEEDOZ
No, Folio Weekly has not been snacking on edibles … yet. #LegalizeIt. But we have been reading a story in the Illinois Times about a major “drug” bust in Springfield. Apparently, after receiving a tip that a West Cook Street resident was growing marijuana, police began investigating in July and, on Nov. 30—yes, that’s more than four months investigating a pot-growing operation—burst into an abandoned dry cleaner store, where they reportedly found a total of more than 950 plants and pounds of harvested weed.

When the cops went to the suspect’s home on West Cook Street, to their surprise, they found 20 pounds of edibles, complete with packing material and labels in Zachary Pierson’s house and his mother’s house next door. The edibles, which Illinois Times says were made by spraying pot-infused oil onto food like potato chips, hot fries and cereal, included such goodies as Chronic Berries, Holdin’ Grams, Weedz-its and Dorweedoz. Pierson and suspected co-grower Scott Foster are being held on $200,000 bonds, charged with offenses ranging from conspiracy to illegal manufacture of marijuana, Illinois Times reports. Possession of small amounts of marijuana was decriminalized in Illinois in July 2016.

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