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The Odd Truth, May 6, 2005

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Joey Arak.

Building A Better Sex Worker

SAN FRANCISCO - It's higher education of the horizontal variety.

About 25 sex workers went to a college of sorts, sitting through lectures on effective marketing, stress reduction and, um, sex-toy skills.

"We are still illegal," instructor Kimberlee Cline said before her 20-minute demonstration. "If we want to be treated as business professionals, we need to act ethically within the industry."

Presented in conjunction with the San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival, the class Wednesday at an erotic art gallery was billed as a way for working girls and guys to polish their skills in a supportive atmosphere.

"My own personal experience has been negative and positive, as with any job," said Kymberly Cutter, 36, a mother of two from Tucson who returned to prostitution two years ago to boost her income and regards it as part of a journey in "personal self-discovery." Her children, ages 7 and 9, know what she does for a living, she said.

Participants who stuck it out for the whole day received diplomas certifying them as G.S.W - graduates in sex work.

Thief: My Stolen Car Is Missing

BALTIMORE - A suspect takes a car at gunpoint and drives it around for two weeks before the owner spots the car and has it towed. The thief then calls police to report "his" car stolen.

Those events seemed so improbable that Baltimore police detective Gregory Jenkins felt compelled to end his report of the incident with the admonition, "Again, this really happened."

"Another detective told me, 'Greg, you had to make this up,'" the detective told The (Baltimore) Sun.

Police charged Gregory Alston, 20, Tuesday with armed robbery, possession of a stolen car and a handgun violation.

Police say the carjacking occurred about 10:30 p.m. on April 20 when two women reported that a man armed with a silver handgun and wearing a black bandanna approached them while they were parked on a street in northeast Baltimore. The women said the gunman ordered them out of their car and sped off.

Tuesday, one of the women spotted the stolen car in front of an apartment building about a half-mile from where it had been taken.

She called police who towed it to the department's Northeast District station.

Two hours later, a man called police and reported the car stolen.

Officers brought the man back to the station for questioning. At first, police said, he insisted he had bought the car for $1,700 on March 11. Eventually, he confessed to the robbery.

Why did he report it stolen?

The suspect told police he had left his wallet in the car.

Pay To Party

CHICO, Calif. - Wild parties that have brought notoriety to this college town could soon carry a heavy penalty for party throwers.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to bill hosts for the costs of sending police more than once in a 12-hour period to quell a loud bash.

Mayor Scott Gruendl said the city spent about $250,000 on overtime responding to parties over three weekends last fall.

Most of the public speakers at the meeting supported the law. Resident Barbara Reed said it would be nice to be able to open her windows when the weather is pleasant.

"You feel like a prisoner in your own home," she said. "You have to wear earplugs."

While City Councilor Ann Schwab said the law was not aimed specifically at students, one speaker said he thought it discriminated against them.

"I feel like we already have laws in place," said Jason Talbot. "If it's money, I've got my mom's ATM card right here, I could help you guys out."

Bank Robber's Getaway Foiled

CINCINNATI - Police say modern technology foiled an old-fashioned bank robbery.

A teller placed an electronic Global Positioning System device in a bag of stolen money, allowing police to track down a suspect in just 42 minutes Thursday.

"Around here (GPS) is still relatively rare," Hamilton County sheriff's office spokesman Steve Barnett said. "But with the advancement in technology and the continued success of catching bank robbers, soon I would hope that other financial institutions would jump on board."

Authorities said that after William Ingram, 46, left a U.S. Bank in suburban Colerain Township, the GPS device tracked him to a car dealership in Hartwell, where he was returning a Honda that he had borrowed for a test drive but actually used as a getaway car.

When Ingram was confronted, money began spilling from his pockets, officials said.

The World's Most Obvious Drug Bust

ROSEVILLE, Mich. - It's a case of alleged coke possession with a twist. The suspect is named Denise Coke. Police in Roseville, Michigan, charge that Coke had 33 pounds of cocaine in her car. Officers say they acted on a tip from Michigan State Police and pulled Coke over for speeding. According to police, a drug-sniffing dog found the coke. Given the amount of illegal drugs involved, Coke faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

Have A Smoke, Take A Nap, Go To Jail

JEFFERSON, La. - Catching a few "Z's" cost a suspected burglar in Louisiana. Authorities in Jefferson Parish say they found Raymond Shaw fast asleep inside a stolen car. That's not all. Deputies say they also found a trash can in the car filled with cigarettes stolen from a nearby Winn-Dixie supermarket. The car's engine was still running, but the suspect wasn't going anywhere, except to jail. Shaw was booked on charges of burglary and possession of stolen property, and ordered held on $30,000 bond.

Penguin Poop Bingo

PITTSBURGH - The National Aviary in Pittsburgh is getting the drop on National Migratory Bird Days. The aviary is offering free admission today and tomorrow. Visitors will get to play penguin bingo. The birds will be released on a giant bingo board and allowed to waddle around. The numbers will be called whenever a bird leaves a dropping on a numbered square. Aviary experts say bird watchers shouldn't have to wait long. Penguins go about every 20 minutes or so.

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