Jailers took prisoner's money to buy beer

Sunday, October 12, 2003

BENTON, Ark. -- Three jailers are behind bars after sheriffs say they made a beer run with money they stole from a prisoner, then shared a brew with an inmate.

Todd McEuen, 32, John E. Hood, 22, and Christopher Carmen, 21, were arrested on charges of introducing contraband to a jail. McEuen and Hood also face misdemeanor theft charges.

Lt. Jim Andrews said the men took money from a prisoner's locker Tuesday night.

"They then went to a convenience store and purchased alcohol," brought it back to the jail, and drank it, Andrews said.

Chief Deputy Bill Field said the sheriff's office learned of the incident from another jailer.

"What if something had happened? They were throwing a party when they should have been watching" prisoners, said J.R. Walters, a Saline County justice of the peace.

The suspects were held without bail Thursday in jails outside Saline County.

If convicted, they would face a sentence of three to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine on the contraband charge. The theft charge carries up to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Politician uses comedy as tool

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Finally, a politician who admits he's a joker.

Joey Novick, a borough councilor from New Jersey and part-time standup comic, told Maine municipal officials Wednesday that humor used effectively is power.

His golden rule to those who serve: Take your work -- but never yourself -- seriously.

And when you feel like a politician, it's time to get out, Novick said on the opening day of the Maine Municipal Association's three-day convention, which is expected to draw 1,500 people to the Augusta Civic Center.

Novick came to Flemington, N.J., in 1989 and has been a councilor in the borough of 4,200 since 1995.

Politics and comedy aren't as different as people think, said Novick, who has appeared on MTV and Comedy Central and opened for Jerry Seinfeld and Rosie O'Donnell.

He recalls a political rival who was quoted as saying Novick wouldn't make a good elected official because as a comedian, he wouldn't take his work seriously.

Novick quickly responded with material borrowed from Will Rogers: "I'm a comedian. When I tell a joke I make people laugh. He's a politician. When he tells a joke, they make it a law."

Ice cream truck fined for playing music

MOUNT LEBANON, Pa. -- You can still scream for ice cream in one Pittsburgh suburb -- as long you don't use a loud speaker to do it.

For nearly six decades, 81-year-old Harold "Chuck" Greenberger has driven an ice cream truck around the streets of the South Hills, a group of Pittsburgh suburbs. Over the years, he's found nothing captures children's attention like a calliope-like rendition of "Turkey in the Straw."

From early April to late October, the loudspeakers on trucks driven by the owner of Chuck's Ice Cream and his seven employees fill the air with toots and whistles from about noon until sundown.

But last month, a police officer in the affluent municipality of Mount Lebanon gave Greenberger a warning ticket and threatened he could be fined $50 plus $107 if he continued to play music as he sold ice cream.

"I don't go there any more because I don't want the ticket," Greenberger said. "They said I can come in and sell ice cream, but I can't play no music. I don't know any way that an ice cream truck can sell ice cream with no music."

The municipality will allow Greenberger to use a bell to call attention to his truck, but he's afraid the bell won't be heard in this day of air-conditioned homes and cars.

-- From wire reports

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