MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3 This week of abused roosters, laborious suicides, and the intersection of "healthy" food and yoga mats kicks off with an awful story out of Oregon, where an unsuspecting driver steered her car through a pile of leaves and left two dead children in her wake. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies our driver as Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, a 19-year-old Forest Grove woman who spotted a pile of leaves on the street last fall and decided to drive through it. "Minutes after Garcia-Cisneros drove through the leaves on her way home, her brother returned to the scene and saw a man standing over the pile, screaming," reports the AP. "The boy went home and told his sister she may have hit two children." He was right: "Authorities said the two girls—later identified as stepsisters, 6-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckerdt and 11-year-old Abigail Robinson—were likely concealed by the leaves and not visible to Garcia-Cisneros. Anna died at the scene. Abigail died later at a Portland hospital." As for the unlucky driver, her biggest legal problem was fleeing the scene, leaving police to track her down the next day and charge her with two counts of felony hit-and-run. Last Friday, Garcia-Cisneros was found guilty and sentenced to three years of probation and 250 hours of community service, and today she was ordered held at a Tacoma detention center while awaiting a hearing with an immigration judge. "Garcia-Cisneros was brought to the U.S. from Mexico as a 4-year-old... under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program," reports the AP. "Those convicted of a felony offense and some other crimes are generally not eligible for the program." The moral: Don't drive through piles of leaves on the street. At best, it makes you a jerk. (Those leaves didn't rake themselves into that damn pile.) At worst, it might make you an accidental kid-killer slated for likely deportation.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4 Speaking of terrible stories, the week continues in Colorado, where tonight a man took the easy way out in the hardest way imaginable—committing suicide by nail gun. Details come from the Denver Post, which identifies the self-harming handyman as Richard Talley, the founder and CEO of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado. "Talley, 56, and the company he founded in 2001 were under investigation by state insurance regulators at the time of his death," reports the Post. "Talley died from seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired into his torso and head." As notable as the method of Talley's death was the weirdness left in its wake: "Talley's 1989 wedding announcement in the Chicago Tribune noted he was... 'a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic swimming team,'" reports the Post. "A spokeswoman for USA Swimming on Thursday said Talley was not on the team."
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5 In the popular imagination, monsters often appear monstrous. (See: the green-skinned witch, the decomposing zombie, and whatever the hell that swampy figure behind the dumpster in Mulholland Dr. is.) But in real life, monsters can sometimes look like regular people, perhaps the kind of people who might own pet stores in Las Vegas and allegedly set the stores on fire with 27 puppies locked inside. "Gloria Eun Hye Lee, 35... is accused of working with an arsonist to burn down her business, with the intention of killing all 27 live puppies locked inside," reports the Daily Mail. "Lee and accomplice Kirk Bills, 27, each face 31 criminal charges including first-degree arson, conspiracy and burglary as well as 27 counts of attempted cruelty to animals—one count for each puppy that might have died. If convicted, both stand to face decades in prison." And oh, yeah: "Surveillance footage shows the entire [alleged] arson, and may be screened as soon as the first preliminary hearing," reports the Daily Mail. The rescued puppies have been taken in by the Clark County animal shelter.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 Nothing happened today, unless you count the publication of this sentence: "Subway said today it is removing a chemical used in yoga mats and shoe soles from the bread of its popular sandwiches after a food blogger got more than 50,000 signatures in a petition drive." The source of this sentence: ABC News, which identifies the troubling chemical as azodiacarbonamide, a plastic-based additive that the World Health Organization has linked to respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma. Banned in other parts of the world—"in Singapore, companies can be fined up to $450,000 or jailed for using azodiacarbonamide in food products," reports ABC—azodiacarbonamide is legal in food in the United States and Canada. So hurrah for activist blogger Vani Hari, who sent a petition to Subway's corporate offices containing more than 50,000 signatures asking for the removal of the plastic-based chemical from the bread served in US Subway outlets. After receiving the petition, Subway released a statement: "The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon."
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Nothing happened today.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8 The week continues in the eastern US with Operation Angry Birds, in which investigators from the attorney general's office of New York State will raid various wings of a New York cockfighting ring. Details come from the New York Times, which reports preliminary raids went down tonight at a vacant storefront in Queens, where officers reportedly found patrons lining up to pay $40 each to watch "a bloody late-night cockfight in a squalid basement." All but simultaneously, investigators raided a Brooklyn pet shop accused of supplying birds for fights, and tomorrow, the raiding will continue at a farm in upstate New York where investigators will report finding more than 3,000 birds in cages. "In all three places, investigators said, they found birds that had been altered to inflict maximum damage in the ring," reports the NYT. "In the basement in Queens, 65 roosters were found with their natural spurs clipped off and with sharper metal spurs attached to their bodies." The several thousand birds have been placed in a temporary shelter created by the ASPCA, and eight of the alleged ringleaders were arrested and charged with various felonies.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9 The week ends with two nearly identical instances of fatal wrong-way driving nearly 3,000 miles apart. Instance number one went down in Florida, where a Ford Expedition traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-275 near Tampa smashed head-on into a Hyundai traveling the lawful direction. Five people were killed, including the (shitty) driver of the Expedition and four occupants ("all men ages 20 and 21," reports CNN) of the unlucky Hyundai. Meanwhile in California, a driver traveling the wrong way on State Route 60 near Pomona crashed into two other vehicles, killing six. The surviving wrong-way driver—identified by the Associated Press as a 21-year-old woman—remains hospitalized in critical condition and has been arrested on suspicion of DUI and manslaughter.