July 21 2004 


In what was surely one of the slowest joyrides ever to strike the Treasure Valley, thieves made off with over $100,000 of heavy equipment from the Eagle-based excavation company Terra West Inc. sometime during July 3 and 5. Among the booty were a 10-ton Kenworth C500 dump truck, a 14-ton Caterpillar D5M bulldozer, and a 20-ton Overbilt Tandem Axle Tilt Trailer. The super-sized shoplifters responsible for the heist are thought to have driven them away, rather than hitching them to dinosaurs or simply using "the force."

The biggest hurdle facing most thieves who operate in the 40- to 50-ton range is subtlety, and thus it did not take long for the machinery to be located. After receiving numerous calls from citizens who had heard about the $1,000 reward being offered by Terra West, all three items were located 20 miles away in Horseshoe Bend. Ada County Sheriffs are still investigating the crime.


Following a mere 90 years of consistently drunk and disorderly conduct, baseball fans at Chicago's Wrigley Field may soon face a police crackdown by way of a courtroom in a parked bus. Community leaders and members of the organization Citizens United for Baseball in Sunshine have long been critical of the unwillingness of officers around the North Side institution to make arrests for the crimes of public drunkenness and urination. But the May 6 death of a pedestrian at the hands of a soused Wrigley-ite caused the stadium's neighbors of the park to cry out for a zero-tolerance policy of what many have called a "Bourbon Street atmosphere" following games.

The proposed court-on-wheels would be stationed directly outside the hallowed field, and would either hold ad hoc prosecutorial hearings immediately after arrests or transport perpetrators en masse to nearby holding facilities. Should the hard-luck Cubs choose this year to win their first World Series since 1908, however, BW surmises that such a court would promptly be eliminated. The reason: repeated public "recycling" of $5 Old Style Beers may be the only way to effectively control the riot fires that would surely follow such a miraculous event.


After living in near total obscurity for over two decades, chess legend Bobby Fischer was arrested by Japanese immigration officials in Tokyo this week. The 61-year-old grand master, who became U.S. champion at age 14 and a Cold War hero at 29 when he defeated Russian champion Boris Spassky, had been hiding out in Japan since April. U.S. authorities have sought Fischer since 1992, when he traveled to Yugoslavia for a $3.5 million dollar Spassky rematch at a time when U.S. citizens were forbidden to do business in the war-torn country.

Long sheltered by chess communities since his unofficial retirement from the sport in the 1970s, the hermitic Fischer has emerged sporadically in recent years, usually to spout anti-Semitic and anti-U.S. diatribes in radio interviews. In an infamous 2001 interview on Philippine radio, he declared that the World Trade Center attacks were "wonderful news," adding that "I want to see America wiped out" for providing military backing to Israel. Fischer is awaiting deportation to U.S. Marshals, and could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years if convicted. Whether Japanese officials followed chess rules and announced to Fischer that he was "in check" before capturing him has not been announced.

Assault with a deadly reptile

A Florida man was arrested and charged with battery on July 16 after clubbing his girlfriend with a three-foot alligator during a domestic dispute. David Hannevar, 41, told authorities that his girlfriend Nancy Monico had started the altercation at 9 a.m. when, according to the arrest report, she "bit him on the hand because she was mad about being out of alcohol." Monico suffered minor injuries on her lips, legs and back. The alligator was seized by state wildlife officials, and showed no signs of harm.

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