Oct. 4, 2001
Pass Go, pay $100

Pass Go, pay $100

How would you like a device that can interrupt traffic light timers and turn red lights green on command? How does a $100 price tag sound? Too good to be true?

Well, it is.

Pass Go, pay $100

Pass Go, pay $100

How would you like a device that can interrupt traffic light timers and turn red lights green on command? How does a $100 price tag sound? Too good to be true?

Well, it is. A Miami pair recently pleaded guilty to mail fraud for Internet ads for the so-called "Go Box." Those duped by the ads sent Johnnie Greene and Lisa Moon between $69 and $175. In return they either received instructions for making a strobe light or nothing at all.

A real "Go Box" was found during the arrest but did not affect traffic signals at all. Curiously, it did open one officer’s garage door and interfere with an elderly passerby’s pacemaker.

Man spots hot front-end

Whoever said that construction workers don’t notice anything except attractive broads?

One in Oakville, Ontario, last month spotted a 1999 Caterpillar front-end loader that was stolen from his construction company months earlier being hauled down the highway on a tractor-trailer.

Quicker than he could say "hoagie with everything on it," he called police and the trailer was pulled over. The driver was traced back to other construction yards and more stolen equipment. Buckets, lifts, engines and other loader attachments totaling over $200,000 were recovered.

French night life

A Dutch travel agency is offering the deal of a lifetime. For only $400, you can fly roundtrip to Paris. The only catch is that you have to spend a night in a cardboard box under a bridge.

The deal is actually aimed at companies wishing to instill a sense of team spirit in their employees.

Groups of 10 will be left "homeless" for one night and compete against coworkers to collect money by performing or panhandling. (Guitars and sketching utensils will even be provided to the more artistically inclined.)

Surprisingly, the agency has had no takers.

Attack of the illegal aliens

Think the roads are packed with bad drivers now? Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist just signed a law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses without proving citizenship or legal residency.

Proponents of the law say that giving Tennessee’s booming Hispanic population an easier way to get around will help fill the state’s shallow labor pool. They say it also will protect other drivers by giving illegal immigrants driver education. (As many as 60% of the immigrants initially flooding license testing centers were failing their driving tests.)

But many feel that the new law is unfair and detrimental to the state. Now that only a birth certificate and proof of address are required to get a license, those seeking to evade the law by changing their identity or (heads up teen readers) get valid fake IDs can do so much more easily in Tennessee. The number of uninsured drivers is likely to rise as well, increasing insurance premiums across the board.

Plus, illegal immigrants in Tennessee will now be able to vote. Let’s just hope the Volunteer State doesn’t switch to butterfly ballots.

Big trouble in little Texas town

Long known as a dastardly speed trap, the small town of Kendleton, Texas, is finally getting what’s coming to them.

Officials claim that a Texas law allows cities with fewer than 5,000 citizens to keep up to 30% of the money collected in traffic fines. Everything beyond that goes to the state as a way to keep cities from turning their police force into a money making venture.

Well, it turns out Kendleton kept a bit more than their rightful 30% for some 10 years. The state now claims the town owes them $1.7 million.

Unfortunately, Kendleton only has $18,599 and has been forced to file for federal bankruptcy protection.

Great balls of fire

You know it’s a hot summer when your balls start exploding.

In Hong Kong last month, where temperatures are hovering around 93?F, a container being used to transport half a million ping pong balls burst into flames when the heat caused the air inside the balls to expand. Luckily, no one on the street was injured in the explosion or the subsequent fire.