Offbeat News for Thursday, May 3rd

A 7-Eleven in California is using a new method to get rid of loiterers by cranking classical music. Store-owner Sukhi Sandhu says its all part of a new non-confrontational method to reduce loitering and panhandling outside of shops encouraged by a corporate program.
The music is blasted out onto speakers that store clerks have complete control over. It’s believed this is a good way of eliminating risks involved with asking panhandlers to leave. “Once the music started, the riffraff left,” said Manuel Souza, a homeless man who jokes that he’s part of the riffraff. He notes that the loud classical music makes it difficult “to hang out and gossip and joke around” outside the store.
Some stores have also implemented a device that makes a high-pitched screech which sounds like a mosquito buzzing in your ear. The device can be turned on and off as needed, but Sandhu thinks the classical music is much more effective. Sandhu notes that he’s received positive feedback from customers who feel much safer since he started playing the music.
A Michigan Catholic school has made headlines after news of its “modesty poncho” for prom went viral. Officials from Divine Child High School in Dearborn put the “modesty poncho” on display in a hallway to remind students to dress appropriately to prom or they’ll be handed one of the pink oversized ponchos to cover up.
A note attached to the poncho read, “If your dress does not meet our formal dance dress requirements- no problem! We’ve got you covered – literally.” However, officials from the school are now speaking out saying its not to be taken seriously.
“Our intention with displaying the poncho was never to make students feel uncomfortable, but to remind all students and parents of our formal Prom dress policy, which has not changed for several years,” principal Eric Haley wrote in a statement. “To be clear: The poncho will not be passed out at Prom. It was on display to proactively remind students of our dress code policies and eliminate any confusion prior to this special event.”
A postcard written by Jack The Ripper has sold at auction for nearly $30,000. The Grand Auctions of Folkstone in Kent, England sold the postcard believed to have been sent to police by Jack The Ripper dated October 29th, 1888 – just 11 days before he killed his alleged last victim Mary Kelly. The postcard reads, “Beware there is two women I want here and I mean to have them my knife is still in good order it is a students knife and I hope you liked the kidney. I am Jack the Ripper.” Before it was sold, the postcard had been kept in police files and given to a retiring police constable in 1966. His widow brought the postcard to auction where it was intended to sell between $816- $1,224. It ended up selling for more than $29-grand. Jonathan Riley of Grand Auctions notes that the auction proves “how much interest in the Ripper there still is.”
A man in Illinois who’d been jailed for impersonating a police officer is in hot water once again after joining an alleged fake police department. Robert Ellis had originally been arrested after showing cops a false Pembroke Township police badge and ID when he’d been pulled over. The officer had called on it and found out that there was no police station in Pembroke. Now after being released from jail, Ellis has reportedly joined another police department in Kankakee, which his attorney La Coulton Walls says is completely legit. The attorney says that the state law allowed the township to create its own police department. However, prosecutors in Cook County believe Ellis along with the other individuals trying to “become cops” are crooks. Ellis remains at home in Chicago on electronic monitoring until both sides duke it out in court May 9th.

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