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The Continuing Crisis

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Two motorists inadvertently wound up in backyard swimming pools recently: In July, flat-bed truck driver Nicholas Sparks, 25, hauling two motorcycles and towing two trucks, learned that he could not also handle talking on one cell phone while texting on another and accidentally crashed into a house in Lockport, N.Y., ending up with his truck and part of his cargo submerged.

And in Mesa, Ariz., in June, a 27-year-old man who had rigged a short sword to his steering wheel (aimed at his chest) and driven into a brick wall in an effort to kill himself, failed in the attempt when an airbag inflated, causing him to lose control of the car, swerve into a nearby home and plunge into the pool.

Things You Thought Didn't Happen: Several state law enforcement agencies raided a home in Shelton, Conn., in July, breaking up an alleged canary-fighting operation. (A neighbor called the raid "crazy": "I can't picture little canaries with razor blades taped to their feet.")

Convenience-store developer Michael Sesera might have thought he was merely following New Jersey protocol when he offered Hanover Mayor Ronald Francioli $20,000 to intercede for him with zoning authorities (i.e., a bribe). However, Mayor Francioli actually called the police, and in August Sesera pleaded guilty.

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