Chicago cabbies to charge for puking

Call it the upchuck charge.

Starting Sunday, cabbies in Chicago will be authorized to charge you $50 US if you throw up in their taxi.

“In a lot of ways, it’s empowering the driver to say there is a consequence to puking all over their cabs,” Jennifer Lipford, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, told redeyechicago.com.

George Lutfallah, publisher of Chicago Dispatcher – a news outlet covering the taxi industry – welcomes the change.

“For cabdrivers, it’s no laughing matter when someone throws up in the cab,” he told the website. “It’s something that doesn’t just go away with a simple wipe-down. It takes time and effort.”

If you get ill in a cab in Savannah, Ga., the cleanup fee is $75 US, in Austin, Tx., it’s $100 US, and Airport Taxi Limo Toronto charges customers $150 if they discharge the contents of their stomach in one of its fine cars.

(Please Note: We take NO credit for this story. All information is from here!)

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Man suffers broken back after he is crushed by a falling 16ft CACTUS

A city worker in Arizona is in intensive care after a 16ft-tall saguaro cactus fell on him and pinned him to the ground.

Officials in Yuma say William Mason, 40, was responding to an emergency water leak Tuesday in a Yuma subdivision when the saguaro, the largest cactus in the country, fell on him.

Other members in his work crew were able to free him and call 911.

The Yuma Sun reports Mr Mason’s family saying he suffered multiple injuries including a broken back, leg, as well as internal injuries and a fever.

By Thursday 146 cactus spines were removed from his body with many more remaining.

Mr Mason remains hospitalized at Yuma Regional Medical Center with his mother-in-law, Caroline Ashley, telling the Sun that Mr Mason went into surgery on late Thursday.

‘We’ll have to see how the surgery goes to learn the extent of his injuries,’ Ms Ashley said.

‘It was a horrible accident. He’s in very serious condition. We don’t even know if he will live. We’re all praying for him,’ she said while waiting to hear more from her daughter.

Saguaro cactuses can weigh anywhere from hundreds of pounds to more than several thousand pounds, depending on how much water they’re holding.

According to the Sun, their roots are usually only four to six inches deep in the ground, while anchored by a larger, single tap root.

The cause for the plant’s fall is currently under investigation.

A pulmonologist, trauma orthopedic surgeon, regular orthopedic doctor, spinal specialist, general surgeon, infectious control doctor and hospitalist are all treating Mr Mason.

(Click here to see a short video)

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Texas sheriff’s office sued after bogus mass grave claim from ‘psychic’

Police search for “mass graves” at the rural Texas home in 2011 (AP/KPRC-TV)Joe Bankson and Gena Charlton have filed a lawsuit against the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and several media organizations after the Texas couple made global headlines in 2011 when their property was searched for a “mass grave” that was later debunked as nothing more than a bad tip from an alleged psychic.

“Not a single body was found buried in the backyard,” attorney Andrew B. Sommerman told The Dayton News. “This all started with a psychic who gave them (the sheriff’s office) a tip — a bad psychic who had given the sheriff’s office tips in the past that were wrong.”

Along with the sheriff’s office, Sommerman says the couple is filing suits alleging false statements against several media organizations, including KPRC, Belo Corp. The New York Times, CNN America, Thompson Reuters and ABC News.

The Dallas Observer reports that in their lawsuit, the couple alleges the search resulted in “mental anguish,” financial loss and “substantial damages” to their reputations.

When asked what the couple hopes to achieve, Sommerman said, “A little dignity. Vindication … At least now everyone will know the truth.”

In June 2011, local officials, the FBI and several national media organizations descended on the property as reports began to circulate that 25-30 bodies were buried on the grounds. After a search that Sommerman says left extensive damage to the property, police were forced to admit that their only “evidence” had come in the form of a tip from a 48-year-old grandmother, and self-described psychic, going by the name of “Angel.”

In their lawsuit, which was filed last week in the 193rd Judicial District in Dallas, Bankson and Charlton claim they have been unable to return to their rented home because, “everyone looks at them askance because of the accusations made against them.”

The couple also alleges that the sheriff’s office failed to secure their property after what they call an “unreasonable search.”

“This situation was handled okay on our end. It checked out for us,” Liberty County Sheriff Henry Patterson told the Dayton News. “I am not worried about our part of it. Everyone (the media) at that location was told that nothing was going on and we couldn’t stop what happened.”

The couple is also reportedly trying to sue “Angel,” who is listed as a Jane Doe in the lawsuit, but they have as yet been unable to obtain her legal name.

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