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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Border divides a library

You got to see this. There is a town in Vermont on the US - Canada border that has facilities on both sides of the border. So, for example, if you take the library, if you are at the front door, you are in the US, but walk to the circulation desk, and you are now in Canada. There is a white line on the floor that depicts the border. There are streets that cover both countries. For a long time, the cross-border controls were lax, but as these started to be misused, and US Border Control grew more active, this particular town and its uniqueness is coming into focus. Refer this article:

Step through the front door of the Haskell Library and you're in the United States. Walk across the carpeted floor to the circulation desk and you're in Canada. But if you sit down on the couch, you're back in the U.S. The 106-year-old Romanesque building, which straddles the international border, has enjoyed a kind of informal immunity from border restrictions through the years.
"There's been an increase in illegal activity, both north and south, in the last little while," said Mark Henry, the operations officer for the Border Patrol's Swanton sector, which runs across northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. "There have been some significant cases."
Under the crackdown, instead of parking their cars outside the library in Quebec and walking to the front door in the U.S., Canadian patrons would have to detour through one of two ports of entry linking the municipalities.
"For as long as I've lived here, the practice was if they were only going to the library, they didn't have to report," said village trustee Keith Beadle, who also sits on the library board. If the streets are closed, smugglers will just walk across lawns or through the woods, Beadle said.
Smugglers have learned the side streets are unguarded, and while surveillance cameras monitor activity on other streets, border agents on both sides can't always get there in time when illegal activity is spotted. Even though Derby Line and Stanstead are separate municipalities, they share water and sewer systems and emergency crews, which respond to calls on both sides of the border.
For a long time, people have lived their life without worrying about the actual border between the countries, but all that seems to be changing now. With more terrorism, more smuggling and more people knowing about the easy border crossing, things are going to get more official.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

2 kids rob store using water gun

It's bad enough that you get robbers using a plethora of legally available weapons stealing from banks and stores, but it gets real bad when kids (and that too very young kids) steal from a store using a plastic gun. One wonders about the kind of education that these kids are getting, maybe they are watching the wrong stuff on TV. Refer this story:
Two kids, aged 11 and 14, using a water gun concealed in black tape stole cash from a discount store. They walked into the store, and demanded cash while showing the weapon, eventually fighting with the clerk and stealing the money.
They were arrested by police soon after, but it must be equally hard for the policemen, who would have seen hardened criminals, to witness such young kids displaying such behaviour. The kids will be charged with stealing using a weapon.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Couple re-united by illness

In a bitter-sweet affair, a couple married for a decade, had separated (but not divorced) more than 5 years back. They were seeing other people, and had divorce proceedings underway. But then a life-threatening situation brough the relationship alive again.
When the husband was hospitalized with kidney failure, the wife offered one of hers. When they had married, she had agreed to donate one if required; and she had known that he might need one because he had had juvenile diabetes. So, when the need came, even though they were separated, she still stood by her promise.
This gesture brough the couple back together, with no more talk of separation and divorce. Read this article over here.

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