Quirky World: Inmate goes Hollywood after reggae reprieve

Some of the stranger stories from around the globe

Quirky World: Inmate goes Hollywood after reggae reprieve

USA: A Maui ukulele player who unwittingly sang a duet with reggae artist Matisyahu will be performing with the singer in Hollywood.

But making the opportunity happen required help from Maui’s top prosecutor and public defenders. A judge is allowing Clint Alama to fly to Los Angeles and back while temporarily released from jail, where he is being held on a probation violation after convictions for assault and other charges.

Matisyahu and his bassist Stu Brooks were at a Maui coffee shop recently when they heard Alama strumming the singer’s hit ‘One Day’. Matisyahu sang along, while Alama seemed oblivious to his singing partner’s identity. Brooks filmed the impromptu duet.

The musicians later invited Alama to perform the song at tomorrow’s concert at the Hollywood Palladium. There was one problem, Alama revealed: A warrant was out for his arrest because of the probation violation.

Brooks posted that conversation on Facebook. Maui County prosecuting attorney John Kim saw the video and looked into Alama’s case. Kim said he had watched the earlier coffee shop video while on vacation in Atlanta, and enjoyed seeing a local get some positive attention.

So Kim got in touch with Alama’s public defenders and probation officials to come up with a deal. Meanwhile, Alama turned himself in earlier this week, was arrested, and remains jailed.

A judge agreed to temporarily release Alama, allowing him to take a red-eye to Los Angeles, perform ‘One Day’ at the Hollywood Palladium tomorrow, and then return to Maui.

Seeled off


Pokémon Go players trying to catch “Seels” at a picturesque Pokestop have been disturbing real-life seals living on an island.

North Tyneside Council said grey seals on St Mary’s Island off Whitley Bay were hauling back into the sea when they became distressed at the number of visitors.

The local authority has asked the app developer to remove the Pokestop which has attracted hundreds of players, or “trainers”, to the island.

The social media life of pets


Almost a quarter (23%) of pet owners surveyed in Europe admit their pet has its own social media account.

The study of 5,500 Europeans by Sony Mobile revealed the top social media platform for pets is Facebook (79%), with over a third (38%) revealing their pet also has its own Instagram account.

The study found it takes, on average, as many as six shots to capture the perfect image of their pet, with the majority highlighting that it takes three images to get the photograph they want, proving pets are tricky to photograph in focus.

Cuff the couples


Two couples looking to get married have left an Austrian register office wearing handcuffs instead of rings.

State broadcaster ORF said the registrar in the town of Moedling, south of Vienna, became suspicious because neither of the pairs — a Romanian woman with a Nepalese man and a Hungarian woman with a Tunisian man — could understand each other.

Police determined that the four were seeking bogus marriages that would have given the men a better chance of settling in the EU through wives from EU-member nations.

ORF said one of the men was sought by police, but gave no details.

Derailed into Derailied


Police say a freight train car that derailed in northern Iowa rolled into and damaged a trackside tavern called Derailed.

Police chief Hugh Anderson says the accident occurred around 4am on Tuesday as crews moved rail cars and changed connections in Charles City. Anderson says it appears that the track separated and the grain car tipped about 45 degrees into the back of the bar.

Anderson says a patrol officer called him to say a train car had derailed into Derailed, adding that “it’s not every day you get to say that”.

No one was injured. The bar owner estimates damage at $10,000 (€8,950).



Authorities have discovered what they believe is a methamphetamine lab under the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in western New York.

Police in the town of Amherst say officers on routine patrol found chemicals and other items used to make meth in an underground culvert that runs below the parking lot in suburban Buffalo.

Officers say the culvert is tall enough for a person to stand up in.

Police and fire crews removed several jars of suspected meth from a manhole that’s accessible from the culvert.

Authorities plan to look at the Wal-Mart store’s surveillance video to see if it shows people using the culvert. No arrests have been made yet.

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox