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Operation legislation

Quick Takes: A Maryland state legislator who works as a plastic surgeon joined legislative meetings while performing surgeries


Illustration by Jon Berkeley

Operation legislation
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A medical board in Maryland fined surgeon and state legislator Terri Hill $15,000 on Oct. 19 for simultaneously operating on a patient while attending a virtual state legislative meeting. According to the board, Hill appeared in an online committee meeting in February while in an operating theater wearing a surgical gown, face mask, and cap. According to the medical board report, Hill attended another committee meeting March 12 while performing abdominal and back surgery. Other legislators reported that they saw Hill managing surgical equipment and bloody towels on the feed of the video conference. “I accept the Board’s decision that I could have done better,” Hill said.

Price of waiting

A Georgia woman who went to the hospital but left before seeing a doctor or a nurse says she can’t understand why she received a bill. Taylor Davis said she walked into the emergency department at a hospital in Decatur, Ga., in July after suffering a head injury. After waiting for hours, she left. “I sat there for seven hours. There’s no way I should be sitting in an emergency room for seven hours,” she told FOX 5 Atlanta. Despite her name never being called, Davis said, she got a bill in the mail weeks later for $688.35. After she complained, Davis said, hospital officials told her patients incur the basic charge just for signing in. Davis said she eventually paid the bill, but now, “I’m very reluctant to go to the hospital.”

Message in barrel

Navigating ocean currents along its 3,500-mile journey, a city of Myrtle Beach trash can floated across the Atlantic Ocean and washed ashore in Ireland. Keith McGreal discovered the blue plastic barrel while walking along Mulranny Beach in northwestern Ireland. Upon closer inspection, McGreal discovered stickers confirming its Myrtle Beach provenance. An oceanographer speculated the Gulf Stream likely carried the barrel up the East Coast from South Carolina, then ocean currents carried the floating trash can across the sea.

Tiny house, big price tag

To call it cozy would be an understatement. Agents for Coldwell Banker successfully sold a 251-square-foot home in a ritzy suburb of Boston for $351,000 on Nov. 1. Agents for the firm described the Newton, Mass., home, which is slightly larger than the average parking space, as an “adorable tiny studio home … featuring a completely open living space.” The updated property features a small open area with a kitchenette on the main floor. A door hides a small bathroom, and stairs lead to a cramped sleeping loft above. Agents originally asked $450,000 for the property. In September, Boston’s Skinny House, which is 10 feet wide and four stories high, sold for $1.25 million, according to Zillow.

No casting lots

A city council race in Portland, Maine, ended up in a rare tie Nov. 2 after the top two contenders, Roberto Rodriguez and Brandon Mazer, both received 8,529 votes in the ranked-choice election. In accordance with Portland’s town charter, city clerk Kathy Jones broke the tie by drawing Mazer’s name out of an antique bowl. Rodriguez congratulated his opponent then immediately called for a recount. On Nov. 10, a 12-hour hand recount found Rodriguez with a 35-vote lead over Mazer, with 37 disputed ballots. Mazer conceded but said he still had questions about discrepancies.

Fox in the dog house

Earlier this year, Maribel Soleto’s son purchased a dog for the family in Lima, Peru. “We had thought he was a purebred puppy,” Soleto told Reuters. But once “Run Run” grew larger, the animal began chasing and killing local ducks and chickens. Eventually, the family discovered their dog was actually an Andean fox. According to Soleto, Run Run ran away from home in November and local wildlife officials are still trying to track him down.

Do not tow

In 1974, Angelo Fregolent parked his 1962 Lancia Fulvia alongside his newsstand in Conegliano, Italy. In October, someone finally decided to move it. Fregolent, still alive at 94, abandoned the vehicle. For 47 years the Lancia sat on the street, slowing traffic and pedestrians. In the intervening years, the old Lancia became a monument to locals and an attraction for visitors. On Oct. 20, city officials towed the vehicle away for display at a classic car show in nearby Padua. Officials say they plan to have the vehicle restored and then parked in a garden at a local school near Fregolent’s current home.

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