Monday, August 29, 2011

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
August 29, 2011
(links correct as of August 29)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

From Yr Editor

As I noted last week, I'm taking the day off today.  You are not looking at a real Pro Edition but rather yet another display of the News of the Weird column (M229) released yesterday on NewsoftheWeird.com and on the Google Group NewsoftheWeird, except that, here, you may click the link to take you to a version of the original story.  (If you are a serious News of the Weird fan and read every word religiously, you will recognize that several of these stories have already run in Pro Edition.  I'm only lazy once a year.  Back at full turbo-thrust next Monday.)

Lead Story

Arkansas Time Machine, Back to the 1950s:  In McGehee, a town of 4,200 in southeastern Arkansas, a black girl (Kym Wimberly), who had finished first in her senior class was named only "co-" valedictorian after officials at McGehee High changed the rules to avoid what one called a potential "big mess."  As a result, in an ironic twist on "affirmative action," the highest-scoring white student was elevated to share top honors.  Said Kym's mother, "We [all] know if the tables were turned, there wouldn't be a co-valedictorian."  In July, the girl filed a lawsuit against the school and the protocol-changing principal.  ABC News, 7-26-2011

Redneck Chronicles:  (1) Roy Griffin, 60, John Sanborn, 53, and Douglas Ward, 55, were arrested in Deerfield Township, Mich., in July and charged with stealing a 14-foot-long, stuffed alligator from a barn, dragging it away with their truck, and using it to surf in the mud ("mudbogging").  When the gator's owner tracked down the three nearby, they denied the theft and insisted that theirs is an altogether-different 14-foot-long stuffed alligator.  (Ward's blood-alcohol reading was 0.40.)  (2) When deputies in Monroe County, Tenn., arrested a woman for theft in August, they learned that one of the items stolen was a 150-year-old, Vatican-certified holy relic based on the Veil of Veronica (supposedly used to wipe Jesus's face before the crucifixion).  The painting had been stolen from the closet of a trailer home on a back road in the Tennessee mountains, where a local named "Frosty," age 73, had kept it for 20 years with no idea of its significance.  Flint Journal, 7-7-2011  ///   WVLT-TV (Knoxville), 8-4-2011

Government in Action!

Of the 1,500 judges who referee disputes as to whether someone qualifies for Social Security disability benefits, David Daugherty of West Virginia is the current soft-touch champion, finding for the claimant about 99 percent of the time (compared to judges' overall rate of 60 percent).  As the Wall Street Journal reported in May, Daugherty decided many of the cases without hearings or with the briefest of questioning, including batches of cases brought by the same lawyer.  He criticized his more lenient colleagues, who "act like it's their own damn money we're giving away."  (A week after the Journal report, Judge Daugherty was placed on leave, pending an investigation, and in July, he retired.) Wall Street Journal, 5-19-2011   ///    West Virginia Record, 7-19-2011
 
Gee, What Do We Do with All This Stimulus Money?  The Omaha (Neb.) Public School system spent $130,000 of its stimulus grant recently just to buy 8,000 copies of the book The Cultural Proficiency Journey: Moving Beyond Ethical Barriers Toward Profound Social Change--that is, one copy for every single employee, from principals to building custodians.  Alarmingly, wrote an Omaha World-Herald columnist, the book is "riddled with gobbledygook," "endless graphs," and such tedium as the "cultural proficiency continuum" and discussion of the "disequilibrium" arising "due to the struggle to disengage with past actions associated with unhealthy perspectives."  Omaha World-Herald, 7-11-2011

Once hired, almost no federal employee ever leaves.  Turnover is so slight that, among the typical causes for workers leaving, "death by natural causes" is more likely the reason than "fired for poor job performance."  According to a July USA Today report, the federal rate of termination for poor performance is less than one-fifth the private sector's, and the annual retention rate for all federal employees was 99.4 percent (and for white collar and upper-income workers, more than 99.8 percent).  Government defenders said the numbers reflect excellence in initial recruitment.  USA Today, 7-20-2011

Bats' Rights:  In January, Alison Murray purchased her first-ever home, in Aberdeen, Scotland, but was informed in August that she has to relocate, temporarily, because the house has become infested with bats, which cannot be disturbed, under Scottish and European law, once they settle in.  Conservation officials advised her that she could probably move back in November, when the bats leave to hibernate. The Scotsman, 8-11-2011

Police Report

In June, the Five Guys Burger & Fries restaurant in White Plains, N.Y., was robbed by five guys (well, actually, four guys and a woman).  One of the guys worked at Five Guys.  All five "guys" were arrested. Journal News (White Plains), 7-28-2011

Catch-22:  NYPD officer James Seiferheld, 47, still receives his $52,365 annual disability pay despite relentless efforts of the Department to fire him.  He had retired in 2004 on disability, but was ordered back to work when investigators found him doing physical work inconsistent with "disability."  However, Seiferheld could not return to work because he repeatedly failed drug screening (for cocaine).  Meanwhile, his appeal of the disability denial went to the state Court of Appeals, which found a procedural error and ordered that Seiferheld's "disability" benefits continue (even though the city has proven both that he is physically able and a substance-abuser).  New York Post, 7-12-2011

Unclear on the Concept:  In April, Robert Williams conscientiously completed his San Diego, Calif., police officers' application, answering truthfully, he said, Questions 172 (yes, he had had sexual contact with a child) and 175 (yes, he had "viewed or transacted" child pornography).  Three weeks later, the police had not only rejected his application but arrested him.  Williams's wife, Sunem, said the police department has "integrity" problems because "telling the truth during the hiring process brings prosecution . . .." KGTV (San Diego), 5-17-2011

The Pervo-American Community:  Beginning in 2002, a man was reported sidling up to women on crowded New York City subway trains and rubbing against them until he ejaculated.  Police were unable to identify him but were concerned enough that they obtained an indictment--"naming" the suspect only as whoever's DNA it was who committed the subway crimes.  In July 2011, they finally obtained a match, to Darnell Hardware, 26, who had been in the system repeatedly (drug and indecent-exposure charges) but not until July in offenses that obligated collection of DNA. Metro (New York City), 7-12-2011

Update:  News of the Weird has reported on life-sized, anatomically-correct dolls manufactured in fine detail with human features (e.g., the "Real Doll," as one brand is called), which are as different from the plastic inflatable dolls sold in adult stores as fine whiskey is to $2-a-bottle rot-gut.  An early progenitor of the exquisite dolls, according to new research by Briton Graeme Donald, was Adolf Hitler, who was worried that he was losing more soldiers to venereal disease than to battlefield injuries, and ordered his police chief, Heinrich Himmler, to oversee development of a meticulously-made doll with blonde hair and blue eyes.  (However, according to Donald, the project was stopped in 1942 and all the research lost in the Allies' bombing of Dresden, Germany.)  Among those who had heard of Hitler's earlier interest, according to Donald, were the creators of what later became the Barbie doll. Daily Mail (London), 7-11-2011

Great Art!:  In his signature performance art piece, John Jairo Villamil depicted both the excitement and danger of the city of Bogota, Colombia, by appearing on stage with a tightened garbage bag over his head and his feet in a bucket of water, holding a chain in one hand and a plant's leaf in the other.  At a May show at Bogota's Universidad del Bosque, Villamil, 25, fussed with the tightened bag and soon collapsed to the floor, stirred a little, and then was motionless.  The audience, likely having assumed that the collapse was part of the performance, did not immediately render assistance, and Villamil lost consciousness and died in a hospital five days later. HispanicallySpeakingNews.com, 5-2-2011

A News of the Weird Classic (April 1998)
                           
In March [1998], trial began in Lesli Szabo's $1.7 million lawsuit against a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital for not making her 1993 childbirth pain-free.  (Physicians said that painless childbirth cannot be achieved without the anesthesia's endangering the child.)  Szabo admitted to previous run-ins with physicians, explaining, "When I'm in pain, the [words] that come out of my mouth would curl your hair."  In the lawsuit, Szabo said she expected to be able to read or knit while the baby was being delivered.  (The parties eventually settled the lawsuit.) [Edmonton Journal, 3-17-98, 3-21-98] (no link available)

Newsrangers:  Donte Kendricks and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Monday, August 22, 2011

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
August 22, 2011
(datelines August 13-August 20) (links correct as of August 22)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

Soccer Fans with Happy Endings, Plus An Incompetent Cow and Abu Nancy

From Yr Editor

Yr Editor is taking off next week although on Monday morning, August 29, I will post the same standard News of the Weird column here that was released nationally the day before, on NewsoftheWeird.com.  (However, out of respect that this is the intertubes, the WU version will have links to each source.)  I'll be back here on September 5 with a somewhat-improved Pro Edition.  Somewhat.

★ ★ ★ ★!

An attendance-challenged soccer team in Madrid, Spain, went cutting-edge, with a promo video . . encouraging its fans to . . donate sperm.  ("To make sure we get the best supporter, we have made the first [team] Getafe porn movie," said the narrator.  Daily Mail:  "It cuts to half-naked zombies rolling around on beds who say how important it is to get Getafe back on track.  The footage then goes back to the donor who, with a steely determination, marches down a corridor with fellow fans, into an individual cubicle, to complete his mission."  Daily Mail (London)

Priests at the Basilica of San Salvatore al Monte, in Florence, Italy, concerned that an intruder continues to steal Bibles, brought out the heavy artillery:   a prayer that the thief suffer "a strong bout of the trots [aka the runs]."  Daily Telegraph (London)

The super-committed Lyle Bensley, 18, stayed remarkably in character through his arrest for assault.  He's a vampire.  Alive for "500 years."  "[N]eed[s] to feed."  Made growling and hissing noises as he broke into an apartment and munched on a woman's neck.  Houston Chronicle

Taunting the Tea Party:  In (broke) (worse-off than the federal government) California, the legislature is now taking up a crucial measure passed by the state senate in June to make it unlawful for hotels not to use fitted sheets.  (It was something about housekeepers' complaints to their still-strong union.)   Los Angeles Times

Absurdities

Officials of the Republic School District near Springfield, Mo., treated a special-ed middle-school girl about as badly as school officials can, and there's a lawsuit now.  She said she was raped (2008-09 school year); they investigated; they concluded she made it up; they suspended her and forced her to apologize to the boy; she came back next year and was (she said) promptly raped again by the boy, officials just as promptly didn't believe her again.  This time, though, the boy confessed.  The District isn't finished yet.  In its lawsuit response, it calls the girl's claims against the school "frivolous," that everything was her fault.   Springfield News-Leader

From time to time, this elderly person or that unschooled immigrant falls for the old "let me clean off your money to banish a curse" scam (i.e., while you aren't looking, let me switch it out for this stack of currency-sized blank sheets).  That's "from time to time."  A family of con artists in Florida were indicted last week for running a 20-year-old scheme of money-cleaning that brought them [gasp] $40 million (but also mixed in were "readings" of various types, though those aren't where the real money is).  [Update: Oh, wait!  Half of the $40bn is from one lady.]   ABC News   ///   Orlando Sentinel [that one swindle-ee]

A 42-year-old overweight man apparently committed suicide in New York City by leaping in front of an oncoming subway car.  He was dead even though the collision "bounced" the obese man back onto the platform.   New York Post

Jessica Maple, 12, putting her junior G-man training to use on a break-in at her great-granny's house:  "This is where they broke in," she explained to Atlanta detectives.  (Detectives:  Uh, umm, we were just about to think of that.)  Jessica:  "I found her stuff at a local pawn shop."  (Detectives:  That . . was right there on our To-Do list, check with the pawn shops.)  "I got a confession out of the thieves."  (Detectives:  Yeah, well, of course, it's not official until they confess to us.)  [At press time, the cops still hadn't gotten around to making an arrest.]   WSB-TV

Losers

Child Seat, Schmild Seat:  The babysitter in Daytona Beach just hoisted the baby-bearing stroller into the bed of the Ram truck and held on while her buddy drove around town.  CFNews (Bright House Cable, Orlando)

In Roseville, Mich., a 24-year-old roofer drove through town without benefit of brakes, "stopping" (not very well; he hit four cars) by sticking his foot out the door, Fred-Flintstone-like.  (Bonus:  He was completely sober.)  Detroit Free Press

A thief snatched an idling car in New York City but did not notice at first the two kids and the poodle in the back.  A short time later, the guy gave up, drove the kids home, got out, and made a run for it.  The kids said he was mostly unnerved by the yapping poodle.  WNBC-TV via MSNBC

Emerson Begolly (jihad name, "Abu Nancy"), 22, pleaded guilty to soliciting terrorist acts.  As deftly explained by TPM Muckraker:  "The guilty plea brings an end to a bizarre case that involved a defendant with Asperger's syndrome, a penchant for Nazi paraphernalia, and a love of Law & Order; an arsenal of weapons; a jihadist pen pal; an alleged relationship between Begolly's mother and the FBI agent who arrested him; and an allegation of attempted sexual abuse by a pedophile pastor."  TPM Muckraker

Jared Cano, 17, was busted in Tampa a week before classes started with the means and opportunity to have blown up and shot up his old high school (from which he had been expelled) with Columbine-plus power.  Gawker.com, exploring Jared's Facebook page, found that he knew the jig was up two days before his arrest when a buddy told Jared he checked his available wi-fi connections at home and noticed "FBI SURVEILLANCE VAN" nearby.  Gawker.com

Oh! Dear!

Susanne Eman of Casa Grande, Ariz., seeks the title (and all the status that comes with it) of world's fattest woman.  [NSFStomachs]   Phoenix New Times

Life Imitates Horror Movie (except there's no drowning in an elevator; you're just supposed to crash).   Staten Island Advance

Pervs on Parade

A substantial enclave of pacifist Mennonites who have settled in Bolivia (from Manitoba, Canada) discovered that nine men, led by veterinarian Peter Weiber, 48, used aerosolized cow-tranquilizer, sprayed through open windows at night, to knock out an estimated 130 women and girls (ages 8-60) over a four-year period so they could rape them.  (Seriously.)   Time

Update:  Our most notorious hobbyist castrator Edward Bodkin [NOTW 576, 2-19-1999] was arrested again in Wetumpka, Ala. (previously, Huntington, Ind.), this time on child porn charges after he was caught mailing stuff to institutionalized sex offenders in Massachusetts.  Wetumpka Herald

Physician Narendra Sharma is before a medical board this week in Manchester, England, charged with securing a hand job from an anesthetized abortion patient (under the same principle as when ya sit on your hand to put it to sleep so that . . [Ehhh, I don't need to explain everything to you]).   Daily Mail (London)

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]


Could Aaron Richardson, 67, have completely forgotten that he was married to the other woman?  After all, he had been in prison part of the time.   CBS News via WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

Could Shawn Moul be the scariest, most unbalanced stalker you ever heard of (even if the victim did provoke him by . . once helping him with his homework in high school)?   Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Editor's Notes

Yr Editor commenced formally noticing murderers and accused murderers with the middle name of Wayne only in 1995 and can thus be excused for not having earlier noted Mr. Damien Wayne Echols, one of the three West Memphis, Ark., murderers released from prison last week (on manufactured guilty pleas, after only other people's DNA was found at the crime scene). WHBQ-TV (Memphis)

Time-Wasters:  (1) Police in Changsha, China, somehow believe that they can secure greater compliance with traffic laws if they . . put fluorescent vests on . . these downtown statues . . of monkeys.  (2) Least Competent Cow    (3) If Joshua Petty, 25, knew that stealing the copper wire from a substation would disable the power to the Gulf Coast Resort nudist camp in Pasco County, Fla., would he have risked having his mug shot taken while wearing a t-shirt that read "I will not stare at boobies"?  Metro (London)   ///   BBC News   ///   WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

Newsrangers:  Paul Catledge, Craig Cryer, and Geoff Egan, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors (Senior Advisors: Jenny T. Beatty, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Matt Mirapaul, Paul Music, Karl Olson, and Jim Sweeney, and Editorial Advisors: Tom Barker, Paul Blumstein, Harry Farkas, Sam Gaines, Herb Jue, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Langill, Steve Miller, Christopher Nalty, Mark Neunder, Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Rob Snyder, Stephen Taylor, Bruce Townley, and Jerry Whittle).

Monday, August 15, 2011

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
August 15, 2011
(datelines August 6-August 13) (links correct as of August 15)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

B-Team Americans Become A-Team Africans, Plus Bats' Rights and the Horror of Cleavage Wrinkles

★ ★ ★ ★!

I Was Just a New York State Bureaucrat, But Suddenly . . I Was . . Yeah, Prime Minister of Somalia! . . Yeah, That's the Ticket--Prime Minister of Somalia!: Cubicle-bound Transportation Department desk jockey Mohamed A. Mohamed of Buffalo is just back from a sabbatical in Somalia, where he was indeed the Prime Minister for nine months. He says he worked hard but that there was little he could do except get his picture taken with world leaders and avoid getting killed. He's back in Buffalo now. (And two other New Yorkers, Isaac and Elizabeth Osei, who run a maximum-stress 50-taxi company in the city, left for their periodic duties in Ghana, where Isaac is Chief of the Okwamu people and will begin mediating the disputes that have backed up in his absence. Elizabeth has first-lady duties. "[In] Africa, I have to worship him," she says. "When [we] get back, he has to worship me.") Buffalo News /// New York Times

Rhiannon Brooksbank-Jones Is Destined to Be a Very Popular Woman: The college student, obsessed with South Korean culture, will surely impress the locals when she eventually moves there from the UK, mainly because she took a radical measure to overcome deficient Korean-speaking, which shows respect for the country. She'll also impress the randy lads because the "radical measure" involved having her tongue surgically lengthened so she could pronounce the Korean "L" better. Daily Mail (London)

Chutzpah: Deadbeat, Abusive Dad Suddenly Discovers His Precious Family: "[My] client was devastated by what happened," the lawyer said, and that's why he is suing the city of Newburgh, N.Y., for $80 million after his estranged girlfriend committed suicide in a city lake and took the couple's three kids with her. According to friends of the couple, the father never lifted a finger for the kids, owed child support, and constantly roughed up the lady. New York Post

A Present-Day Bonnie Parker: Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, part-time stripper and the guiding light for her two miscreant brothers, led them, AK-47 in hand, on a multi-state crime spree that ended in a Colorado gunfight, with Lee Grace taking one in the leg and all three captured. Brother Ryan started it by freaking out in the F State when a judge sentenced him for turbo-sexting an 11-yr-old girl, and then it was on. Lee Grace's fiancé, math teacher Brendon Bookman, 45, still loves her and wants her to know that he enjoyed their time together and that she enriched his life. ("I've always been able to get her out of tight spots in the past," he said, acknowledging that this time it's grim.) (Bonus: Lee Grace is sorta hot.) TMZ.com (Not Safe for Work slide show)

Pervs on Parade: Seemingly, there was a recent spike in the world's Isolated Freak Testosterone Index. (1) Nicholas Davis was arrested in Seattle, "masturbating violently" in a public park. (Money quote: "There just isn't enough free love in Seattle.") (2) Neighbors filed complaints with the government in Malmo, Sweden, against a neighbor who constantly screams loudly as he masturbates, "louder than an animal," said one. (3) A pre-trial jailer of Warren Jeffs told the Evil Empire's The Daily that Jeffs satisfied himself openly in front of guards, and often (up to 15 times a day). Seattle Post-Intelligencer /// The Local (Stockholm) /// The Daily

Absurdities

Londoners begging to help clean up their 'hoods after last week's tantrums were turned away by police. The government was afraid people might cut themselves on all the broken glass. Daily Telegraph

A 24-yr-old mom in Dallas was accused of forcing her 6-yr-old daughter to video the mom's group-sex encounters on a cell phone camera--three times. Dallas Morning News

The August 6th religio-politcal meeting in Houston featuring Gov. Perry leading the 30,000 in prayer for rain (God still says No) and a better economy for America (ditto) also "required" a seven-hour fast. Caught at the stadium snack bar by a reporter, a righteous fella named Walt Landers said The Lord is so compassionate that He negotiated an "agreement" with Landers that allowed Landers to buy that hot dog. The Texas Tribune

What's Wrong with These People? School bus driver George Daw's boss fired him ("violating company policy") when he stopped to pick up three cops stranded during a violent rainstorm. That somehow "endangered" the one kid still left on the bus. WCBS-TV (New York City)

That brief Federal Aviation Administration shutdown recently was mainly over the $200 million federal boondoggle whereby if you choose to live far enough away from decent-sized towns, and you have an influential-enough Congressman, you can get a puddle-jumping airline to run flights into your town, whether there are passengers needing rides or not, courtesy of the federal budget. For Ely, Nev., and Glendive, Mont., that works out to a federal subsidy to the airline of more than $1,000 per passenger. [ed. I totally swear that there is a town in Montana named Glendive.] Associated Press via Greensboro News-Record

Another Tragedy Averted by American Ingenuity: "Cleavage Wrinkles," which endowed women get from sleeping on their sides and having one breast fold up slightly against the other, creating unsightly vertical creases. [I'm sure the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is on this right now.] Among the ingenious products: La Decollette and ChestSavers (backwards sports bras) and Intima Pillow and the Kush Support, to separate the breasts. New York Times

Losers

The Aristocrats! (1) Two nursing-home assistants were fired for lubing up a couple of dementia patients as a prank on their counterparts working the next shift. (2) The arrestee at a park in Destin, Fla., was ordered to put his hands behind his back for cuffing, but he resisted. "I can't put my hands behind my back because I'm making a bowel movement." And he was. (3) Robert Vietze, 18, was kicked off the U.S. Ski Team's development squad after he, wasted while on a JetBlue flight, failed to make it to the restroom and urinated on an 11-yr-old girl passenger. (4) Owen Kato, 23, was arrested on an existing warrant after police noticed him standing for 10 minutes at a McDonald's entrance, squeezing the pimples on his back. Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.) via AzCentral.com /// Daily News of Northwest Florida /// New York Post /// Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press

Oh! Dear!

It's so easy for banks to rip off their customers! Why, I'm a Congressman, and I was helpless when they forced this loan on me--a loan that I have no hope of ever paying off (and therefore, which the bank should eat), and besides I have to get back to D.C. and vote for more budget cuts so America will start to live within its means! Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Australia's "Snakeman" Raymond Hoser outsmarted the police about to charge him with handling venomous snakes too close to spectators. They're not venomous, he said, because I just finished milking them. Here, he said, let me show you . . by having a genuine taipan and a genuine death adder (both of them two-step charlies) nip on my 10-yr-old daughter's arm. (She bled, but she's OK.) Evil Empire

Alison Murray's home in Aberdeen, Scotland, is infested with bats. Obviously they've got to go she's got to go. Bats are protected under UK and European laws. They are precious. (But why?) They can eat 3,000 midges a night, that's why. Alison can move back in November, when the bats hibernate. The Scotsman

The Pervo-American Community

Travis Keen, 28, was arrested for indecent exposure in a Walmart parking lot in Ouachita Parish, La. Keen explained that, hey, when he comes to Walmart, he gets aroused. The Smoking Gun

The First Baptist Church of Venice (Calif.) apparently at some point anointed Demetrius Allen, 28, as a "youth pastor." (Have a look.) The Lord works in strange ways. Los Angeles Times

Daniel Torroll, 56, a music teacher in Spring Hill, Tenn., was arrested near an elementary school laying a lot of love on a doll. It was either a gigantic baby doll or a midget adult doll. WKRN-TV (Nashville)

Methodist pastor Rick Rogers, 46, of suburban Philadelphia, was charged twice with rollicking, Slim Pickens-uninhibited, pants-down, hands-on indecent exposure in his church's music building. Philadelphia Inquirer

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]


Unclear on the Concept: Jason Dean, 24, having been rebuffed several times making dating inquiries of a young lady, was charged with commandeering said date by handcuffing himself to her in a restaurant parking lot. Times Free Press (Chattanooga)

Cut Jerald Navarre a break on his public intox arrest. When he's sober, supposedly, he roams the streets protecting women as "Captain Save-a-Ho." Iowa City Press-Citizen

You'll probably be unfairly influenced by his face [Not Safe For Work] as to whether Ismael Ambrosio has done anything to deserve his immigration-hold detention. Broward-Palm Beach New Times

As well, you're sure to be unfairly influenced by this perp's face, charged with strong-arm robbery--breaking in, grabbing and punching a disabled man and stealing wallet, cash, and phone. GoUpState.com (Spartanburg, S.C.)

Editor's Notes

In Mexico, Oscar Osvaldo Garcia Montoya, 36, a prolific hit man (n=600, he estimates) for the Beltran Leyva cartel and others, was arrested and is awaiting either his own assassination or a spectacular prison break. Garcia is known as "El Compayito," which is the name of a popular talking hand-puppet character, which itself reminds of the role played by actor Richard Libertini in the 1979 Peter Falk movie The In-Laws. Libertini was a supposedly vicious, powerful general but up close a complete lunatic who speaks only to and with his painted hand. Disconcerting (for a stone-cold killer). Associated Press via Yahoo News

The five most ridiculous items of "murderabilia" (collectors' items from notorious serial killers), as judged by Andy Kahan of Houston, Tex., who thinks y'all should be ashamed of yourselves if you long for this stuff: Ted Bundy's fried hair (yep, which fell off as he was lit up on the F State's Old Sparky); Wayne Lo's semen (collected from one of his favorite pornographic pictures); Arthur Shawcross's pubic hair; John Wayne Gacy's crawlspace dirt (two dozen people bid on it; did it fetch more than those canisters of Derek-Jeter-3,000 clay?); and Angel Maturino Resendez's foot scrapings (from calluses). Philly.com

Newsrangers: Peter Hine, Sandy Pearlman, Pete Randall, Jill Dybka, Scott Stapleton, Peter Smagorinsky, and Jim Dukes, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

Monday, August 08, 2011

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
August 8, 2011
(datelines July 30-August 6) (links correct as of August 8)

Trial of the Century, Plus Redneck WMD's and Muslim Punk

★ ★ ★ ★!

Warren Jeffs' Lolita Ride Is Over: You weren't in the courtroom to hear the "pastoral" audiotapes that Prophet Jeffs had made for posterity, but London's Daily Mail covers for you. Horniness couched in stilted biblicalisms. The brides (two of whom were underage, one subsequently a mom) are "honorable vessels." Sexual duties of the poly brides: "Everyone assists." So natural as unclothed as clothed." Instructions on how to groom their pubes. The 12-year-old, afterward, "experienced the heavenly session; she felt the all consuming fire of heaven." After a sex bout, "Everyone else let go of me, back away a little. Please get on the other side of the bed." To the 12'er: "Just don't think about the pain. You're going to heaven." And when it was over, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." The gals: "Amen." For Yr Editor, the trial highlight came when Jeffs, acting as his own lawyer, interrupted to read verbatim a message that he had received directly from The Lord, who threatened . . um, did He threaten to kill the judge or prosecutor? . . no . . He threatened a "scourge" upon the local counties if the trial did not stop. A scourge? That's the best He can do? A scourge? But The Lord has already been scourging up Texas pretty bad with an epic drought. Doesn't The Lord get management updates?] Daily Mail

Go Ahead--Try This at Home: Richard Handl.31, finally promised police he'd stop doing it (constructing a nuclear reactor in his kitchen, in southern Sweden). He had some radium, americium, and uranium, and once created a small meltdown in his stove. He helpfully blogged about it, and someone turned him in, leading to a July raid. He must've failed: No significant radiation levels were detected. BBC News /// His blog

Please, Do Your Part to Keep Us in Steaks: College kids, who may someday get tired of paying artificially-high tuition, have a great way to put those oppressive student loans behind them: Sell your kidneys! This advice is courtesy of Dundee University (Scotland) research fellow Sue Roff. (Bonus: More people who need kidneys will get them, she says! Win-win!) (Double Bonus: As long as the bills are being paid, professors avoid the elephant in the room, which is whether their salaries are too high.) The Scotsman

Absurdities

The per capita annual income of New Yorkers is around $47,000 a year, which is about what the per capita monthly income is for the 4-year-old son of supermodel Linda Evangelista (via child support). (Bonus: Consultants to the wealthy say the kid needs more. First grade costs a lot more than preschool.) Wall Street Journal

Skylar Capo, 11, was introduced to reality. She had just rescued a baby woodpecker from the family cat and intended to render care for a day or two and then let it go. In a local store, she and her mom just happened to run into a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent, who ultimately wrote Skylar up for violating the Migratory Bird Act (handling a baby woodpecker), and two weeks later, a trooper delivered a citation to her door (carrying a $535 fine). (Seriously) WUSA-TV (Washington, D.C.)

Not News: Drug addicts and the homeless can pick up a few bucks here and there by stealing copper and selling it to scrap-metal dealers. News: Meth-head Kirk Wise, 45, earned $95,000 last year doing it (but, remember, he has expenses. He's a meth-head). Phoenix New Times

Can't Possibly Be True: A retired Army sergeant major, Rob Dickerson, who was wounded in Iraq but failed to receive his Purple Heart due to lost paperwork, finally got it after four years of haggling. The Pentagon mailed it C.O.D. (That'll be $21, please.) KELO-TV (Rapid City, S.D.)

Questionable Judgment: This Kansas residential program is (a) sorta good, as a last-resort facility for troubled, unplaceable kids and (b) bad, for placing juvenile offenders (including sex-offenders) in an apartment complex with ordinary foster teenagers right down the hall. Whoa. (Bonus: A program official crows at glowing reports of the program's safety; the police beg to differ.) Wichita Eagle

Affordable Health Care in Indonesia: train-track therapy! Here they are, lying on the rails to soak up electricity to cure what ails them. (Yes, they move when a train comes.) Associated Press via MSNBC

Losers

Gordon Flavia, 46, trying to avoid a DUI charge, fled police, crashed his Jeep, and hid in a portable toilet . . where he doused himself with caca . . to cover his human scent just in case the pursuing cops had dogs. (They didn't.) The Daily News (Longview, Wash.)

Isaac Turnbaugh, 28, decided to confess to a 2002 Vermont murder. Perhaps it had slipped his mind that he had stood trial for that murder and been acquitted. The prosecutor thus had to let him go--except for the fact that while he was confessing, he punched a police officer, so he's in trouble again. Burlington Free Press

Oh! Dear!

John and Kristine marry and raise two daughters. Kristine goes nuts one day and kills the girls. Kristine is not guilty by reason of insanity. John and Kristine divorce. Kristine does four years in an institution and 10 years of psych monitoring. Meanwhile John marries Trisha, and they raise two sons. John and Trisha divorce and share custody. John and Kristine (now back on the street, with a clean bill of mental health) re-canoodle. Trisha is petrified at the thought of her boys being one triggering moment away from Kristine's relapsing. [But, Trisha, relax. Kristine has an official, state of Washington certificate of sanity. Do you have a certificate of sanity? Relax.] Associated Press via New York Times

Muslim Extremists, Glorified by the Media: Well, it's praise for a new film, The Taqwacores, reporting that disaffected Arab youth can form punk nihilist rock bands while maintaining Islamic consciousness: Look-ee at the gays, guys with red mohawks, one guy announcing morning prayers with his electric guitar, a chick doing freestyle editing of the Qur'an, another wearing the burqa ironically. The Guardian (London)

The Pervo-American Community

From the 8-4-2011 Saugus (Mass.) Police log: "At 3:51 p.m. an employee at Massage Envy reported seeing a man smelling the dirty sheets behind the building. The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 30 years old, 6-feet tall, brown hair, brown beard, and wearing a backpack and Army shorts." Saugus Advertiser

Give Chancellor David Lee, 64, of the proprietary University of Northern Virginia credit. He and his girlfriend may be bondage/discipline pervs of great intensity (as documented by The Smoking Gun), but they also appear to be quite joyous about it. See for yourself (but be careful; some photos are NSFW). The Smoking Gun /// slide show

Nathan Gastineau, 31, used to be a sheriff's deputy in San Bernardino, Calif., until he and some fellow deputies took hits for a string of indiscretions with ride-along-program jail bait. He had been free on $150,000 bail until he posted threatening language on Facebook. "This is your Admiral," "War is our imperative," "revenge, payback," "it's the only alternative my enemy has left us." (Judge, to Nathan, before upping bail to $350,000: "What on Earth is the matter with you?") San Bernardino Sun

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]


Anita Lewis, 55, charged with DUI, claims that what did her in was that "Leg Spreader." WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

Robert Ray, 37, of redneck-intense Crestview, Fla., is charged with . . assembling a "weapon of mass destruction." Well, chlorine and brake fluid. Northwest Florida Daily News

Daryl Rasmussen, aka "Ms. Puppy," arrested while a "person of interest" in a double murder in Denver. KUSA-TV

Cory Smits, 29, of Two Rivers, Wis., was charged with . . it doesn't matter what he was charged with. And it doesn't matter that you don't think he's 29. And it doesn't matter that you think his mug shot was digitally created from scratch. Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, Wis.) [July 16]

Obits

(1) Math professor Rudolf Alexandrov, 71, left his class and took a header over a second-floor railing at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. He had seemed "agitated" in class. (2) A 70-year-old tractor-trailer driver who stopped on the side of I-89 in Berlin Corners, Vt., to urinate, stood in front of the vehicle and didn't notice it was lurching forward. (3) A 44-year-old man who had been known by townspeople in Carthage, Maine, to sometimes lie down in the middle of the road at night yada yada yada. (4) James Bach, 54, was arrested in Calgary, Alberta, and charged with fatally stabbing Mr. Brent Stabbed Last, 29. PhillyNews.com /// Times Argus (Barre, Vt.) /// Portland Press Herald /// Canoe News

Editor's Notes

Recommended treatment for those oh-so-special Benz drivers (in Vilnius, Lithuania). New York Daily News

Newsrangers: Joshua Levin, Craig Cryer, Waylon Register, Sandy Pearlman, Donna Smyers, Dennis Tucker, and Bob McCabe, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

Monday, August 01, 2011

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
August 1, 2011
(datelines July 23-July 30) (links correct as of August 1)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Affirmative Action 2.0, Plus Nuts with Washers and a Non-"Skinny Mini"

★ ★ ★ ★!

McGehee, Ark. (pop. 4500), Time-Travels to the 1950s: McGehee High School calculations showed that a black girl earned valedictorian honors. However, McGehee officials, thinking on their feet to avoid what one official was caught calling a "big mess," decided that the highest-scoring white student should be elevated to "co-valedictorian." [ed.: Any time a black student is "co-" anything good with a white student in the South, the assumption is that it is the black student who got boosted. Thus, the black student here loses twice.] (Bonus: On the other hand, how can ya sympathize with the black student here, having a mother, Mrs. Wimberly, who named her daughter Kimberly?) (Double Bonus: Kimberly kicked butt, GPA-wise, even though she gave birth her junior year.) ABC News

Where Security Guards Run Free: According to this lawsuit, this Alabama shopper proved she paid for the $2.99 chicken necks, and eventually the "assistant manager" agreed, but the security guard overruled and called police and Immigration. The shopper's whole life soon fell apart. (Bonus: The shopper had video at the register to back her up--plus, she was a Walmart employee, and still . . ..) Courthouse News Service

An Inconvenient Trial: Evidence abounds that the breathalyzer-type machines that cops administer are quite imperfect. How do we know that's true, say, in Montana? Well, the test was challenged sorta-successfully (hung jury) by a kinda-tipsy Billings police officer. Thus, she gets only a speeding ticket, and every future drunk driver in Montana gets a ticket to ride. Billings Gazette

Absurdities

Good to Be an Inmate: A phone company glitch at the jail in Tavares, Fla., gave "double your money back" on unfulfilled phone calls--enough for at least one inmate to pay his bail. Orlando Sentinel

City officials in Sioux City, Iowa, wanted to see the internal documents the Postal Service consulted when it decided to close its regional mail processing center there. (USPS: "Sure, Sioux City, but under the Freedom of Information Act, that'll be $831,000, please.") Sioux City Journal

The Mexican Beltran Leyva cartel's premier early-teen throat-slitter, Edgar Jimenez Lugo (now 15), was convicted of four murders and sentenced to, er, three years in Mexican juvie. (Bonus: He was born in San Diego, has no U.S. rap sheet, and will likely breeze by Customs when he is released.) Houston Chronicle

In 2009 Diane Schuler, with an 0.19 reading, drove the wrong way for two miles on a New York freeway, finally ramming someone, killing three plus herself. Now comes husband Daniel, suing New York state for causing all that tragedy because it failed to put up enough "hey, you're going the wrong way" signs. The Daily Cortlandt (Cortlandt, N.Y.)

Losers

Inebriated driver Patrick Rexroat, who had just taken out another driver in a road-rage response, emerged from his car ferally pounding his chest. When informed that the other guy was dead, Rexroat shrugged. He was jailed on $1 million bond. KOMO-TV (Seattle)

"Catch me if you can. I'm in Brooklyn." So wrote (on Facebook) domestic violence suspect Victor Burgos. Soon after, he was, and they (U.S. Marshals and NYPD) did. New York Daily News

Rachel Avila, 30, finding what she thought was a novelty cigarette lighter (4 inches long, shaped like a derringer) in front of her home, tried to light a cigarette with it, and ricocheted a shot into her daughter's arm. Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.)

Dumped-boyfriend Jordan Cardella, 20, thought the best way to win her back was with sympathy, which would surely come if he were shot by street thugs. He arranged for pals to shoot him (three slugs in the back, one in the arm). He was hospitalized, but she never showed. (Bonus: The shooters and Cardella were of course charged with crimes.) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A driving school student accidentally crashed into the DMV office in Roseville, Calif. Even worse, Samantha Rodriguez, 21, DUI, crashed into police headquarters in Weslaco, Tex. Sacramento Bee /// KRGV-TV (Brownsville)

Oh! Dear!

If you hear, "I'm not a skinny-mini miss thing, and I have that middle-age spread," you sorta know what the Walmart customers had in mind when they asked management to get shopper Sandy McMillin to put a shirt on over her bikini top and hot pants. However, she's also legally disabled from various motorcycle accidents, and thus may ultimately win the right to gross out. Register-Guard (Eugene, Ore.)

One of America's scariest-looking men, white-supremacist Curtis Allgier, apparently has a soft spot for the lovely Hispanic-Hawaiian Erica Herrera and will marry her next Monday through the glass at Utah State Prison Daily Mail (London)

Nationally known child shrink James Schaller, 50, is in trouble in Naples, Fla., over the clash of his twin obsessions: child psychiatry and guns ("I will blow your head off," he said, perhaps therapeutically, to a 14-year-old neighbor.) Naples Daily News

The Pervo-Australian Community

In Australia, Melbourne Fire Brigade commander Peter Egan warned men to just be more careful. "Washers on penises and rings stuck on penises we get once or twice a year,'' he said. "In my 39 years I have seen about half a dozen of them." "People do stupid things.'' (Why, there was another one in Melbourne a week ago Friday!) Evil Empire (news.com.au)

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]


Nathan Buckles, 28, in Boise, Idaho, for a high school reunion, was charged with a theft while there. Perhaps painting his hair red was a "school spirit" thing. Idaho Statesman

Christopher Sipe, 26, of Sheboygan, Wis., certainly looks like the kind of guy to slap his girlfriend's two boys, ages 6 and 8, for letting his pet frog escape. Sheboygan Press

Andrew Anderson, 33, is no one to mess with, especially when alcohol just caused a single-vehicle accident (i.e., his mo-ped). Salisbury Post (Salisbury, N.C.)

Joseph Hunter, 21, arrested on a domestic violence complaint, perhaps was apprehended in the middle of a head-hair fashion renovation. The Smoking Gun

Editor's Notes

If the gloriously insane Mr. Anders Behring Breivik goes to prison for the 76 murders (in Norway, that has to be worth at least a 5- to 10-year sentence), he may face the hardship of the notoriously luxurious Halden "lockup," which is shown on these web pages. (News of the Weird reported in 2007 [NOTW M023, 9-16-2007] that 20 percent of the convicted criminals in Norway who are given reporting dates for prison simply do not show up--undoubtedly due in part to the fact that there's no law in Norway separately punishing people for not showing up.) Time.com /// Foreign Policy

Here's one mother who wasted no time getting abs back into shape after childbirth! In fact, three childbirths! In fact, this mother is ripped! It's Thomas Beatie, the partially-male U.S. tranny who made history in 2007 when she got knocked up the first time. Daily Mail (London)

Yr Editor apologizes for the 2009 story included last week as a 2011 story. If I had been in my right mind, at least two different markers would have alerted me that it was not a current story. As far as I know there have been no Virgin-Mary-in-Bird-Poo stories since 2009.

Newsrangers: Jim Colucci, Alan Magid, Michael Ravnitzky, Mike Nassour, and Sandy Pearlman, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors