News of the Weird - excerpts 9/29/92
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 92 19:43:04 PDT
Subject: News of the Weird - excerpts 9/29/92
forwarded from: limey (Craig Hughes), firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Schaefer), & email@example.com!
The Center for Marine Conservation reported in May that items that had
washed up on beaches from recent ocean dumpings included: a refrigerator in
North Carolina, a washing machine in California, a car in Delaware, medical
syringes in double the quantity from 1990, 59 packages of debris from 15
different cruise lines, and a container the size of a semi-trailer -- full
of melting ice cream. The average weight of all trash collected per mile
of beach was 667 pounds.
A bank robber in Reggio Calabria, Italy, made off with around $4,000 in an
April robbery. He was unarmed but, according to police, obtained the money
by hypnotizing a teller.
In May, after Kristin Warford, 20, and Richard Payette, 22, survived their
suicide pact, Warford told the Kenosha (Wis.) News that the adventure "was
the singular most stupid act in my life." Said she, "After (Payette) sliced
his wrists, I'll never forget him looking at me and saying, 'I don't like
this. I don't like this at all.' After a while we looked at each other
and thought, 'Whoa. This isn't fun. It's dirty. It's messy. It hurts.'"
A newspaper reported in June that the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's executive fleet of cars averages only 6.2 miles per gallon, less
than one-fourth the federally mandated average of 27.5.
According to Mayor Richard Daley, the April 13 flood of the Chicago business
district could have been prevented if either of two things had happened:
1. If inspectors had checked five bridges, they would have discovered
defective pilings that puntured tunnel walls -- but inspectors ignored four
of the bridges, claiming they couldn't find a place to park.
2. If one inspector, who viewed a punctured wall, had reported his
findings more quickly, preventive action could have been taken -- but he
sent his photographs to a drugstore for processing and had to wait a week
to get the prints back.
A Noblesville, Ind., judge agreed to move his courtroom one June night to
a van outside the Deer Creek Music Center so that rowdy Grateful Dead
concert fans could be processed immediately upon their arrest for drugs
possession and other crimes, rather than having to wait overnight.
Clarence Schreiner, 81, was charged with killing his wife of 61 years in
Winter Haven, Fla., in June, using a hatchet, rope and butcher knife, and
checking on her condition several times in order to assure that he had been
successful. Schreiner said his wife provoked him by denying him permission
to buy a Cadillac.
A questionnaire that White County (Ark.) welfare officials required each
single mother to complete as a condition of receiving benefits called for
the following information: when and where she first had sexual intercourse
with the child's father; how often, when and where after that first time;
parties attended with the father; names of any motels, bars or other places
she went with the father; names of all other men with whom she had sexual
intercourse while seeing the father; and the regularity and starting date
of her menstrual periods before the pregnancy.
Use of the form was discontinued after the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
brought it to the attention of state officials.
Thomas Hall, 57, was convicted of manslaughter in Nashville, Tenn., in April
in the 1991 shooting death of his brother Howard.
According to the prosecurtor, Thomas, who had just mopped the kitchen
floor, became upset when Howard tracked in mud from the outside. Thomas
yelled at Howard, and both men ran for their guns.
Ed Stevens, public school superintendent in Duncanville, Texas, resigned in
July after a Dallas TV station filmed him visiting several adult bookstores
and theaters during work hours. Stevens said he went to those places (some
of which he visited for several hours at a time) purely to investigate
allegations that some of his colleagues were there.
In June, the student-written newspaper at the Parker elementary school in
Billerica, Mass., published an article, "15 Ways to Kill Your Sister" (e.g.,
"Drop her off the top of a building"). The paper is supervised by a female
teacher with 20 years' experience, who reportedly thought the story was very
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in June on the local "Silent Meeting
club," consisting of several people who gather at various spots around town
and make it a point not to speak to each other. Founder John Hudak said
his inspiration was his observation that people often feel obligated to talk
when they really have nothing to say, such as at parties.
© 1992 Peter Langston