Weirdness  - 18Jul97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 97 19:25:35 -0700
Subject: Weirdness  - 18Jul97
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.493 (News of the Weird, July 18, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* It took 26 years, but in June, former inmate Frank Smith, 64, became the
first person to win damages based on the deadly riot at Attica prison in
New York in 1971. A jury awarded him $4 million based on injuries from his
torture by guards after they recaptured the prison from the inmates. 1,280
other Attica-related claims against the prison are pending, totaling $2.8
* In May, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed a $1 million award by a
jury that had found parishioner Dale Scheffler, 30, to have been molested
at age 14 by Catholic priest Robert Kapoun, finding that Scheffler's lawsuit
was barred by the statute of limitations. Two weeks later, the Archdiocese
of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced that it had filed with the court a
claim of $4,937 against Scheffler to recover part of its legal expenses
since the Archdiocese is now regarded as the winning party. Father Kapoun
filed for $1,081.
* The Meadowdale High School (Dayton, Ohio)'s girls 1600-meter relay team
was disqualified in the semifinals of the state championship meet in June
because it violated the rule that requires matching colors when two or more
members of a relay team decide to wear apparel that can be seen under their
uniforms. Two Meadowdale runners were wearing white sports bras, and two
were wearing black ones.
* In May, the Convent nightclub opened on Armitage Street in Chicago, a
traditional dance club but themed after the Catholic Church. The
non-Catholic owners, sisters Surita and Shar Mansukhani, feature restrooms
labeled Hymns and Hers, house drinks called "Holy Water" and
"Confessionals," waitresses in typical Catholic schoolgirl outfits (plaid
skirt, white blouse, knee- high stockings), and bartenders in priests'
collars. The VIP rooms are Heaven (upstairs) and Hell (lower level). Said
Surita, "We're certainly not intending to be sacrilegious in any way."
* Bangkok's largest English-language newspaper, The Nation, reported in
February on a raging war by coffin sellers in the southern Thailand city of
Nakhon Si Thammarat. Eight shops are located across the street from the
city's largest hospital, and bribes of hospital personnel for clients are
common. A television station reported that one shop's agent sneaked into
several hospital rooms to disconnect oxygen to terminal patients whose
relatives were already known to the shop and thus might have given that shop
* An April issue of New Scientist magazine reported that Australia's
national research organization CSIRO has already made three sales of its
"phalloblaster" device (at about $3,500 [U.S.]) that inflates the genitalia
of dead insects to make it easier to classify them. Its official name is
the "vesica everter," and it will work on genitalia as small as those of
moths with wingspans of 2 millimeters.
* Charles S. Wooton, 27, was arrested in May and accused of putting out a
contract to have his mother killed for insurance money on Mother's Day as
she left work in the cafeteria at a hospital in Hazard, Ky. (The place was
important because Wooton reportedly wanted also to be able to sue the
hospital for lack of security.) Said Det. Dan Smoot, in Wooton's defense,
"I'm not convinced he knew it was Mother's Day."
* Elementary school principal Lyla Ann Wolfenbarger, 46, was charged with
misdemeanor trespass in Pocatello, Idaho, in February based on photographs
Richard Clothier took in an effort to find out who had been running onto
his property since September 1996 on Sundays and defecating, even once
taunting him as she ran by. Clothier said he was "floored" to learn of the
woman's occupation and says he had never met her. Wolfenbarger pleaded not
* According to USA Today in May, a bill pending in the Texas legislature
would allow anyone with a record of mental illness nonetheless to obtain a
concealed weapon permit if approved by a doctor.
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1997 Peter Langston