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News of the Weird



Lead Story

In January Nassau Country, New York, judge Michael Gallaso dismissed sexual-misconduct charges against Lamont Hough, who'd been accused of having nonconsensual sex with his brother Lenny's girlfriend. Lamont allegedly appeared at her bedroom door at 5 AM, and she groggily assumed he was Lenny and invited him in. She realized her error only when Lamont turned to her after sex and asked, "Are you going to tell Lenny?"

Couldn't Possibly Be True

A 35-year-old man in Eagle Valley, Colorado, was badly beaten about the face in a fight at the Brush Creek Saloon on New Year's Eve. He called an ambulance shortly after he arrived home because he blew his nose and his left eyeball came loose from its socket. Doctors repaired the bone around his eye and repositioned the eyeball.

In June Brad Varnum rescued his two sons, Justin, 14, and Jared, 12, who'd been injured while playing near a swimming pool in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Justin had put his hand on a power-line pole and was wrapped around it by the force of the electricity. When Jared tried to rescue his brother he suffered the same fate. By the time their father got to them the boys were unconscious and their skin was purple. The father was knocked down twice by the electricity, but finally freed them by grasping their swim trunks without touching their skin.

In January in San Leandro, California, neighbors reported that two weeks of mail and newspapers had piled up outside the home of Frederic Green, 82. Police broke in, and after examining Green's stiff, cold body assumed he was dead. But as the coroner was taking photographs of the scene, Green was startled by the camera's flash and regained consciousness.

Last spring a judge in Clinton, Tennessee, suspended the 45-day drunken-driving sentence of Laverne J. Parman after Parman demonstrated at a hearing that he'd gone to the Anderson County jail 28 times to serve the sentence but was always turned away. At the time the jail had been cited for overcrowding and had about 500 people waiting to serve sentences.

In October Canadian environmentalist William Lishman and an associate flew two ultralight aircraft from Blackstock, Ontario, to Gaines, New York, and then to Airlie, Virginia, leading a flock of 18 geese. The two men were trying to teach the geese, which had been raised in captivity and lacked migration skills, how to fly south for the winter.

James Brindamour, 38, filed court papers in Warwick, Rhode Island, in January asking to share the proceeds of a $350,000 accidental-death policy on his daughter, who was killed in an auto crash in August. Brindamour abandoned the family in 1983 and owes more than $69,000 in child support.

People Unclear on the Concept

The trade association International Business Forms Industries Inc. recently changed its name to the International Association Serving the Forms, Information Management, Systems Automation and Printed Communications Requirements of Business.

A German court ruled in November that at the prison in Giessen guards may not enter inmates' cells without first knocking and being invited in. German law requires prisons to reflect general living conditions outside the prison as much as possible.

According to witnesses, a middle-aged man who was six foot four and had a gray beard robbed a convenience store in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, in August. As a disguise, he was wearing a rabbit head with large floppy ears, but the front had been cut out so that the man's face was fully visible.

In 1992 the Pro-Line Cap Company of Fort Worth was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for not having adequate rest-room facilities for its female employees. Rather than add facilities, according to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint filed in January 1994, the company simply fired 30 female employees.


Sarah F. Bates, 58, was arrested in Franklin, Tennessee, on Christmas Day after she allegedly punched her son-in-law Richard Harrington and threw a stereo at his son (her grandson), injuring him. She was upset because Harrington decided to let the boy sit at the "grown-ups"' table for dinner.

An unidentified man crashed a road grader into the home of Jeff Bankston in Wilmer, Alabama, in January and nearly totaled the dwelling. Bankston said he and the man had a longstanding battle that started when Bankston repeated a claim he'd heard to the effect that removing the valve stem from a tractor tire would prevent someone else from using the tractor.

The Weirdo-American Community

Sharon Church, 24, who lives near Atlanta, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in November for assaulting a 27-year-old male pedestrian. After luring the man into her apartment, she pulled out a butcher knife, stabbed him in the shoulder, screamed at him to have sex with her "or die," ordered him to disrobe, slashed the bed around him with the knife, and repeatedly performed oral sex on him.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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