Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird
The New Jersey Government Records Council ruled in December that the township of Bridgewater had overcharged Tom Coulter in 2008 by $4.04 on the $5 it collected for a compact disc of a council meeting and must issue a refund. The town estimates that it spent about $17,000 fighting Coulter's appeals and paying his attorney's fees
.Fine Points of the Law
In December in Juneau, Wis., Brandi Jo Winkelman, 17, was charged with violating the state's child abuse law following a schoolyard fight and risks a maximum of six years in prison. Authorities charged Winkelman even though the fight occurred with a classmate who is older than Winkelman (but still less than 18 years of age).
Among the Major League Baseball players who spent time on the disabled list in 2010: Kendry Morales (Angels), who broke his leg jumping on home plate after hitting a home run; Brian Roberts (Orioles), who was out a week with a concussion when he smacked himself in the head with his bat because he was frustrated after striking out; Chris Coghlan (Marlins), who needed knee surgery after hurting himself while giving a teammate a playful post-game shaving-cream pie; and Geoff Blum (Astros), who needed elbow surgery after straining his arm while putting on his shirt.
Least Competent Criminals
Fortunately for Police, Disguising His E-Mail Address Did Not Occur to Him: Kyle D. Gore, 23, of Naperville, Ill., was arrested in December for allegedly downloading child pornography on his computer. Police identified Gore as the man trying to find people online who could help him have encounters with children, reportedly using the e-mail address "firstname.lastname@example.org" (if true, it would be an unimaginative identifier for someone of Gore's initials and born, as Gore was, in 1987).
(1) At 2 a.m. on Nov. 13 in Akron, Ohio, a 70-year-old woman was the victim of a home invasion when Cory Buckley, 22, broke in and robbed her. According to the police report, the woman was seated on the commode at the time, and Buckley was dressed in a clown mask. (2) Melissa Wagaman, 33, was convicted in November in Hagerstown, Md., of a February home invasion in which she broke into her neighbor's house while wearing only a bridal skirt and veil. She later blamed cold medicine and marijuana.
- Among the recent works funded by Arts Council England was a "painting" consisting of a blank canvas, for which artist Agnieszka Kurant was paid the equivalent of about $2,300 and on which she intends to paint something in the future. Rounding out Kurant’s exhibition were a "sculpture" that was not really present and a "movie" that had been shot with no film in the camera.
- In October, borrowing from the U.S. Air Guitar Championships (which honors guitar "heroes" pretending to play wild rock ’n’ roll as if they were holding real guitars), the second annual Air Sex World Championships was held in the Music Hall in Brooklyn, N.Y., and eventually won by Lady C. (whose performance could not easily be described). Each contestant—the contest featured solo performances only—had two minutes to cover "all the bases," which included "meeting, seduction, foreplay, intercourse and, if successful, afterglow." Exposing body parts was not allowed.
(1) Video surveillance at the Bealls Outlet store in Crestview, Fla., in December showed a woman handing clothing to a man, who would roll it up and hand it back. The woman then concealed the items in her purse—or, in the case of a pair of shoes, under her breasts. The two were charged with misdemeanor theft. (2) Ailene Brown, 28, and Shmeco Thomas, 37, were arrested in Edmond, Okla., in November and charged with shoplifting at a T.J. Maxx store. Surveillance video revealed that among the items stuffed in the pair's belly fat and under their armpits and breasts were four pairs of boots, three pairs of jeans, a wallet and gloves.
2011 Chuck Shepherd