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Friday, May 11, 2012

Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

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Planning for a Bleak Future

Condo developer Larry Hall said he has already sold nearly half of the upscale “doomsday” units he is building in an underground Cold War-era missile silo near Salina, Kan. Hall told an Agence France-Presse reporter in April that his 14-story structure would house seven floors of apartments (for $1 million to $2 million each, in cash), with the rest of the floors devoted to dry food storage, filtered-water tanks and an indoor farm that would raise fish and vegetables to sustain residents. The 9-foot-thick concrete walls, built to protect rockets from a Soviet nuclear attack, would be buttressed by entrance security to ward off people who hadn't bought a condo. Hall said he expects to sell all of the units this year and begin work on another of the three silos he has options to buy.

That Sacred Institution


(1) In February, a federal court magistrate in Melbourne, Australia, had to decide how to split a divorcing couple's assets after listening to tedious details of their 20-year marriage. The "couple" lived apart except for vacations and kept their finances separate, even giving invoices to each other for amounts as trifling as a $1.60 light bulb, according to the Daily Telegraph. (2) Many Americans act as though they are in love with themselves, but Nadine Schweigert took it one step further. In March, she symbolically married herself in front of 45 family members and friends in Fargo, N.D., vowing "to enjoy inhabiting my own life and to relish a lifelong love affair with my beautiful self." And then she was off on a solo honeymoon.

Unclear on the Concept


  • In January, Ms. Navey Skinner, 34, was charged with robbing the Chase Bank in Arlington, Wash., after passing a teller a note that read, "Put the money in the bag now or [die]." According to investigators, Skinner told them she had been thinking about robbing a bank and then, while inside the Chase Bank, “accidentally” robbed it.
  • Emanuel Kuvakos, 56, was arrested in April and charged with sending emails that threatened violence against two Chicago sports team executives for having stolen his "ideas" for winning "championships." One of the victims was a former general manager of the Chicago Cubs, a team that famously has not won a National League championship in 66 years and a World Series title in 103 years.



People With Issues

In March, police in West Des Moines, Iowa, opened an investigation, with video surveillance, of a 59-year-old employee of the state's Farm Bureau on suspicion of criminal mischief. According to police documents cited by The Des Moines Register, the man would look through the employee database for photos of attractive female colleagues and then visit their workspace after hours and urinate on their chairs. According to the Farm Bureau, it is out about $4,500 in damaged chairs.

Least Competent Criminals

Amateur Hour: (1) CVS supervisor Fenton Graham, 35, of Silver Spring, Md., was arrested as the inside man in two drugstore robberies in April. Surveillance video showed that, in the second heist, the perp failed to take the money with him, and Graham (the "victim") was seen taking it out to his forgetful partner. (2) Kyle Voss, 24, was charged with four burglaries in Great Falls, Mont., in April after coming upon a private residence containing buckets of coins. According to police, Voss first took quarters and half-dollars ($3,000), and then days later returned for $700 in dimes and nickels. By the third break-in, the resident had installed surveillance video, and Voss was caught as he came back for a bucket of pennies.

© 2012 Chuck Shepherd

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