NEWS OF THE WEIRD: Chicken costumes and a nun who is a baseball super-fan
June 8, 2010
RENO, Nev. (AP) – Why did the chicken cross the road?
In Nevada, it could be to comply with election laws.
Chickens have been an issue in the Republican senatorial primary for the right to run against Harry Reid since one candidate suggested patients barter with doctors, like when “our grandparents would bring a chicken to the doctor.”
Democrats blasted Sue Lowden’s idea on a website, “Chickens for Checkups,” and critics donned chicken suits at debates. That prompted Secretary of State Ross Miller to add the fowl attire to the items banned within 100 feet of the polls.
Now, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans a vegetarian rally Tuesday with chicken-dressed pickets near a Reno polling place. PETA’s Amanda Fortino says they have no political ties and won’t break the law.
CLEVELAND (AP) – A Cleveland nun with a baseball habit is the winner of an annual award for distinguished service by a fan of the game.
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A group called the Baseball Reliquary says Sister Mary Assumpta Zabas has had a passion for baseball since childhood and has been a huge supporter of the Cleveland Indians, baking cookies for the players and contributing a regular TV news segment on her beloved Tribe.
The 64-year-old nun is this year’s recipient of the Hilda Award. It’s named for a woman named Hilda Chester whose regular presence at Brooklyn Dodgers games practically made her a team mascot.
Sister Mary Assumpta – who had her own official baseball card in 1997 – will travel to Pasadena, Calif., for the awards ceremony on July 18.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Authorities say a used car dealer is headed to prison for fraud, despite attempting to place a voodoo hex on prosecutors handling his case in Los Angeles.
Thirty-four-year-old Ruben Hernandez was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years after being convicted of using false Social Security information and bank statements to buy properties.
Hernandez was arrested in February 2009 after being a fugitive for a year.
Authorities searching his home found a shrine with voodoo dolls dunked headfirst in cups of water with pins in their eyes. Officials say the case number and names of the prosecutor and investigators were written on the dolls.
Hernandez was convicted in May on four counts of filing a false application and three counts of grand theft. He was ordered to return to court next Wednesday to face 28 additional counts.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – It’s not just the picture of beef on a new billboard in North Carolina that tries to catch drivers’ attention, it’s the aroma coming from the sign.
The billboard on N.C. 150 in central North Carolina emits the smell of black pepper and charcoal to promote a new line of beef available at the Bloom grocery chain. Bloom is part of the Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion chain.
The billboard shows a fork piercing a piece of meat.
A Bloom spokeswoman says the billboard will emit scents from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day until June 18.
A high-powered fan at the bottom of the billboard spreads the aroma by blowing air over cartridges loaded with fragrance oil.
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) – Rehoboth Beach in Delaware isn’t a topless beach – but a few transgender women caused a stir by treating it like one.
Police say passers-by complained after they removed their tops and revealed their surgically enhanced breasts over Memorial Day weekend. A lifeguard asked them to put their tops back on. They initially refused, but covered up before police arrived.
Even if they hadn’t, though, Police Chief Keith Banks notes they were doing nothing illegal. Since they have male genitalia, they can’t be charged with indecent exposure for showing their breasts. Banks says there’s no need for a specific law to address the issue.
Rehoboth Beach commissioner Kathy McGuiness isn’t so sure. She says the matter will be discussed at a town hall meeting next week.
MILFORD, Mich. (AP) – There’s no constitutional right to a Michigan personalized license plate, even if you’re a passionate University of Michigan graduate.
A federal judge in Detroit has dismissed a lawsuit by an Oakland County man who claimed his rights were violated when the plate on his 2003 Corvette was revoked by the secretary of state.
The state says it simply made a mistake when it allowed lawyer Robert Tuttle of Milford to buy a plate with the block M followed by W-L-V-R-N-E, or wolverine. Someone else already had it.
U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland dismissed the case last week. He says Tuttle can’t claim a property interest in a license plate that is controlled by the state.
Attorney Mark Cantor, who represented Tuttle, said he respects the judge’s decision.
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Police say a Rhode Island man broke into an East Providence home and fell asleep on a hallway floor.
East Providence police said 29-year-old Jeremy Menard was found sleeping in the basement of the two-family home Friday morning and arrested.
Resident Carmine Balzano said his wife found Menard.
Menard was arraigned on breaking and entering charges Friday. He was released and is due back in court in August. It was unclear whether he had hired a lawyer.
Balzano said Menard “would have never made it out of (his) house” if he has hurt his wife.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Southern California freeway was briefly shut down while state wildlife officials tried to remove a bear that wandered into lanes.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Kerry Carter says the adult black bear was spotted just after midnight Sunday on surface streets near the Foothill Freeway in Duarte. The animal later walked onto the freeway, which was closed for about a half hour.
Fish and Game Department workers were eventually able to corner the bear in a flood control channel, where they tranquilized it with a dart gun.