NEWS OF THE WEIRD: Ugliest dog, pirates and pyromaniac rat |

NEWS OF THE WEIRD: Ugliest dog, pirates and pyromaniac rat

The Associated Press
"Rascal" a Chinese Crested, stands on the judges' table during the World's Ugliest Dog Contest Friday, June 25, 2010, in Petaluma, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) – A Chihuahua’s oddly curved back and legs and closed-up left eye earned the 4-year-old rescue dog top honors at the World’s Ugliest Dog contest at a Northern California fair on Friday.

Sporting a gray, brown and black coat, Princess Abby Francis beat a rough-looking slate of candidates for the prize, including Pabst, a teeth-bearing boxer mix who won last year.

Princess Abby shivered in the cool breeze after her win Friday night while nestled in the arms of her owner, Kathleen Francis, who received a $1,000 check at the 22nd annual contest held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma.

The victory was a surprise to Francis.

“I don’t think she’s ugly at all,” she said. “I think she’s the most beautiful dog.”

Francis says she adopted Princess Abby from her veterinarian about five months ago. This was the dog’s first such contest since she was found running through the street.

Celebrity vet Karen “Doc” Halligan says the Chihuahua’s problematic back, legs and eye may be due to being inbred.

“She’s a poster child to spay and neuter your pets,” she said.

Contest judges included Halligan, Vertical Horizon lead singer Matt Scannell, “That 70’s Show” actress Christina Moore and fair board member Brian Sobel.

PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) – Two candidates in a rural Nevada county will settle a tie in their primary race Las Vegas style.

A Republican Nye County commissioner and his challenger tied with 381 votes apiece in the June 8 primary. They’ll cut cards – or throw dice, draw straws or flip a coin – in the next week or so to determine who moves on to the general election.

The ballots in the race between County Commissioner Andrew “Butch” Borasky and Challenger Carl Moore Sr. were recounted by hand twice.

The seat Borasky and Moore are running for represents parts of Pahrump, about 60 miles west of Las Vegas. The lucky winner will face Libertarian candidate Sandra Darby.

VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) – Yo-ho-ho, how many pirates can there be?

That’s the question this weekend at the fourth annual Northern California Pirate Festival in Vallejo.

Festival-goers are seeking to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the most costumed pirates in one place. On Saturday, nearly 2,300 pirates had registered but the festival’s official count wouldn’t be out until after the event ends Sunday.

Festival spokesperson Shannon Damnavits says each pirate has to wear a red wristband, stand in one place for 10 minutes and be photographed. Guiness then certifies the count.

The current titleholder is Brixham, England, where 1,722 costumed pirates were recorded.

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) – A rat is suspected of starting a fire at the Veterans of Foreign War building in Yakima.

KAPP-TV reports that investigators discovered a rat had chewed through an electrical cord. The rat apparently caught fire and ran to its nest, igniting flammable items.

The fire last week spread quickly through the building, damaging several rooms and war memorabilia.

The fire department says damage could exceed $1 million.

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The patrons carrying small coolers and plastic bags into Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center weren’t bringing their lunch. They were packing snowballs.

Monday marked the first day of summer and the science museum’s annual Snowball Day. Visitors are encouraged every year to save a snowball from the winter in their freezer and then take it to the science center on the first day of summer. Those who do get to name their own price to get into the museum for the day.

But the most fun comes when they get to throw their snowballs into the Ohio River from the deck of a submarine that is docked outside the museum.

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – Tracy Durham remembers hearing the pop. But the gunshot wound the Illinois man discovered after a neighbor asked about his limp? That was a surprise.

The 48-year-old Durham told police he thinks he was shot by a friend during a party late Sunday at his home.

Police say Durham recalled calling the friend’s girlfriend ugly. The Peoria man then heard a pop as he took a drink from a bottle of whiskey. But police say he felt no pain.

Durham told officers he went to sleep around 3 a.m. Monday and discovered the wound about four hours later.

Police questioned Durham while he was being treated at a local hospital. He declined to identify the man he suspects shot him.

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