NewsQuirks 372

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTENIn Wichita, Kan., Gail Murphy, 46, had to lie in bed on her stomach after hemorrhoid surgery. She became furious with her husband for leaving her alone while he went fishing with friends. When she heard him return six hours later, she got up, walked to the porch with a shotgun and fired through the door, then called 911. Police said Edward Murphy, 47, died the next morning.YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABYGermany's liberal, mostly male Free Democrats launched an equal rights campaign to open the army to women, attacking the legal exclusion of women in combat as the country's last sexist job ban. Their female counterparts rejected the call to arms, however, charging the men with raising the equal rights banner only because the number of men entering the armed forces had fallen.In the Dominican Republic, men and women voted separately in the June 30 election, won by Leonal Fernandez Reyna. Embassy officials in Washington explained the separation was necessary because men are rude to women, but the Associated Press reported it was part of the plan to assure a fair election. Women lined up at 6 a.m. to prove they were registered voters and started casting their ballots at 8:30. Men gathered at 1 p.m. and voted late in the afternoon. Once in line, voters couldn't leave, leaving them no time to get to another polling place to vote a second time. The result, officials reported, was the cleanest election in Dominican history.OOPS!In El Cajon, Calif., Heather Jaehn, 25, and her boyfriend returned home but discovered they had misplaced the house key. When they couldn't find an open window, the 100-pound Jaehn decided to try the chimney. Partway down, she got stuck. Her boyfriend tried unsuccessfully for three hours to get her out before calling the fire department. Meanwhile, Jaehn had removed a sweater she was wearing because it was getting too warm in the chimney. When finally rescued, she was covered with soot and "naked from the waist up,'' according to fire department Battalion Chief Ed Jarrell. Pointing out that she was greeted by 13 firefighters and an assortment of television cameras and still photographers, he added, "She was pretty embarrassed about the whole thing."CURSES, FOILED AGAINPolice investigating a burglary in suburban Miami arrested Rafael Santiago, 34, after they found his missing thumb at the scene of the crime. Metro-Dade police said Santiago shot his thumb off while he and an accomplice were trying to steal a shotgun from the apartment. The suspects fled, but Santiago was nabbed when he showed up at Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment of his wound.Antonino Votano, an Italian gangster who was sentenced to life after a murder conviction but escaped, was apprehended after a year in hiding because he was a chain-smoker. Police found hundreds of fresh cigarette butts they recognized as Votano's brand outside a building he had been using as his hideout, so they surrounded it. Votano was captured without incident.Brian Witham, 25, and James Lertola, 20, picked a bad time to escape from the Marble Valley prison near Rutland, Vt. Unknown to them, federal authorities were on their way to the prison to deliver a warrant charging Witham with a series of armed robberies in several New England states. So instead of the Vermont correction department sending out "Wanted'' fliers to New England police departments, the two fugitives activated a net of local, state and federal police that stretched from Bangor to New York, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spokesperson William Pickett, who noted, "We launched an incredibly intensive investigation."Meanwhile, the two fugitives were sitting in a stolen car in Dartmouth, Mass., when a police officer approached them. They ran into the woods, but left behind a list of things to do: "Drive to Maine, get safer place to stay, buy guns, get Marie, get car -- Dartmouth, do robbery, go to New York.'' Agents staking out the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan spotted Lertola shortly after the Maine-to-New York bus arrived. He told them where to find Witham.CALLING BILL VEECKTrailing the Western Baseball League in attendance, California's Palm Springs Suns announced plans for "Nude Night" at the ballpark on July 8, then had to cancel the promotion when it looked like attendance would exceed the stadium's 4,400-seat capacity. "So many people wanted to come, it could have filled Dodger Stadium," said the event's sponsor, Tom Mulhall, owner of a clothing-optional resort. "We were concerned that we might have a safety and security problem." The Suns announced another promotion: "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Suns Night," to be held Aug. 9. The event, named for an Australian cult movie, immediately ran afoul of the local gay community and was renamed "Female Impersonator Night." Even after the change, not everyone was happy. "I don't feel a baseball field is the place for a drag queen show," said hotelier Joe Riordan. "That's why you have nightclubs."FUMBLEBoston Patriots defensive end Bruce Walker suffered a stab wound in his chest while he and a friend were playing catch outside the Super Stop & Shop in North Attleboro, Mass., and Walker missed the catch. Police said the 6-foot-4-inch, 310-pound two-year veteran was examined at Southwood Community Hospital in Norfolk and released after receiving five stitches.CROWDED AT THE TOPTwo New York schoolgirls have sued each other over who has the right to be called the best. Lisa Camilleri, 18, was told last fall that she was to be her high school graduating class's valedictorian as a result of having scored the highest grade-point average over the previous six years. The following term, however, classmate Paige Goodman surpassed Camilleri's average, and she was named valedictorian. Camilleri's parents protested, so principal Harris Sarney declared that the two students would share the honor, prompting the Goodmans to sue. In June the New York Supreme Court found for Goodman, then the following day restored the principal's ruling.Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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