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WINNING ISN'T EVERYTHINGNew York State this April began seizing one-half of the prizes of lottery winners who use welfare payments to buy their tickets. The crackdown, part of Gov. George Pataki's welfare reform program, uses computers to match the names of those who redeem winning lottery tickets worth more than $600 with the state's 1.5 million welfare recipients.In Philadelphia, city Controller Jonathan A. Saidel announced that 17 men who were among 38 people falsely arrested by corrupt police officers can't collect their share of a $2.4 million settlement until they pay their child-support. A check on the men's Social Security numbers found they owed a total of $86,000 in child support to 22 mothers, including one man who owed $30,000 and had not paid child support in some 10 years.MENSA REJECTS OF THE WEEKA British gang carried out the biggest robbery in the southern county of Hampshire, stealing high-tech gas turbines from a Portsmouth factory worth $7 million. After the successful heist, the thieves then melted the engines down and sold them as scrap metal for just $1,500.SEX IS ITS OWN PUNISHMENTAfter picking up money from a bank in Dayton, Ohio, Wells Fargo armored car driver Aaron McKie decided to engage the services of a prostitute. They had sex in the vehicle, FBI Agent Peter A. Lakes noted, adding that after the "female exited the armored van, McKie noticed that the bag with the bank's $80,000 was missing." When McKie reported the incident, he lost his job.In Idaho, Gem County Prosecutor Douglas Varie is using a little-known 75-year-old state law against fornication to try to wipe out teen pregnancy. "When I was first served with the papers, I didn't even know what fornication was. It's an unmarried person who has sex, and they got me on that," said Amanda Smisek, 17, who received a 30-day suspended jail sentence and three years' probation.(In North Carolina, where a Gastonia judge announced he would enforce a 191-year-old state law forbidding sex outside marriage, attorney Curtis Harris commented, "If the state's going to proceed with this, they're going to have to lock up 15 percent of Gaston County's population.")Wives whose husbands are unfaithful are five to 11 times more likely to develop cervical cancer, especially if the husbands frequent prostitutes or have many sexual partners, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "Male behavior is the important thing in this cancer," said the study's co-author, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor Dr. Keerti V. Shah. "In effect, the husband takes cancer home to his wife."CURSES, FOILED AGAINPolice at a roadblock in Fort Worth, Texas, stopped Philip G. Rojo, 24, because he wasn't wearing a seat belt. After spotting some wrapped packages on the floor of his car, they began backing away, explaining they feared the packages were a pipe bomb. "Man, that ain't no pipe bomb," Rojo told them. "That's cocaine." Reassured, the officers arrested Rojo.When John Mahoney, 31, went to a Concord, N.H., police station to pick up some paperwork on two rifles he had reported stolen, an undercover officer looked up, recognized Mahoney as the man who sold him heroin and arrested him.Police in Bend, Ore., were surprised when someone trying to reach a drug dealer to make a buy inadvertently dialed their number. Narcotics Detective Jim Porter answered and played along when the caller said he needed a quarter-pound of marijuana. Porter arranged a meeting, where he arrested Thomas VanHoose, 21. "What are the odds he makes a mistake, punches in the wrong number and out of 3,500 pagers in central Oregon, he would get a narc's pager?" police Lt. Les Stiles asked. "It's absolutely amazing."Amsterdam police arrested a 29-year-old suspected mugger after the man he tried to rob bit off the tip of his finger. The mugger fled, but police matched the fingerprint on the digit with one in their files and discovered the suspect's identity. The arrested man refused to answer police questions but admitted the man bit off his finger, calling him "the cannibal."Curtis Crenshaw, 30, dropped by Cincinnati police headquarters to get a copy of his rap sheet so he could review his police record. Records clerks reviewed them first and alerted officers when they noticed Crenshaw was wanted in New York on a murder charge. "One of my detectives said 'That wasn't very smart,'" a police spokesperson said. "Well, I told him smart people don't commit homicides. That's one of the edges that we have."DEER MECharles Weaver, 24, of Glen Burnie, Md., was convicted of assaulting Edward Saunders after the two men argued over which one of them had shot a 160-pound deer. According to court testimony, the two hunters were engaged in a tug of war with the buck's antlers when Weaver hit Saunders with his shotgun butt, breaking Saunders's jaw and two vertebrae.Contract workers repairing a stretch of roadway in Pennsylvania's Schuylkill County paved over a deer carcass lying along Route 895. State transportation engineer Walter Bortree said the contractor probably just didn't see the animal, but Keither Billig, the mayor of nearby Bowmanstown, pointed out, "The deer was lying there dead for three to four weeks. You can't miss it. It's in a straight-away."TAX DOLLARS AT WORKAfter receiving numerous inquiries from Swedes eager to resolve bets on the length of their country, the Swedish Surveyor Board had the length measured by satellite: 1,572 kilometers (974.64 miles).The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease announced it was funding a $280,000 study to determine if a chemical widely used in sexual lubricants makes anal sex safer for homosexuals.

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