NewsQuirks 404

WHEN POOPER-SCOOPERS ARE OUTLAWED, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE POOPER-SCOOPERSWhen security guards tried to detain a man and a woman they thought were stealing items from a Kmart in Palmdale, Calif., the man pulled a handgun and began shooting at them, then the pair fled in a brown Cadillac. About 20 minutes later, a California Highway Patrol officer stopped their car for speeding. Authorities said the man fired several shots at the officer, then sped off before stopping and pushing his companion and her two children, ages 3 and 5, out of the car and resuming his flight with police in pursuit. He pulled into a trailer park and fired a shot from an AK-47 assault rifle at a man who refused to give up his car, then trained the rifle at a woman and tried to take her hostage. "He actually tried to shoot me," Janice "Turquoise" Wolf said. "He stepped into my fence about two feet, and that's when I picked up my doggie shovel -- and I just nailed him." Wolf and her husband Tom used a rope to tie up Mario Barraillier, 28, until the authorities arrived.THE HONEYMOON IS OVERAfter four months of marriage, Margaret Anne Hunter, 24, of Alexandria, Va., discovered last summer that Thorne Wesley Jameson Groves, 26, was not the man for her. In fact, Groves, whom Hunter met through an America Online ''chat room," was really Holly Anne Groves. Before they met face to face, Hunter said, Thorne Groves told her he had AIDS and proposed a quick wedding because he had only a short time to live. Explaining he was concerned about transmitting AIDS, he restricted intimacy to petting and fondling over his clothes and even wore a prosthetic penis to further the deception, according to Hunter.After becoming suspicious, Hunter eventually confronted Groves, who admitted deceiving her but gave no explanation. Besides seeking an annulment, Hunter filed a $575,000 fraud suit against her husband to recover, among other things, the cost of the lavish wedding her parents paid for. Groves also canceled her AOL account. As recently as November, a Thorne Groves was still on AOL, using the nickname "KingSicko."HOWDYKleberg County, Texas, commissioners voted unanimously to make "heaveno'' the official courthouse greeting as a "symbol of peace, friendship and welcome'' in the current "age of anxiety.'' The salutation was prompted by Kingsville resident Leonso Canales, 56, who for the past three years has headed a campaign to reject the traditional greeting "hello" because it contains the word "hell." "I see 'hell' in hello," Canales said. "It's disguised by the 'o', but once you see it, it will slap you in the face."LOVE GOES BANGA woman in Long Branch, N.J., woman was hospitalized briefly after accidentally shooting herself in the breast with a shotgun while performing a striptease for her boyfriend.WHY THEY CALL IT DOPEAfter Harlan Collinsworth, 20, reported that his Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, home had been burglarized, he told the investigating officers that the stolen items included a VCR, a bong used to smoke marijuana and a film canister containing pot. "While showing me this container," Officer S.W. Childers reported, "he explained the suspect had failed to take his marijuana pipe. When I asked where it was, Harlan pulled it from the container." Collinsworth was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.The ruler of Liechtenstein called for countries to legalize drugs under state supervision. Prince Hans Adam, 52, recalled that hashish cigarettes were sold at his school but added he didn't try any because "I never had enough pocket money."HEY, MISTER, THAT'S ME UP ON THE JUKEBOXWhile on a business trip, Colorado Gov. Roy Romer discovered he had misplaced his wallet with all his travel money and credit cards. He asked several passengers aboard the Los Angeles-bound flight for money before William Agster from Littleton, Colo., agreed to lend him $60.Arriving in Los Angeles, where he had to make a speech before heading on to Washington, Romer realized he had no identification to claim the ticket he reserved. He showed ticket clerks a copy of the Denver Post, which had front-page pictures showing him addressing the Legislature the previous day. "See that? That's me," he said. "My name's Romer. There. That's my ID." They gave him his ticket.LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOTPenis snatching continues to plague West Africa, according to reports from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. In January, angry mobs in Ghana lynched or beat to death at least 12 "sorcerers" who took part in a scheme where the sorcerers touch men, then tell the victims their penises will shrink or disappear unless they pay for an antidote. Inspector General of Police Peter Nanfuri ordered increased police patrols and vowed to call in the army to maintain order. Meanwhile, newspapers reported that medical experts tried to calm the panic by going on television to "explain in detail why penises increase and decrease in size," but such assurances have been of little help, even in Ghana's capital, Accra, where Deputy Police Commissioner Kwashievie Agbelie told state television that police examined all alleged victims and found their genitals intact.Elsewhere, seven men were beaten and burned to death in Ivory Coast's commercial capital of Abidjan by angry mobs accusing them of being penis-shrinkers. Local police dismissed the threats of penis shrinking as a ploy by thieves to cause a crowd to form so they could rob people. Police commanders ordered all impromptu gatherings dispersed in an effort to prevent the attacks from spreading.BILINGUAL EDUCATIONThe Spanish version of a letter by the New Jersey Department of Human Services explaining new welfare rules was so poorly translated that Human Services Commissioner William Waldman apologized to confused recipients for "an inexcusable error on our part." When warning that parole violators will be denied further welfare, for example, the words used to mean parole violators, "violador bajo palabra,'' actually mean "rapist under oath.''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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