NewsQuirks 635

Curses, Foiled Again

Police in Ruscombmanor Township, Pa., said Christian A. McDade, 25, is the man who robbed the same convenience store six times in five months. He was finally arrested after being photographed by a surveillance photo wearing a clear plastic bag over his face, which simplified identification. "It was a big relief when they told me they got my guy," said Larry C. Mattox, 68, the clerk who was victimized all six times.

Paul Fulham, 23, was sentenced to a year in jail after displaying a "sheer lack of criminal professionalism," according to defense attorney Finian Brannigan, who noted his client lifted his stocking mask to greet people while on the way to rob a store next to his childhood home in Drogheda, Ireland. "He was going through Christmas in an alcoholic haze and went to the only shop in town where he was sure to be recognized as he had lived nearby all his life," Brannigan said. "He said hello to people he knew and was falling about all over the place and then couldn't get out of the door of the shop."

When Jet Skis Aren't Enough

Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission approved emergency restrictions on "water skipping." The increasingly popular summer sport involves gunning a snowmobile down a bank or boat ramp into the water at full speed and hydroplaning across the water. The 500-pound machines, which aren't designed for water and don't float, will sink if they run out of gas, stall or slow too much. The commission's action was prompted by the July 8 death of Gary Hoyt, who drowned in a Montana reservoir after his snowmobile lost momentum and sank. He wasn't wearing a life jacket and couldn't swim.

Better Late Than Never

Jorginho Guinle, Brazil's most famous playboy, has been forced by financial circumstances to take his first job -- at age 85. A bon vivant, who in his heyday seduced Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and other celebrities, Guinle has been hired by a Rio de Janeiro travel agency to serve as a guide for rich Brazilians traveling in Europe and the United States. "I thought I would die before the money ran out," he said. "I lived too long, but I had a lot of fun, and now it's time to work."

Harold Stilson, 101, became the oldest golfer ever to make a hole-in-one, when he aced the 16th hole at the Deerfield Country Club in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Lucretia Hodges, a 50-year-old great-grandmother, gave birth to a son in Fairfax, Va. She had twins when she was 14 and a third child a year later, but told the Washington Post, "I wanted to experience birth as an adult this time."

Revenge of the Vegetable Kingdom

Thousands of foot-long and larger leaves from corn stalks fell like rain across the eastern edge of Wichita, Kan., on Aug. 4 and 5, baffling authorities and weather experts. "It was a pretty large area where people reported it," Weather Data Inc. meteorologist Chad Pettera said, noting there had been no unusual weather that might explain the falling corn husks. National Weather Service meteorological technician Holly Kreutzer added, "There weren't strong winds. I don't see how they could have gotten blown up in the air."

Eugene Kamas, 69, was picking sweet corn near his home in Garden City, Minn., on Aug. 4 when he tripped and broke a stalk of corn. He tripped a second time, and the stalk pierced the carotid artery in his neck. Blue Earth County sheriff's deputies arrived within minutes, but Kamas was dead at the scene.

Growing Up

To stop children ages 3 to 15 from drinking soft drinks, public schools in Belgium's Limburg province announced they would begin serving low-alcoholic beer in school cafeterias.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Linda M. Harris, 53, the coordinator of the drunken-driving prevention program in Dona Ana County, N.M., was charged with driving while intoxicated. She was arrested in the parking lot at a DWI awareness picnic.

John Eric Conger, 58, the former director of drunken-driving prevention programs for Colorado, was found guilty of driving while his ability was impaired by alcohol. When Conger was the state Transportation Department's director of safety, he administered the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund, which provides state grant money to communities to beef up drunken-driving prevention. According to the Denver Post, the police officer who arrested Conger in Grand Junction was working under that program.

Bitter Irony

A man wandering in the street in Jacksonville, Fla., was struck and killed by a fire engine that had been dispatched to help him. Fire Lt. Glenda Hopkins said the fire engine and a rescue vehicle were responding to a 911 call for medical assistance.

Three highway workers fixing guardrails near Chester, Pa., were injured when a car struck a "Men at Work" sign, sending it flying. Patrolman George Pappas said the sign landed on the men.

Take Me Seriously

An employee of Kiss 'N' Tell, an adult entertainment store in Eugene, Ore., reported that a man walked into the shop demanding money with his finger pointed like a gun from under his shirt. Police spokesperson Pam Alehandre said the employee told police he laughed at the man, who ran out the door. An 18-year-old suspect was arrested a few minutes later.

Mike Ellis, the evening manager at the One Stop Grocery outside Kenai, Alaska, told police a man in his 40s or 50s walked into the liquor side entrance of the store and announced, "Everybody freeze, nobody move. You know what that means." When nobody reacted, the would-be robber went to the cooler, took some beer and said, "You people don't understand. I really mean it."

"Having people occasionally being a bit boisterous on the liquor side of the store is not uncommon. Everyone kind of ignored him. We were busy," Ellis said. "If he would have been on the grocery side, I would have hit 911 immediately." The man finally complained that nobody was listening, shouted expletives and left. "He didn't get anything but a headache," Ellis said, "not even a beer."

Compiled from the nation's press by Roland Sweet. Send original clippings, citing source and date, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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