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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.14 No.27 | July 7 - 13, 2005

Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary
Scott Rickson

Dateline: Korea—The Korean Baseball Association has ruled that players can no longer wear frozen cabbage leaves. “The KBO rules and regulations committee on Tuesday reached a decision that cabbage leaves should be considered as odd materials,” a KBO spokesman told the Australian Free Press. The committee investigated the use of cabbage leaves by players after the cap of pitcher Park Myung-hwan of the Doosan Bears fell to the ground during a game against the Hanhwa Eagles on Sunday, revealing a frozen cabbage leaf. Park said he began using cabbage leaves last year after hearing from a local TV station that U.S. baseball great Babe Ruth had used them to cool off.

Dateline: Romania—A 300-pound burglar was caught when he became stuck in the window of a pie shop after gorging himself on the fruits of his labor. The 29-year-old man stole 250 pies after breaking into the shop and apparently couldn't wait until he got home to eat them. When he tried to get out of the shop, he became wedged in the windowsill and was found by the shop owner, Vasile Mandache, when he arrived for work in the morning. “I saw all the pie wrappers on the floor, and then I looked up and saw a pair of stubby fat legs hanging out the window,” said Mandache. “I went outside and saw the other half of the thief. I just had to burst out laughing and called all my friends to come and have a look before we called the police; it was so funny.”

Dateline: India—Forest officials in Jharkhand's Chakulia forest have been stymied in their efforts to fight timber thieves by gangs of topless women. Forest guards in the Eastern Indian state have been repeatedly frightened off by women who start stripping and yelling when their male companions are arrested. “It is proving tough to deal with these women,” Agence France-Presse quotes B. K. Singh, a forest official in Jharkhand, as saying. “It has almost become a regular practice for them to strip and we end up releasing the culprits to avoid trouble.” Recently, when forest guards arrested three men with illegally cut timber, about 50 women descended on them and started taking off their clothes while crying for help, newspaper reports said. Officials hope to recruit more female forest guards to combat the stripping problem.

Dateline: New Jersey—Zamboni operator John Peragallo was charged with drunk driving after fellow employees at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown called police and reported that the machine was speeding and nearly crashed into the boards. Police arrived after Peragallo had parked the machine. The 64-year-old Zamboni driver had just finished grooming the ice during a break in a public skating session. Police said Peragallo's blood alcohol level was .12 percent, .03 above the legal limit. Zamboni privileges were revoked for Peragallo, who has worked for the Morris County park system since 1994.

Dateline: North Dakota—In other drunk driving related news, 27-year-old Clifford Mattson of Devil's Lake was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in a shopping cart. Detective Sue Schwab said police went to the Leevers grocery store last Monday afternoon, after hearing reports of a drunken man driving an electric-powered shopping cart into people and nearly knocking them over. “He appeared to be actually driving after them,” Schwab told reporters. No one was hurt, but Mattson was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. The intoxicated shopper could face 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Dateline: New Hampshire—Immediately after Supreme Court Justice David Souter voted in favor of a controversial decision allowing city governments to take residents' homes for private development, a private developer contacted the local government in Souter's hometown with a request to seize Souter's house and turn it into a hotel. Logan Darrow Clements faxed a request to Chip Meany, the code enforcement officer of the town of Weare, seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road, the present location of Souter's home. In his request, Clements wrote, “Although this property is owned by an individual, David H. Souter, a recent Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. City of New London, clears the way for the land to be taken by the government of Weare through eminent domain and given to my LLC for the purposes of building a hotel. The justification for such an eminent domain action is that our hotel will better serve the public interest as it will bring in economic development and higher tax revenue to Weare.” The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution allows the practice of eminent domain if the seizure is for “public use” such as a bridge or highway. The new Supreme Court decision allows governments to seize private property and hand it over to private business. “This is not a prank,” Clements told WorldNetDaily.com. “The town of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel.” Clements says he already has investors for the property.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.