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 V.14 No.9 | March 3 - 9, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: New York—A disco-era icon is about to go up for sale on eBay. The multicolored dance floor where John Travolta struck his famous Saturday Night Fever pose will be auctioned off on the website the first week of April. The 24-foot by 16-foot dance floor was rescued from a soon-to-be-demolished nightclub. Bar owner Jay Rizzo, who saved the floor, told the New York Post, “It has literally been the heartbeat of this club.” The club, where the floor had been a fixture since the 1977 film was made, closed last month after being sold to a real estate investment company. The plastic floor, covered in more than 300 multicolored lights, is expected to sell for some $80,000.

Dateline: Norway—It's hard to tell if the financial reward was worth all the hard work, but an enterprising group of thieves certainly get an A for effort. When the Nicolaysen family visited their mountain cabin last weekend, they were shocked to find their entire swimming pool had been stolen. Not only was the pool bolted down, but it had been built into the ground. The determined thieves left only a large hole in the yard where the pool had been installed some 20 years ago. “This can't be, we thought,” Arild Nicolaysen told state radio network NRK last Monday. “We didn't think it was possible. No one can steal a swimming pool.” The theft is believed to have occurred in November when the vacation cabin was shut down for the winter. “It must have been a terrible job to disassemble such a big pool,” said Brit Nicolaysen. “There is a steel lining all the way around, plus there is a plastic liner and then there was a skimming system, a filter system and lots of big hoses and pipes.” Police say they have never heard of anything like it, but are investigating.

Dateline: Nebraska—Neighbors of the Midwest Feeding Co. in Milford can finally breath a sigh of relief. A 2,000-ton manure pile that had been burning there for nearly four months has finally been extinguished. David Dickerson, owner and manager of Midwest Feeding, told the Lincoln Journal Star that several weeks of pulling the pile apart proved effective. “We got far enough through it that it quit,” Dickerson said. Dickerson's feed lot, located about 20 miles west of the state's capitol, takes in as many as 12,000 cows at a time from farmers and ranchers and fattens them up for market. The byproduct of this massive operation resulted in a dung heap measuring 100 feet long, 30 feet high and 50 feet wide. Heat from the decomposing manure deep inside the pile is believed to have ignited the post-cow material. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality told Dickerson that his smoking pile of poo violated clear-air laws and worked with him to help extinguish it.

Dateline: North Carolina—According to The Herald-Sun in Chapel Hill, a convenience store clerk was assaulted with a sausage last week in an argument over a vacuum cleaner. The 34-year-old clerk at Buy & Go reported that a woman came into the store on Thursday morning and said she wanted to use the industrial vacuum cleaner in the store's parking lot, but couldn't because a car was parked in the way. When the clerk told the woman the car was disabled and couldn't be moved, she allegedly picked up a Big Mama Pickled Sausage from the counter and threw it at the clerk. The sausage hit the clerk in the face. According to Jane Cousins of the Chapel Hill Police Department, the clerk retreated to the back room of the store, and the woman left. No charges have yet been filed.

Dateline: Florida—Word to the wise: If you're going to get arrested for bribing a police officer, try not to make it such a cheesy offer. Steven T. Denton, 32, was charged with a felony count of attempting to bribe a law officer after he allegedly offered to spring for some McDonald's cheeseburgers in exchange for his freedom. Denton was taken into custody last Friday night following a fight at the Docksider Lounge, located on Florida's Marathon Key. “Denton told me that if I would drive him to McDonald's, he would buy me two cheeseburgers if I let him go and did not take him to jail,” Deputy Mark Eastty of the Monroe County Sheriff's department told the Keynoter newspaper. The officer added, “He also stated that if I did not like cheeseburgers, he would buy me some chicken instead.” The deputy declined, adding bribery to Denton's list of charges, which also included battery and threatening a witness. The incident began--not so surprisingly--when staff at the Docksider refused to serve Denton any more liquor.

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

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