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 V.14 No.46 | November 17 - 23, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: BosniaA hand grenade being used in a game of catch exploded early last Saturday killing three youths in the town of Novi Grad. Two of the youths, aged 19 and 20, one of them from neighboring Croatia, were killed instantly while a 20-year-old woman died on the way to the hospital, police said. The woman's sister was slightly injured while two other youths suffered serious injuries. The explosion occurred at 2 a.m. in the Novi Grad town center, an area frequented by the town's young population. ONASA news agency quoted witnesses as saying the youths tossed the hand grenade back and forth to each other before it exploded in the hands of one of them.

Dateline: SwedenYou don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Residents of an old age home in southern Sweden had a problem recently with a pair of drunken, belligerent moose. The intoxicated moose--a cow and her calf--became drunk last weekend after eating fermented apples they found on the ground outside the home in Sibbhult. Police managed to scare the animals off once, but the large mammals returned to consume more of the fermenting fruit. This time, the moose were quite drunk and aggressive, forcing police to send for a hunter with a dog to clear them off the premises. Police did not pursue the trespassers, but made sure all apples were picked up from the area, local police chief Bengt Hallberg said. None of the home's residents was hurt.

Dateline: JapanBiodegradable, corn-based socks are scheduled to make their debut in stores sometime next year. Made from corn-derived fiber and manufactured by U.S. hosiery makers, the organic socks are an attempt to compete with low-cost textile manufacturers in China and other Asian countries. The launch is backed by the U.S. Grains Council, which hopes to bolster demand for U.S. corn by creating new markets. “We are launching in Japan because of Japan's environmental consciousness,” said Jonathan Shugart, the president of W.Y. Shugart & Sons, one of the hosiery manufacturers participating in the experiment. Though the vegetable-based socks are supposed to compete with low-cost textiles, they will actually cost 20 percent more than socks now available in Japan. In Japan, a pair of socks made from cotton, wool or petroleum-based fibers such as nylon costs about $2.

Dateline: CaliforniaWorshippers at the First Congregational Church in Ripon were shocked recently to find out that their pastor had sold the church out from under them, pocketing more than half a million dollars in profits. A for sale sign never went up in front of the church on the corner of Main and Acacia, but local police say Pastor Randy Radic secretly sold off the 50-year-old church and a small cottage next to it. “We were devastated. We didn't know how to explain it to anyone. People were hurt. People were crying,” Church Council president David Prater told local CBS-13 news reporters. The bulk of the money was deposited into a secret bank account. The unusually large deposit made bankers suspicious and they contacted church leaders. By the time police arrested the 52-year-old Radic, he had already spent $102,000 on a 2006 BMW. Radic now faces felony counts of embezzlement and forgery. The church is still conducting Sunday services with the help of visiting pastors and expects to hire an attorney to help work out its troubled finances.

Dateline: PennsylvaniaThomas LaMont, mayor of the tiny community of Montrose threatened to quit if he was reelected. Fortunately, he didn't have to, losing last Tuesday's mayoral election by a mere four votes. LaMont, who has been in office for a little more than 10 years, wasn't seeking reelection, but he wound up as the only name on the ballot after getting 23 write-in votes in the Republican primary. Once word got out that LaMont planned to resign, several people began a write-in campaign among Montrose's 1,600 citizens. The man who saved LaMont from winning and quitting was John Wilson, the borough's parking enforcement officer. Wilson logged 116 votes to claim the town's $900-a-year mayoral position. “Now he'll be mayor and writing parking tickets,” Annette Rogers, the borough's secretary-treasurer, said last week.

Dateline: NevadaA retired Elvis impersonator recently helped Las Vegas police nab a thief who had stolen more than $300,000 worth of the King's personal effects. Duke Adams, a 62-year-old “late era” Elvis impersonator said he was approached while in line at a pharmacy by a man offering to sell him items once owned by Elvis, including jewelry, clothing and a gold-plated revolver. Remembering a March 2004 burglary at the local Elvis-A-Rama museum, Adams said he asked the man to stop by his business the next day. Adams went home and alerted police, who arrested Eliab Aguilar the next day when he brought some of the stolen items to Adams' employment agency. Aguilar was charged with burglary, grand larceny auto, possession of stolen property and possession of a stolen firearm.

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

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