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 V.13 No.39 | September 23 - 29, 2004 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Romania—A British television crew shooting footage for the ITV travel series “Package Holiday Undercover,” uncovered more than they bargained for when they found a dead body on a Black Sea beach. Presenter Jonathan Maitland stumbled across the naked body as the team visited the Eforie Nord resort in Romania. “We saw a man we thought was sunbathing,” Maitland said. “But when we got closer it was clear he had been dead for some time.” According to Maitland, Romanian police believe the body, which had been very badly beaten, belonged to a local man. The following day, the crew returned to the beach to shoot more of the new series, which explores Europe's lesser-known destinations. Unfortunately, the crew stumbled across another man dying of a heart attack. “The idea of the show is to go to unfashionable resorts and tell it like it is,” said Maitland. “We expected poor service, cockroaches, bad food--but not two dead bodies in two days.”

Dateline: England—The Church of England is joining up with Britain's Channel 4 to produce a religious-themed version of “American Idol.” The new show, currently titled “Priest Idol” will feature a clergyman or woman challenged to build a congregation in Wakefield, Yorkshire, which traditionally has poor church attendance. “We hope to make a show which is highly entertaining but with a purpose,” said a Channel 4 spokesman.

Dateline: Norway—Two Norwegian teens took an Oslo grocery store up on its rebate offer, netting 7,000 kroner ($1,129) on expired beer they weren't even old enough to buy. According to the Verden Gangs daily, the Norwegian grocery store chain Kiwi offers to pay customers the retail price of any product they find that is past its “best by” date. Two boys, ages 14 and 15, located 280 cans of out-of-date Carlsberg beer at a store on the outskirts of Oslo. They promptly loaded the beers into shopping carts and demanded their refund. Clerks at the store weren't sure what to do, since the boys were under 18. Eventually, it was determined that the boys had neither tried to buy the beer nor remove it from the store. They were issued the refund.

Scott Rickson

Dateline: Austria—A funeral home that rented space in a small-town nursing home is now getting flack after alarming residents by displaying coffins in the window. The advertising move has caused outrage in the community of Zeltweg in Styria and has led to calls to the local town council to have PAX funeral parlor removed from the home. Local Green politicians have said that allowing the funeral parlor to move into a retirement home was bad enough, but said displaying coffins in the windows was “callous.” The town's Mayor, Kurt Leitner (who also happens to be the landlord of the nursing home), said he is reluctant to get rid of his new tenants. He did say, however, that plans are being made to renovate the home so that the funeral parlor could use the back rooms where the coffins would not be visible to aging residents.

Dateline: Florida—In what is surely PETA's “feel good” story of the week, a man who tried to shoot seven puppies was shot himself when one of the puppies apparently put its paw on the gun being used and pulled the trigger. Jerry Allen Bradford, 37, told police he had decided to shoot the 3-month-old shepherd-mix dogs in the head because he couldn't find them a home. Last Monday, Bradford was holding two of the puppies--one in his arms and another in his left hand--when the dog in his hand wiggled and put its paw on the trigger of the .38-caliber revolver. The gun discharged, shooting Bradford in the wrist. Bradford was charged with felony animal cruelty, according to the Escambia County Sheriff's office.

Dateline: Milwaukee—After a driver tossed an empty 24-ounce beer can out of a car window, an irate witness wrote down the license plate of the vehicle and phoned police in Port Washington. The caller also mentioned that the vehicle in question “looks like one of your police cars.” Turns out it was. And it was being driven by Port Charles Police Chief Ed Rudolph at the time. When confronted with the allegation, Rudolph told investigators that he “may have drunk a beer down at the lakefront” and that he “may have thrown it out” the window. Rudolph told officers that he “probably should get a littering citation” for tossing the container out along Maritime Drive. The incident occurred around 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the police report is unclear as to where the beer was consumed and whether Rudolph was on duty at the time. No citations were issued. The city's Police and Fire Commission will hold a meeting later this week to discuss possible disciplinary actions. Rudolph, 64, has been police chief in Port Washington for 35 years.

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

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