IJMC Belated News of the Wierd

		     IJMC - Belated News of the Wierd

Just don't count on the IJMC to be timely. We are once in a while, just 
not often...anyway, see Independance Day 4, it's not too shabby. I'd give 
it a left foot toes up award. And now, I'll leave you with this.    -dave

WEIRDNUZ.409 (News of the Weird, December 8, 1995)
by Chuck Shepherd


* In 1992, a federal court jury in Montgomery, Ala., found that
the fuel retailers in Dothan, Ala., had conspired to fix prices but
decided that the plaintiffs had been damaged only to the tune of
$1.00 (tripled in antitrust law, to $3.00).  Nonetheless, finishing
up the case in November 1995, Federal Judge Myron Thompson
ordered the losers to pay the 19 victorious lawyers fees totaling
$2,035,658. [Journal of Commerce, 11-9-95] 


* The Louisiana legislature this year closed a ten-year-old
loophole in its drinking law.  From 1985 until June 1995, the
legal age for buying or drinking liquor has been 21, but it was
illegal to sell liquor only to those under 18. [New Orleans Times-
Picayune, 8-25-95] 

* According to a recent journal article, Lehigh Valley Legal
Services--a Pennsylvania agency funded by the federal Legal
Services Corporation--earlier this year filed a lawsuit on behalf of
an indigent 16-year-old boy to help him seek custody of the child
he had fathered by rape.  Legal Services helped the boy challenge
the constitutionality of Pennsylvania law, which denies rapists the
chance of custody. [Wall Street Journal-Women's Quarterly, 9-

* Lawrence Lawton, 55, filed a $1 million lawsuit earlier this
year against Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale), Fla., for its
negligence in keeping him in jail.  He was locked up on a petty
theft charge and a nine-year-old drunk driving warrant in August
1991; it only dawned on the authorities in April 1993 that
Lawton had not yet been sent before a judge--a total of 607 days'
incarceration, or four times his likely sentence.  (Eleven days
after his release, he was arrested on a trespassing charge.) [St.
Petersburg Times-Knight-Ridder Newspapers, 9-25-95] 

* For the second time this year, a Board of Veterans Appeals
attorney was convicted of destroying medical records and other
documents involved in current cases and passing along files for
needless review, apparently just because she couldn't keep up
with the caseload.  Jill L. Rygwalski was sentenced 15 months in
prison despite her attempts to blame her procrastination on her
supervisor, her husband, and her domineering father. [Houston
Chronicle-Washington Post, 9-10-95] 

* Saying he had "no choice" in the matter, Secretary of the
Interior Bruce Babbitt in September signed over the title to more
than 100 acres of federal land in Idaho to a Danish firm for $275,
though the mining rights to the land are worth around $1 billion. 
Babbitt said he was required to make the sale under the Mining
Act of 1872, which is still on the books.  In 1994, under the
same law, Babbitt signed over land containing about $10 billion
in gold to a Canadian company for about $10,000. [St.
Petersburg Times-Washington Post, 9-7-95] 

* In May, the Army issued the Bronze Star for "meritorious
achievement" to seven soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry
Regiment firing (mistakenly) on stranded U. S. troops during the
Persian Gulf war.  The Army had originally awarded three of the
men medals "with valor," but revoked that distinction after
criticism by the General Accounting Office.  The medal-winning
soldiers killed one American and wounded another before
realizing their mistake. [St. Petersburg Times-Washington Post,
5-5-95; Greensboro News & Record-AP, 4-16-95] 

* A November New York Times story described the 12-hour
course required in Texas for applicants to get a license to carry a
concealed weapon.  The program developer said he based much
of the curriculum on the 1970s pop-psychology books "Games
People Play" and "I'm O. K.--You're O. K.," in which a person
is encouraged to understand his inner child.  Said one instructor,
while suggesting to students that they not react violently to a
stranger who cusses them out in a traffic confrontation:  "[Y]ou
might say, 'Sir, we are both in the same unfortunate situation
here.  Let's see what we can do to solve this conflict together.'"
[New York Times, 11-8-95] 


* In August, police in Bari, Italy, arrested a man and charged
him with theft.  He was turned in by his own mother, who
identified him as a purse-snatcher only after he inadvertently
swiped her handbag during a downtown heist. [San Jose Mercury
News, 8-11-95] 

* Among recent highway truck spills:  20 tons of lettuce near
Fickle, Ind., in November, and 18 tons more along the Ventura
Freeway in Sherman Oaks, Calif., two days later; 3,000 live
chickens on the Washington, D. C., Beltway in August and 20
tons of turkey drumsticks near Muncie, Ind., the week before
Thanksgiving; seven tons of lobsters on a road near Island Falls,
Maine, in August; and several barrels of cow hides, intestines,
and excrement near Rockport, Maine, in October. [L. A. Times,
11-4-95; Tampa Tribune-AP, 11-2-95] [Washington Times, 8-25-
95] [Columbus Dispatch, 11-15-95] [AP wirecopy, 8-3-95]
[[Kennebec Journal, Oct95]] 

* In a one-week period in November, pro basketball teammates
Tyrone Hill, Antonio Lang, and Donny Marshall of the
Cleveland Cavaliers were injured in separate auto accidents while
driving to either games or practices. [St. Petersburg Times, 11-

* In September, China's Economic Daily newspaper reported that
more than 2,000 manhole covers were stolen in Beijing in 1994,
most by the homeless, who could sell them for around $12 each. 
As a result of the thefts, more than 200 people were injured that
year falling down open manholes. [Edmonton Journal-Economic
Daily, 9-14-95] 


* On November 8, an inebriated Polish seaman on the deck of
the Russian trawler Stanolenie in Anchorage, Alaska, harbor,
leaned too far over a rail while urinating and fell to his death.  A 
week earlier, a 46-year-old woman got out of her car along Route
68 near Velarde, N. Mex., so she could urinate on the side of the
road but lost her balance and fell down a steep incline to her
death. [Anchorage Daily News, 11-9-95; The New Mexican,

Copyright 1995, Universal Press Syndicate.  All rights reserved. 
Released for the entertainment of readers.  No commercial use
may be made of the material or of the name News of the Weird.



   Carolyn R. Thorburn-Shuman      cshuman@ibl.bm

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