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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WEIRD NEWS

The Ultimate Baseball

How could a baseball artifact possibly top a ball signed by both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig? How about a ball signed by Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, George Sisler, Walter Johnson, Connie Mack, Nap Lajoie, Eddie Collins, and Pete Alexander, on the day they all entered the Baseball Hall of Fame? Well there is such a ball and it just sold for a little north of $623,000, crushing the old record of $345,000 for a signed baseball, set in 2013 for a Ruth-Gehrig ball. The only living original inductee who didn't sign the ball was Lou Gehrig, who on that day was headed to the Mayo Clinic where he'd be diagnosed with ALS, the disease that would end his career, take his life, and unofficially bear his name. So for the back story you have to go back to June 12, 1939, the day the Baseball Hall of Fame first opened its doors, though it had been choosing members for three years by then. Most were already dead. Marv Owen, the star third baseman then playing for the Chicago White Sox, was in Cooperstown, NY, to play in an exhibition. His former teammate Hank Greenberg was also there, and had brought along two balls for the inductees to sign, but was too bashful to ask them. Owen wasn't, and got all 11 to sign. He kept one for himself and gave the other to Greenberg. Owen put his ball in a safe-deposit box, and his family kept it until 1997, when it sold for $55,000. Greenberg's ball has been lost to history. (Newser)

Okay - So I Lie. Vote For Me Anyway!

Her spokesperson said it was all fake news- but it wasn't. Florida GOP candidate Melissa Howard has now admitted she lied about getting a degree from Ohio's Miami University, but inexplicably also said on Facebook, "It was not my intent to deceive or mislead anyone. I made a mistake in saying that I completed my degree." Despite the controversy, Howard has vowed to stay in the race for the state's 73rd House District Most. One thing she wouldn't comment on was how she managed to get a "bachelor of science in marketing" diploma, which she shared on Facebook before the university said such a degree was never offered and that Howard hadn't graduated after pursuing a different degree in the early 1990s. She also said, "What I did was wrong and set a bad example for someone seeking public service," but you'll be happy to know that she plans to win the Aug. 28 primary against Tommy Gregory and "lead by example from now on." Remember that kids! Next time you get caught lying, just tell ‘em you didn't lie - you just made a mistake. (CBS News)

Lunch Lady Scam?

Marie Wilson says "the only thing she is guilty of is feeding a child who had no money or giving somebody a cookie." Police in New Canaan, Connecticut say otherwise and have charged Wilson and her sister, Joanne Pascarelli, with larceny after allegedly stealing $478,588 in lunch money from the school cafeterias they worked at in the small town. The thefts allegedly took place between 2012 and 2017, though police say the scheme may have been ongoing over a 15-year period. The New Canaan Public Schools issued a statement explaining the district didn't pick up on the "relatively small ... discrepancies until it instituted new financial controls specifically related to the collection and depositing of cash in the cafeterias." Wilson and Pascarelli, ages 67 and 61, respectively, surrendered over the weekend, though both deny the charges against them. Police allege Wilson personally handled the daily counting of cafeteria cash at New Canaan High School; cafeteria workers say Pascarelli did the same at Saxe Middle School and allege she also took large bills from the register. The women resigned in December, and police say the middle school's daily cash intake immediately rose from below $40 to about $150. (New York Times)

Hippo Spanking? Seriously?

A viral video that appears to show a visitor at the Los Angeles Zoo hop a fence, sneak up from behind and spank a hippopotamus has prompted a police investigation. The bizarre video was posted last week and showed the unidentified man approach the two hippos, named Rosie and Mara. Rosie, 4, was the one who was spanked. The report said the hippo did not have any visible injuries, but an encounter like that could be stressful. Zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock said, "Most people know not to go in with the animals. It's common sense." And hippos are very dangerous animals. Last weekend, a tourist from Taiwan was killed in Kenya during an attack and, in another incident, a local fisherman was mauled to death. They are actually considered the world's deadliest large land animal due to their aggressive nature and sharp teeth. (Los Angeles Times)

Walmart Knows a Hero When They See One

Sue Johnson became an internet sensation earlier this month for doing what she felt was right in the parking lot of a Walmart. Despite a torrential downpour of rain, Sue was videoed returning her shopping cart to its rightful place. And even though Johnson doesn't see anything special about her action, Walmart did. A representative for the company said they were so impressed that they had to repay her kindness. For her effort, we're awarding Sue with a year's supply of Grocery Pickup so she never has to push a cart through a storm again! She also received a trophy reading: "Sue Johnson. A Walmart legend for her most epic cart return." Johnson said, "All I did was the right thing. I didn't do anything special, except I got wet." (6 ABC)

And the Next Governor of Vermont Is... Wait, What?

Vermont will soon be electing a new governor, and one of the four Democrats seeking the party nomination is only 14! That's Ethan Sonneborn of Bristol, who legally met the requirements to be on the primary ballot and is taking his place with the state's more age-appropriate candidates on today's (Tuesday) primary ballot, to say nothing of numerous candidate forums and debates. It turns out the Vermont Constitution doesn't have an age requirement for people seeking the state's highest office. The only real requirement is that they have lived in the state for four years. That apparent oversight by the state's founders more than 225 years ago was enough to encourage the politically precocious teen to collect the signatures needed to place him on the primary ballot. Ethan says, "I think Vermonters should take me seriously because I have practical progressive ideas, and I happen to be 14, not the other way around." He added, "I think that my message and my platform transcend age." But as cool as that may be, it's likely to be a short-lived campaign. His July finance report shows Ethan has raised just over $1,700, not near enough to make him competitive in a world where the successful candidates will undoubtedly have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, for ads, mailings, staff and other miscellaneous political expenses before the November general election. But Ethan has the right perspective and says, "I think if I can get one person who wasn't involved in the political process before involved now, then my campaign will have been a success." (NBC)

The Four-Day School Week?

Some 18,000 students in Colorado may be the envy of all others this school year: Though they're already back in class, the students of 27J, the 16th-largest school district in the state, only have to show up four days a week, Tuesday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. A district spokesperson says 27J is one of the largest school districts in the country to test a four-day week, with the goal of saving $1 million per year in transportation and utility costs, so "people will be watching how we do." Not everyone's happy. Some parents are already complaining- mostly those who are on the hook for extra child care costs on Mondays. (KUSA)

What the What?

Meanwhile in Slovakia, a woman started playing opera at a loud volume to drown out the sound of a neighbor's barking dog-and then continued blasting the music, at all hours of the day, for the last 16 years! To the delight of her neighbors, she has finally been arrested and faces charges of harassment and malicious persecution. Neighbors say she constantly played a four-minute aria from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, as performed by Placido Domingo, at full blast. "I love Placido Domingo, but not like this," says one neighbor. The woman faces up to three years behind bars. (BBC)

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