The Weird Week in Review
School Drops the Word "School"
Watercliffe Meadow in Sheffield, England opened in September to replace three schools, but don't call it a school. The institution is referred to as "a place for learning" instead. Headmistress Linda Kingdon has banned the word "school" because it has negative connotations for the parents of many of the students. The decision has drawn some ridicule from parents, and from those who read the story around the world.
German Lovers Try to Elope to Africa
Six-year-old Mika and five-year-old Anna-Bell hatched a plot to run away to Africa and get married. They even took along a witness, Mika's seven-year-old sister, Anna-Lena. The children packed their bags on New Year's Eve and took off from Hanover, Germany on foot. They caught a tram to the train station. They were at the station waiting for a train to take them to the airport when a station guard noticed them and called police. The children were reunited with their shocked parents, after a tour of the police station. The children said they didn't inform their parents because they did not think they would be gone for long. See a video here.
Babysitter Shot by Angry 4-year-old
18-year-old Nathan Beavers was babysitting several children in Jackson, Ohio when he accidentally stepped on the foot of a four-year-old boy. The child became angry, retrieved a shotgun, and shot the babysitter. Beavers was hospitalized with minor injuries. Another teenager was also injured in the attack, which took place on Sunday. The child has not been charged, but police are still investigating.
Skier Suffers Exposure
A ski lift mishap at Blue Sky Basin resort in Vail, Colorado left a 48-year-old man hanging upside down with his pants pulled down (or up, in this case) on New Years Day. The seat on the chairlift was apparently in the wrong position, allowing the man to slip through the gap. His boot stayed in its binding, so he dangled upside-down instead of falling out. The Skyline Express lift was stopped and the unnamed man hung for about 15 minutes before workers could dislodge him.
Man Wins Fight To Prove He is Alive
A Romanian man had a year-long court fight to prove he is alive. Gheroghe Stirbu was officially listed as dead when civil servants mistook him for another man, then refused to admit they made a mistake. A judge granted his request for reinstatement as alive, but then ordered Stirbu to pay court costs.
"I will of course appeal the imposition of the costs but I am already beginning to wonder whether or not I would have been better off staying dead," Stirbu says.
Man Wants Donated Kidney Back
As part of their divorce settlement, surgeon Richard Batista of Massapequa, New York is requesting the return of a kidney he donated to his wife Dawn in 2001. She filed for divorce after 15 years of marriage. He alleges that she was unfaithful.
"As part of the litigation, we are asking for the value of the kidney that he gave his wife," attorney Dominic Barbara said. "In theory we actually asked for the return of the kidney."
He will, however, settle for $1.5 million instead.
Mobile Meth Lab on a Mo-ped
An unnamed man in Warsaw, Indiana was arrested Tuesday when he drove up to a house on his mo-ped, a motorized bicycle, while police were issuing a search warrant. The Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department found he had a working meth lab attached to his mo-ped! The Indiana state police were called in to secure the volatile contents. Gasses produced by small methamphetamine cookers can explode without warning.