The Weird Week in Review

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You Gotta Pay the Piper

If you had to guess what German city has a big rodent problem, you might guess Hamelin -and you'd be right. City officials admitted that rodents have chewed their way through a power cable at a popular fountain, forcing its closure. It sounds like a repeat of the legend of the 1284 infestation, in which the Pied Piper was hired to lead the rats out of town and into the Weser River. This time around, city officials say they'll just decommission the fountain, which was due to be permanently closed anyway. Oh, why were they planning to close the fountain? High maintenance costs. Seven hundred years later, the city is still stingy about paying for municipal services.

A Bag of Pot Won't Pay for Restaurant Meal

What do you do when you have the 2AM munchies? You head for Denny's. What do you do if you have no cash for the bill? Offer some pot! An unnamed man in Niagara Falls, New York, ate a meal billed at $9.91, and offered the cashier a dollar and a bag of marijuana to pay for it. When the cashier refused, the man tried to sell the bag to other restaurant patrons. The man fled before police arrived, but a restaurant employee knew him and gave the man's name and address to police.

Don't Steal from the Cops

Two men were hauled in to the police station for fighting and suspicion of possessing stolen goods in Panama City, Florida, on Tuesday. Dennis W. Baugham and Michael A. Marquez were in custody while police tried to determine who owned the new camping equipment they were found with. Marquez, under surveillance, took a clock off the police station wall and tried to hide it in his backpack! Police retrieved the clock and added a petit theft charge to Marquez' problems. Both men were charged with theft of a shopping cart, and more charges may be added.

Neon Light Left On for 77 Years

Clifton's Cafeteria in Los Angeles has been in business since 1935, although the site had a cafeteria even before that. During the Great Depression, Clifton's displayed forest scenes on the walls, illuminated from behind by neon lights. In 1949, a basement restroom was partitioned to convert it into a storage area, and one of the neon lights was covered over -but it wasn't turned off first. This past February, the light was discovered to be still burning, 62 years later! It is estimated that the lamp has been continuously lit for a total of 77 years, running up an electricity bill of $17,000.

Snake-handling Preacher Dies from Snake Bite

West Virginia is one of the few places where snake-handling church services are still legal. Mack Randall Wolford, pastor of the Full Gospel Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka, held a homecoming service last Sunday in the Panther State Forest, during which he was bitten by a rattlesnake that he owned. Wolford was taken to a residence about 40 minutes after he was bitten. Some time later, paramedics took him to Bluefield Regional Hospital, where he died on Monday. An investigation is underway to determine how long medical care was delayed after the bite. State park officials say they were not aware that a religious service had been held in the park, and that permission would have been denied if Wolford had contacted them beforehand.

"Cleaning Fairy" Breaks into Homes to Clean Them

Yes, it is a crime to break into someone's house to clean it up. In Westlake, Ohio, Sherry Bush returned to her home to find it tidied up, with a note from Susan Warren, the "Cleaning Fairy," who asked for $75! Bush called the number on the note.

"I think our jaws just dropped to the ground," Bush said. "I said, 'What happened, did you get the wrong house?' She said, 'No, I do this all the time.' I said, 'What do you mean?' She said, 'I just stop and clean your house.'"

Bush told NewsNet5 that Warren later admitted she had broken in because she needed cash, though nothing was stolen from the house.

Warren has been charged with felony burglary.

Honor Student's Truancy Conviction Vacated, Expunged

Seventeen-year-old Houston, Texas, honor student Diane Tran was sentenced to 24 hours in jail and a $100 fine for missing too much school. Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty refused to make an exception for Tran, who was working two jobs to help support her siblings after their parents left. Tran's story went viral and pressure from the national media weighed on the judge. Yesterday, Moriarty vacated the conviction and ordered Tran's record expunged, so her truancy charge will not affect her efforts to get into college. Meanwhile, a website seeking donations to help Tran and her family raised $100,000.

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June 1, 2012 - 4:17am
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