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News of the Weird 6/28/12

by Chuck Shepherd

More Tennessee Super-Breeders Update: Last week’s News of the Weird gave serial impregnator Desmond Hatchett, of Knoxville, Tenn., too much credit. It is true that he has fathered at least 24 kids by at least 11 different women (and has no hope of meeting child-support obligations), but he is hardly Tennessee’s most prolific. A June summary by the Daily Mail of London (citing WMC-TV and WREG-TV in Memphis) revealed that Terry Turnage of Memphis has 23 children by 17 different women, and Richard M. Colbert (also from Memphis) has 25 with 18 women. Courts have ordered the men to pay the various mothers monthly support ranging from $259 to $309, but one woman said the most she had ever seen from Turnage was $9.

To the Ninth Ring of Hell Debbie Stevens, 47, filed a claim before the New York Human Rights commission in April alleging that she was fired in November by Ms. Jackie Brucia, a controller of the Atlantic Automotive Group of West Islip, N.Y., after Stevens failed to recover quickly enough from major surgery in August. Stevens had donated a kidney to Brucia, who apparently could not understand why Stevens was still in pain by Sept. 6 so that she needed more time off. (Actually, since Brucia and Stevens were not perfect matches, Brucia had Stevens donate to a woman ahead of Brucia on the waiting list, which created an opening for Brucia. Brucia’s husband told a New York Post reporter in April that Stevens’ claims were “far from the truth,” but would not elaborate.)

• In April, a jury in Charlotte, N.C., convicted Charles Hinton, 47, for a break-in at the Levine Children’s Hospital in 2010, where he had been charged with stealing 10 video gaming systems that sick children relied on for entertainment while they received cancer treatment.

• A CNN investigation revealed in May that the Disabled Veterans National Foundation had collected almost $56 million in donations over four years but given nearly all of it to two direct-mail fundraising companies. CNN was able to locate a small veterans charity in Birmingham, Ala., that received help, but mainly in the form of 2,600 bags of cough drops, 2,200 bottles of sanitizers, 11,520 bags of coconut M&Ms and 700 pairs of Navy dress shoes. Another, in Prescott, Ariz., received hundreds of chef’s coats and aprons, cans of acrylic paint and a needlepoint design pillowcase. Said the manager of the Birmingham charity, “I ask myself what the heck are these people doing.”

Oops! Andrea Amanatides suffered a boo-boo in May while being booked to begin a six-month jail sentence in Albany, N.Y., for a probation violation. As she was being placed in a holding cell, a cache of drugs fell onto the floor. Deputies soon figured out that a condom Amanatides had placed into a bodily orifice had burst. The final inventory: 26 Oxycontins, 10 Ambiens, 50 Valiums, 37 Adderalls, plus 133 more prescription pills and four baggies containing heroin. The sequence was captured on surveillance video.

• Weekend WTMW-TV (Portland, Maine) news anchor Meghan Torjussen was called on to deliver breaking sports news on June 3, the score of a playoff game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Time had run out in the fourth quarter with the score tied, 89-89. “I guess the game just ended,” Torjussen announced. “This is what my producer is telling me right now.” “There’s the score (on the screen), 89-89. Uh, went down to the wire … ended in a tie. (A)ll right, let’s move on to professional baseball.” (Boston eventually won, in overtime, 93-91.)

Bright Ideas Good to Know: Five hikers on holiday from Miami got lost overnight on May 3 high in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, N.Y., and endured a night of rain with temperatures in the 40s before they were rescued. One or more of the hikers (number unclear in the news report) got to test one theory of body-warming, but learned that its benefit was illusory. That is, warming up a cold body by urinating on it provides only momentary, if any, relief.

• Serial flasher-alcoholic Michael McShane, 55, of Workington, England, seems well aware of the serious problem he has. He has been arrested 283 times (190 convictions) for indecent exposure and public drinking, and was apparently trying to keep himself out of trouble one night in April by dressing in two pairs of pants, so that if he shed one, he would still be within the law. However, on that night, police picked up a passed-out McShane outside a bar where he had already managed to pull both pairs of trousers down past his buttocks, and in May, he garnered conviction number 191, in Carlisle Crown Court.

People Different From Us Earlier this year, Tokyo artist Mao Sugiyama, 22, had elective surgery to remove his genitals, underscoring his commitment to an “asexual” lifestyle in which his behavior and attitude are supposedly completely irrelevant to whether he is male or female. Then, on April 8, he solicited diners to a meal (for the equivalent of about $250 each) in which his genitals were cooked and served, garnished with button mushrooms and Italian parsley. One applicant was a no-show, but five dined with him on April 13. According to a May report on Huffington Post, the well-photographed story “went viral” in Japan, and authorities repeatedly assured journalists that no law had been violated.