Friday, April 25, 2008

Bottom of the News… Friday, April 25, 2008

Good morning my fellow Rotarians… I thought it might be interesting to check the archives for bottom of the news events all based in Iowa over the years and our crack research team came up with these stories…

Parking Tickets
In April of 1994 in Cedar Rapids Erin Prendergast, 20, pleaded guilty to 174 more parking violations, with total fines reaching nearly $5,000. Earlier in the year, in January, she had pleaded guilty to 248 parking tickets totaling more than $7,000. Officials said still more violations against her were awaiting processing. When the judge asked how she could accumulate so many violations, Prendergast, who was described as very cooperative by a Gazette reporter, said, "I really don't know your honor."

Lottery Tickets
In June of 2002, a woman described only as in her 40s, spent five hours off and on shopping at a Des Moines convenience store buying scratch-off lottery tickets, stopping only when her paycheck of $60 had been exhausted with just one winning ticket. A few minutes later, she returned to the store and robbed it.

Fish Story
Ronald Clark, age 30 in 1991, was charged with assault in Cedar Rapids in February for reportedly hitting Thomas Jones in the face with a frozen fish, breaking Jones' nose, cutting his face and sending him to the hospital. Clark was confronted in his home by Jones in an argument over a woman.

The Streaker
In 1998, John Thomas was arrested in Council Bluffs in May after he was found running naked over a bridge on Interstate 480. He told police that bolts of lightning in a recent storm had instructed him to undress and run about town.

Hiway Spills
The year 1996 was a record for highway truck spills in Iowa…
  • A semi load of frozen French fries spilled on I-80,
  • A pickup truck full of ricotta cheese spilled in central Iowa,
  • 21 tons of large plates of glass shattered on a downtown street in Davenport.
  • 12,000 roofing nails, that punctured tires of about 50 cars, spilled on I-35 in southern Iowa,
  • 30,000 cans of Milwaukee's Best beer exploded on the highway near Dubuque,
  • And finally, 103,000 eggs fell off a truck and covered a major section of Highway 92 near Winterset. The locals use this event to claim the Guinness Book record for having the world’s largest batch of “scrambled eggs!”

Only in Iowa! And there you have it, weird news in Iowa history as our Bottom of the News for this Friday, April 25, 2008.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bottom of the News… Friday, April 18, 2008

Good morning my fellow Rotarians… Well, this third week in April is a very famous week so let’s start with a few notable events…

During this week in history…

Paul Revere completed his famous midnight ride in 1775 and the following day the shot hear around the world signaled the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

In 1906 the famous San Francisco earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale destroyed entire city blocks and caused massive fires with over 3,000 deaths just in the first week.

This week in 1897 the first Boston Marathon was held with only a few hundred runners; today over 20,000.

This week in 1923, the words “Play Ball!” were heard for the first time in Yankee stadium prior to their game against the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees won and thus the beginning of their long standing rivalry.

During the week in 1977 Apollo 13 returned safely to earth after a near disaster in space.

In 1995 the Oklahoma City bombing happened this week where 168 were killed and over 800 were injured.

And in 1999 this week at Columbine High School near Denver will never be forgotten with 12 students and a teacher killed and 23 others wounded.

And on the news front… Phony Employee!

Hey, did you hear about the guy in Palatine, IL who accepted a job at a telecommunications firm, but then decided he didn't want the job after all and never reported for work? Well, the company accidentally put him on its payroll anyway, and he allegedly collected more than $469,000 in salary over five years.

The accident was finally discovered when the guy tried to cash out his company retirement plan. An HR guy noticed and they guy was arrested on a theft by deception charge. What a phony employee!

Cause for Suspicion – Drunk and Drunker

Patricia Dykstra, 51, called police to report a drunk driver. She gave the car's description, location, and finally her name and then she said she had to hang up because… "I don't like being on the phone while driving."

The Dodge County, WI sheriff's deputies eventually found her and cited her for drunk driving. When asked why she made the call she said her boyfriend told her to because he was also riding in the car and too drunk to make the call himself. Okay, this sounds like a movie called Drunk and Drunker!

All Aboard! – The Tale of Two Conductors

A conductor on a commuter train in New York stopped the train last week and went on top of one of the cars after he noticed a power glitch when the train switched from track power to overhead power lines.

The conductor found a 36-year old man who had burst into flames from the 14,000 volts that surged through his body after the switch-over and fortunately the conductor had a fire extinguisher with him. Because of the conductor’s quick reaction the 36 old was hospitalized in fair condition.

The train conductor was recognized for his quick thinking and received “top conductor” honors. It was unclear why the 36-year old was on top of the train and how he survived the 14,000 volts, but without a doubt he certainly he was an excellent conductor as well!

It is another fine week in the neighborhood my friends and this is the Bottom of the News for Friday, April 18, 2008. ###

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bottom of the News… Friday, April 11, 2008

Good morning my fellow Rotarians… You know April begins with one of my favorite holidays, April Fools, and yet it seems that there is no shortage of people who fit the bill as this month rolls on…

2008 People to Pose Nude for Euro 2008

VIENNA: New York contemporary artist Spencer Tunick has gained notoriety worldwide for photographing thousands of people in the nude. Now he's planning to pack a Vienna soccer stadium with 2,008 naked fans in the run-up to the Euro 2008 soccer tournament.
Organizers say that “Tunick's unusual genre is perfect for the European soccer championship because he spreads a strong sense of community spirit with the game of soccer against the backdrop of stadium architecture.

It is not exactly clear how Tunick will pose his 2,008 subjects, typically he decides only moments before his cameras begin to shoot.

The New York artist has grabbed headlines for draping naked bodies on glaciers, in front of the United Nations and in more than 70 other locations from Montreal to Melbourne, Australia.
He holds a record for photographing more than 18,000 naked people en masse in Mexico City's main square in 2007.

Far and Away and Bad Idea!

HACKEY, ENGLAND: Lefkos Hajji, 28, had an inspiration for a unique proposal to his girlfriend… He put her $12,000 diamond engagement ring in a balloon – a helium-filled balloon, so he could stick it with a pin to “pop’ the question at just the right moment.

Well, the best laid plans went south (or north actually) when Hajji took the balloon outside. A gust of wind snatched the balloon from his hand and it floated off, taking the ring with it.

Hajji chased the balloon for two hours before giving it up as lost as it floated out over the North Sea. "I felt like such a plonker," he told reporters. (Plonker is a silly idiot who is also careless).

Hajji’s girlfriend was furious demanding a new ring or she would call of the engagement. Short of telling his girlfriend to dive into the North Sea to look for the ring, Hajji decided to postpone the engagement until he can afford to buy a new one.

Wake Up Call For Hillary

WASHINGTON, DC: In what will probably become the iconic TV ad of the 2008 presidential campaign, you may recall the TV commercial where a little girl is shown sleeping as a red phone rings at 3:00 a.m. in the White House.

The spot, for Hillary Clinton, was meant to convey that she is ready on day-one to handle crises, and implied that her opponent Barack Obama is not.

The footage in this ad is at least ten years old and came from a video agency stock house. The little girl featured in the ad is today now 17 years old and the Clinton campaign used the footage without bothering to learn more about the girl featured in their ad.

As it turns out, the girl is Casey Knowles of Bonney Lake, WA. Ironically, this past year she has been working for a presidential campaign… Barack Obama's. When a call was made to the Clinton campaign regarding this interesting situation, the inquirer was told that Hillary would not take their call and that he campaign had “no comment.”

And there you have it, the Bottom of the News on this Friday, April 11, 2008. ###