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News of the Weird 

Rightwing Genius: After sheriff's deputies in Kalispell, Montana arrested militia leader David Earl Burgert, 38, in February, they uncovered his group's "Project 7" plot, allegedly to assassinate several county officials (including the local dogcatcher) in a fanciful plan that Burgert is said to believe would eventually create enough local chaos to start a national revolution. Burgert (whose last job was as a snowmobile rental agent) had amassed a huge arsenal of machine guns and heavy weapons in order to carry out the assassinations, defeat the National Guard, and stanch the probable waves of what Project 7 called "Red Chinese" from Canada. According to Project 7 thinking, NATO would somehow then be called on to send troops to Kalispell. Law enforcement officials said Burgert was just a local loudmouth who this time had gotten in way over his head.

Can't Possibly Be True:

* A 50-year-old construction worker in Knoxville, TN survived his January 14 impalement by a 3-foot-long, 3-inch-thick metal rod that fell off a bridge and went point-first through the man's skull and neck, coursed down his trunk, and stopped only when completely embedded in his body. He was semiconscious at the scene but talkative later at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The man was not wearing the required hard hat.

* Lithuania's gender-equality ombudsman, Ms. Ausrine Burneikiene, announced in January that she would fight to end the country's requirement that women need a gynecological exam to get a driver's license. The exams apparently are based on the belief that some gynecological illnesses manifest themselves suddenly or cause unconsciousness and therefore would be dangerous to other motorists.

People Different From Us: Sheriff's deputies in Glades County, FL, on the edge of Lake Okeechobee, arrested a 53-year-old farm laborer in February on a single count of incest after discovering that he and his sister had established a 25-year family unit that had produced nine kids and four grandchildren. The family lived in a rural work camp run by his employer and first drew the attention of deputies when a neighbor reported that the couple kept a casket in their living room, containing the remains of an infant son who had died 12 years earlier.

Least Competent People: Chaddrick Dickson, 25, was hospitalized briefly in Monroe, LA in December, after being wounded by the .22-caliber bullet he was fooling around with. Dickson said he was trying to remove the gunpowder by smashing the bullet's casing against the floor. He said he needed the gunpowder because he wanted to mix it into his dog's food to make the dog meaner.

And, in the Last Month ...

A fired health-care association manager in New Jersey filed a lawsuit alleging that his female boss kept a "man sack rack" display (device for hanging male genitals), contributing to a hostile work environment for men.

A 33-year-old juror in Cincinnati, right in the middle of deliberations in a murder case, abruptly left an already scheduled Mexican vacation (but the judge jailed her upon her return to town).

The Georgia parole board issued a rare reprieve, moving a death-row inmate to life in prison because he is so delusional that he sometimes believes the actress Sigourney Weaver is God.

A 47-year-old woman in England was convicted of animal cruelty for throwing her three-foot-long pet iguana at a tavern's bouncer, though she argued that the iguana leapt on his own to defend her honor.

Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, FL 33679 or, or go to

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