LEAD STORY: Willie Windsor, 54, of Phoenix has for several years lived as a full-time baby, wearing frilly dresses, diapers and bonnets, sucking on a pacifier, eating Gerber cuisine, and habitually clutching a rag doll, all in a home filled with oversized baby furniture. According to a long Phoenix New Times profile in June, the diaper is not just a prop. Windsor said he worked hard to become incontinent, even chaining the commode shut to avoid temptation, and the reporter admitted feeling "disconcert[ed]" that Windsor might be relieving himself at the very moment he was describing his un-toilet training. Apparently, Windsor's brother, ex-wife, girlfriend and a neighbor tolerate his lifestyle (though no girlfriend has yet been willing to change his diapers). Windsor is a semi-retired singer/actor and says he's been celibate for nine years.
Family Values: After a passer-by found two kids (ages 12 and 6) dragging suitcases along a rural road near Marshfield, Mo., in June, prosecutors charged their mother, Roxanna Osborne, and her boyfriend, Timmy Young, with child abandonment. The kids said their mother had awakened them, given them $5 each, and told them to pack up and leave. The kids told police that the two adults are drug-users.
In June, prosecutors in Porter County, Ind., were deciding whether to file charges against the parents of a 17-year-old boy after, according to police, they had beat him up because he had refused to let his sister and her friends borrow his underwear when their own clothes got wet while they were swimming.
Can't Possibly Be True: Brian F. Monfort, 27, was arrested in Springfield, Ohio, in April and charged with child enticement based on an arrest report noting that twice, in January and March, he had approached children and paid them up to $40 to insult him for being fat, supposedly as a tactic to inspire himself to lose weight.
In 1999, Orange County (Calif.) Sheriff Michael Carona and his former chief assistant Donald Haidl deputized 86 untrained civilians, at least half of whom were their friends or family or political contributors, giving them badges and in some cases gun permits and limited arrest powers, according to a May 2005 Los Angeles Times report. The sheriff did not begin to dismiss some "deputies" until he received continued complaints that the deputies were not qualified for police work under state law.
Newsweek named Hillsborough High of Tampa the 10th "best" high school in America in May, but the St. Petersburg Times reported the next day that the school got a "D" grade from the state in the most recent evaluation (based mostly on its failure to improve the progress of struggling students), as well as a substandard federal evaluation (based on such criteria as whether low-income and minority students improve). Newsweek's sole criterion for "best" is the number of students who volunteer to take Advanced Placement exams.
Goat-Fanciers: Goat-hoarding continues as an occasional obsession, with a woman in Saarburg, Germany, evicted in June for sharing her home with 43 goats, and a man in Aiken, S.C., charged with animal cruelty in May for cohabiting for seven years with 200 goats in a house whose walls were gnawed away and which contained 3-foot-high hay stacks saturated with manure and urine. And in June, Kentucky officials selected, as the test site for its terror-emergency procedures, the state's goat show in Erlanger. Said a state Homeland Security official, "We try to focus on what really matters to Kentucky."
Update: In June, 13 Cuban refugees in a boat fashioned from a 1949 Mercury taxicab were intercepted by U.S. authorities about 20 miles from their destination of Key West, Fla. Based on current policy, they will probably be returned to Cuba. In March, however, Cuban Luis Grass, his wife and 5-year-old son, part of groups that had been turned back in 2003, sneaked across the U.S. border in Brownsville, Texas. Since they actually made it to American soil this time, they will probably be allowed to remain.
The Continuing Crisis: In May, Canada Post notified Christine Charbonneau in Orleans, Ontario, that its letter carriers would probably stop delivering directly to her house because its steps were each 30 cm high (about 12 inches), and regulations require Canada Post to climb steps no more than 20 cm high. Charbonneau said no one else has complained about the steps in the 17 years she has been there, including her now-77-year-old mother-in-law (who takes oxygen through a tube in her nose).
©2005 Chuck Shepherd