Watercooler Stories

July 28, 2010 at 6:30 AM
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Trial delayed due to defendant's T-shirt

CINCINNATI, July 28 (UPI) -- A Cincinnati judge delayed a misdemeanor criminal damage trial because he found the defendant's "Chucky" T-shirt inappropriate for court.

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Bernie Bouchard told William Morse, 28, at what was scheduled to be his non-jury trial Monday, that his T-shirt featuring the killer doll from the "Child's Play" films -- bearing the tag line "Say goodbye to the killer" -- was not appropriate court attire, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Morse told the judge he had just woken up prior to the 11 a.m. court appearance. The judge countered Morse could have spent "5 minutes" picking out a more appropriate wardrobe.

The trial was delayed and Bouchard told Morse he would be held in contempt of court if he was not properly dressed for the occasion.

Civil War vet gets corrected grave marker

VALLEJO, Calif., July 28 (UPI) -- Civil War experts in California have corrected the grave marker of an emancipated slave and Union Army veteran erroneously listed as a Confederate soldier.

The Sons of Union Veterans and the American Civil War Association staged a 19th century-style memorial service at Sunrise Memorial Cemetery in Vallejo for Union Army Private Samuel Brown, who died 87 years ago, to mark the placement of a corrected tombstone that lists him as a Union soldier rather than a Confederate soldier, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Organizers said the mistake was first noticed by cemetery worker and history enthusiast Brian Pinarretta.

Mary Johnson, 77, Brown's granddaughter, was one of several family members in attendance at the Saturday ceremony.

"This is beautiful," she said. "It's beyond words."

Experts: Many outdated laws on Mich. books

LANSING, Mich., July 28 (UPI) -- Experts said many rarely enforced Michigan laws, including a ban on singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at a dance, may run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.

The Detroit Free Press said its review of thousands of state and local laws in Michigan found outdated legislation -- including a statewide ban on the national anthem at dances, seducing unmarried women, advertising treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, indecent sex and swearing to "God," "Jesus Christ" or "the Holy Ghost."

The newspaper said it found local laws including a Fenton ordinance banning eating in cemeteries, a Clawson law against snowball fights and another law in Clawson banning homosexuals from bars.

The latter Clawson law has raised the ire of gay-rights groups, but Clawson City Manager Mark Pollock said repealing the ban is not a priority because it is not enforced.

Experts said many of the laws, most of which were passed in the early 20th century, may be struck down as unconstitutional if they were enforced.

"Most of these ordinances are offensive and unconstitutional. They need to be repealed," said Michael Steinberg, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

Mom accused of toilet toothbrush tamper

HELLERTOWN, Pa., July 28 (UPI) -- Police in Pennsylvania said they received a call from a 26-year-old man who claimed his mother had put feces on his toothbrush.

Investigators said Justin Novack, 26, of Lower Saucon Township, near Hellertown, called police July 18 and claimed his mother, Deborah Woist, 52, had put feces on his toothbrush, The (Allentown) Morning Call reported.

Police said Woist told them she decided to clean the bathroom because the job hadn't been performed in 2 months. She admitted to using her son's toothbrush for cleaning and placing it back in the holder.

Officers issued Woist a citation for harassment.

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