THE WEIRDO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY
A co-ed dormitory at Hunter College in New York City has become the site of a dispute between the college and 32-year-old Lisa S. Palmer, who won’t vacate her dorm room despite having discontinued her classes in 2016. Palmer, who works for an architecture firm, has “racked up a staggering $94,000 in unpaid residence hall charges,” a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court noted. The New York Post reported on Feb. 28 that in June 2016 and fall 2017, she received eviction notices, but she won’t budge. Palmer admitted that dorm life is “really lonely. I feel very isolated.” Palmer was moved into a wing of the dorm that’s occupied only by a middle-aged nurse, whom the college is also trying to evict. In fact, Hunter is working on removing nine nurses, who were given rooms in the building when it was owned by Bellevue Hospital.
ONLY IN TEXAS
Ana Lisa Garza, a Starr County district judge in south Texas, is running for a state House seat in District 31. Garza has received almost $90,000 in contributions to her campaign, but more than $50,000 of that has been in a most unusual currency: deer semen. Deer breeder Fred Gonzalez, treasurer of the Texas Deer Association, said breeders often donate semen “straws” instead of money: “Semen is a very common way for us to donate. One collection on a buck could lead to 60 straws sometimes. If you have a desirable animal, it’s a way to bring value without breaking the bank.” A campaign finance report valued each straw donated at $1,000. Gonzalez told the Dallas Morning News that the semen donated for Garza’s campaign went into a tank sold in one lot, the proceeds of which will go to the campaign.
Kenny Bachman, 21, had a rude awakening when he racked up a $1,636 Uber fare on Feb. 23 following a night of partying with high school friends in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Charlotte Observer reported that Bachman and the friend he planned on staying with stopped at a convenience store during the evening. The friend told Bachman to wait outside as he went into the store, but Bachman was gone when the friend emerged. He had summoned an Uber to take him home–to Gloucester County, New Jersey. Bachman was passed out for most of the nearly 300-mile trip, which was subject to surge pricing, doubling the fare. Bachman challenged the charge but ended up paying the full fare; “I feel like there’s very little I could have done to reverse it,” he said.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
Caught red-handed: Leahman G.R. Potter, 48, neglected to conceal the evidence after he stole a pot of meatballs from a neighbor’s garage in Hazle Township in Pennsylvania. The meatball owner returned home Feb. 26 to find Potter outside his garage, covered in red sauce, and his meatball pot missing, according to United Press International. When Pennsylvania State Police arrived shortly afterward, they found the pot in the street and Potter at his home, where he was charged with burglary, trespass and theft.
Name recognition won’t be a problem for the Libertarian Party challenger for eastern Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District seat: Elvis D. Presley. The Associated Press reported that the King impersonator from Star City, Arkansas, who legally changed his name to match the rock ‘n’ roll icon’s (although the “real” Elvis’ middle initial was A), filed campaign paperwork on Feb. 26. Presley works as an auto refinish technician at Camp’s Custom Paint in Star City, but his political ambitions aren’t new: He’s also run for governor, land commissioner and state legislature.
Houston detectives were finally able to close a case in January that had been vexing them for 30 months. Mary Stewart Cerruti, 61, the last holdout in a neighborhood being bought up for redevelopment, was reported missing in August 2015 by a friend, who described her as shy and frail, the Houston Chronicle detailed. However, police had no leads, and her home was foreclosed on after payments stopped. Eventually, the home was cleaned out and sold, and new renters moved in. On Mar. 4, 2017, a 911 call reported a human skeleton “between two of the walls” in the home. When police arrived, they found a hole in the attic floorboards and down below were the bones, clothing and shoes that had been discovered’ an investigation found no evidence of foul play. On Jan. 23, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed the remains were those of Cerruti.
Linda Fein and her husband thought they had found their dream home in Paradise Valley, near Phoenix. They offered $1.8 million for the house and 1.3-acre lot, but then found out the house belonged to Kevin and Sandra Otterson and was the setting for their pornography website, Wifey’s World, founded in 1998. “I just can’t make Thanksgiving dinner on counters where a porn star has been lounging around,” Fein told the Arizona Republic. In late February, the couple rescinded their offer on the four-bedroom home. “I certainly believe there are people out there who wouldn’t care about the house being used for those purposes,” Fein explained. “I’m just not one of them.”