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The Odd Truth, Feb. 16, 2005

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's William Vitka.

Stolen: Cardboard Bush Likeness, Whiskey

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Stolen: A cardboard likeness of President Bush and a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Kevin Hair reported to police that he returned to his apartment Sunday and first noticed some furniture had been rearranged. Then he realized his standup image of Bush and Tennessee whiskey were missing.

According to a police report, the burglar entered the apartment through a window.

The value of the items taken: $50 for the whiskey and $25 for the likeness of Bush.

Hell's Angels, Meet Hell's Granny

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A 79-year-old woman has been charged with using her wooden cane to strike police officers who arrived at her home to check on her welfare.

St. Joseph County prosecutors said the officers came to investigate a possible domestic abuse charge against Betty Chambers' live-in caretaker, Thomas Holleman, 57.

As the officers tried to handcuff Holleman, Chambers allegedly struck Officer Lonny Foresman over the head with her cane, prosecutors said.

Foresman suffered a mild concussion while Sgt. John Pavlekovich suffered a separated shoulder and hand injury, said Jaimee Thirion, a spokeswoman for St. Joseph County police.

Prosecutors charged Chambers and Holleman on Tuesday with resisting law enforcement and battery.

"This is a serious concern because police are there to protect all of us," said St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak.

A phone number listed under Chambers' name at her address had been disconnected.

Keep The Change

ORLANDO, Fla. - Carol Birmingham almost had a heart attack when she realized her Mac Attack had cost $8,700.

The 62-year-old British tourist didn't notice until Sunday morning that she had left her cash-stuffed purse on a McDonald's counter when she bought lunch the previous day.

Inside was her down payment for a vacation home.

But the panic was short-lived since an assistant manager at the restaurant turned the money over to the Orange County Sheriff's Office for safekeeping.

Ilona Barattin, 23, said she found cash, mostly hundred-dollar bills, but no ID. On returning the cash, she said: "It was the right thing to do."

The Birminghams returned to McDonald's on Monday to give Barattin and fellow manager Aileen Norris an undisclosed reward.

Play It Again, Sam

NEW RIEGEL, Ohio - The village police chief was surprised when he woke up in the middle of the night to find a man inside his home playing Beethoven on the piano.

New Riegel Police Chief Steve Swartzmiller said he grabbed his gun and went to investigate the noise in his house. He found 19-year-old Shawn Chadwell playing the piano.

Chadwell was drunk and looking for a friend's house when he mistakenly wandered into the wrong place early Monday, Swartzmiller said.

Seneca County sheriff's deputies charged Chadwell, of Bethel, with underage drinking and burglary.

Swartzmiller said his house was the only one around that had lights on and it probably attracted Chadwell. The chief added that Chadwell played perfect Beethoven.

She Was Just Trying To Fight Plaque

ADRIAN, Mich. - A woman who pleaded guilty to driving while drunk on three glasses of Listerine was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation.

Officials suspected Carol Ries, 50, was intoxicated after she rear-ended another vehicle at a red light in January. Police found a bottle of the mouthwash in her car.

She passed one breath test, but failed another that used different equipment. Her blood alcohol level was .30 percent, more than three times the legal limit.

According to Listerine manufacturer Pfizer Inc.'s Web site, original formula Listerine contains 26.9 percent alcohol, more than four times that of many malt liquors, while other varieties contain 21.6 percent alcohol.