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The Odd Truth, May 25, 2005

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Joey Arak.

Jailed Over Whine And Cheese

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An 86-year-old woman was jailed after police said she called 911 dispatchers 20 times in a little more than a half-hour -- all to complain that a pizza parlor wouldn't deliver.

Dorothy Densmore was charged with misusing the 911 system, a jail spokeswoman said.

She told dispatchers Sunday that a local pizza shop refused to deliver a pie to her south Charlotte apartment, said Officer Mandy Giannini. She also complained that someone at the shop called her a "crazy old coot," Giannini said.

Densmore wanted them arrested. Instead, police came to arrest her, and she resisted, Giannini said.

Overdue Bill Traps Budget Boss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee's deputy finance commissioner spent 13 hours stuck in an elevator at the state Capitol after no one paid a phone bill.

Jerry Adams, who oversees Tennessee's $25 billion budget, was working alone a few weekends ago when he stepped into an elevator, which promptly broke and left him stranded between floors.

Adams picked up the phone in the elevator, but it didn't work because the bill for the phone hadn't been paid and the service was disconnected, officials said.

Finance Department spokeswoman Lola Potter said the bill was mistakenly sent to the Department of Human Services. Officials there had no record of the line and didn't pay the bill.

In the elevator, Adams said the only thing he could do was push a button that rang an emergency bell. He did that every five minutes for hours, but the building was deserted.

At about 4 a.m. the next morning, the cleaning crew heard Adams stirring and rescue crews finally freed him.

What $10 Million Smells Like

DETROIT - A Detroit radio host who says she was fired after complaining that a co-worker's perfume made her sick has won a $10 million judgment.

Erin Weber says she was let go in 2001 after she complained that she was allergic to another host's perfume. She says Infinity Broadcasting discriminated against her because of her perfume allergy and retaliated after she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Infinity says it plans to appeal. The company says Weber was fired for not coming to work. And it adds the company tried to accommodate Weber's allergy by asking the other woman stop wearing the perfume. Infinity says it also modified Weber's schedule so she wouldn't come into contact with the other woman.

He Once Caught A Fish This Big

ALTON, Ill. - Tim Pruitt's got a whale of a fish story. But this isn't about the big one that got away. Over the weekend, Pruitt landed a 124-pound blue catfish. It's about the size of a sixth-grader. The fish has already been weighed in the presence of a conservation officer and measured by a biologist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. That's good enough for the world record, once the claim is certified. But Pruitt's giant catfish could get even bigger. Officials say it's still alive, swimming in a tank at the Cabela's Outfitter store in Kansas City, Kansas.

Cop Stays Local For Drug Bust

ELKHART, Ind. - If you're going to sell dope, you might not want to do it next to a police car. In Elkhart, Indiana, police Corporal Mike Swygart says he couldn't believe it when someone told him a drug deal was going down right next to his patrol car. He was on a coffee break at the time. Swygart says he laughed, but the man told him it was no joke. Swygart went back to his car, opened the passenger door and shouted, "Police, don't move!" He says the suspects dropped two baggies of pot right on the front seat of his police car. Officers say they also found pills and drug paraphernalia on the suspects.

'Jack The Snipper' Caught

DOVER, N.H. - Jeffrey Gelinas has pleaded guilty to breaking into a coed's off-campus apartment near the University of New Hampshire. Police say he was the only suspect in a series of so-called "Jack the Snipper" attacks. Someone had entered the apartments of female UNH students and cut off their clothing while they slept. Gelinas was never charged in the earlier cases. Now he's going to prison for up to eight years. Gelinas says he has an affliction and needs counseling.

Cat-Fighting Snakes Causing Problems

COLUMBUS - It's cats versus snakes in Columbus, Georgia. And a city worker would rather have the snakes. Mary Jane Hendricks, a senior court clerk, wrenched her back when she stepped on a cat while climbing down a ladder. The city hired a bunch of cats to patrol a storage building to chase away snakes. But Hendricks says the cats are just too friendly and are always getting underfoot. Hendricks is now on limited duty, while she recovers from her feline stumble.

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