Elections are garbage, and this may prove it
Ed Warren is the new mayor of the Australian Outback town of Winton. He was chosen in a process that could have saved us a lot of time if it had been used in Palm Beach County in 2000: They drew his name out of a garbage can. The race was decided in the unconventional manner after Warren and Butch Lenton each received 423 votes in the election, and local laws allow for the office to be decided either by drawing a name or tossing a coin. "I was going to say we'll toss for it," Warren told Australian radio. But this would seem to be a low-cost alternative for the Democrats to find a way to seat Florida and Michigan delegates this year. That's one plan that hasn't been considered. Yet.
Principal's incentive plan gets low score
Florida schools have the FCAT. Texas schools have the TAKS. Florida schools have the occasional goofy principal who will offer to eat bugs or something to inspire kids to do better on the tests. Texas has ... well ... things seem a little more tense in Texas. The San Antonio Express-News reports that a complaint has been filed against John Burks, the principal of New Braunfels Middle School. "He said if the TAKS scores were not as expected, he would kill the teachers," veteran teacher Anita White said. "He said 'I will kill you all and kill myself.' " People always take that kind of thing very seriously. "It was not a joke," White said. (See?) Many teachers complain about the importance placed on TAKS scores, saying a single, standardized test often does not measure how well their students are learning. Stop us when any of this sounds familiar. Anyway, Burks denies it happened, and an investigation is under way.
Wombat rape story apparently made up
Police in New Zealand are no longer looking for the wombat that Arthur Ross Cradock of Motueka claims raped him. Actually, they never really looked for it, but they arrested Cradock, 48, on charges of "using a phone for a fictitious purpose" after he called to report the incident last month. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 75 hours of community service, reports the Nelson Mail. After initially calling the police to arrest the creature, he called back and told them not to bother because it was over and he was okay except for one malady. "Apart from speaking Australian now, I'm pretty all right," he told the operator. Authorities believe alcohol may have been involved.
Man says Bigfoot is a hairy pervert
A court in Stafford County, Va., really didn't care if Gene Morrill, 57, was assaulted by Bigfoot when he was a child. That was his excuse after pleading guilty to 20 charges of trying to soliciting young boys over the Internet. "I've had a few that have claimed abuse, but never by a mythical creature," Stafford County Detective Darryl Wells told the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Va.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.