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Global Bizarre

Fathers' graduation escapades, their beer and updates on Darth Vader and the stationary biker

Dads and diplomas

McLelland and son, brand new attorneys at law

Tom McLelland, 58, graduated from Ohio Northern University with a law degree on Sunday. Which is enough to make anyone proud, but that wasn't the start of it for McLelland, because his son, Ryan, also graduated from the school with a law degree on Sunday. Ryan says he and his dad took almost every class together for five years. "We could help each other a lot better," he said. Now they are considering opening a practice together back at their Utah home. "I'm a little nervous," Tom said.

No diploma, so dad gets locked up

On the other side of Ohio, it wasn't as happy a graduation day. It seems Brian Gegner of Fairfield will be spending the next six months in jail because his daughter didn't get a high school equivalency diploma. Brian's daughter, Brittany, who is 18 and doesn't live with dad, has a history of truancy, and to try to curb that, the judge sentenced him for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Brittany said, "He shouldn't have to go to jail for something I did." Or didn't do, as the case may be. The charge was filed in 2007 when Brittany was a juvenile. Brittany says she plans to take the test again this month.

Bad dad

Beer is safe, but kid is on his own

An Australian man took great care in getting his case of beer home. He put it in the back seat, safely buckled in with a seat belt, and had an adult sit on each side to protect it from jostling. Significantly less care was taken in the placement of a 5-year-old child, who sat on the car's floor beneath the beer. Even when traveling near the town of Darwin, that's illegal. "I haven't ever seen something like this before," said constable Wayne Burnett. "This is the first time that the beer has taken priority over a child." If only that were true. The man was fined $710.


Going nowhere

George Hood, 50, is likely to soon be declared the world champion at the stationary bike after spending 177 hours on one over eight days this weekend. Last May, Hood thought he set the record at 85 hours, but it turned out there were record-keeping errors that kept him from it. Then he set the record over the summer at 111 hours, 11 minutes and 11 seconds. Then some guy in Tasmania broke that. Now Hood hopes his 177 stands. He set it at a YMCA in suburban Chicago, riding the equivalent of 2,016 miles, burning more than 46,000 calories and raising $30,000 for the YMCA. "My body took a beating," he told the Chicago Tribune. "My quads are very sore, and I'm stiff. But it's nothing a hot bath won't cure."

Vader gets a pass

Darth Vader, or as he's known in Earth courts, Arwel Wynne Hughes, was given a suspended sentence after attacking the leaders of England's Jedi Church in Holyhead. The Holyhead Jedi church has about 30 members — women are welcome, they have assured in previous press coverage — and in 2001, the U.K. census had 390,000 list their religion as Jedi.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

Fathers' graduation escapades, their beer and updates on Darth Vader and the stationary biker 05/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:56pm]
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