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The comical and the wacky define year's news

Shaun King died this year in New Port Richey.

And a 250-pound man stole a dress . . . so he could wear it while singing Chapel of Love.

The tabloids would blush at some of the headlines that could have been written about events in Pasco this year.

Cannabis runs away, escapes being burned

Bank robbers foiled by locked door

And that's only the beginning.

Some events were tragic, others purely comical, but there was plenty of wacky and unusual this year in Pasco.

Of course the Shaun King that died wasn't the Bucs' quarterback. It was one of 10-year-old Lauren Gardiner's four pet pygmy goats, including Gramatica, that were killed by two pit bullterriers. Lauren's dad killed the dogs with a crossbow and a gun before they could finish the last goat.

Its name: Keyshawn.

The animals ruled the wacky scene.

In Dade City, a 1,200-pound horse crashed through a thin concrete cover, falling into an old septic tank. An hourlong effort by firefighters, sheriff's deputies, a septic tank crew, a tow truck and a veterinarian failed to free the horse before it died.

Pigs got into the act, too.

Three wild ones, estimated at 200 pounds each, tore up back yards in Hudson, frustrating neighbors who couldn't get anyone to help them.

But their human counterparts weren't about to let the four-legged creatures steal the show.

A Port Richey man tried to teach his wife to defend herself by using a gun. She accidentally shot him in the neck with a semiautomatic gun.

He survived to tell the story.

And file this one under stupid criminals: During a year when Pasco bank robberies became surprisingly common, four men figured they would get into the act.

But they didn't do their homework.

While trying to rob a SunTrust bank in Dade City in September, they failed to note that the bank was a drive-through bank only. They piled out of a van with ski masks and guns, only to find the bank door locked.

They took off running and escaped.

As did three drag queens who were wanted in the theft of three dresses, including two bridal dresses.

One was described as ugly and 6 feet 4 and 360 pounds.

Eventually the main culprit was arrested. That description ticked off Gene Roy Newell, a 21-year-old female impersonator. First, he's not ugly, he said. And second, he's only 5 feet 10 and 250 pounds.

Some other mistaken descriptions plagued Pasco authorities this year.

A woman who lives on the Ridgewood High School campus had her window broken and then found her couch smoldering. She called 911 to report a bomb in her house.

The school was immediately locked down and 10 sheriff's cruisers rushed to the school.

Turns out it was an industrial arts project gone awry. The bomb was actually a stray model rocket.

And in an election year, political races often were in the news in Pasco. One of the more interesting was the primary election for tax collector. County Commissioner David "Hap" Clark squared off against his longtime friend, incumbent Mike Olson, and accused Olson of sexually harassing employees and discussing a female worker's crotch with her.

For all the hatred that grew between Clark and Olson (who retained his office), it was only fair that Pasco would have a love story, too.

Christopher Gray drew a picture of Cupid on a handmade Valentine's Day card and sent it to his wife, fellow inmate Rachelle Harris. But when he saw her in the county jail booking room on the morning of the romantic day, he hurdled a 5-foot concrete wall and punched her in the face.

They were in jail on armed robbery and other charges.

Lastly, one of the most unusual details emerged from one of the year's most tragic stories.

Arson fires in Richland mobile homes became saddeningly common this summer. But one family's reason for not being home when a fire started in their trailer was anything but common.

Russell Pittman and his friends were out buying a keg of beer to celebrate his upcoming birthday.

His 17th birthday, that is.

They left Pittman's pit bullterrier at home. Luckily, Cannabis _ yes, that's really his name _ wasn't burned in the fire.

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