Reba Schappell, of Reading, Pa., a professional country music singer who is also a conjoined twin, was profiled in a September segment of the BBC radio series Who Runs Your World. Said Reba, "When I am singing, [my sister] Lori is like any other fan, except she's up on the stage with me [covered in a blanket to reduce the distraction]." Said Lori: "I do not ask for anything from Reba. I don't get in to her concerts free just because she's a conjoined twin. I have to pay, just like every other fan that comes to the concert."
DR. DOLITTLE DONE GOT BIT
Stephen Sodones, 62, was hospitalized in critical condition in August (but ultimately recovered) after being bitten three times on the hand by a copperhead snake, which he was carrying to safety across Route 23 near Jefferson, N.J.; according to a neighbor interviewed by the Newark Star-Ledger, animal-lover Sodones stops traffic to let ducks cross roads and once tried to revive a bumblebee by warming it in his hands.
DO GIRLS HAVE TO WEAR CUPS?
The Ohio High School Athletic Association apologized to football player Bobby Martin of Colonel White High in Dayton after the referees barred him from a September game because he was not wearing the required shoes and knee pads. Martin was born without legs and plays on the punt return team, moving quickly around the field with his arms. An OHSAA official said the referees were just being overly cautious, but Martin said "that's the first time in 17 years" that someone had made him feel disabled. (At halftime, Martin briefly considered tying some shoes around his chest and attempting again to play.)
PIZZA MAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
Hungry Howie's Pizza deliveryman Thomas Stefanelli, 37, was shot in the leg during a June robbery in Tampa, Fla., as he made his rounds, but he fought the robbers off and, not really aware that the pain in his leg was from a gunshot, dutifully delivered his other four pizzas before returning to the store and examining his wound.
Pastor Marshall Wedderburn was given a "conditional" sentence and probation by a court in Kitchener, Ontario, in June after he admitted that he had whipped his 11-year-old daughter in church with a microphone cord because she appeared not to be paying attention to his sermon. And Elaine Walker became the latest parent to decide to relocate without letting her child know about it. She moved out of their home in Redmire, England, in July, leaving the equivalent of about $40 to her 15-year-old daughter, along with a note announcing that she and an older daughter had moved to Turkey (where she had recently met a man).
Ismael Velasquez, 47, was convicted of drug possession in Round Rock, Texas, in September because he failed at flushing his baggie of cocaine down the toilet of a Shell station; police attributed their evidence-recovery success to the station's new, low-flow toilet, which caused the baggie just to swirl around. And Delshawn Prejean, 35, was arrested in Jacksonville, Fla., in June after a Starbucks waitress squealed on him for leaving a small pile of marijuana as a tip.
REALLY BAD AIM
Kim Bedwell, 52, and Gladys Bedwell, 50, were arrested for alleged marijuana manufacturing in Clarkston, Wash., in September, discovered when police happened to chase a black bear through their neighborhood and into the Bedwells' back yard. Apparently, frightened that the commotion was a drug raid, Kim tried to toss a marijuana plant over a high fence, but it landed on one of the officers. And in San Jacinto, Texas, in May, William Bluder, 21, was arrested for armed robbery but attempted to escape by diving head-first through some bushes outside a convenience store. However, unknown to Bluder, the bushes obscured a brick wall, which he hit with full force.
GOT MY EYE ON YOU
Toru Nagasawa, 29, a construction worker in Kawasaki, Japan, was arrested in July after allegedly forcing a man to give up his contact lenses; at his home, police later recovered 124 pairs of eyeglasses and 30 pairs of contacts, stored in plastic bags. And Stephen Schroeder, 60, was arrested in Wilmington, N.C., in August. He has been stealing teenage boys' clothes for 25 years and has 137 pairs of shoes and enough other items to fill a van and a truck. According to police, Schroeder said he had a need to "hold" and "possess" the clothes.
The Sri Lankan Daily News reported in September that the government's cabinet has decided to lower the age of consent for sex from 16 to 13 because, according to Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, too many men were being arrested under the old law. Also in September, Nepal's Supreme Court ordered the government to ban the traditional practice of confining women to cow sheds during their menstrual periods.
After a lifelong search, Marty Johnson, a Minnesota mortgage broker, finally located and visited his birth father this year, according to ABC News. John Ogike was an exchange student from Nigeria when he had a brief affair with Marty's mother, who gave Marty up for adoption, but today Ogike is chief of the Aboh village in Nigeria, and Marty will be accepted as the new chief upon his dad's death. (Marty is unsure whether to accept.)