A May Associated Press dispatch reported that the "dog culture" in New York City adds about $500 million to the city's economy every year. Included in that figure must have been sales at the 19 upscale restaurants that serve dogs, featured in a July New York Times review; dog psychics; a limo service for dogs; a workshop for dog actors; an upscale dog fashion industry; and a mechanical automatic dog wash.
Paving the way
In separate incidents over a three-day period in July, three cousins in Shasta County in northern California lay down on or dove onto Highway 89 directly in front of approaching cars, apparently on purpose, resulting in the death of one and serious injuries to the other two. There was no evidence of suicidal intent, and according to the Redding Record Searchlight newspaper, "Authorities are baffled ... and fear more members of the large family may partake in [this] odd behavior."
White sheep of the family
Dickson and Cynthia Unoarumhi of south London, England, told reporters in May that they believe they hold the record for the largest number of white children (three) born to a black couple, and the Guinness people apparently agree because they are inaugurating the category next year with the Unoarumhis' achievement. Possible explanations for the children's fate include a genetic regression, a parent's carrying a pigment-changing gene, or a parent's carrying an albino gene.
In June, in a Target parking lot in Milwaukee, Dawn Chapman, 25, allegedly tried to run down a woman whom she had just accused of butting in line at a cash register. And in April, Etharine Pettigrew, 41, was arrested in Milwaukee after allegedly trying to run down a 27-year-old woman outside of a Kohl's Food Store. The victim had been invited into the express checkout line by the cashier, even though she had more than 10 items, and Pettigrew took offense. Both victims required hospitalization.
At first Diane Guiles, 43, complained to a New Britain, Conn., judge in March that ex-boyfriend Clarence Lloyd, 41, was bothering her despite the judge's stay-away order against him. However, as the judge questioned her, it looked more and more like Guiles was not particularly bothered. She reluctantly admitted that Lloyd still has the key to her house and that he "sneaks in" every night. Judge: "Let me get to the bottom of this. Does he sleep with you?" Guiles: "I got me two fold-out beds." Judge: "You didn't answer my question." Guiles: (pause) "Against my will, yes. ... But I keep a big pillow between us."
Pig and a poke
Eleven men, ranging in age from 17 to 62, were charged in May with sexual assault and incest in a Hutterite religious sect community near Calgary, Alberta. Among the sentences meted out was one to a 31-year-old man who had relations with his daughter and another woman, and who attributed his lapse to a feeling of excessive confidence after having been made boss of the community's pig barn.
Seeing the light
In June, Rob Sherman, a prominent anti-religion media activist known around Chicago as The Atheist Guy, was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for allegedly punching his 16-year-old son. Sherman told reporters he was disciplining the boy for refusing to do his chores and merely wanted to "put the fear of God into him."
In June, the New York City Board of Education revoked the diplomas of 61 Brooklyn high school students. Principal Marcia Brevot had waved them through with full credit for "interdisciplinary" courses such as "Wiffleball theory" (physical education), "flower-arranging" (botany), and "sports ‘rotisserie leagues'" (math).
Two Tacoma men were arrested in Lynn-wood, Wash., in July and charged with robbing a bank. The robbers made their getaway in a motor home that belonged to one of them. It became ensnarled in noontime traffic several blocks from the bank and was overtaken by patrolmen on foot.