News of the Weird

The Associated Press
Thursday April 11, 2002

Colorado mayor tried cocaine, marijuana 


OAK CREEK, Colo. — Newly elected Mayor Kathy Rodeman has been arrested more than a dozen times, admits having tried cocaine and marijuana, and recently wrestled a man to the ground in a bar fight. 

Rodeman, whose nickname is Cargo, insists that her past won’t get in the way of her ability to govern this town of 800 people 110 miles northwest of Denver. 

“I’ve made my share of mistakes. I’m not perfect,” said Rodeman, a 30-year resident. “But I don’t judge others. I don’t think I’m better than anyone, but I know no one’s better than me.” 

Rodeman’s past didn’t seem to bother town residents, who gave her 64 percent of the vote last week to defeat incumbent Deb VanGundy. 

“They voted for what I believe in, not for my run-ins with cops,” said Rodeman. 

Rodeman’s critics say her criminal past makes it difficult to take her seriously. 

“This has just labeled us as the scum bucket of the county,” said Calvin Morrow, who lost a bid for mayor a few years ago. 

“I don’t minimize my behavior but I am not a bad guy,” Rodeman said. 

That behavior included driving with a suspended license and a conviction for drinking and driving. A drug possession charge in 1999 was later dropped. 


Bank declares  

customers dead  


DURHAM, N.C. — More than 400 customers of Central Carolina Bank have been declared dead because of an apparent banking error, and it’s keeping them from receiving their Social Security benefits. 

The bank is resurrecting those accounts. 

CCB spokeswoman Eileen Sarro said Tuesday that the customers accidentally declared dead were people who formerly had accounts with First Union in western North Carolina and the Savannah, Ga., area. 

CCB acquired the accounts when it bought the 37 First Union branches in February. First Union had to sell the offices to meet banking regulations after it merged with Wachovia. 

“We have had some bumps in the transfer,” Sarro said. 

The Social Security payments for April that the bank was supposed to deposit in customers’ accounts were returned to the government because the CCB computer indicated that those customers were dead. 

“I was just dumbfounded,” said customer Dora Sumner of Asheville. “Clearly, I was alive.” 

Social Security payments for May should be deposited without problems, Sarro said. The mix-up affected 417 accounts, most in western North Carolina counties. 


Horsemen ride through Wal-Mart, leave droppings  


EL DORADO, Ark. — Frontier justice and modern retailing collided when police arrested two men for riding horses through the food section of a Wal-Mart Supercenter. 

Store workers told police early Sunday the men rode horses through the store, then led officers to a large pile of horse manure just inside the entrance. 

Officers were able to stop John Glenn Carelock, 20, and were trying to coax Clinton Evers, 23, from his horse when Evers rode off, with officers in pursuit. 

Police said Evers was swinging what appeared to be either reins or a rope at deputies. When police yelled for him to stop and dismount, he responded by yelling an obscenity. He fled into a wooded area, and was later caught on a nearby road. 

Evers was arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Carelock was booked for public intoxication. Both men were released on citations to appear in Municipal Court. 


Safe opened after half a century  


MEDFORD, Ore. — A bank safe locked shut for decades has been sent to a convention of expert safecrackers in Nevada who say they’re confident they can open the rusted, century-old box. 

The two-chamber safe was installed in the basement of the First State Bank of Eagle Point in 1911 and remained there until 1954. It was donated last year to the Eagle Point Museum by a private collector who only had one of the combinations. 

Organizers of the Safe and Vault Technicians Convention, meeting this week in Reno, Nev., were among security specialists across the nation and in Canada — all on the right side of the law — who contacted museum curator Barbara Hegne asking for a crack at the safe.