News of the Weird

The Associated Press
Friday April 19, 2002

Turkey attacks 

hunting videos 


BATAVIA, N.Y. — A turkey recently decided to take a turn as a critic, attacking movies in a video store — and taking particular aim at hunting videos. 

Nancy Arena arrived at her video store 30 miles east of Buffalo last week to find the front window smashed and feathers and movie cases scattered everywhere. 

She called police, and when the officer arrived at the store, he flushed a young tom turkey out of the science fiction section. 

An animal control officer eventually took the 12-pound bird away. 

Arena says the episode “was kind of weird” because the turkey bashed into the hunting videos first — and left some droppings on them. 

Spring is mating season for turkeys, and wildlife experts say the video-store crasher may have been looking for a feathered companion among the video displays. 


Firefighters marry one  

another in fire hall 


MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. — This wedding ceremony was hotter than most wedding nights. 

McKees Rocks firefighter Amy Connolly and Pittsburgh firefighter Victor Cushanick were married Tuesday night at Connolly’s fire hall in their “turn-out” gear — the protective clothing worn while fighting fires. 

Connolly’s only concession was to wear a veil instead of her helmet, and to carry a bouquet of flowers. The couple’s Dalmatian, Murphy, wore a black bow tie. 

“I just have to be different,” said Connolly, 32, who met Cushanick on the Internet several months ago while chatting about — what else — firefighting. “It’s something that we’re both into, and we wanted to do something that is memorable.” 

“Traditions are what you make of them,” said Cushanick, 34. 

About 100 people attended the wedding, about five miles south of Pittsburgh, including 24 McKees Rocks firefighters in dress uniforms. 

The groom’s mother, Julia Cushanick, was caught off guard by the wedding’s nontraditional theme. 

“All mothers would like their children to have a traditional wedding — but I understand,” she said. “As long as my son is happy, I am happy.” 


H, Miss. (AP) — Cigarette smokers who toss their butts out the car window might learn from the example of Mari Ann Sistrunk, who faces a $203 fine for littering. 

“I did it. I admit that. I just wasn’t thinking, and I threw the butt out the window,” she said. 

Sistrunk, 31, was driving home from work at a Wal-Mart on Monday morning when she discarded her cigarette. Olive Branch patrolman Adam McHann pulled her over. 

When she asked what the ticket would cost, McHann referred her to the number for the municipal court clerk. 

“I couldn’t believe it,” Sistrunk said. “The ticket was $203. Two hundred and three dollars for one cigarette butt. I could have been speeding. I could have hit someone. Anything like that, and the cost would have been lower.” 

McHann said his original intent was to warn Sistrunk not to throw butts out the window. 

“I tried to explain to her that the intersection of Bethel and U.S. 78 was the worst intersection in the city for litter, but she said throwing a cigarette butt out the window was not littering,” he said. 

In addition to the litter, McHann said grass fires are a threat at the intersection, where a construction project is under way. 


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An annual Wisconsin tradition has been put out to pasture. 

Cows on the Concourse, which promotes the state’s dairy industry with livestock displays and dairy products during June Dairy Month, has been canceled, said Kelli Lamberty, Madison’s community events coordinator. 

She said the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee didn’t have enough people to coordinate the event. 

“It would have been the 25th year so it’s very disappointing that they couldn’t do it,” Lamberty said. 

The event is traditionally held on the Capitol Square on the first Saturday in June in conjunction with the Farmers’ Market. Last year, live cows were replaced with life-size models because of concerns about foot-and-mouth disease. 

Lamberty said she didn’t know if the event would return.