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News of the Weird

Saturday June 01, 2002

Convicted murderer chooses big house over home 


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A man who is under house arrest while awaiting sentencing in a murder case had had enough of his parents. So he volunteered to go to jail — early. 

Michael Kempker II, 20, contacted the Cole County sheriff’s department late Tuesday night and said he was having trouble at home. He said he wanted to leave before the situation escalated, Sheriff John Hemeyer said. 

The sheriff escorted Kempker back to jail, where he has been well-behaved, Hemeyer said. 

Kempker had been under house arrest since Dec. 31, after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the Nov. 11 beating death of Paul Thrasher, 20. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors plan to recommend no more than 30 years in prison, as opposed to the maximum of life. 

Prosecutors say Thrasher was beaten to death and run over with his own vehicle. His body was found in a ditch near Russellville nearly two days later. 


Library police hunt young girl 


LITTLETON, Colo. — A 12-year-old 

girl must appear in court for failing to return one of four books she checked out for a research project on dolphins. 

Marisa Gohr had already returned three of the four books to the Bemis Public Library in Littleton when the summons arrived. She returned the last book a week after the summons. 

“I was kind of scared,” Gohr said about receiving her summons from the Littleton Municipal Court. “I was worried because I’ve never been to court before and I’m so young.” 

Officials at the library said a summons is sent out only after several weeks pass and repeated attempts are made to get the book back. 

After the summons came, the books were returned and $9 in fines was paid. 

When Marisa’s court date came Tuesday, her mother went for her because she didn’t want to take her daughter out of summer school. 

Not good enough, according to the court. The judge told Norma Gohr that her daughter, who is named on the summons, is the one who has to appear in court. A new hearing was set for July 9. 

Since she has already paid her $9, Marisa will need only to show the court her library receipt and pay a $15 court fee to have her case dismissed. 

Marisa said the experience has made her hesitant to check out anything from the library in the future. 

Lately, she said, “I just photocopy stuff from books.” 


A perfect eighteen years 


GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. — Eric Samrov has never missed a day of school; in 13 years that’s roughly 2,340 school days in a row. 

He graduates from Gloversville High School Saturday with a perfect attendance record dating back to kindergarten — repeating a feat of perfection accomplished two years ago by his older brother, Adam Samrov. 

Besides minor colds, the brothers said they never got sick during school weeks. Neither had chicken pox, and the more severe illnesses seemed to come up during vacations and summer breaks. 

“It’s not that difficult. You just wake up every morning, hope not to be sick and go to school,” said 17-year-old Eric. 

The brothers said there was no competition between them. But having made it late into senior year without missing a day, Eric said his focus was set on making it through all 13 years without missing a day. 

“If I was dead, I wouldn’t come to school. If I was dying, I wouldn’t come to school,” he said. “That’s pretty much (it).”