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News of the Weird

Friday June 14, 2002

RS makes two big mistakes 


MARSHALL, Mo. — Getting a check from the IRS is usually a good thing. Diana Doss has learned to think otherwise. 

For the second year in a row, she’s been sent a refund for almost $200,000 — a surprise for a woman who juggles jobs at a rehabilitation center and a local Wal-Mart. 

After her first mistaken refund, Doss contacted the IRS and was told to write “VOID” across it and send it back. She did. 

On June 3, she got another check, this time for $188,368.44. 

“When I open the mail, I’m just devastated,” Doss said. “It’s a lot of stress on me to try to get this straightened out, and they’re not getting it straight.” 

Generally, when such mistakes are pointed out to the IRS, they’re corrected without a problem, said Kris Moore, an IRS spokeswoman. 

“If we didn’t fix the problem, I apologize for that,” Moore said. If Doss or someone else in a similar situation did cash the check, Moore said, the person would be responsible for repaying the amount plus interest to the IRS. 

Bucky, come home  


MADISON, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-Madison officials are wondering where a Bucky badger costume has burrowed. 

One of about four Bucky costumes was stolen from its off-duty location at Camp Randall Stadium some time between May 30 and June 4, UW-Madison Police Sgt. Pete Ystenes said Tuesday. 

“It’s not something you could stick under your shirt and sneak out easily,” Athletic Department spokesman Vince Sweeney said. 

The costume, valued around $4,000, should stand out in a crowd. 

Five-year-old is a bit short  


WILBRAHAM, Mass. — Benjamin Crevier recently got a personal invitation from Vice President Dick Cheney to a $2,500-a-plate dinner with President Bush. 

The only problem is, Ben is just 5 years old. 

It seems his name came to the attention of the dinner organizers as part of a magazine subscription list. Ben’s parents had filled out some subscriptions years ago in their son’s name as part of an airline deal. 

Ben’s father, David Crevier, said he’s a lifelong Democrat but registered Republican to vote for John McCain in 2000. He sent Cheney a thank-you note, signed by Ben, explaining that his son couldn’t make the dinner because he was a bit short on the $2,500 tab. 

“I currently have $11.97 ... in my piggy bank and about $200 in U.S. Savings Bonds and my dad has promised me an allowance beginning at age 8,” the note said. “Would you be willing to lend me the balance? I promise I am good for it.”