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News of the Weird

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 25, 2002

Two’s better than one 

FRANKSVILLE, Wis. — Reigning kraut-eating champion Brenda Lashley brought a secret weapon to this year’s contest: She was eating for two. 

Lashley, who is seven months pregnant, gobbled down more than a pound of sauerkraut Sunday at the Kraut Festival in Franksville to claim her title as the women’s World Champion kraut eater. She took home a trophy and $100. 

“I just hope he likes it,” Lashley said of her unborn child, while admitting she’s not too fond of the food herself. 

Lashley has placed first, second or third in the women’s competition every year for the past 15 years. 

Her secret? 

“Don’t look up. Don’t look at the crowd.” 

She kept her face firmly planted in the plate of cured cabbage Sunday on the third and final day of the 52nd annual event. 

The festival originated in 1949 when Frank’s Kraut Company was the main industry in Franksville. Now called The Fremont Co., the company still supports the annual festival. 

How to explain? 

BELLEAIR SHORE, Fla. — The federal government has discovered life in this tiny Pinellas County town. 

Census officials had thought the place uninhabited, which was discouraging to the people who thought they lived here. But statistics released recently by the Census Bureau have corrected the earlier figures that showed a population of zero. 

The original calculations were odd considering that county voter rolls showed more than 90 registered voters. And Mayor John Robertson is quite sure there are 52 houses and four more being built. 

“I counted them,” he said. 

Now, the count is wrong in the other direction, Robertson said. Instead of the 52 houses Robertson counted, the amended census shows 63 houses — 15 of them vacant — and 75 people living in the waterfront town. 

Officials accounted for the original mistake by saying they had confused Belleair Shore with its neighbor Belleair Beach, giving the Shore’s residents to the Beach. 

Pot-toting braggart goes to jail 

CANTON, Ohio — A man who allegedly boasted to a passer-by while carrying a marijuana plant down the street ended up getting arrested by the man — a plainclothes police officer. 

“Would you believe I’m walking down the street in the middle of the day with this pot plant,” Daniel Fornash of Canton said as he walked down the street Thursday, according to police. 

The passer-by responded, “Would you believe I’m a cop?” 

Canton Detective Joe Mongold, who was returning from court, cited Fornash with misdemeanor charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana. 

Authorities said Fornash told police the marijuana had been growing in the front yard of a vacant house, where he had been nurturing it, and that he decided to dig it up and take it home.