Page One

News of the Weird

Friday July 05, 2002

Some cool pigs in Mich. 


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Murray family’s three little pigs have a new way to beat the heat. 

Isaac Murray, an electrical field technician, has installed a shower in his pigpen so his swine will have no reason to whine during a heat wave that has sent temperatures into the 90s. 

“When he told me he wanted to build a shower for the pigs, I thought, ’You’re kidding me,”’ Judith Murray, Isaac’s wife, said Wednesday. “I thought the kids should just go out and spray them a couple times a day; that’s what 4-H says to do.” 

But when Isaac Murray designed and set up the plumbing apparatus, the family agreed it was a great invention. 

It runs automatically for two minutes every two hours, all day long. 

“The pigs love getting in it, and it’s good for them,” Judith Murray said. “Pigs can only cool off through their noses, and so they need to be cooled down with water.” 

The Murrays’ pigs are now trained to shower every time the device starts running. 

“They have a pecking order,” Judith Murray said. “The little one has to wait until the other two are done before it can go in.” 


Unusual vehicle used in
jewelry heist attempt


BEATRICE, Neb. — A man with an appetite for the finer things has been charged with shoplifting after reportedly swallowing a gold ring he came across at a local jewelry store. 

John Walker, 42, was arrested Tuesday after police were called to Leo’s Jewelry. A clerk said Walker was handling two rings, pushed his chair away from a counter and fell to the floor. The clerk said when he got up one of the rings was missing. 

Walker allowed police to pat-search him, but during a conversation a bright object was seen in his mouth, police said. When asked what it was, Walker swallowed. 

Police then requested a search warrant to have an X-ray taken. The ring, valued at $629, was spotted in Walker’s stomach, Capt. William Fitzgerald said. 

Police also found that Walker was wanted on a Lancaster County theft warrant. He was being held in the county jail in Lincoln. 


Stray dog recruited by
US customs agent


MILWAUKEE — Drugs. Danger. Doggy treats. 

That’s what might be in store for a stray dog suddenly thrust from scrounging his next meal to protecting the nation’s borders. 

An animal control officer found the black Labrador, now named Kevin, roaming the streets. Kevin ended up at the Wisconsin Humane Society, where he caught U.S. Customs Agent Paul Paulson’s eye. 

Paulson thought Kevin might make a good candidate for the agency’s canine enforcement corps, which sniffs out drugs and currency in cars and freight and on people. 

The Customs Service has been adopting dogs from shelters across the eastern United States for more than 20 years. Paulson said agents mainly look for sporting breeds such as Labrador retrievers and German shorthair pointers because of their natural drive to repeatedly retrieve objects. 

But Humane Society officials were skeptical about exposing Kevin to the dog-eat-dog border patrol world. 

“We were a little worried about Kevin,” said Barry Ashenfelter, the Humane Society’s community relations director. “He has so much energy, it would have taken a professional dog trainer to get him under control.” 

That’s exactly what Kevin is going to get. 

The Customs Service adopted him Monday. Now he’s on his way to Front Royal, Va., where he’ll be enrolled in a canine enforcement training program.