News of the Weird

Friday July 12, 2002

Johnnie can read about
health risks now


NEW YORK — There’s technical school, there’s parochial school — and now there’s Johns School. 

That’s John as in those who patronize prostitutes. 

Under a new policy announced by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes on Tuesday, arrested johns will get to choose between attending a class on the evils of prostitution or facing 90 days in jail. 

“Pimps and prostitutes are only two-thirds of the age-old crime; the remaining one-third is the john,” Hynes said. “Johns School will not only educate offenders but remind them that, as an equal part, they are in fact committing a crime.” 

Under the program, offenders will be taught the health risks of prostitution, the adverse effect on the quality of life within the community and the negative impact on the prostitutes themselves. 

The five-hour course will be taught by assistant district attorneys, former prostitutes, health professionals, police officers, social workers and community leaders. 

Previously, johns were given community service or had their cases dismissed with time served. 

Defendants with violent criminal records will not be offered the class. 


Cow stolen in Denver  

DENVER — Call it urban cattle rustling. 

A 150-pound fiberglass cow has been stolen from a Chick-Fil-A billboard in Denver. 

The cow, one of the company’s mascots urging customers to “Eat Mor Chikin,” was apparently taken during the weekend. The $3,200 replica was unbolted from the billboard and lowered to the ground. 

“The little bandits were very innovative,” said Gina Francis, a spokeswoman for the fast-food chain. 

Francis said they left tread marks on the ground below the billboard, suggesting a truck was waiting. “They weren’t covering their hooves,” she said. 

The company has filed a police report with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. “It was hard to get a straight face,” Francis said. 

Chick-Fil-A is also offering free chicken sandwiches for a year for information leading to the safe return of the cow. The reward could be altered if a vegetarian assists in solving the crime, Francis said. 


In the long run,
should have kept tickets

MILWAUKEE — An Eagles concert didn’t produce a “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” for a local politician when he was caught trying to sell two extra tickets before the show. 

Alderman Marvin Pratt wound up with a city citation for illegal ticket selling at the Summerfest music festival over the weekend. 

Pratt and Summerfest officials confirmed Tuesday that a security guard stopped Pratt as he sold the extras for their face value of $150 just outside the Marcus Amphitheater ticket office. 

Pratt said he was trying to sell the tickets at face value rather than scalp them for extra cash. He said he had the extras because friends canceled plans to join him for the sold-out show. 

But direct ticket sales within 500 feet of Summerfest are prohibited by city ordinance — at any price. 

Pratt said he plans to review the ordinance to see if it could use some fine-tuning.——— 

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A cat stuck for weeks inside the wall of a home after getting caught up in a remodeling project has been found and reunited with its owners. 

Sophia was accidentally walled in when workers finished repairs at a neighborhood home, and the cat spent about three weeks in a crawl space foraging for bugs. 

The cat’s owners, Jeff and Nataline Runkles, had no idea where the pet had gone, and presumed it lost. 

But the Runkles later read a news story about a cat being rescued from a crawl space and raced to the animal shelter to see if it was Sophia. 

“When they opened the cage, she jumped up on his shoulder and planted herself,” Nataline Runkles said. “There was no doubt it was our cat.” 

Sophia picked up a not-so-glamorous habit during her stay in the crawl space and now chases moths and beetles.