Page One

News of the Weird

Thursday July 18, 2002

Brooklyn Bridge for sale? 


BROOKLYN, Iowa — Wanna buy the Brooklyn Bridge? 

Not the New York City landmark — but the one in Brooklyn, Iowa. 

Mayor Jim Rhinehart thinks the bridge over Little Bear Creek could be resold now that a $1.7 million replacement is on the way. 

“We’re trying to figure out what to do with that bridge,” said Rhinehart, mayor of the town of 1,367 people about 40 miles west of Iowa City. 

The narrow steel truss, built in 1927, could be used as a driveway, for example, or put in a park or recreation area. 

“I thought we should put it on the Internet,” said local businessman Alex Wehrle. “There aren’t too many Brooklyn Bridges for sale.” 


Canine not a qualified elector 


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It’s back to the doghouse for one aspiring House candidate. 

State election officials refused to qualify Percy, a 5-year-old border collie mix, as a rival to Secretary of State Katherine Harris in her bid for Congress. 

Percy barked loudly when veteran elections official Ed Kast told the dog’s owner, Wayne Genthner, his dog didn’t meet the state’s elections requirements. 

“He’s a canine and therefore not a qualified elector,” Kast said. 

Genthner, a Republican, then decided he’d run himself as a write-in candidate. The 42-year-old charter boat captain said he was frustrated with highly financed, sterile campaigns that avoid meaningful debate. 

“People are almost disdainful of the political system as it is now,” Genthner said. “Percy exists to me as a binding none-of-the above ballot selection.” 

Percy and his volunteer campaign staff had been handing out flyers with slogans such as, “Never made a mess in the House! Never will!” and “PERCY! Putting the LICK back into Republican.” 

Harris, who drew worldwide attention in her role as Florida’s chief elections officer during the 2000 presidential recount, is a heavy favorite to win the race.