Though a university study linked birth defects to the controversial mining industry practice of mountain top removal, lawyers for the National Mining Association offered a quick, industry-friendly rebuttal:
News of the Weird has reported on life-sized, anatomically correct dolls manufactured in fine detail with human features (e.g., the "Real Doll," as one brand is called), which are as different from the plastic inflatable dolls sold in adult stores as fine whiskey is to $2-a-bottle rotgut.
Alison Murray purchased her first-ever home, in Aberdeen, Scotland, but was informed that she has to relocate, temporarily, because the house has become infested with bats, which cannot be disturbed, under Scottish and European law, once they settle in. Conservation officials advised her that she could probably move back in November, when the bats leave to hibernate.
The Omaha, Neb. public school system spent $130,000 of its stimulus grant recently just to buy 8,000 copies of the book "The Cultural Proficiency Journey: Moving Beyond Ethical Barriers Toward Profound School Change."
When deputies in Monroe County, Tenn., arrested a woman for theft, they learned that one of the items stolen was a 150-year-old Vatican-certified holy relic based on the Veil of Veronica - venerated for having been used to wipe Jesus' face before the crucifixion.
Arkansas time machine, back to the 1950s: In McGehee, a town of 4,200 in southeastern Arkansas, a black girl (Kym Wimberly) who had finished first in her senior class was named only "co-"valedictorian after officials at McGehee High changed the rules to avoid what one called a potential "big mess."
In June, Eric Carrier, 23, of Hooksett, N.H., became the most recent person arrested for running a scam on a home-health care worker by pretending to be disabled and in need of someone to change his adult diapers. Carrier first told the woman that he was the father of a man disabled by a brain injury.
Roy Miracle, 80, of Newark, Ohio, passed away in July, and his family honored him and his years of service as a prankster and superfan of the Ohio State Buckeyes with a commemorative photo of three of Miracle's fellow obsessives making contorted-body representations of "O," "H" and "O" for their traditional visual cheer.
The elegant, expansive, gleaming new glass-and-concrete indoor stairway at the Common Pleas Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio, opened recently, to mostly rave reviews for its sense of space and light, creating the feeling of walking suspended on air.
Thomas Heathfield was a well-paid banking consultant with a promising career in Maidenhead, England, but gave it up this year to move to South Africa and endure rigorous training as a "sangoma" ("witch doctor").
News of the Weird has mentioned various overseas prisons where crime kingpins serve time in relative comfort (through bribery or fear), but according to a New York Times dispatch, Venezuela's San Antonio prison (which houses the country's drug traffickers) is in a class of its own.