City arts centre pays artist to get drunk, fall down

The Chapter arts centre in Canton, Cardiff, Wales, has paid Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi £5000 to drink “48 bottles of beer’ and walk across a beam wearing high heels until she falls off.

Unfortunately, some see her one-woman performance art show as less a comment “on the availability and use of mass-produced products’, as she claims, and more an exhortation to binge drink.

“This is stupid and dangerous and sends out the message that binge drinking is OK,’ said Ramesh Patel, a local councillor, who called for an inquiry. He demanded to know why taxpayers’ money “is being wasted on trash like this’.

An Alcohol Concern spokesman said: “We’re always concerned when someone puts their health and safety at risk by drinking to excess like this.’

David Davies, a Tory member of the Welsh Assembly, said: “If anyone is daft enough to want to see a young woman getting plastered and tottering around in high heels, they can do it in just about every city centre most nights of the week. The show is probably the biggest waste of money in the world. The worrying thing is people are deciding to hand out taxpayers’ money like this when they are sober.’ — Telegraph Online

I really need a job like this. Most of us have to pay to get drunk.

Mom puts 2-year-old on wrong tracks

A woman in Marina, Calif., put her 2 year old son onto railroad tracks in an apparent attempt to kill the toddler, but the attempt failed when the train stopped about 25 feet short.

Then she did it again.

Officers arrested the woman, 22, on suspicion of attempted murder and child endangerment. The boy was placed into protective custody.

Trolley security guards first saw the woman and child standing on the tracks at Front Street and Harbor Drive about 7:20 p.m. as a freight train approached slowly, San Diego police Lt. Shelley Zimmerman said.

The train engineer saw the pair and was able to stop within 25 feet of the them. He and the security guard told the woman to get off the tracks and she did, taking the boy with her, Zimmerman said.

But about 15 minutes later, as another slow-speed train neared the intersection, a security guard saw the woman push the boy onto the tracks, Zimmerman said. Again the train engineer stopped 25 feet short of hitting the boy. — San Diego Union-Tribune

Police had not released the name of today’s Stupid Person of the Day as they weren’t sure of her identity. She carried no identification.

Man steals limousine with 15 people in it

Here’s a hint to you would-be car thieves: Steal a car which isn’t full of people.

A Hummer limo filled with people celebrating a birthday party turned into a wild ride early Sunday after a man attempted to steal it, San Antonio Police said. What the suspect did not realize was there were 15 people in the back of the limo.

Twenty-one-year-old Noe Ochoa was arrested, police said. He was held down by people in the limo until officers arrived. . . .

“The Hummer starts to move and everybody’s like, ‘What’s going on?” Kenneth Thornton said. His friends had rented the limo for Kenneth’s 28th birthday.

The limo driver was apparently in the back talking to one of the 15 the passengers when Ochoa jumped in to the Hummer, police said.

Thorton crawled through the privacy window to stop the suspected carjacker.

“I flip the park on the Hummer, and it screeches us to a halt,’ Thorton said. “Then, I put him in a choke hold until they can get out and pull him out.’ — WOAI

Ochoa, today’s Stupid Person of the Day, said he stole the limo because his friends ditched him and he needed a ride.

Going down in Larry Bird’s jersey

In Oklahoma City, Okla., on Tuesday, a man being sentenced asked for a longer prison sentence than he had been given.

The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird’s jersey number 33.

“He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird’s jersey,’ Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott said Wednesday. “We accommodated his request and he was just as happy as he could be.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in 26 years in the courthouse. But, I know the DA is happy about it.’ — Associated Press

Driver hits, kills man, drives with body on windshield

An unnamed suspect in St. Petersburg, Fla., is in custody after allegedly hitting and killing a homeless man, and driving several miles with the man’s body impaled on his windshield.

The driver was stopped at the southbound Interstate 275 tollbooth of the Sunshine Skyway, police said.

The man had been hit more than three miles away at 46th Avenue South and 34th Street South, police said. He apparently was struck by the car while crossing 34th Street. The impact severed one leg and wedged him through the windshield.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., [Wednesday] the car pulled into a middle tollbooth lane where motorists pay $1 to cross the bridge.

Police said the driver was detained and an a ambulance was called. The driver, identified only as an elderly man, was taken to a hospital. — Tampa Tribune

Today’s unnamed Stupid Person of the Day had not yet been charged with a crime at the time this article was published.

Park in front of the police station and we’ll get high

The Jawa Report let us know about an unnamed suspect who was caught in front of the police station in Omaha, Neb., with methamphetamine after parking in a handicapped space.

An Omaha police lieutenant and an officer said they were working at the front desk of police headquarters Monday night when they noticed people sitting a car parked in a handicap parking space.

When the pair walked up to the car, they smelled what they believed to be methamphetamine.

A search proved them right.

The suspect was taken to Creighton University Medical Center, where he agreed to have two small plastic bags of meth removed from his stomach, according to a police report. — KETV

Unfortunately, today’s Stupid Person of the Day was not named in the news report. No word, either, on the other “people’ in the car.

Babysitters fall asleep, lose two-year-old child

A couple in Van Buren, Arkansas who were supposed to be watching a two-year-old child were arrested after the child was found wandering a busy street.

A resident called police Sunday morning after she found the boy, who was wearing a diaper and shirt, police said. The boy was unharmed.

Police said they knocked on 150 doors in the neighborhood while looking for his caregivers, but no one recognized the boy. They said they were about to hand him over to the state Department of Human Services when the sitters called.

“We got a phone call from the people watching the little boy, real nonchalantly said, ‘Did you find a child? We’re missing one,” Van Buren police Cpl. Chris Hoffsommer said.

Jeremy Ruehle, 21, and his wife, Meghan Ruehle, 19, both of Van Buren, started to watch the boy on Friday. Police said the Ruehles were still asleep when he wandered off. Both face misdemeanor child endangerment charges.

The child’s mother, Ashley Ruehle, 37, of Alma, came to the station and told police it was her first night out in two years. But police said she was arrested when officers discovered outstanding arrest warrants on charges of writing bad checks and theft of a lease property.

Police did not say whether the baby sitters and mother were related. The boy was turned over to his grandparents. — Associated Press

Wow, we’ve got three Stupid People of the Day today.

Verizon awarded for promoting literacy

Verizon Communications, Inc., has received the first Quills Corporate Literacy Award for its work in promoting literacy.

The Quills Corporate Literacy Award was presented to Patrick Gaston, President, Verizon Foundation, in recognition of Verizon’s support of literacy programs. Verizon Reads, the umbrella organization for Verizon’s national literacy platform, supports programs to create awareness, raise funds, and encourage collaboration among literacy providers. Specifically, the Verizon Literacy Network connects the leading literacy organizations to serve as a resource for all literacy inquiries and link providers to the general public via the Internet.

“Verizon’s mission has been to be the leader in America’s campaign to raise literacy levels by orchestrating a national platform that will increase community awareness and support a wide diversity of literacy programs,’ said Gerry Byrne, chairman of the Quills Literacy Foundation. “Through its programs and its employees, Verizon has been a uniquely enthusiastic and committed leader that truly celebrates the written word and is making a difference. This is a well-deserved award.’ — Phone Watch

The awards program will be seen on the NBC Universal network on Saturday, Oct. 22, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. U.S. Eastern time.

Reading is only the first step. Next comes comprehension, understanding, analysis, critical thinking, and development of judgment. Still, it’s a good first step in the fight to make stupidity history.

Student sues university to keep ferret in dorm

Sarah Sevick, 19, a freshman at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Tex., has filed an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint with the federal government because the university refused to allow her to keep her ferret in her dorm room.

Sevick said she has been diagnosed with psychiatric problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. She takes medication for depression and anxiety, she said. . . .

Sevick requested to keep the ferret at her dormitory and in class before she moved onto campus in August, but was denied. . . .

Sevick said she’s had many attacks since she’s been on campus without the ferret.

She discovered Lilly’s calming effects when she received the ferret as a gift about a year ago.

“Pretty quickly, we realized it was very responsive to her,’ said Sevick’s mother, Kay, who now cares for Lilly. “When (Sarah’s) anxiety goes up, (Lilly) climbs on her and nuzzles her, and will stay for hours with her until she’s better.’

Sarah Sevick said university officials feared the ferret was a threat to other students and wasn’t trained as a service animal. . . .

Meanwhile Sevick said she’s not doing well in class.

“It’s almost like I’m being jinxed,’ she said. “Because of that, I stay in my room.’ — Associated Press

Whoa, being depressed is a disability? I’m terribly depressed! Excuse me while I go file for some nice government benefits. As for Sarah Sevick, I hear she needs a boyfriend. Any of you eligible bachelors out there want to go out with her?

Woman tries to steal unborn child

Peggy Jo Conner, 38, of Ford City, Pa. has charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assult for kidnapping a pregnant woman and trying to cut her unborn child out of her.

District Attorney Scott Andreassi said the baby appears to be healthy, but the condition of the mother, Valerie Lynn Oskin, is unknown.

Oskin, 30, of Ford City, who was 8 months pregnant, is being treated at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Police said Conner hit Oskin in the head with a baseball bat on Wednesday, then drove her to a dirt road off Route 1037 in a wooded area of Wayne Township and cut Oskin’s abdomen with a razor.

Someone riding an all-terrain vehicle found Oskin and Conner on the dirt road at about 5 p.m. Wednesday and called for help, police said.

Conner was arrested and taken to the county jail. She is being held without bond.

Police say that a statement from Conner indicates that her goal was to get the victim’s unborn child and take it as her own.

In an interview with WTAE Channel 4’s Bob Mayo, Conner’s husband said that his wife is pregnant.

Andreassi said Conner claims to be pregnant but is not. — WTAE

[Editor’s note: Peggy Jo Conner, you’re today’s Stupid Person of the Day. And if anybody knows what’s up with the recent rash of women trying to steal others’ unborn babies, please let me know.]