Change Oregonians Believe In: The voters of Sodaville (pop. 290) elected Thomas Brady Harrington, 33, mayor in November, notwithstanding his criminal rap sheet showing robbery, eluding a police officer, felon in possession of a gun and other crimes (with his electoral success perhaps due to voters’ confusing him with his father, a respected town elder).
And the voters of Silverton (pop. 7,400) elected as mayor Stu Rasmussen, 60, an openly transgendered, longtime resident who previously served as mayor while a man but who now sports breasts and dresses exclusively as a woman (especially miniskirts and cleavage-enhancing tops). Actually, Rasmussen still describes himself as a man and lives with his longtime girlfriend, but explained his switch as just his particular “mid-life crisis.”
“I’m really sorry. ... I thought he was just tired,” said Lynne Stewart, who was arrested in West Melbourne, Fla., in October and charged with stealing items from a 56-year-old, unconscious man who in fact had just suffered a fatal heart attack during sex with Stewart. She blamed her larceny on a cocaine binge that impaired her judgment such that (according to a police commander) she had sex with 20 men that weekend. (However, she was not charged with prostitution. Said the commander, “No, she just likes sex.”)
Lame: A woman being interviewed for jury duty on a murder case in Bronx (N.Y.) Supreme Court in October asked to be excused for the reason that she was once murdered, herself, by her husband (but had somehow been revived by a doctor). (She was dismissed from the jury, but on other grounds.)
In a recent report of DUI excuses in the Swedish newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda, a 56-year-old woman had asserted that, though she had been drinking, her driving was not affected because she had remembered to keep one eye closed so as not to be seeing double.
Hummer H2 driver Yvonne Sinclair, 29, was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter in November in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., from a 2006 crash that killed two people and in which her intoxication was a major factor. Sinclair had bought the Hummer from proceeds of a lawsuit settlement over the 2003 death of her boyfriend, who was killed by a drunk driver.
Strange Justice: The Saudi Arabia delegation to the United Nations sponsored a conference on religious tolerance in November. (Not only does the kingdom employ a police force “on the prevention of vice and the promotion of virtue,” but it is accused of widespread internal discrimination against disfavored Islamic sects.)