Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

FEBRUARY 23, 1998: 

Dateline: Australia--Protesters complaining about the lack of a nude bathing beach at Byron Bay, New South Wales, made their feelings bare earlier this month when they staged a nude surfing event. Crowds of eager onlookers packed the beach and the local police turned a (semi) blind eye as the surfers with the all-over tans took to the naked surf. Even critics who attended the event said the idea of a local nude beach is fine as long as the main beach remains fully clothed. In the past several years, nude surfing has become a popular sport in Australia. Two-time nude surfing champion Rod Cox (no word on whether that's his real name) was recently stripped of his national title thanks to newcomer Todd Heywood who dazzled the judges by riding the surf in the raw while sitting on his surfboard like a Buddha.

Dateline: Cyprus--A teenage soldier and his girlfriend broke into a zoo in Cyprus last weekend for a little after hours tour. After successfully overcoming a locked gate, the pair made their way to the lion cages. The young soldier slipped his hand through the cage bars so he could pet the giant cats. He's said to be recovering well after surgery.

Dateline: New Jersey--The Bergen County Police Department sent out a notice warning all units to be on the lookout for three men in Day-Glo orange on a wooden boat downriver from the county jail. Officers, armed with scent-tracking dogs and a helicopter, took to the riverbank. The three men were quickly apprehended but turned out to be scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency collecting water samples on the Hackensack River. What looked like the orange jumpsuits worn by inmates at the nearby county jail were simple windbreakers and pants. Undersheriff Jay Alpert expressed his hope that the EPA would consider a new color scheme for its agents: "It's not such a good idea to dress like an inmate if you're hanging around a jail."

Dateline: Oregon--Speaking of inmates, Halloween came early to some residents of the Jackson County Jail. An unknown number of jailbirds broke into the jail's commissary and pilfered several boxes of Snickers, Hershey and granola bars before hoofing it back to their dormitory cell. Authorities believe someone rigged the door of a cell to keep it from latching. After dark, the inmates dashed out of the dormitory area, knocked down the door of the jail's commissary and made off with the sweets. Deputies found a few inmates with stashes of 20 to 30 candy bars hidden inside their cells, but officials said that was not enough evidence to charge anyone with the crime.

Dateline: Virginia--Garrett Burris, a 20-year-old community-college student in Fairfax, Va., decided to help his pal beat a speeding ticket. Burris brought a stack of law books and texts on radar detection to court where his friend was challenging a $50 speeding ticket issued last summer by Trooper John Loftis. Burris proceeded to grill the trooper for about 30 minutes. During a lunch break, Burris admitted to a prosecutor that he is not actually a lawyer. Burris was charged last Tuesday with practicing law without a license, which carries up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. His friend was fined 50 bucks.

--compiled by Devin D. O'Leary

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