Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
Dateline: Washington--And you thought the tobacco industry was the evil empire. Seattle resident and self-described milk-a-holic Norman Mayo is suing Safeway and the Dairy Farmers of Washington, claiming that a lifetime of drinking milk contributed to his clogged arteries and a minor stroke. Mayo, 61, wants the dairy industry to put warning labels on all its products just like cigarette manufacturers do. He's also seeking reimbursement of his medical expenses and unspecified compensation for personal injury.
Dateline: Pennsylvania--Last Tuesday, Dennis and Lorie Nixon of Hollidaysberg, Pa., were sentenced to at least two and a half years in jail for manslaughter. The Nixons were convicted of causing their 16-year-old daughter Shannon's death when they relied on prayer instead of medicine to treat her diabetes. Shannon died of treatable complications from diabetes last year after Dennis Nixon's father, a pastor at the Faith Tabernacle Congregation, prayed over the girl. The Nixons received a year more than prosecutors had asked for, because Shannon is the second of their 10 children to die under such circumstances. In 1991, their 8-year-old son died of an ear infection. Mrs. Nixon is expecting her 11th baby in July.
Dateline: Spain--A woman was arrested in Madrid after trying to kill her husband with a lethal injection of ammonia and lighter fluid--which she insisted was intended "to refresh his feet." The husband was lying in a hospital bed at the time after his car mysteriously exploded in his garage with him in it. Hospital workers became suspicious of the wife because they often found the man's intravenous tubes shut off after his loving spouse had visited. If at first you don't succeed ...
Dateline: New York--The police department in Buffalo, N.Y., recently remodeled its drab, gray jail cells. Seems the shade that all well-dressed prisons are sporting this season is Pepto-Bismol pink. A recent study by the American Institute for Biosocial Research in San Jose, Calif., concluded that several inmates placed in a bright pink holding cell showed no signs of aggressive behavior. Some young criminals were "reduced to tears" inside the soothing pink walls.
Dateline: Washington--Mattel, the manufacturers of Barbie, thought they were being pretty P.C. last week when they introduced "Share A Smile Becky," a wheelchair-bound companion for America's favorite fashion doll. It took a 17-year-old high school student in Tacoma, Wash., though, to show just how incorrect the toy manufacturer was being. Kjersti Johnson, who has cerebral palsy, pointed out in an e-mail to the Easter Seal Society of Washington that Becky's hot pink wheelchair won't fit through the door or into the elevator of Barbie's Dream House. Mattel has promised next month to unveil a new Barbie Pretty Folding House, which--with its wider front door and lack of steps or stairs--will conform a little closer to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
--compiled by Devin D. O'Leary
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