This Week in Weird, Oct. 24

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Students, alumni get 'blah, blah, blah' donation letter

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Students and alumni of Framingham State College aren't laughing after an ill-conceived letter tried to turn a fundraising drive into a joke.

The gag? School officials repeated the word "blah" 137 times - as in "blah, blah, blah" - on a letter sent to about 6,000 alumni.

The Sept. 5 letter called on recent graduates who hadn't yet donated to the college to give money to the school's Legacy Fund to assist students who need financial aid.

"With the recent economic downturn and loan crisis, it has become even more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," reads the letter, which was signed by Timothy Cornely, president of the school's alumni association and assistant superintendent of Holliston Public Schools.

The school apologized nearly a month later in a letter from Christopher Hendry, Framingham State's vice president of college advancement.

Hendry wrote that he called the letter a "misguided and embarrassing attempt to connect with alumni in a different way."

Man accused of hurling pizza at grandma, then setting fire

LOUISVILLE, Ohio -- A 19-year-old man could go to prison for a decade if convicted of throwing a pizza at his grandmother and setting her living room blanket on fire.

Lee M. Deitrick was arrested Tuesday at his home by Louisville police on warrants charging him with misdemeanor domestic violence and aggravated arson, Stark County Jail records said. Jail records said he threw the pizza at his grandmother, then set fire to a blanket.

The arson charge is a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Kids spot car that had gone off road

RUSHVILLE, Ill. -- A typical school bus ride home last week turned four sixth-graders into heroes after they spotted a car that had gone off the road hours before.

Drake Stoneking, 11; Caleb Malone, 12; Colton Schieber, 11; and Ethan Wiser, 12, were sitting together Oct. 15 for the afternoon bus ride home. Less than two miles into the trip, they spotted the car of Whitney Wise, 18, down a steep ravine.

"I think I was the first one. . . . I yelled 'There's a car down there,’" Schieber said Monday. "I saw a black Chevy that had gone down the steep ditch into the woods and was trapped against a tree."

Rescue workers later cut Wise out of the car and learned she had been trapped inside for about five hours. She had been honking her car's horn in an effort to alert someone to her crash.

Wise was airlifted to the hospital and has since been released.

Student hit by driverless car

ROCKFORD, Ill. – A high school junior is in critical condition after being struck by a driverless vehicle Thursday while waiting for the morning school bus.

The accident occurred at 7:48 a.m.

Police arrived to find the 16-year-old lying unconscious in the street with what are being described as life-threatening injuries.

Police said a blue 1984 Cadillac was traveling north when a mechanical problem occurred, preventing the driver from slowing or stopping, Lt. Dane Person said.

The driver abandoned the moving vehicle as it continued northbound, where it struck a utility pole. “We don’t know if the car struck him or the utility pole struck him or a combination of both,” said Lt. Mark West.

The driver of the vehicle, Dupree J. Powell, 24, received non-life-threatening injuries.

He was charged with reckless driving, defective brakes and no proof of insurance.

GateHouse News Service