Lead Story

Because of fears that the song would send students dancing out of control, possibly damaging its aging football stadium, the University of South Carolina recently heeded its insurer’s demand and forbade bands to play “Louie Louie” at games.

Questionable Judgments

Time magazine apologized earlier this year for running (in its British edition) an ad for a color-image-enhancement firm that featured faded red swastikas and the headline, “Poor use of color can ruin your presentation.”

Richard Hensarling Jr., 25, was jailed in August for the robberies of four central Florida banks. He later admitted that, from the reactions of his fellow inmates, he had learned his lesson about using women’s dresses as robbery disguises.

As a guest lecturer (on the secrets of his Wall Street success) at Purdue University in February, Arthur J. Curry told students that they must be willing to risk everything to win big and that, for example, he needed a half million dollars right then for an imminent deal. A month later, Curry was charged with kidnapping a woman in Bloomington, Indiana, whose husband owns a large medical-instruments firm, to collect a $1.7 million ransom.

James D. Blanchard, 29, smashed through a convenience store in Ocean Pines, Maryland, in July with a stolen dump truck and stole 14 six-packs of beer, 20 cartons of cigarettes, and a pack of Slim Jims.

Gregory Fensom, 32, was fired by the RE/MAX real-estate office in Independence, Missouri, in July after he led five people to a house that was listed with his office and staged a 3 AM party with drinking and loud TV. When the owner, who had not yet vacated the house, appeared from her bedroom, Fensom said, “I’m a realtor, and I’m showing the house.”

Two television stations in Peoria, Illinois, scheduled to run stories on the city’s first birth of 1989, bypassed the first baby, illegitimate and born to a 14-year-old black girl, in favor of the second, born to middle-class white parents, because it made a more attractive video story. Peoria’s rate of teen births is twice the national average.

In a July Texas League baseball game between Midland and Odessa, the announcer, Barry Sykes, was ejected by the umpire after playing a Linda Ronstadt recording of “When Will I Be Loved?” (containing the lyric “I’ve been cheated”) over the public-address system in response to one of the umpire’s calls.

The Continuing Crisis

The Los Angeles County government is financing a $160,000 concrete wall, 300 feet long and 10 feet high, around Lindbergh Junior High School to prevent stray bullets from entering the school yard and endangering students. The school is next to a housing project noted for violence.

In May, the University of South Alabama denied reports that it had carelessly buried dogs used in radioactive laboratory experiments. Reports said the dirt used to bury the dogs was later used as fill dirt for a school library and that workers assigned to clean up liquids seeping from rotting dog carcasses inside a warehouse were not advised to use protective clothing.

The U.S. Agency for International Development requested bids from condom companies earlier this year as part of its plan to buy 450 million condoms for third world countries. The agency will distribute a 49-millimeter size to Asian countries, but African nations will receive the 52-millimeter size.

A Moscow newspaper reported in May that some vegetation in the zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has grown to gigantic sizes and sprouted buds in seasons when it should be dormant.

According to police in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, nine-year-old Cameron Kocher (reportedly of above-average intelligence and loving parents) had been playing a Nintendo game at a neighbor’s in March when he became frustrated at an accusation of having “dirtied dishes,” went home, loaded a high-powered rifle, and shot and killed a seven-year-old girl who was outside. Kocher then returned to play Nintendo, even though horrified neighbors had taken the girl’s body into the house where the game was being played. Kocher allegedly walked calmly past the body, telling his playmates, “Don’t think about it, and you won’t be sad.” He was ordered to stand trial as an adult.

Daniel Rakowitz, 28, who works as a cook, was charged in New York City with murdering his girlfriend, dancer Monika Beerle, 26, in September and then dismembering and boiling her body to escape detection.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.