DARREN’S DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – JUNE 09, 2009

A brazen squirrel has been grabbing small American flags placed in a Port Huron, Mich., cemetery and carrying them up to its nest, which now looks as if it’s bedecked in bunting.  Every Memorial Day, volunteers place the flags next to the graves of nearly 1,000 veterans buried at Mount Hope Cemetery about 55 miles northeast of Detroit. The flags were undisturbed during a Mass held Monday.  The Times Herald reports that workers at the cemetery on Tuesday noticed several flags had been torn off their wooden staffs, which were still in the ground.  The mystery was solved in front of superintendent Ron Ceglarek’s eyes. He watched a squirrel detach a flag stapled to a staff and carry it up a tree to the nest.  ***Squirrel… thief… patriot.

Spencer Pratt would like to see his new bride get back to her roots. Former “American Idol” contestant Sanjaya Malakar wants to be known as more than a mop top. And former Illinois first lady Patti Blagojevich says she needs the paycheck.  NBC, for its part, is fervently hoping that TV viewers will be drawn to them as part of the oddball casting mix on the reality series “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!”  The participants, dropped into the Costa Rican jungle for a month, will be put through audience-dictated challenges to gain food and other supplies. The goal is to emerge as king – or queen – of the jungle and win the most prize money to donate to charity.  The amount of money for charity hasn’t been announced and neither has the pay the celebrities will keep.  ***MARLAR: Patty Blagojevich’s charity is the “Keep Blago Out of Prison Foundation.”

An Ohio man arrested for mowing unkempt grass at a public park says he just wanted to make his city look nice. John Hamilton said he took control of the situation because the grass in Sandusky’s Central Park was about a foot high.  According to a police report, a witness said Hamilton was blowing grass onto the sidewalk and shredding trash in the park that had not been picked up. Police said they arrested Hamilton after he refused to stop mowing and charged him with obstructing official business and disorderly conduct. City Manager Matt Kline called the arrest unfortunate and said he understands Hamilton’s frustration.  Kline said budget cuts have left Sandusky understaffed for seasonal maintenance work.  ***MARLAR: On the other hand, in the past three days Mr. Hamilton has received eighteen marriage proposals. 

Jon, Kate and their eight have attracted a huge TV audience, screaming tabloid headlines and, now, a state labor investigation. In a possible wake-up call to reality TV, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor says it’s looking into whether the hit show ‘Jon & Kate Plus 8’ is complying with the state’s child labor law. TLC said Friday it “fully complies” with state laws and regulations. The TLC series follows Jon and Kate Gosselin as they raise their eight young children, including 8-year-old twins and sextuplets who just turned 5. The couple make $50,000-$75,000 an episode.  ***MARLAR: That’s $5,000-$7,5000 per episode for each person in the family.  Can ANYONE live on that?!

As the mother of 18 children, Michelle Duggar certainly has her hands full! She and her husband, Jim Bob, and their 18 kids are the focus of the popular reality show, “18 Kids and Counting,” which airs on both TLC and the Discovery Health Network.  Michelle and Jim Bob also recently wrote a book, “The Duggars: 20 and Counting! : Raising One of America’s Largest Families — How They Do It”, so that they could address the questions and endless fascination their fans have about their large, loving and deeply spiritual family. Here are some of the tips they give to raising kids:
1. Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
2. Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated.
3. Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking.
4. Have sincere motives with no thought of self-gain.
5. Never let the sun go down on your wrath; don’t go to bed angry or guilty.
***MARLAR: Get paid $50,000-$75,000 an episode to put your kids on display for the world.

College student Elizabeth Venable is off the legal hook for cussing in public. She was cited for using curse words near small children at an airport in Southern California. Venable was charged under a law against “disorderly, obnoxious or indecent acts” at the Orange County airport. Prosecutors decided to drop charges in what was termed “the interest of justice.” ***MARLAR: If they arrested everyone who cursed in an airport, they’d be out of passengers.

With the sun expected to grow eleven percent hotter over the next 1.1 billion years, astronomers are working on a way to move Earth to a cooler, safer orbit. ***MARLAR: Okay, so then what’s going to happen to that lifetime warranty on my new solar-powered pocket calculator?

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