Originally created 05/11/04

Odds and Ends



MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin's most famous sausage has decided to retire, but she'll always relish the memories.

Mandy Block, the woman in the Italian sausage costume hit with a bat by Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Randall Simon last July, won't be in the Milwaukee Brewers' sausage races this summer.

She has decided to retire from competitive racing at Miller Park to take psychology classes at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

"It's too bad," she said. "It kind of ended with a bang, though."

Block, of South Milwaukee, became a celebrity after the incident was broadcast worldwide. She didn't let it get to her, though, accepting Simon's apology and declaring herself "just a sausage."

The 20-year-old ran only one race after she was hit by Simon's bat. The rest of the season, she shot T-shirts into the Miller Park box seats or worked as a ball girl.

Simon was arrested by Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies after the game and fined $432 in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Major League Baseball suspended him for three days.

Simon sent Block an autographed bat and apologized several times. When he returned to Miller Park later in the season, this time as a Chicago Cub, he bought a section of fans Italian sausages.

Block was recognized by the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council with a certificate of bravery. "I'm proud of it," she said. "I didn't even know there was a hot dog council."

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. -- What appeared to be nothing more than another roll of toilet paper in the boys' restroom turned out to be a bankroll for fourth-grader Cody Yaeger.

That's because Cody discovered a $100 bill neatly folded and tucked inside.

The position of the bill - and the pristine condition of the toilet paper roll - left Jamestown Elementary Principal Jack DeLeeuw wondering if the bill was rolled in from the start.

"It's as if someone at the factory put it in there purposely," DeLeeuw told The Grand Rapids Press for a Saturday story.

DeLeeuw also said he was impressed with 10-year-old Cody's integrity after the boy took the $100 directly to his teacher.

"I didn't think it was right to keep it," Cody said.

DeLeeuw said he checked with school staff and called leaders of a congregation that meets at the school on Sundays, but no one claimed the bill. So it looks like it's going to Cody.

DeLeeuw said school policy requires staff members and students to turn in found items to the school office, but if the owner cannot be located in two weeks, the finder can claim it.

Cody said he doesn't have big spending plans, except maybe tickets to a West Michigan Whitecaps minor league baseball game.

"Maybe I'll give it to my Mom," he said.

SYDNEY, Australia -- For a Sydney grandfather, it was third time lucky - and second time and first.

The 60-year-old who got three tickets at three separate stores - all with the same numbers - for a Saturday night Lotto draw and was among 20 winning tickets for the top prize, lottery officials said Monday.

The three tickets scooped a total of $346,028. Had he only bought one ticket - as he originally planned - he only would have won $183,083.86.

The winner, whose identity was not released, bought one ticket and then went on vacation. Fearing that the ticket he purchased wasn't for Saturday's draw, he got a friend to buy another. Then when he got back from vacation, he was concerned the friend hadn't bought the right ticket, so he bought a third just in case.

"When we returned home we found that our friend had got a bit confused and we weren't sure what entry he had put on so we put on all our regular games as normal, and that's how we ended up having a third entry in the same draw," the man said in comments released by New South Wales Lotteries.

"Having the same entry three times was not done intentionally and can only be described as the luckiest bungle we have ever made," he added.

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Julie Shively and her mother, Leslie Pernak, spent part of the Mother's Day weekend walking to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" at Montana State University.

Both received diplomas, with Shively getting a degree in media and theater arts and Pernak a degree in nursing.

When her education at MSU was just starting and she was 18, Shively had concerns about going to the same college as her mother, who had decided to return to school for her degree.

"I was getting out of high school thinking, 'Oh great, I'll have classes with my mom,"' said Shively, now 23. A little more than four years later, she was proud they were celebrating graduation together.

Because the two Bozeman women studied in such different fields, they never had a class together. But Shively did take a nutrition class based on a parental recommendation, and used her mother's notes.

"For four years we've been able to talk about school," she said. "We've had finals at the same time. We've had papers due at the same time. It's nice that we're finishing together."