Originally created 06/18/04

Odds and Ends



ST. PAUL. Minn. -- A goodnight kiss turned into a man's nightmare when his girlfriend bit off part of his tongue.

The 43-year-old woman told police she became frightened Wednesday morning when her boyfriend squeezed her too tightly while they kissed - and her reflex was to bite down.

"I guess I bit down too hard," the woman told officers, adding that she has been victimized by men in the past.

The woman was arrested and could be charged Thursday in Ramsey County, investigators said.

Her 47-year-old boyfriend walked with the woman from her home to a restaurant, where they called police around 3:10 a.m. He was treated at a hospital.

Officers went to the woman's home to look for the tongue, but they couldn't find it.

The woman, who had been drinking with her boyfriend, told police she doesn't remember what happened to the end of his tongue. Police estimate that it measured about 1.5 inches.

She might have swallowed it, the woman said.

* * * *

ASHLAND, Ore. -- Want to streak through downtown or drop your pants in the park? You could be slapped with a $250 fine.

City councilors in the southern Oregon town have passed an anti-nudity ordinance, prohibiting genital exposure downtown and in public parks.

Some residents opposed the ordinance, saying it infringes on personal freedom.

"I prefer that we not be legislating morality," said resident Paul Copeland. "I have a problem with the proposed language of the ordinance. If your neighbor is mowing his lawn naked or doing objectionable things, I don't believe the police are the right way to resolve your dispute."

He suggested making nudity legal if it were a political or artistic expression.

But Mayor Alan DeBoer said he was wholeheartedly in favor of the fully-clad plan.

"I have had many citizens say they cannot believe that someone can run through town with no clothes on," DeBoer said.

The new ordinance will make it easier for police to ask a nude person to cover up. Failure to do so could result in a $250 fine.

* * * *

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Thou shalt read these billboards.

A chaplain is renting 10 billboards to teach the Ten Commandments.

Each month, a different commandment goes up at the direction of Steve Casey, a chaplain for Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries in Stonewall, 15 miles south of Shreveport.

This month, it's No. 3: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God." For those who might not get it, there's a footnote: "God's last name does not start with a D."

Casey said God gave him the idea while former Judge Roy Moore of Alabama was fighting to keep a stone monument of the Ten Commandments in a state judicial building.

"There's so much debate over the Ten Commandments, but the average person might only get two or three of them," Casey said. "People, as they drive by, will memorize them."

He researched about a dozen translations to come up with the versions now seen around Shreveport, Greenwood and Blanchard, all 15 to 25 miles north or northwest of Stonewall.

He wanted them along Interstate 20, but that cost too much. As it is, the billboards cost about $900 a month, 90 percent of which is coming out of his pocket.

"I'm one person that believes in putting my money where my mouth is," Casey said. "I would have gone without recognition because that's not what's important."

* * * *

COVINGTON, Ky. -- Schools Superintendent Jack Moreland thought a little strip tease would be a good morale booster for his female employees. He may rethink the idea next year.

The women workers loved watching buff boys take it off, but at least one person was ticked off after Moreland shelled out $420 to send 20 female staff members to a Chippendales show.

An anonymous letter to the state Office of Education Accountability accused Moreland of using school-district funds to pay for the strip show.

Moreland said he spent $420 of his own money for the show - and faxed his personal credit-card receipt to investigators.

"I did it in fun, and they went in fun, and I don't think there was any harm done," he said.

Bryan Jones, a lawyer for the Office of Education Accountability, said he couldn't confirm or deny whether his office looked into a complaint.

The women who attended the show said they enjoyed it.

"We just laughed and laughed and laughed," said Jena Meehan, the superintendent's secretary. "It was a spectacle, to be sure, and to have all of us there was even funnier."