Top 10 Offbeat Stories of the Day – June 15th, 2012

Alaska town left devastated…, Oregon man suffering…, 35-foot-long cheat sheet…, unnecessarily complicated …, Dozens of teachers…, sliced bread…, Happy Birthday (Dethday)…, Corky Row liquor store…, unnatural history…, Sears accused…

1. Alaska town left devastated after news that they’re getting a Taco Bell turns out to be a hoax.

In what has been described as an evil hoax, the town of Bethel, Alaska, has learned it is not getting a Taco Bell. Not now. Not ever. “I repeat: Bethel is NOT getting a Taco Bell,” the local radio station, KYUK, broadcast this week in an attempt to dash the greased-up expectations — not to mention dozens of phone calls — sparked by the fake fliers posted around town promising gorditas in time for the 4thof July.

2. Oregon man suffering from the black death plague is in critical condition

An Oregon man is at death’s door in a hospital battling a rare case of the infamous “Black Death” plague, health officials said. The unidentified man, who is in his 50s, was bitten on the hand while trying to pull a mouse away from a stray cat on June 2 and got sick several days later, doctors at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend told The Oregonian newspaper.

3. Student brings 35-foot-long cheat sheet into exam, gets expelled

Nerve-wracked students often go to extremes around exam time – marathon library sessions, expensive study guides, cheating – but one young man has taken test preparedness to an entirely new level.

4. Let’s make everything unnecessarily complicated …

5. Dozens of teachers who were fired because of budget cuts are teaching their students for free

Following a round of budget cuts that saw Gwinnett County school officials slice $89 million out of their operating costs, a group of teachers at Benefield Elementary School in Lawrenceville has banded together to give free reading classes for young students this summer. The teachers’ group was organized by Benefield Elementary teacher Karon Stocks, who didn’t want her students to forget what they learned in the school year during their summer break.

6. Why Americans eat sliced bread

If you were to point to the most marvelous product kicking around in your pantry right now, would it be your loaf of bread? It is one of the most mundane staple foods, but as Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows in his book White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf, the lowly loaf is so much more than the sum of its simple parts. In American culture, bread is a status symbol, and the book provides a fascinating look at how store-bought white bread rose and fell in prominence. The book also answers the big question: Why do we have pre-sliced bread, and why it was the greatest thing to hit grocery store shelves?

7. “Happy Birthday (Dethday)” – Heavy Metal; if you’re lucky you’ll get this on your birthday

8. Robbing the same liquor store 3 times in 3 days is ______.

A 30-year-old woman suspected of holding up a Corky Row liquor store three times in two days this week was awaiting trial for a 2011 armed robbery at the same store, police said. Latasha M. Singletary of 36 Baker St. was captured after a manhunt on Wednesday and charged with armed robbery while masked and two counts of armed robbery, according to Detective J.D. Costa, spokesman for the Fall River Police Department. She was arraigned this morning.

9. The unnatural history of the dixie cup

The Dixie Cup, the Kleenex of paper cups, the ubiquitous, single-serving, individual drinking vessel, was never meant to be shared. The paper cups were not built to last. Drink. Toss. Repeat. Their story starts with a Boston inventor named Lawrence Luellen, who crafted a two-piece cup made out of a blank of paper. He joined the American Water Supply Company, the brainchild of a Kansas-born Harvard dropout named Hugh Moore. The two began dispensing individual servings of water for a penny—one cent for a five-ounce cup from a tall, clumsy porcelain water cooler.

10. In lawsuit, Sears accused of ignoring reports that employees were using video cameras in female dressing rooms 

A lawsuit has been filed against Sears seeking damages for crimes committed by a former maintenance man accused of hiding video cameras and taping females in dressing rooms throughout the company’s store at the Valley Plaza mall.