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Weird Pittsburgh

News of the weird from all over Western Pennsylvania

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A small-town official used his knowledge of arcane zoning laws to get out of a speeding ticket. A municipal police officer said he clocked Quincy Township Supervisor Kerry Bumbaugh driving 55 mph in a 35-mph zone, reports the Record Herald of Waynesburg. During an appeal hearing, Bumbaugh, 51, argued that the road sign was incorrect. Only in “urban districts” is the speed limit 35, he argued, and an urban district is defined as one where houses are within 100 feet of each other for a quarter-mile. Bumbaugh and three of his coworkers testified that, during off-work hours, they measured the distance between houses on the road where he was ticketed, and it was mislabeled a 35-mph zone. Franklin County Judge Jeremiah Zook acquitted him, but let Bumbaugh know he was not impressed: “What I want you to take from this, Mr. Bumbaugh, is not that you are being commended for defending yourself on this citation. What is clear that you [were] going 55 miles per hour” and “there’s little doubt in the Court’s mind that you were aware that there were signs indicating a speed limit of 35 mph.”

Because it’s apparently come to this, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is joining a nationwide campaign to warn people not to take selfies while standing on train tracks. “Snapping photos of yourself and your friends in potentially hazardous locations is a growing national trend, especially for young adults,” PUC chairperson Gladys M. Brown told PennLive.com. A recent study ranked train collision as the third-most-common type of fatality to transpire during the taking of a selfie, behind falling and drowning. Pennsylvania will soon post “See Tracks? Think Train!” advisories near rail lines, for any selfie-takers who don’t yet associate those two things.

Waynesburg police, responding to a complaint about loud music before 9 a.m. on a Sunday, say that Jesse Watson “answered the door with a beer in his hand,” according to the Herald-Standard. Watson, 44, argued that “trains and cars bother him,” so he should be able to blot out that noise with music, but reportedly agreed to turn it down. Ten minutes later, neighbors complained he was blasting tunes again. Confronted a second time, Watson allegedly threatened to “beat” officers. Hauled to jail, he reportedly yelled, threw off his clothes and tussled with corrections employees. The H-S reports that “the altercation at the jail lasted between 20 and 30 minutes and Watson was nude the entire time.” 

The Catholic Diocese of Erie has put a priest on leave due to allegations of sexual misconduct in an incident involving a 50-year-old diocese employee. According to a lawsuit reported in the Erie Times-News, Rev. Daniel Kresinski, who once headed two churches in DuBois, repeatedly touched himself inappropriately in the presence of the employee. The suit claims that, when confronted with sexual misconduct, the diocese did nothing.

Ryan Gustafson is set to wed the granddaughter of the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, but he needs to step up his super-villain game if he’s going to impress the in-laws, one of whom is the son of Amin, also known as the “Ugandan Butcher.” Gustafson, an American with ties to Uganda via his parents’ missionary work, was arrested in the country and charged with running a counterfeit ring that printed $1.4 million in fake U.S. currency, according to the Associated Press. The 28-year-old allegedly feigned tuberculosis and tried to bribe a Ugandan official to stay in the country, where his future father-in-law is a powerful general, but was deported to Pittsburgh, where his fake money was reportedly distributed, to face federal charges.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is staying on the job, reminding Pennsylvanians she hasn’t been convicted of leaking emails to embarrass political opponents in the ongoing “Porngate” trial. Meanwhile, Patrick Reese, a member of her security detail, has been convicted and sentenced for spying on office emails. Yet, in spite of a no-convicts-in-the-AG-office policy that Kane approved when taking the job, Reese still has his $100,000-a-year taxpayer-funded job. The AG’s office succinctly told PennLive.com that Kane will “wait until Mr. Reese’s appeal is heard before acting.”


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