Wednesday's American Oddities

The Associated Press

Heaviest is best: Pumpkin sets record at California contest

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — The winner of the 44th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off had the heaviest pumpkin recorded in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area competition.

The Orange County Register reports that a forklift hoisted the giant pumpkin onto a scale and a crowd watched as it was weighed Monday in downtown Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. It registered 2,363 pounds to make it the seventh win for grower Joel Holland. The giant pumpkin earned the Sumner, Washington, man prize money of $7 per pound.

Cindy Tobeck won the competition last year with a pumpkin weighing 1,910 pounds. Tobeck rode on top of her entry this year as it was brought to the scale, but its 2,002 pounds fell short of Holland’s entry.

Report: Motorist falls short in bid to jump car over canal

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a man tried to jump his car over a canal in a Florida neighborhood, but didn’t make it.

WFTX reports that the car had be towed from the Lehigh Acres canal on Tuesday after it failed to clear the 20 feet (6 meters) between both sides.

Before attempting the jump, witnesses were quoted as telling the television station, the man drove to the edge of the canal and got out of the car to observe the distance.

Lee County deputies say the man wasn’t injured, but the Toyota Corolla was totaled.

Investigators say they weren’t sure why the man attempted the jump, noting he could have driven a few blocks to get to the other side.

Boy lost at Utah corn maze spends night in welfare custody

WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) — Police say a 3-year-old boy spent the night in child welfare custody after he got lost at a Utah corn maze.

Police Sgt. Joe Monson said Tuesday the child was apparently left behind while visiting the Crazy Corn Maze in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan with a large family group. He says the boy was cold and frightened but unhurt when someone else found him at the maze Monday evening.

Staffers called on a bullhorn and searched for his family but couldn’t find anyone until his mother called police Tuesday morning. Monson says she later arrived at the police station with about 10 children. The boy is expected to be reunited with his family. Police are investigating whether any criminal charges are warranted.

No blue hair on picture day for pupil, school principal says

ST. JOHNS, Fla. (AP) — A third-grade student in Florida was sent home from school on picture day because he broke the dress code by sporting blue hair.

Dana Sinno told TV station News4 Jax her 8-year-old son Luca didn’t get to have his picture taken Monday at his elementary school near Jacksonville. The principal pointed to a school district handbook which bans “extreme hairstyles.”

The mother argues that the word “extreme” is up for interpretation. She says Luca wanted a bold look for school pictures. Thus they bleached out his hair, dyed it blue, and the youngster donned a suit before heading to school.

Later, Dana Sinno got a call from the principal’s office asking her to pick up her child. School district officials told the station that the principal was within her right.

Semitrailer carrying ice cream rolls over in New Mexico

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a semitrailer carrying ice cream rolled over on a major New Mexico highway and forced police to shut down part of the interstate.

The Gallup Independent reports the trailer rolled over on Friday and forced a closure of portions of Interstate 40 in western New Mexico. McKinley County Sheriff’s Capt. James Maiorano says the roll-over occurred after the driver veered off into the shoulder and then overcorrected.

The driver was not injured. Maiorano estimated that traffic had to be diverted for around three hours.

School locked down after
students fight, parents brawl

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a New York high school had to be placed on lockdown after a fight broke out among students and another brawl erupted when their parents arrived.

Police tell the Poughkeepsie Journal that at least 10 officers were sent to Poughkeepsie High School just before noon Tuesday after a fight broke out among students.

Police say the students’ parents later arrived and got into a fight as well.

School district officials say an external threat required administrators to put the high school under a shelter-in-place warning until the threat was contained. Police Sgt. George Camacho says he doesn’t don’t have details of the two fights or information on whether charges were filed.

Eminem looks to ‘stomp’ Trump with lyrical tirade

DETROIT (AP) — Eminem has unleashed a lyrical tirade against President Donald Trump, saying he “came to stomp.”

The rapper took aim at Trump in a 4½-minute freestyle rap video that aired as part of BET’s Hip Hop Awards on Tuesday. He focused several times on Trump’s ongoing campaign against NFL national anthem protests, rapping: “so we focus on that instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada. All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather cause a Twitter storm with the Packers.” Eminem also derided Trump as “a kamikaze who will probably cause a nuclear holocaust.”