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Weird National Briefs (10/18/2017)

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Purloined pontiff

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Authorities say a life-size cutout of Pope Francis that was stolen from a New Jersey church during a bingo fundraiser has been returned intact.

New Jersey police say the theft occurred sometime Thursday night at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Gloucester County. A post made on the department’s Facebook page the following night said the cutout had been returned, but further details have not been disclosed.

A message seeking comment from church officials was not immediately returned Sunday.

It’s not clear who may have taken the cutout or what prompted the theft. One witness had reported seeing the cutout in a car occupied by three women, including an elderly person who was on oxygen.

TME – Nope - you can’t hope to cope with no Pope.

A magical rescue

LONDON - As if by magic, the Hogwarts Express has come to the rescue of a stranded family in Scotland.

The train that took Harry Potter to school was played onscreen by the Jacobite steam train, which runs on a remote and scenic route through the Scottish Highlands.

On Friday, it made an unscheduled stop to pick up a family of six that was stranded when a storm washed away their canoe.

Jon Cluett, his wife and four children between the ages of six and 12 were staying in a lakeside hut on Loch Eilt when they awoke to find their canoe was gone.

Faced with walking several miles over boggy ground to get back to the family car, Cluett called police to see if any form of rescue was available.

“The policeman said, ‘We’ve arranged for the next train passing to stop for you, and you’re not going to believe this but it’s the Hogwarts Express steam train. Your kids are going to love it,’” Cluett said Sunday.

TME – Losing your canoe is a total Hufflepuff move.

He’s your huckleberry

TOMBSTONE, Ariz. - Arizona authorities say a saloon shooting in the Old West town of Tombstone put one man in the hospital with a leg wound and another in jail.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting occurred in Doc Holliday’s Saloon when the two men struggled following a verbal altercation that also involved a woman and a third man.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas says 47-year-old James Edward Roberson remains jailed on suspicion of aggravated assaulted and other crimes.

Capas says Roberson and his female companion surrendered their handguns to the bartender when they entered the saloon Friday evening and that the struggle and shooting occurred after the couple retrieved their guns early Saturday morning.

It’s not immediately known whether Roberson has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Tombstone was the site of the infamous 1881 gunfight at the O.K. Corral between lawmen and outlaws. It also was the home of Doc Holliday, a dentist who played a role in the shootout.

TME – That Corral isn’t OK at all!

Mall massage mishap

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Police say a New Jersey man got a little too comfortable in a massage chair at a mall.

Police in Lawrence Township said that 51-year-old Joseph Michalski took his clothes off in a massage chair at the Quaker Bridge Mall on Tuesday.

Authorities say when a mall security guard asked the Hamilton resident to put his clothes back on, Michalski punched him in the face. Police said the guard then wrestled the man to the ground before police arrived.

Michalski was charged with lewdness and simple assault. The guard was not seriously hurt.

A phone number for Michalski could not be located.

TME – It’s like a spa day on PCP.

The Good Book

NORWALK, Conn. - A Connecticut man who was caught hiding heroin in a Bible while on parole will spend another six months in jail.

The Hour reports 41-year-old Christopher Hayes, of Norwalk, was sentenced Thursday in Norwalk after pleading guilty to possession of narcotics and possession of narcotics with intent to sell.

Hayes had previously been sentenced to three years in jail followed by three years of special parole in 2013 for multiple convictions including larceny.

Prosecutors say police found cocaine and heroin in Hayes’ possession when they responded to reports of a disturbance in a Norwalk parking lot in July. Prosecutors say more heroin fell out of a Bible that Hayes owned when police shook out the pages of the book.

TME – We assume this is just a radical misunderstanding of Marx.

Wedding splashers

SALISBURY, Mass. - A wedding reception at a scenic Massachusetts restaurant got more of a view than they asked for after two New Hampshire residents decided to skinny-dip nearby.

Zachary Tomko tells WHDH-TV he didn’t realize there was a restaurant nearby when he and Holly O’Neil jumped naked into the water at Salisbury Beach Saturday afternoon.

Salisbury Police Chief Thomas Fowler tells The Boston Globe his department received several calls about the nude swimmers from both beachgoers and members of the wedding party.

Fowler says police charged 29-year-old Tomko and 20-year-old O’Neil, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, with disorderly conduct.

Bride Leah Allen says the swimmers made for a “really interesting wedding day,” and she applauded them for braving the cold water.

Tomko says he is glad that he helped make her wedding night.

TME – Everyone knows that seeing nude strangers on your wedding day is good luck.

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