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New world order
“Father Justin,” an AI priest founded by Catholic Answers, a Christian group in San Diego, was defrocked on April 24 after claiming to users that he was an actual member of the clergy and performed sacraments, the New York Post reported. Saint Justin told users that he was a priest in Assisi, Italy. He shared his views on sexual issues and made a confession, concluding with: “Go in peace, my child, and sin no more.” He also told one user that they could use Gatorade to baptize their child. Christopher Check, president of Catholic Answers, explained: “We chose the character to convey the quality of knowledge and authority… However, many people have expressed concerns about this choice.” The avatar was renamed Virtual Apologist Justin, minus the cassock and collar, after an uproar over his behavior. “We won’t say he’s laicized,” said Check, “because he was never a real priest!”

Internationals behave badly
Artist Benediktas Gylys went live on May 14 with his installation ‘Portal’, United Press International reports. “Portal” is a live video stream connecting New York City to Dublin, Ireland. But it was disabled the same day due to “instances of inappropriate behavior” that were “amplified on social media.” The naughty actions included swearing, nudity and showing images of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. “I thought the people of Dublin deserved to see my two homegrown New York potatoes,” said Ava Louise, who bared her breasts for “Portal.” Governments on both sides of the pond are considering measures to curb the bad behavior.

It’s a mystery
On April 25, an employee at the Avalon Theater in Marysville, Ohio, who had noticed a person acting suspiciously the night before, discovered a treasure in the restroom: $25,000 in cash, WBNS-TV reported. Two days later, $12,000 turned up in a KFC bathroom. “I would definitely say they are connected in some way,” said police Capt. Nate Sachs. Authorities have determined that the money is legitimate. “One in itself is just weird,” Sachs said, “but twice in one week is definitely another level.” He encouraged citizens to call police if they find any more money to “help us with our investigation.”

Questionable judgement
• On May 2, the Johnson County, Kansas, district attorney charged 21-year-old Jace Christian Hanson, of Kansas City, Missouri, with unlawfully adulterating or contaminating food, a misdemeanor, at the Hereford House restaurant in Leawood, Kansas . The Kansas City star reported that Hanson had been linked to videos posted online showing him urinating in restaurant-style food containers and rubbing food on his body parts, including his feet. The FBI, receiving a tip, contacted the restaurant after they pinged Hanson’s phone and found his car in the parking lot; the chef confirmed that the au jus container shown in one video belonged to the Hereford House. When asked about it, Hanson said, “I’ll just be honest, yeah.” He said men online, whom he met through dating apps, asked him to make the videos and revealed he had committed more than 20 incidents involving food contamination. The restaurant destroyed all food and cleaned the kitchen and adjacent areas. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘au jus’.

• Firelands Elementary School in Henrietta Township, Ohio, was closed May 1 after a sasquatch was spotted roaming classroom windows, WKYC-TV reported. Superintendent Michael Von Gunten said a person in a Bigfoot costume, parked in one of the district’s lots, “crossed our campus and caused the district to go into lockdown.” Children who were outside during recess were quickly moved inside. Bigfoot never made it into any of the buildings; The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the person in the costume was a parent playing a prank. The parent was arrested during a traffic stop, but no charges have yet been filed.

Wrong place, wrong time
In Middleburg Heights, Ohio, residents hoping to do business at the Social Security office there were turned away in early May, News 5 reported May 2. However, it wasn’t computer problems or flooding that shut down the office. Michael Murphy, president of Local 3448 of the American Federation of Government Employees, said the problem was raccoons. ‘There are urine stains on the tiles. The smoke detectors went down. …(A)apparently the animals are eating through the wiring.” When 25% of the lights failed, employees contacted Murphy. “These workers reported concerns about noise above the ceiling as early as January,” he said. The SSA released a statement saying the office would reopen “as soon as possible.”

No longer weird
Over the past four years, there have been about 700 reports of killer whales attacking boats. On May 12, a 45-foot ship named Alboran Cognac sank in the Strait of Gibraltar after repeated blows from a pod of killer whales, Reuters reported. The yacht had two people on board, who felt the shocks before water began to seep in. They alerted rescue services and a nearby oil tanker picked them up. Researchers don’t know why the animals attack ships.

World War II veteran Roger Wonson from Beverly, Massachusetts, turned 100 years old on April 20, CBS News reported. Wonson celebrated with his family and friends and a custom-made cake — and by playing drums with his band, The Current Voltage, at his retirement home on April 24. Wonson also played saxophone during the performance. He said his brother got him into playing the drums: “When he was 18 and I was 12… I said, ‘Gee, can I practice on the drums?’ and he said, ‘Sure.’ So that’s how it started.” The current tension involves some of his fellow residents and staff members of the facility.

Least competent criminal
An unnamed woman accused of stealing a car was released from jail in Boulder, Colorado on May 3. After her release, she walked along the road until she found a truck with the keys inside, the Associated Press reported. She got as far as starting the truck, but when confronted with the truck’s manual transmission, she got out and walked away, causing the truck to roll forward and crash into a fire hydrant. She was arrested again and is due in court on May 30 for multiple offenses.

Stick to the man
Etienne Constable received a letter from Seaside, California in July 2023, asking him to hide the boat he had parked in his driveway for about four years. The Washington Post reported. The city said boats and trailers “must be screened on the side and front by a six-foot fence.” Constable installed a fence and hired his neighbor, mural artist Hanif Panni, to paint a photorealistic image of the boat and the rest of the driveway on the side of the fence facing the road. The mural was completed in early May. “We’ve hit about the sweet spot between following the rules and making an elegant statement to the contrary,” Constable said. Nick Borges, Seaside’s city manager, admired the work, saying, “The only action I’m going to take is a high five, and that’s it.”

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