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They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and I'm pretty sure that's an accurate assessment.

To wit:

Rampaging bull leads to high school lockdown in Idaho

BURLEY, Idaho (AP) — A high school in southeast Idaho was briefly placed on lockdown after a bull escaped an auction yard and stormed past the campus.

The Times-News reports the Black Angus bull rampaged across the town of Burley on Tuesday, trampling over signs and charging at people before arriving at Burley High School.

Sheriff Jay Heward says the officers were not able to capture the bull, so the animal was killed in order to keep the public safe. He says no gunshots were fired on school grounds.

The Cassia County Sheriff's Office notified school officials, who placed the campus on lockdown for about 15 minutes as officers followed the animal.

Principal Levi Power says students had been dismissed for lunch, but staff was able to secure the school.


I guess I'd have a beef with a bull that was acting so violent, too ... wouldn't you?

Here's something not at all amusing but downright scary:

Family who buried wrong man sues California county

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Relatives who thought they had buried their loved one only to find out he was alive 11 days after his funeral sued a California county Tuesday.

The suit filed by Frank Kerrigan's family accuses the Orange County Coroner's Office of negligence, concealment and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims.

County spokeswoman Carrie Braun said she can't comment on pending litigation but that the sheriff's department is conducting an internal investigation.

"The department extends regrets to the family of Frank M. Kerrigan for any emotional stress caused as a result of this unfortunate incident," she said.

The mix-up began when a man was found dead behind a Verizon store in Fountain Valley, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

Frank Kerrigan's father, who goes by the same name as his son, said the Orange County Coroner's Office told him the body was his son's.

When he asked whether he should identify the body, a woman at the coroner's office said -- apparently incorrectly -- that identification had been made through fingerprints. Another family member who talked to the coroner's office said a woman told her Kerrigan also had been found with his identification, according to the lawsuit.

Last May, Kerrigan's family buried a man.

Eleven days later, Kerrigan turned up at a family friend's house. The friend called Kerrigan's family to tell them he was alive.

The man the Kerrigan family had buried turned out to be a Kansas native named John Dickens, who had to be exhumed before he was cremated and sent to his mother in Kansas.

Both Kerrigan and Dickens were homeless and mentally ill.

Kerrigan's family also alleges that the body found at the Verizon store was neither Kerrigan nor Dickens.

The man found at the Verizon store was listed as weighing 250 pounds, according to a report by the Fountain Valley Fire Department obtained by attorneys representing the Kerrigan family and provided to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Kerrigan weighs about 160 pounds, and the body that the family buried matched that size, said James DeSimone, the attorney representing the family.

The coroner's office "did not want to admit to their identification error and instead released a body that resembled Frankie with the belief that no one would care because the deceased were mentally ill and/or homeless," according to the lawsuit.

"There's no logical explanation other than a cover-up," Carole Meikle, Kerrigan's sister, said Tuesday. "It doesn't add up. The pieces don't fit."

More important than possible monetary damages, Kerrigan's father said the family wants answers.

"Something went way, way wrong and we need to get to the bottom of it, period," he said. "It's just not right. It wasn't right for my son. It wasn't right for other people's sons and loved ones."


Now, for something a little lighter:

Love on the rocks: Penguins celebrate Valentine's Day

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Penguins were looking for love this week with big red hearts at a San Francisco aquarium.

In what has become an annual Valentine's Day tradition, biologists handed out red felt hearts to the 14 African penguins at the California Academy of Sciences on Tuesday.

The animals grabbed the hearts in their beaks and waddled around their rocky enclosure toward their nests.

Spokeswoman Kelly Mendez said it is often the male penguin who retrieves the heart and carries it back to his mate. The penguins use the felt for material in their nests, which helps reinforce the couples' bonds.

The activity is part of the academy's captive breeding program to help increase the African penguin population, which is endangered in the wild.


So even penguins can get romantic on Valentine's Day. That's pretty impressive. No excuse for any of us humans, then, huh?

Finally, something to keep your motor runnin'.

Derailed locomotive left to run for a week

JOHNSBURG, N.Y. (AP) — Railway workers in the Adirondacks have been trying to move a derailed locomotive that has been left running for a week.

The Post-Star reports the Saratoga & North Creek Railway locomotive went off the tracks in Johnsburg, New York, on Feb. 6 while it was being used to clear snow from tracks. SNCR general manager Justin Gonyo says the company has kept the locomotive running so the diesel engine doesn't freeze.

Icy conditions have made it harder to free up the train.

Johnsburg Supervisor Andrea Hogan says residents are frustrated with the bad smell from the diesel fuel, along with the noisy engine. Hogan says the company had promised to move the train by Saturday.

Gonyo says he wants to move the train "as much as anyone."


There you have it -- a little bit of craziness from out in the big wide world, instead of from inside my head, this week. Suddenly, I feel a little bit more normal.

But not much.

Have a good one, ya'll.

Penny Weaver is the general manager and editor of the JG-TC. Her columns include her own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinion or editorial position of the JG-TC. Contact her at or 217-238-6863, and follow her on Twitter @PennyWeaver.


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