QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Ohio man pops the question with pumpkins

USA: An Ohio man got into the Halloween spirit by crafting a clever marriage proposal for his girlfriend.

Zach Stoddard of Dayton used five carved pumpkins strategically placed on the side of a hill to pop the question to his girlfriend of three years, Lauren Brenneman. When the illuminated pumpkins were uncovered, they showed the words ‘Will you marry me?”

Brenneman said yes, much to the delight of the hundreds who gathered on Wednesday night for a popular neighbourhood event called the Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow.

Organisers told The Dayton Daily News that the proposal was a first for the annual event, which featured hundreds of carved pumpkins lighting up the night.

Bad news

VENEZUELA: A pro-government newspaper from Hugo Chavez’s home state is the latest Venezuelan broadsheet to halt its presses as a shortage of newsprint has the government scrambling to guarantee supplies.

Barinas-based De Frente informed readers it had run out of newsprint and stopped printing for a few days. The paper returned to newsstands on Thursday, but its publisher says it only has enough stocks for another week.

It’s the fifth regional paper to stop printing since July as 50% inflation among other issues make it difficult to import paper and basic supplies.

’Superman’ punched after angering driver

USA: It took a lot less than Kryptonite to fell this Man of Steel.

Police in Massachusetts said a man dressed in a Superman costume was treated for a head injury after being punched in the face late on Wednesday, apparently when he refused to get out of the way of a motorist trying to enter the driveway of a home.

Amherst Detective Richard MacLean says witnesses told investigators that Superman, said to be of college age, had been trying to stir up trouble in the area.

Police say the man was knocked to the ground by the punch. He was taken to hospital

Axed from Facebook

ENGLAND: A Facebook user has told how he was banned from the site for saying: “I like faggots.”

Food lover Robert Wilkes, 54, was recalling his fondness for a classic English dish from his childhood. Faggots are meatballs traditionally handmade with offal by butchers and served with mashed spuds and peas. However, he had his Facebook account shut for 12 hours for using “homophobic language” — as faggot is offensive slang for gay people.

He told The Sun it was “political correctness gone mad”.

School scare

USA: A realistic-looking Halloween costume sent police officers rushing to a primary school after a passer-by reported seeing someone walking nearby with what appeared to be an assault rifle, police in Washington state said.

The school in Wentachee city was put on lockdown for about half an hour while the report was checked out.

The costume wearer was a woman in her 20s carrying a toy gun, the Wenatchee World reported. Police sergeant Jim West said: “We told her that carrying a ‘weapon’ like that was probably not the wisest of ideas.”

Axe prank

USA: Police have arrested two 18-year-old men accused of pretending to attack each other with an axe and then using it to threaten passers-by while videotaping their reactions.

Officers went to a petrol station in Vancouver, Washington state, after a report from a couple that a man in motorcycle gear wielded an axe at them after attacking someone with the weapon.

The suspects allegedly told investigators they were “pranking” people with what police describe as a realistic-looking fake axe. The men — Pavel Krivov and Petru Tomcac — were arrested for assault and booked into the Clark County Jail.


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