Quirky World: Cleric’s outstanding service to the bereaved pays off

ENGLAND: A Church of England vicar was named ‘funeral celebrant of the year’ at the Good Funeral Awards.

Reverend Juliet Stephenson was also the only Church of England vicar among 11 nominees in the category. She said: “Being a vicar, a huge amount of my time is spent with families coming to terms with the loss of a loved-one. I do just what every other Church of England vicar does; I get alongside, I listen, I help them celebrate and I help them cry.”

Concealed weapon


A Texas woman taken into custody in a suspected drug arrest has been charged with violating concealed firearms laws, by hiding a loaded, snub-nosed handgun in her vagina, police in Waco said.

Ashley Castaneda, aged 31, was also charged with methamphetamine possession. She was with a man in a car that was pulled over for a traffic violation. Officers found the drugs inside the car.

On her way to jail, Castaneda told police that she had concealed the handgun in her vagina, admitting so out of fear that it could go off during the trip.

“Officers immediately stopped and a female officer searched Castaneda, discovering she had, in fact, placed a loaded Smith and Wesson pistol inside her body cavity,” police in the central Texas city said.

“The weapon had a round chamber and a full magazine of bullets,” police said.

The suspect had been searched at the scene and the gun was not found, said Waco Police Department spokesman, Sgt Patrick Swanton. “It is conceivable that the gun could have gone off inside our suspect and that would have been deadly, because of the proximity to internal organs,” he said.

Barbershop blunder


A Pennsylvania barbershop has been fined $750 (€670) for refusing to cut a woman’s hair.

Barbiere advertises itself as a high-end gentlemen’s barbershop and offers complimentary beers and spirits. It has been fined by the state’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs for gender discrimination.

Owner John Interval said the fine “infringes” on his shop’s environment. He says: “Guys come here as a kind of a little getaway, to be around other guys.”

The female customer had booked hair appointments online, for herself and her boyfriend. She asked for a short haircut, known as a wave, but was turned away.

Interval says his staff recommended other shops and offered to pay for a haircut elsewhere to compensate.

32C snow day


On a day when temperatures surged past 32C (90F) in central New Jersey, an electrical problem forced a school district to declare a snow day.

Classes were cancelled in Keyport because of a malfunctioning component at the district’s elementary school. Officials cited student safety concerns for their decision, noting the building lacked reliable power.

Keyport superintendent, Lisa Savoia, said the district was logging the unexpected day off as a snow day, two of which are built into its school calendar.

Burglar calls 911


A burglar who broke into a school in Delaware got stuck in a lift and was forced to call emergency services for help.

Michael Claude, 19, broke into the school on Monday. After he got stuck, he called 911 for help, and a lift maintenance service was able to open the doors.

Police say Claude was found wearing a jacket that did not belong to him. He was charged with third-degree burglary, criminal mischief and theft.

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