Quirky World: Priest aims musket at young Cowboy in football row

USA: A priest accused of pointing a functioning but unloaded musket at an 8-year-old boy in a church’s rectory will plead not guilty, his lawyer said, explaining it as a joke spurred by the rivalry between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.

Kevin Carter was to be charged with child endangerment and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, lawyer Harold Cassidy told The Record.

The priest, who is free on $15,000 cash bail, expressed concern for any “trauma” that publicity from the case may have caused the boy and his family. But in a statement issued by his lawyer, the 54-year-old priest said he was “confident” he would be vindicated.

The charges against Carter stem from a September 13 incident at St Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry.

Carter, an avid Giants fan, and the boy, who roots for the Cowboys, were talking about football. The NFL teams were scheduled to play that night.

Prosecutor John Molinelli said Carter asked the boy to step into one of the rectory’s rooms and stand against a wall, where he pointed the musket at him. A parishioner reported the incident to the Archdiocese late last month, and officials there notified prosecutors.

Molinelli has said he does not consider pointing a gun at someone, especially a child, to be a joke. The Cowboys beat the Giants 27-26.

Hair-raising Hopkins

ENGLAND: Controversial TV star Katie Hopkins has been voted the UK’s scariest female celebrity, beating former Watchdog presenter Anne Robinson into second place. The combative former candidate on The Apprentice topped a poll of 2,000 Brits, with over a quarter of those surveyed putting her ahead of the likes of pop star turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham and Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Beatle Paul McCartney.

Pumpkin record

USA: A farmer has won a northern California contest with a record-setting 820kg pumpkin that judges nicknamed the Flying Saucer because of its wide and flat shape. Tim Mathison, from Napa, was one of about 50 pumpkin farmers to haul their heaviest crops to the annual weigh-in at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin & Harvest Festival, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Mr Mathison collected $12,000 in prize money.The winning pumpkin beat last year’s monster specimen, which weighed in at 1,584lb (718kg) but no one came close to beating the current national record of 2,154lb (977kg).

Scent away from the ward

ENGLAND: Perfume and aftershave should be banned from hospital wards on health and safety grounds, according to two doctors.

Hospitals are not known for their sweet aromas, but while the smell of disinfectant is acceptable, artificial scents are not, say the Canadian experts.

Evidence suggests they run the risk of aggravating asthma and other allergy conditions, they claim.

Bless your pet

SCOTLAND: A church is opening its doors to a new breed of worshipper by holding a pet blessing.

Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh will welcome dogs, cats and potentially even a pony during the ceremony on Sunday which is expected to attract up to 50 animals.Organisers predict the majority attending will be Skye terriers – the same breed as Bobby, the legendary dog said to have loyally guarded his master’s grave in Greyfriars kirkyard in the mid-19th century.The winning pumpkin beat last year’s monster specimen, which weighed in at 1,584lb (718kg) but no one came close to beating the current national record of 2,154lb (977kg).

Going deep into space

USA: Nasa is tapping into research from another outfit with experience of sending people to the deep as it contemplates a manned voyage to Mars: The US navy submarine force.

The space agency is working with a military laboratory at the submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, to measure how teams cope with stress during month-long simulations of space flight. The Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory began its research on team resilience because the submarine force was looking for ways to make tactical teams work better together.The experiment with Nasa is expected to begin in January or February. Recordings of volunteers staying inside a capsule at the Johnson Space Centre will be sent to the scientists in Connecticut for their analysis.


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