Legal Grounds: weird news Archives
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Kansas' governor is preparing to sign a proclamation declaring October to be "Zombie Preparedness Month." But unless he knows something we don't, there have been no reports of zombie activity in the Midwest.

But this hasn't deterred Kansas' Division of Emergency Management from craving brains publicity for its newest initiative. "If you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared for anything," rings the theme of Zombie Preparedness Month. State emergency officials hope that this will prepare Kansas residents from the more likely event of tornadoes, severe storms, and fires.

So how exactly did zombies get involved?

An Arizona man who was the victim of statutory rape in his teens is now being ordered to pay child support for the daughter conceived during the illicit encounter.

Nick Olivas claims he never knew about the daughter he fathered when he was 14 with an adult woman until he was served with child support papers two years ago, reports The Arizona Republic.

How can Olivas be liable for child support for a child he fathered when he was legally raped?

A strange case of a man impersonating a TSA agent and giving "screenings" at San Francisco International Airport turned even stranger when prosecutors decided not to file charges against him.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told San Francisco's KPIX-TV that Eric Slighton, 53, would not be charged for allegedly posing as a TSA agent and giving at least two women pat-downs in July. Wagstaffe explained that while the allegations may sound vile, authorities have been unable to identify the two victims, giving the DA no case to pursue. The DA also stands behind his assertion that, somehow, impersonating a TSA agent is not illegal.

How can that be?

The small Minnesota town of Cormorant has elected its first mayor. He's technically only 7 years old, and that's not even the weird part: He's also a dog.

Duke the Great Pyrenees, who's 49 in dog years, defeated his human opponent, local store-owner Richard Sherbrook, in something of a landslide -- if you could really call it that; Cormorant only has 12 residents, reports Fargo, North Dakota's WDAY-TV.

So of course this canine mayor "begs" the question: Is it even legal to elect an animal?

What is art?

An exhibit by Chinese artist Cal Guo-Qiang planned for this weekend's opening of the new Aspen Art Museum that features tortoises with iPads mounted to the animals' shells is being called animal abuse by some. More than 2,000 people having already signed an online petition objecting to the exhibit, reports the The Denver Post.

Is the exhibit art, or is it animal abuse?

In order to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, many immigrants will have to prove their knowledge of U.S. history and government by answering anywhere between 10 and 100 questions on civics. Many natural-born Americans may believe this test is a breeze -- though their grades in high school civics class may beg to differ.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 91 percent of applicants as of March 2014 actually do pass the naturalization test. Do you think you can pass it?

Here are 10 citizenship questions to test yourself:

A Massachusetts couple is petitioning the court to legally change their middle names -- which would be nothing out of the ordinary if their proposed new middle names weren't both "Seamonster."

Holyoke resident Melanie Convery describes herself and her husband Neal Coughlin as "pretty private" on Twitter. But they're the talk of the town, thanks to the required legal notice of their petition to change their names in the local paper, reports The Republican.

Can the couple really legally change their middle names to Seamonster?

The CIA cafeteria is a strange mix of beef stroganoff and secrets. But some of that incredibly valuable information has been leaked ... sort of.

No it wasn't a double agent, some loose-lipped informant, or even Edward Snowden. Rather, this juicy cafeteria info came after a regular ol' Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request: from a government agency, care of a government information protocol.

So, thanks to a website called Muckrock, we present to you seven of the most pressing issues facing America ... if you eat at the CIA's cafeteria, that is:

A New Mexico fire inspector investigating reports of illegal fireworks being launched on the Fourth of July discovered some unexpected culprits behind the blasts: a group of Buddhist monks.

The monks at the Hoi Phuoc Buddhist Temple had a pretty solid excuse for their explosive transgressions, Albuquerque's KRQE-TV reports: Since they don't watch TV, read the paper, or listen to the radio, they had no idea that fireworks weren't allowed in Albuquerque.

Ignorance may be bliss to some, but is not knowing about a law a valid excuse for breaking it?

The Environmental Protection Agency apparently has a contamination problem of its own, as an internal e-mail sent to employees at the Denver regional office asks them to stop pooping in the hallways.

In the email, EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor refers to "recent incidents" including clogged toilets and "an individual placing feces in the hallway," The Huffington Post reported last month.

Like the famous children's book says, everyone poops. But depending on where you do it, you could face legal consequences for taking care of your business in the wrong place.