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Weird Pittsburgh

News of the weird from all over Western Pennsylvania

It took 53 years, but Grove City College, the right-wing Christian college in Mercer County, has been taken off the censure list of the American Association of University Professors. In 1963, the college fired history professor Larry Gara at the behest of the chairman of its board of directors — industrialist J. Howard Pew — who resented Gara’s pacifist views. Citing lack of due process, the AAUP voted to censure. But last year, the school apologized to Gara, and administrators even visited the 93-year-old retired educator to make amends, according to The Business Journal of Youngstown. In turn, the AAUP finally lifted its sanction on Grove City College. In a statement, college president Paul J. McNulty said, “Being on the censure list for 53 years was not representative of what we are as a faith-based institution,” and “The college is a wonderful environment for scholars to thrive professionally.” It should be noted that Grove City College still doesn’t institute tenure and instead hires all professors on one-year contracts.

Weird thefts: Timothy Francis Kiefer allegedly entered the Wal-Mart in Johnstown, filled up a cart, exited through the lawn-and-garden section and, without paying, loaded the items into his car. Then he went back the next day and did the same thing. Kiefer, 28, apparently managed to do this 11 days in a row, amassing $4,897 worth of stuff, before he was arrested. A significant portion of his haul was Lego toy sets, police told the Tribune-Democrat. Meanwhile, a thief broke into a Best Buy in Erie County by climbing onto the roof, cutting a hole in it and entering the store at about 3:30 a.m. Police’s first clue: The suspect is not a PC user. The Erie Times-News reports that, as alarms sounded, he made off with an armful of Apple products, exiting through the roof tear.

As if you don’t have enough to worry about, an earth-science professor has concluded that a chunk of ice that literally fell out of a clear blue sky and smashed through a car windshield near Mechanicsburg in March was an example of a rare but naturally occurring phenomenon. The block shattered the windshield of a Kia Soul at a car dealership. Witnesses say it sounded like an explosion. Curious whether it fell from a passing plane, an employee of McCafferty Kia sent a sample to William Kreiger, a science professor at York College. He and his students found no trace of the fluids used to weatherize planes. Kreiger told that such sudden “icefalls” have been recorded throughout history, usually occurring on mild weather days, and are not fully understood by climatologists.

As a crowd left Buhl Park after Hermitage’s Fourth of July fireworks, a deer showed up looking for a fight. The animal ran through the park, knocking over a woman and a young boy. “I heard the clapping of hooves and saw the deer run over the kid in the stroller and I couldn’t believe it,” a bystander told a reporter from The Herald of Sharon. The deer then veered toward the line of vehicles exiting the area and jumped onto the hood of Barb Graden’s car. “I thought it was coming through the windshield,” said Graden. “Its paw touched my hand.” Luckily, the deer soon scampered off. A nurse on the scene treated the boy, and the knocked-over woman was taken to a hospital.

Bored during summer vacation, a science teacher from Franklin Regional Middle School apparently decided to give an anatomy lesson in his backyard. Police told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that neighbors repeatedly caught 47-year-old Jeff Blahusch nude and masturbating on the back deck of his O’Hara Township home. One set up a camera and allegedly caught Blahusch, 47, in the act on four occasions, all of which took place between 4 and 5 p.m. According to the school district’s website, Blahusch is a coach for the girls’ softball and basketball teams.

Several cars were splattered in a series of drive-by eggings in York County, and police have a pretty solid lead in the case: a young man was seen buying several bulk packages containing three dozen eggs each on security camera footage from a local Giant Food Store. Hoping someone will identify him, the Northeastern Regional Police Department posted an image on Facebook of the man and his eggs at the register. Police added that the egger was driving a pick-up truck with a skull decal in the rear window. … Of course he was.

Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty
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Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty

By Mars Johnson