Weird Pittsburgh: Guns for cash, here’s your sign, and Boaty McBoatface for President | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Weird Pittsburgh: Guns for cash, here’s your sign, and Boaty McBoatface for President

Weird Pittsburgh: Guns for cash, here’s your sign, and Boaty McBoatface for President
Two of the write-in votes cast in Washington County for the 2016 presidential election

Police agencies are often left with weapons confiscated during investigations or when executing protection-from-abuse orders. If the owner doesn’t claim the item or is legally prohibited from getting it back after court proceedings, most departments destroy the weapons, which keeps them off the streets. Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held thinks he has a better idea. Held is seeking a judge’s approval to auction about 130 weapons in his office’s possession. “I thought we could raise money for the county and save the taxpayers some money,” Held told “I know there are a lot of unique weapons in the evidence room that people would be interested in buying.” Most of the inventory consists of garden-variety shotguns, rifles, and pocket and hunting knives. There are also a few oddities: some old-timey muzzle-loading rifles, a 12-inch dagger with a handle decorated “with sun-devil eyes in blue,” an axe etched with “dragon decorations,” a few “ninja swords” and a Japanese-style throwing star called a shuriken. Some of the items, such as the star, are illegal to carry in public, but Held said buyers could use a weapon like that as a “decorative piece.”

Washington County saw a sharp increase in the number of write-in votes in the 2016 presidential election, canvassing board officials told the Observer-Reporter newspaper. In 2012, 228 of about 95,000 county voters wrote in a name not on the ballot. On Nov. 8, when both major-party candidates had high unfavorability ratings, the number shot up to 760. Most of these votes went to either independent candidate Evan McMullin (who got 162) or primary-election contenders, such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (134) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (114). Beyond that, residents wrote in Pope Francis, Deadpool, Myron Cope, Keith Richards, Pittsburgh Dad, God, Jesus Christ, Willie Nelson, Johnny Depp, the late gorilla Harambe (of course), Boaty McBoatface, “my dog,” deceased 1968 Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey, a “sweet meteor of death,” and “none of them” followed by 14 exclamation points.

One of many unprecedented aspects of the 2016 election was the shoestring budget of the successful candidate. Always behind Hillary Clinton in donations and depending on his own money and pre-existing Republican Party operations, the campaign of Donald Trump often did not have enough yard signs for supporters, even in swing districts. Perhaps expecting a similar situation in four years, Trump campaign workers in Erie County have asked supporters to save their oversized, wooden beam-supported signs (which cost about $300 each) for 2020, at which point we will still apparently need to “Make America Great Again.” The newscast of WFXP reports the local GOP is even offering to take and store the signs. This might prevent them from being burned for warmth in the upcoming collapse of society.

A Dollar Bank customer took out a large sum of cash from a Butler County branch and then forgot the open envelope of money was on top of her car as she drove off. Soon the bills were blowing down the road like leaves. “This was thousands of dollars up in the air,” Butler Township Police Lt. Matt Pearson told WPXI. “Several cars drove over it, and the envelope just exploded money everywhere.” Drivers stopped and helped the woman gather up the cash, and she regained 95 percent of her withdrawal. One guy, however, took a handful and drove away.

Weapons of choice: 24-year-old Jordan Clark, of Pittsburgh, reportedly had been drinking with a friend all day when the two got into an argument, leading her to allegedly attack the other woman with a porcelain elephant, reports WTAE. Meanwhile, according to a report released by police in Steelton, Dauphin County, Ashley Courts, 30, allegedly whacked a man in the head with a claw hammer.

There’s a criminal in Susquehanna Township with a lot of dirty laundry — literally. Police in the Dauphin County town have posted photos and a description of a man who entered a Weis Market, filled a cart with nothing but 15 bottles of Tide liquid detergent and left without paying.

A hunter roaming the grounds of Dick’s Hill Hunting Club in Perry County came across an unpermitted paintball gun battle in progress, reports Pennsylvania State Police dispersed the group of 15 paint-splattered commandos with a warning.

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

By Mars Johnson